Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Army of Ten

Hey Everyone!

Well a couple of weeks back, I did a book haul which included Ten by Gretchen McNeil, right?  And in that book haul I said that I was super excited for it, right?  Well now I'm even more excited!  "Why?" you ask.  Well keep reading!
The Army of TEN

During Gretchen McNeil's last release, Possess, she put together an awesome scavenger hunt with really cool prizes for the YA world!  Well, this time she's doing another awesome release!  She's formed The Army of Ten (which I am a part of) which is a street team and promotional network to help get the word out about Ten!  There are tons of awesome prizes to be won and ways to help out.  There is a ranking system for "Soldiers" in the army of Ten and the more work you do, the better your reward!  One of the prizes is having your name in the Acknowledgements of Gretchen's third book!  Super cool, right?  I'm hoping to get that prize!  Anyways, head on over to armyoften.blogspot.com to get started! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Movie Reviews :)

Hey Remarkable Readers,
A few of you requested that I start reviewing movies so I figured I'd do some mini reviews!  I've been to the movies almost every week this summer because my family gets free movie tickets on tuesdays :) .  I'll probably just do big combined posts during the year reviewing the movies of the season, so here's my Summer Movie Guide!

Release date: June 22nd
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connoly, Emma Thompson
Series: No
Rating: PG

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

I've always loved Pixar films.  Brave wasn't one of my top favorites, but I did enjoy it!  It was very cute and easily relatable.  The commercials were quite misleading though.  I won't give anything away, however I definitely didn't see any of the plot line coming.  I guess it's nice to be surprised once in a while, though!  I also thought that this movie might've been a little mature to understand for the target audience.  I really liked Merida and all of the characters in the movie.  Great Flick!

Katy Perry: Part of Me
Release date: July 5th
Starring: Katy Perry
Series: No
Rating: PG

A documentary that chronicles Katy Perry's life on and off-stage.

I loved this documentary so much that I went to see it twice in theaters!  At first, my father wasn't ecstatic about going to see it because he thought it'd be more of a "kids" movie, but he ended up loving it!  Our whole family really enjoyed seeing Katy's life story.  The documentary is filmed as a concert movie, documentary, and chronicling of her Teenage Dream tour.  I would go see this again.  After seeing the film, I've become a hard core fan of Katy's.  She really is inspiring and I admire her perseverance through all of the obstacles she's had to deal with.  The movie's also great for a laugh here and there!  A must see!

The Dark Knight Rises
Release date: July 20th
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
Series: Yes
Rating: PG-13

Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

I really liked the first in The Dark Knight series, so I was really excited to see this movie.  Luckily, this series is one of the few that I actually feel live up to the hype.  Although the movie is quite long and a bit difficult to follow, I absolutely loved it!  Anne Hathaway is also one of my favorite actresses so I loved her character in the film and of course Christian Bale always does a great job!  The Dark Knight Rises is a movie you'll want to see, for sure!

The Amazing Spiderman

Release date: July 3rd
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone
Series: Yes
Rating: PG-13

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.

     Personally, I thought that the last film in the Spiderman series Spiderman 4 was a complete let-down.  I really didn't enjoy that one, so I wasn't expecting much of this remake as I'd thought that the series had gone down hill.  I was really surprised!  Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had great chemistry together onscreen.  Although I did find Peter Parker to be a bit too quirky in this edition, I still really enjoyed this movie.

Step Up Revolution PosterStep Up Revolution

Release date: July 27th
Starring:  Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Cleopatra Coleman
Series: Yes
Rating: PG-13

Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean, the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily's father's development plans.

I've seen all of the previous Step Up movies before this installment and quite enjoyed them, but unfortunately this one was a let down.  The only part I really liked were the flash mobs.  Otherwise, the movie just seemed very unrealistic to me.  The characters didn't have chemistry and didn't seem real.  I didn't really like this movie much.  Even the dancing wasn't as good as the other movies.

Some Other Movies I've Seen

-The Bourne Legacy
Just Okay
-Men in Black 3
Thumbs Up!
-Total Recall
Thumbs Down!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Haul {52}

Hey Remarkable Readers!

I actually received quite a lot of unexpected titles in the past two weeks, so I thought I'd share with you what I got!


Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

F O R  R E V I E W

Random House Imprints

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett
The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Intentions by Deborah Heiligman
The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton
Suck it Up and Die by Brian Meehl
Touched by Cyn Balog
Under My Hat by Jonathan Strahan
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Diva by Jillian Larkin
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St.Claire
Poison Tree by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel
Fury's Fire by Lisa Papademetriou
The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

Harper Collins Imprints

Carnival of Souls by Marissa Marr
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (not pictured)
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Macmillan Imprints

Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter

So, yeah I definitely got a ton of stuff this week.  I've never gotten anything from Random House before so that was definitely an awesome surprise to have two boxes arrive!  Thanks to Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Random House!  What did you get this week?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

Far from YouGenre: Young Adult-Poetry                                             Source: Library
Series: No, Standalone Verse Novel
Challenge: Free Reads
Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Years h
ave passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.

But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.

Perhaps she's not so alone after all....

     I've read two of Lisa's books before (I Heart You, You Haunt MeI and The Day Before) and loved both of them!  So, I had high expectations for Far From You and luckily it didn't let me down!
     I really loved Alice's character.  She was strong, stubborn, and broken.  I thought that she was almost inspiring considering the fact that she always stood her ground.  I was really able to connect with her and I felt sorry for her because of her predicament.  I also thought that Blaze was a strong character as well and I enjoyed reading about their relationship.  Speaking of relationships, Far From You is heavily based on relationships between the characters and that's really where most of the plot line comes from.  Alice's father wasn't very supportive of her and I didn't really like him until the end.  Victoria was a bit too whiney and emotional during the first half of the book, but was definitely easier to tolerate during the snowstorm and I grew to like her.  
     The summary on the back of the library copy was different then the one shown above, so I found mine to be a bit misleading.  It made the whole story seem a bit slow, so I recommend going by the summary pictured above.  
     I really liked reading about Alice's songwriting and playing her guitar because I can relate to her.  I also liked her song lyrics.  Lisa Schroeder also did a great job with the feud between Claire and Alice.  It was very easy for anyone to relate to.  
     Lisa's writing is just as spectacular as usual in Far From You.  This book is written in poetry so it can be finished really quickly, but will still leave you with that "I-just-finished-an-amazing-book" feeling and will make you think.  I recommend reading it in the winter, but I enjoyed it in the summer just the same! 

Final Grade: 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where have I been?

Hey Remarkable Readers,
     You may have noticed that I've been a bit "MIA" lately!  Sorry!  I should be back soon!  I've been very busy moving things from my second home back to my main residence with my family and we've been back and forth a lot.  We are also cleaning out my relatives house, so it's been pretty chaotic!  Don't fret, though.  I'm still reading just about every day and reviews will be up soon.  All of the giveaway packages are being mailed this week and I will work hard to post as much as possible.
     On the other hand, I've been cleaning out my book collection and have some books up for trade, so if you're interested in knowing what I have, leave a comment or tweet me!  Hope to see you all soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Tour: Jersey Angel (Giveaway)


Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
It's the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She's not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn't sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn't start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn't want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn't want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself  spending more time with Inggy's boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Haul {52}

Hey Remarkable Readers!  I've actually recieved quite a few books for review this week that I'm pretty excited about!

F O R  R E V I E W

Captital Girls by Ella Monroe
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The Icarus Project by Laura Quimby
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

I'm definitely most excited for Ten because I've read the book it was inspired by!  I can't wait to read it!  What did you get this week?  What are you most excited for?  Thanks to Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Abrams Books!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

The Great UnexpectedGenre: Middle Grade
Series: No, Standalone
Source: ARC, from Book Expo America
Buy It: The Dolphin Bookshop (Shop Indie!

Humorous and heartfelt, this is a story of pairs— of Sybil and Nula (sisters who grew up together in Rook’s Orchard, Ireland) and Naomi and Lizzie (both orphans in present day Blackbird Tree, USA) and unraveling mysteries about family and identity. Naomi and Lizzie’s tragedies turn into a life filled with hope, as old misunderstandings and sorrows between Sybil and Nula give way to forgiveness and love. It is about unexpected gifts—the kindness of neighbors giving away their dogs to protect a little girl, of strangers fostering children, and of young people helping old and old helping young.

    As my sister was asking for help to organize her bookshelves, a blue-spined ARC caught my eye.  I read the title: The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech. It seemed pretty interesting, as the cover was very vague. I wondered why the cover didn't give away much about the story, so I chose to pick it up and started to read it. 
        I liked the characters in this book, but some where a little irritating. My favorite character was Nula because she seemed so caring and loving to Naomi.  I didn't really connect to the main character (Naomi).  My least favorite character was Lizzie because she seemed like such an annoying friend and a chatter box.  If she was my friend, I'm pretty sure that I would go mad.
     The writing was also a bit boring.  The story was dragged out and could've been told in ten chapters when there were fifty-seven chapters instead.  The writing wasn't vivid or all that interesting.    
      I didn't really like how the story turned out because it was not easy to follow.  Sharon Creech didn't really tie up the loose ends at the end of the story.  When I finished I still had unanswered questions like Who was the "Finn" boy? I think that there should've been an after story or epilogue because I was a little lost in the book. Overall, I didn't really enjoy The Great Unexpected.  I enjoyed Sharon Creech's other book Walk Two Moons but, The Great Unexpected was a disappointment.  I thought the story was a little useless because it didn't really keep my interest or really teach a good lesson.  Overall, this book just didn't do anything for me.  

Final Grade: