"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Movie Review: The Lightning Thief

Movie Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief
Duration: 2 Hours
Rating: 2/5

It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I went to see the new Percy Jackson movie today. I've been wanting to go for a while now, but no one wanted to go with me, so I just went by myself today. One would think that would be weird, but it was actually quite enjoyable. No one tried to eat my popcorn, or complained when I mixed it with my raisinets, and no one hogged the arm rests!!

I'm going to talk about the movie in two ways. The initial thoughts I had while viewing the movie and then my overall impression of the movie as a whole. There probably will be a few spoilers so be aware if you haven't read the book, or still want to see the movie.

Initial Thoughts:

  • Dang, Poseidon is one hot god
  • Wait a minute, isn't Grover supposed to be a little nerdy?
  • Umm, where's Luke's scar?
  • What happened to Poseidon claiming Percy?? How come he just gets to know who his father is??
  • Pierce Bronson does not look good with a horse's behind...
  • They leave Grover in the underworld??
  • And finally, why is Annabeth making a move on Percy??

So, my overall impressions. If I had never read the book, I absolutely one hundred percent, would have adored this movie. It had monsters, gods, and action - plus really awesome special effects. However, due to the fact that I had read the book, fell in love with the book, and can't get enough of this series, I really did not like the movie. The overall storyline of the movie was the same. Someone had stolen Zeus' lightning bolt and Percy was sent to recover it and stop the war between the gods, but that is really where the similarities ended. They changed so much of the central storyline, and left so much out, I feel that they really ruined the story.

I understand that movies cannot include everything that is in the book, but the flow of the book was so good and so well written, I have a hard time understanding why the movie writers felt the need to change so much of the initial story. I thought one of the most flawed scenes in the movie, was the trip to the underworld. It lacked all the build up and fear that was portrayed in the original book.

On my way out of the theater, there was a father speaking with his young son about how the movie was ok, but the book was a lot better. I spoke to him for a few moments about his feelings, and much of his thoughts on the movie were the same as mine. It was just too different from the book to satisfy fans of the series.

So all in all, I'm glad I went to go see it, but its definitely not one I'll be rushing out to buy on DVD. And I'd advise against taking really young children to see this movie. The monsters can be quite intense, and I saw two parents take crying kids out of the theater.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review: The Box Children

Title: The Box Children
Author: Sharon Wyse
Pages: 186
Rating: 2/5

Eleven-year-old Lou Ann Campbell starts a diary on scraps of paper that she hides from her mother in a barrel behind the bunkhouse on her family's Texas wheat farm. Lou Ann's mother has had five miscarriages and Lou Ann has created the box children--five plastic dolls who live in a shoe box--to memorialize these "ghost babies."

The Box Children is Lou Ann's secret diary. Through her spare, sure voice, we share Lou Ann's experiences over the course of one extraordinary summer. The Box Children is also a record of Lou Ann's relationships--with her unstable and cruel mother, who intrudes into every aspect of Lou Ann's life; her adulterous father, whose relative sweetness compels Lou Ann to excuse serious excesses in behavior; her older brother, who rejects her as he struggles with what it means to "be a man"; and with the box children, who become her only companions.

Charming, jolting, and haunting, The Box Children chronicles Lou Ann's unflinching search for a connection to the wide world outside her farm (Author's Website).

I'm not sure this book review even wants to be written. One of my biggest pet peeves is sitting down to write a book review without the book sitting right in front of me. However, sometime between 9:45 PM Tuesday night and right now, this book has grown legs and walked away. I have checked under the couches, behind them, in the fridge, the other bookshelves. I even looked in the trash. It's gone. So I'm writing this with no book in front of me...here goes :)

One, I did not like this book at all. Lou Ann's mom was C-R-A-Z-Y, and instead of adding to the story it just made it weird.

Two, I'm still not sure what the whole point of the story was. I know it was a type of coming of age story, but I've seen it done much better.

And finally, the writing style wasn't smooth and flowing. I don't know if that was because she was trying to portray a journal written by a young girl or what, but I felt like it was very jumpy. I've read other books told through journal entries or letters and they did not seem to have this feel to them.

The Box Children was a book that I had heard "great" things about a few years ago in the book world. It's a hard book to find because it's no longer in publication (now I know why) but I managed to find a copy for super cheap from Amazon's bargain buys. Because I've been cleaning out my shelves, I've been coming across a lot of books that I had bought off of recommendations a long time ago and thought I would give it a shot. It started out ok, but has it got further into the story, I realized how very different it was.

As I stated above, Lou Anne's mom is crazy with a capital C. She has two children, and has lost five other babies. These five lost babies are represented by five dolls that Lou Anne keeps in a shoebox and calls "the box children." She communicates with the dolls and takes them outside and has conversations with them (its almost creepy). Lou Anne's mother is pregnant with another child, but we find out early in the story that something isn't right with this pregnancy. There's a lot of foreshadowing at this point, along with a great deal of talk about how sex is dirty.

Lou Anne's father is a wheat farmer. We find out early on, he likes the ladies (probably a fact that leads to the crazy wife). I happened to find him just plain disgusting. Also, there are a lot of farm hands, one who likes Lou Anne. I'm not sure how old he is, but Lou Anne is only 12. I kept thinking he was in his twenties, and if so CREEPY. However, I think he may have been Lou Anne's age from the way they interacted in the story. It was just never really explained.

So all in all, I'm giving the book two stars. One for the cover because I like it, and one for at least holding my attention enough to finish it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

My pick this week is:

My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto

Author: Jen Lancaster
Release Date: May 4, 2010

From Goodreads:

It's a JENaissance! The New York Times bestselling author of Pretty in Plaid gets her culture on.

Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces.

In Jen's corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high-priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing's for certain: Eliza Doolittle's got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure is an option.

I have read Jen's four other previous novels and loved every single one of them. I'm super excited for this one, and will definitely be picking it up as soon as it hits bookstores!!

Tuesday Teaser (5)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

**Grab your current read
**Open to a random page
**Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
**BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
**Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

I didn't know what she meant, or how she knew the area so well. I risked loosening the thermos cap a little more, and a fresh burst of wind sent us rocketing around the northern tip of Virginia Beach into Chesapeake Bay (137).

~The Sea of Monsters- Rick Riordan

I want to write to Wyn Rue about Earl and all the things that have happened. Mother would never let me, but I'm thinking maybe there's a way to get past her(84).

~The Box Children - Sharon Wyse

Monday, February 22, 2010

What are you reading? (4)

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

My reading definitely picked up in the past week. I was able to finish four books and I'm half way finished with a fifth:

This brings my total books read so far for 2010 to 14, which is really good for me. So far I'm pretty much on track. If I keep up this pace all year, I'll easily read 100 books!!

This week I'm hoping to finish these:

  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan: This is the second book in The Olympian series and I'm enjoying it as much as the first. I'm really glad I started this series and look forward to finishing the next three months in the coming weeks.
  • Me and Emma - Elizabeth Flock: I picked this one up from paperbackswap.com some time ago, but haven't gotten around to reading it. I've heard wonderful things about it though!
  • Angel's Rest - Charles Davis: I really loved the cover for this one, and the blurb sounds amazing.
  • The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf: This was a Borders Books pick of the week. Also, Marce, at Tea Time with Marce recommended this book to me and wrote a great review you can find here.
  • The Lost Mother - Mary McGarry Morris: This is one that has been on my shelf for a while. The description sounds intriguing, and definitely looks like a page turner.
  • The Box Children - Sharon Wyse - I know next to nothing about this book. It was in the closeouts section on amazon.com and seemed like something I would be like so I picked it up and figure I'll give it a try.

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I've been cleaning out my bookshelves over the past few weeks, and have come across some books that I've either read and would rather not keep, or that I've never read and have decided I know longer want to read. So I was thinking of posting them on paperbackswap and seeing if they would be requested, but I really don't want to hold on to them for that long, so instead I decided I'd give them away here!!

There are six batches of books, each batch a different genre. You may enter to win each batch one time, but may enter to win one or all six batches. I'll list each batch below with a picture of the books included. Contest winners will be announced Sunday March 7th. I will email the winners and wait 48 hours for shipping information. If information is not received within that 48 hours, a new winner will be announced

In order to win, please leave a comment below with the following information:
  1. Name and state
  2. Email address
  3. What batch or batches or are interested in
  4. If you are a follower of the blog

If you are a follower of the blog, you receive an extra chance to win the batches you choose!!

***Giveaway is open to US residents only --- I can't afford to ship internationally at this time***

Batch One --- Humor --- Batch includes the following novels:

  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake - Sloane Crosley
  • We're Just Like You, Only Prettier - Celia Rivenbark
  • Bless Your Heart Tramp - Celia Rivenbark
  • Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank - Celia Rivenbark
  • I Feel Bad About My Neck - Nora Ephron

Batch Two --- Romance --- Batch includes the following novels:

  • Ask For It - Sylvia Day
  • The Stranger I Married - Sylvia Day
  • Marrying For King's Millions - Maureen Child
  • Juror No. 7 - Mallory Kane
  • Married by Mistake - Abby Gaines

Batch Three --- Horror --- Batch includes the following novels:
  • Bag of Bones - Stephen King
  • Rose Madder - Stephen King
  • Pet Cemetary - Stephen King
  • Hearts in Alantis - Stephen King
  • Shadows - John Saul

Batch Four --- Historical Fiction --- Batch includes the following novels:

  • The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
  • Tipperary - Frank Delaney
  • Zorro - Isabel Allende
  • A Thread of Grace - Mary Doria Russell
  • The Witch of Cologne - Tobsha Learner

Batch Five --- Christian Romance/Literature --- Batch includes the following novels:

  • Lookin' Back Texas - Leanna Ellis
  • Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
  • A Proper Pursuit - Lynn Austin
  • Ten Thousand Charms - Allison Pittman

Batch Six --- Fiction/Literature --- Batch includes the following novels:

  • The End of Summer - John Lowry Nixon
  • Full of Grace - Dorothea Benton Frank
  • Broken for You - Stephanie Kallos
  • A Redbird Christmas - Fannie Flagg
  • A Disturbance in One Place - Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg
  • The Late, Lamented Molly Marx - Sally Koslow
  • Jack's Widow - Eve Pollard
  • Chatter - Perrin Ireland
  • Strip Cuts - David Drayer
  • Misery Loves Cabernet - Kim Gruenenfelder

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Review: The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages: 375
Rating: 5/5

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves (Cover Blurb).

I had never heard of this book until I saw an advertisement for the movie when I went to go see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Right away I knew it was a movie I wanted to see; however, I definitely wanted to read the book first. I had seen the Harry Potter movies first without reading the books, and missed out on so much and I didn't want that to happen again. I am so glad I decided to give this book a shot. I really enjoyed it, and cannot wait to read the next four books.

Percy Jackson is kind of a lost soul. He's always in trouble, moving from one boarding school to the next, and doesn't have many friends. He's about ready to be kicked out of Yancy Academy, where he has befriended both the Latin teacher, and his new best friend Grover. However, on a school field trip, Percy is attacked by a monster of sorts, and his entire life changes.

The Lightning Thief provides one adventure after another, with lots of action that keeps the story moving forward at a rapid pace. Once I started, I had a really hard time putting this down and found myself sneaking in a few pages here and there when no one was looking at work. If it wasn't for the Olympics distracting me and taking away from my reading time at night, I probably would have finished this book in close to one sitting.

I have seen a lot of comparisons between the Percy Jackson books and the Harry Potter series, but I feel that these books each have their own feel. Yes, their are some similarities. Both boys go to a special school, have parents with different types of "powers" and have two good friends - the smart girl, and the geeky side kick. But I feel that it is there that the similarities stop. Riordan's style is much different from that of Rowling, with more action sequences that come much faster and never seem to stop. Not only that, the amount of Greek mythology that surfaces in this story is amazing, and Riordan really did his homework.

I am so glad that I decided to give this book a shot, and will definitely be continuing on with the series. I hope to see the movie here in the next few weeks and look forward to letting you know what I think of it. Until then, here is the trailer:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday Teaser (4)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

**Grab your current read
**Open to a random page
**Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
**BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
**Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

We waved goodbye to the other campers, took one last look at the strawberry fields, the ocean, and the Big House, then hiked up Half-Blood Hill to the tall pine tree that used to be Thalia, daughter of Zeus (pg 150).

~The Lightening Thief - Rick Riordan

Review: Going Too Far

Title: Going Too Far
Author: Jennifer Echols
Pages: 245
Rating: 5/5

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge-and over...(Cover Blurb).

Oh how I hope they make this book into a movie!! With someone really delicious looking to play Officer John After...who is my new book boyfriend by the way. He really got my heart beating...lol. Add that to the fact that this book is a phenomenal read and I was absolutely hooked. I read part of this last month, and then got distracted by something but ended up finishing the last 140 pages tonight. I'm sorry I waited the few weeks in between.

Meg is a troubled teenager, hanging out with the wrong crowds looking for trouble. However, one night of wild debauchery on a local bridge puts her in jail. For her punishment, Meg is forced to spend a week riding in a cop car with John After, the officer who arrested her and has an almost strange obsession with the bridge. Throughout the week, John and Meg go from enemies to friends and shocking secrets begin to surface. I was on pins and needles waiting to see what would happen between the two of them next.

I really loved the characters in this book. Despite her attitude, Meg is a hard character not to love. And John After is a hard ass cop with a sexy side, that we get to see in little bits and pieces. By the end of the book, I had fallen in love with him as much as Meg did.

This is one young adult book that you shouldn't let pass you by. I will definitely be checking out more of Jennifer Echols books!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: White Ghost Girls

Title: White Ghost Girls
Author: Alice Greenway
Pages: 168
Rating: 4.5/5

Summer 1967. The turmoil of Mao's Cultural Revolution is spilling over into Hong Kong as war rages in nearby Vietnam. White Ghost Girls is the story of Frankie and Kate, two American sisters living in a foreign land in a chaotic time. With their war-photographer father off in Vietnam, Marianne, their beautiful but remote mother, keeps the family in Hong Kong, frightened of losing her husband to a mistress or to the addiction of war itself." "Although bound together by living overseas, the sisters could not be more different - Frankie pulses with rebellion and risk, while Kate's the watchful one, all eyes and ears. Marianne spends her days painting watercolors of the lush surroundings, leaving the girls largely unsupervised, while their Chinese amah, Ah Bing, does her best to look after them. One day in a market, the girls decide to run off - with tragic results." "Immersed in the heat and color of late-1960s Hong Kong, a city shimmering between sea and sky, it is a world of fishermen, junks, and unexplained bodies floating up in the sea of plotting rebels, temple gods, and ghosts." In this novel, the girls tumble into their teenage years against an extraordinary backdrop both sensuous and dangerous. This tale of sacrifice and solidarity gleams with the kind of intense, complicated love that exists only between sisters (Goodreads.com).

What a hauntingly beautiful novel. I'm really at a loss of words over what to even say about this one. I can say though that I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it.

White Ghost Girls tells the story of two sisters, Kate and Frankie as they grow up in Hong Kong in the mist of the Vietnam War and Cultural Revolution. Raised mainly by their Chinese Amah, Kate and Frankie are full of mischief and secrets, which eventually comes back to haunt them. This novel takes tough topics: war, sibling rivalry, even death and and delicately weaves a story that is truly stunning. When reading this I felt as though I was in Hong Kong, deep in the jungles feeling the heat and the mist off the water.

This novel reads quickly and once started is hard to put down. I was only about 40 pages into it when I sat down tonight and finished up in a few hours. However, despite its short length, White Ghost Girls will stick with you long after you finish. I am still amazed that this was Greenway's debut novel.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: Gone

Title: Gone
Author: Lisa McMann
Pages: 214
Rating: 5/5

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . . (Cover Blurb)

I didn't read a single review for this book before opening it up. All I knew was that I had loved both Wake and Fade more than I have ever loved another young adult book (except for Twilight but that doesn't count...lol). I picked this up at Borders on Saturday night and started this book this morning before heading off to work. I was instantly hooked, and despite work and cleaning my house, I managed to find the time to finish this one up tonight. I wasn't disappointed. I adored this book as much as the first two.

Gone is much different from the first two books. Rather than dealing with a mystery of sorts, we get to see Janie struggle with her future. A future that is actually much darker than we originally thought. I don't want to give anything away about this book, so I'm not going to say much more about the plot, other than everyone should read these three books.

However, back to the reviews. I'm always curious after finishing a book to see how my opinions compare to those of other readers. Because of this, I'm always up to checking out the reviews on amazon.com. Wow, this book did not seem to fair well, and I don't understand why. I do understand that this book is different from the first two, but it is a conclusion to a trilogy. We need to look at all points of view, and we need to see the inner struggles that Janie must deal with as she faces a future more uncertain than any other living being. Many reviews stated that this book was nothing but filler, drawn out to provide a "finish" to a series. Others suggested that McMann should have finished the series with Fade, rather than going on to a third and final book. I'm curious to see what other readers around the blogging world had to say about this one. Am I alone in the fact that I loved this book and the conclusion it gave to Janie's story?

What are you reading (3)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

It's been a slow month for me reading wise. And blogging wise. Work's been wearing me down and it took me almost two weeks to get over the strep throat I had. Last week I managed to finish one book:

  • Eye Contact - Cammie McGovern

This week I'm hoping to finish these:

  • Gone - Lisa McMann: I'm almost finished with this one and should be done tonight. This is the last book in the Wake trilogy and I'm loving it.

  • The Lighting Thief - Rick Riordan: I really want to see this movie but didn't want to get into the same situation I was in with Harry Potter. I won't see it until I finish the book!!

  • White Ghost Girls - Alice Greenway: This was another book that I bought a long time ago that I just pulled off the shelf.

  • Going Too Far - Jennifer Echols: I started this book back in January and then managed to get distracted. Hope to finish it this week as I've heard really amazing things about it.

What are you reading this week?

Review: Eye Contact

Title: Eye Contact
Author: Cammie McGovern
Pages: 288
Rating: 4.5/5

Two children disappear into the woods behind Woodside Elementary School. Hours later one of them, nine year old Adam, is found alive, the sole witness to his playmate's murder. But Adam is autistic and can say nothing about what he saw. Only his mother, Cara, has the power to penetrate his silence. When another child goes missing and Cara's unsettling past emerges from the shadows, she has to ask herself whether her efforts to protect her son have exposed him to unimaginable danger. Eye Contact is a thriller of hypnotic suspense and a powerful story of the bond between a mother and a very special child (Cover Blurb).

I've been cleaning out my bookshelves, accessing the books I have and deciding if I want to keep them or pass them on to someone else. My shelves are overflowing with books I wanted to read and just had to have. Eye Contact is one of those books. I'm not even sure where I heard about this novel or when and where I inquired it, but I really wish I would have read it sooner. It was an absolutely amazing read.

I read this book practically in one sitting because it was just too good to put down. There is a mystery to this story, but the even bigger plot is the mystery of relationships. Adam's mother Cara has let so many relationships go over the years, and isolated herself from her friends, that we get to see a re-awakening in her as she realizes the power of a good relationship and friendship. Furthermore, I really liked that autism was front and center in this book. I often feel that people push this aside, and McGovern faces it head on. Her understanding of the disease was right on, much to do with the fact that McGovern's own son is autistic. However, the reader must understand that this is not a book about autism, but rather a book about the relationship between mother and child.

I finished this book over five days ago, and still cannot stop thinking about it. It's a novel that will stick with you, make you think, and make you want to hug your children and friends.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: Dear John

Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Pages: 276
Rating: 4/5

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life (http://www.bn.com/).

I read this book in anticipation of seeing the movie this past weekend. Well, I was too sick to see the movie but I'm still really glad I read the book.

I've always been a big fan of Nicholas Sparks, and fell in love with The Notebook, long before it became a movie. I've read it about five times, and seen the movie too many times to count. I'm rarely disappointed in one of his novels, and Dear John was no exception. Yes, it was predictable, and I had it pretty much figured out soon after starting the story; but I still fell in love with the characters and couldn't get through the story fast enough.

Sparks tells such a strong love story, and I often wonder if he's this loving in real life. Does he treat his wife like his characters treat the women in his books? Does he love with that much passion? I've always been curious about that. While John and Savannah's story did not touch me in the way Noah and Allies story did in The Notebook, it still left me breathless with a few tears here and there.

This is definitely one you would want to pick up for the quiet Sunday afternoon when you just want to get lost in someone's story!

January Wrap Up

Before falling off the face of the earth at the end of January, I was able to finish eight books, all young adult. My favorite this month was definitely Hate List. In the last week of January, I started a number of books, including Taken By Storm and The Knife of Never Letting Go. I definitely was having a "It's not you, it's me moment" and had to set both of them aside. Both books have great potential and I will definitely be going back to them, I just couldn't get into them right there and right then.

On top of all that, Mike and I had another unsuccessful month with the Clomid and trying to get pregnant. When I went in for Febuary's baseline ultrasound, it was found that I had three ovarian cysts (caused by the Clomid) so we won't be taking any of the hormones or anything this month. Hopefully March will be more promising.

I've been down with strep throat and a fever for most of last week and the weekend, and haven't felt much like sitting in front of the computer and typing updates. But I'm feeling better so hopefully I'm back for good. I'm cleaning out my bookshelves and might have a few give aways so stay tuned :)

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