Book Reviews Moved…



The Passage – Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin CroninMy darling friend Bree of 1girl2manybooks told me about this book, and I immediately had to have it. I adore a good post-apocalyptic story, and this one has VAMPIRES. Ok, so the author doesn’t call them Vampires, but whatever, they’re vampy enough. And they don’t sparkle.  That’s enough to get my interest right there.  (Can you tell I loathe sparkly vampires? Really, why in the bloody heck would a vampire sparkle?  Oh, I’m sorry, “dazzle”.  Wutevah!)  At any rate, it’s taken me a while to begin reading it due to various random circumstances, but now that I’ve read it, I can’t wait for the next in the trilogy.  Yes, that’s right people, I began reading a trilogy before the entire thing was published.  Close your mouths, it’s not becoming to stare!

First of all, this is a -massive- door stopper of a book…nearly 800 pages, in fact.  I’ve never been one to hesitate over a long book, though.  I figure it’s more words per dollar, and I do love a good bargain. 🙂

The United States Army has gotten itself into a big of a pickle.  Some experiments they’ve been conducting (creation of a super virus designed to create soldiers who are able to heal quickly, never get ill, etc) have gone awry and they’ve inadvertently caused a series of events that will result in the destruction of almost the entire human race.

These vampires-which-are-not-vampires, created from a strain of virus that was not perfected, can only move in at night and/or in shadows and shade.  Because of this, many have banded together into compounds which have lights they burn at night to keep the flyers/jumpers/smokes at bay.  The focus of this story is on one of these compounds in particular, set in California, whose batteries are slowly failing and will go out in a year or two.

It’s a story of survival.  The last vestiges of humanity struggle to live their lives in a dark and forbidding world filled with “virals” who would like nothing more than to snack on them.  The virals, too, struggle to survive, for they have driven humans to near extinction and are running low on food.  One girl, an orphan, bastard child who is linked to, but not entirely like, the virals…possibly holds the key to save what is left of humanity.  This book is a gripping read.  Once I started, I could not stop.

9 of 10, and I’m only withholding one because, well, nothing is perfect, right?  I cannot wait for the second book of the trilogy, The Twelve, slated to be released in 2012.

The Watcher – Jeanne C. Stein

The Watcher by Jeanne C SteinI’m not really sure what to say about this book.  It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great, it was kind of just…fluff?  The main character is Anna Strong, a recently-turned Vampire.  It’s set in a high magic version of our world – San Diego, to be precise.  There’s shape shifters, witches, and other things that “go bump in the night”, though the author has taken a cue from some of the more recent Vamp stories and has given her blood suckers the ability to walk in sunlight.  They do not, however, sparkle…something that makes me extremely grateful.  By day, Anna is a bounty hunter with human partner David.  By night, she works for “The Watchers” bringing down rogue vampires.  The plot’s really kind of silly.  Anna catches a few fugitives who have jumped bail with the help of David.  She smushes a vampire or two.  She helps save a mortal woman from an abusive husband. Rinse, repeat, add some more fluff to make things “interesting” there’s your story.  Honestly it seemed to me like the author just sat down, came up with a half dozen sub-plots, threw them all together, and called it a book.  It’s the third novel in a series of novels, so I suppose I would appreciate it more if I’d read the first two, but really it served well enough as a stand alone story.  There was a lot of explaining going on of Anna Strong’s past and how she became what she is, so you don’t -have- to read the first two to be caught up for this story…or stories.

I’ll give it 6 of 10, because at least the author didn’t resort to a multitude of love scenes to fill in dead space.  The writing style was, at least, engaging enough to keep me reading til the end.

We’ve joined the library…


So I did the online application last night and we went by today to finish up the process.  Josh got one, too, yayz.

We ended up arriving just before closing time, so I wasn’t able to really look around as much as I like.  Their Adult Fiction section is waaaaaay limited – seems like there’s only two rows?  The children’s and young adult’s sections are pretty large, though, which makes sense since this particular branch is located in the middle of I think three middle schools.

At any rate, I snagged five books…based just off the covers.

1) The Watcher by Jeanne C. Stein 2) Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow 3) The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani 4) A Grave Mistake by Stella Cameron and 5) Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

I finished The Passage a week or so ago and my gosh was it good.  I’ll post a review soon.

Also going to resume my Scrap A Day and Snap A Day stuff.  Ugh I’ve been lazy!

Lil Update

The Road to Baby has been updated. (see link above)

I have read 0 books so far off my list.  I’ve just not had the time or energy and that drives me bonkers.  I’ve started The Passage several times but something always makes me have to put it down and focus elsewhere.  Ugh.

Classes start again on August 31, so I’ll be doing that, yay.  Here’s hoping that this semester I won’t get ill and have to quit halfway through. I’m really tired of repeating classes.

The house is trashed.  There’s so much laundry to do that I feel like burning it and starting over.  The kitchen is a sty, the living room needs to be dusted, my craft room looks like…well, we’re just not going to talk about the craft room. It has a door I can close.

I’m going to try to get some stuff done tomorrow.  We’ll see how that goes!  Feeling better again, so hopefully I’ll be able to start logging on more and updating this more regularly.

Did I mention that California air is trying to kill me? Ugh Ugh Ugh!

Starting “The Passage”

I’ve decided to scrap the book I”m currently reading (Otherland by Tad Williams) to read The Passage. I’ve read the first 10 pages and…wow. I’m already hooked.

Four Hundred Dollar Shoes

Here we go –> Shoes.  I get it…some people have more money than sense.  I do understand that, I can grasp the concept fairly well, yada yada blah.  But really.  Who buys these things?

I went to Nordstrom’s site looking for a dress the other day and these things came up in the suggestion box for what to wear with the dress I was looking at.  First of all, I’m not sure why I was net-shopping on anyway, because I know their prices are outrageous, but it was a sort of last-resort thing.  Of course, I didn’t find anything I even remotely liked there, but that’s beside the point.

These shoes.  I have no words.  Or, well, ok I have some words. Let me share the words with you…

Hideous. Revolting. Horrible. Vile. Disgusting. Gross.  Unless of course you’re wearing them with your Bumblebee Halloween costume.  But that’s only if they’re bargain priced at $10 from Party City.  They look like something a 5 year old would create with their brand new play-doh set.

What sort of person pays $385.00 for a pair of shoes, really?  You’re going to WALK on them.  Or at least I think you are.  Aren’t they meant for wearing?  What if you stepped in gum?  What if it rained? What if some kid randomly upchucked on them? (Okay, I’m aware that last part isn’t exactly likely to happen, but still.)

Geez.  Go to JC Penney’s and buy some shoes, then give the $300 you just saved to St. Jude’s or something.

$385 shoes. Insanity.

2010 Global Reading Challenge

Bree made me do it.

The Medium Challenge

Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
North America (incl Central America)
South America

Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Well, we’ll see how this goes!

Amazon (Free) Shopping Spree

We had a bunch of leftover credit on Amazon from gift certificates.  So…shopping spreeeee! (this is also how I purchased my Cricut and most of my Cricut accessories, bahaha)

I finally sucked it up and pushed the order button on my sewing machine.  I’ve been wanting one for aaaages but I just couldn’t commit to buying it, even with “free” money.  But…I’ve wanted to learn to quilt for the longest time and hand stitching the squares together is just too tedious.  It hurts my wrists, it hurts my eyes, it hurts my back…it’s just not fun.  With a machine, it’ll be easy enough and quick enough to be fun, and I’m really looking forward to actually creating a quilt.  Perhaps a baby quilt? 🙂   I also picked up some lil accessories for it – a few (10) bobbins and a 1/4″ quilting foot that for some reason it didn’t come with.  (Though it did come with two OTHER quilting feet.)

And of course, I can’t make an purchase without throwing in one or two or three books.  What I got today was…The Passage by Justin Cronin, The Last Child by John Hart, and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge: The Book of Mnemonic Devices by Rod L Evans.

Josh will likely read The Passage, also.  I did attempt to get him some of the books off his wish list, but he wasn’t able to name any that he “had to have” right now, so I just tried to pick one I thought he’d enjoy.  Of course, both of us have stacks of books on our nightstands that are just ridiculously tall.

So that’s that.  Tomorrow, we’re going to San Francisco on the -train- (Excited! First train ride ever!) to see Wicked!  Oooh I cannot wait!  I think we’re leaving sometime around 3pm and we’ll have dinner first, then snag our seats and prepare to watch the amazingness! I loved the book, so I’m really hopeful about the musical. I’ve heard from my nice Aussie friend (well, one of my nice Aussie friends) that it’s not so great.  I’m really hoping he’s wrong, ’cause I’ll be devastated if I hate it.  Mostly because we spent almost $200 on the dang tickets.  And did I mention that we’ve got tickets for seats 117 and 119.  What the heck?  I bought them at the same time, they should be together!  Oh well.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll post pics of the wonderful diner food we’re going to grub on.  I won’t post pics of the musical, because, well, that’s not allowed.  For the record, that image is copyrighted by the Wicked musical people and I am not taking credit for it, getting profits from it, using it for publicity, or otherwise gaining anything in any way, shape, or form…I just wanted it on the post.


Ree & Josh: Reading Update

So I’ve been doing a ton of crafty things and now I’m definitely considering purchasing a sewing machine…

At any rate, what that has meant for my reading is that I haven’t done a ton of it recently.

I have started a new book (that we’ve owned for years and I just haven’t been able to make myself start it, since it’s the beginning of a series… Otherland, by Tadd Williams.  Josh has started the first book of the His Dark Materials series.  I think he’ll probably finish before I do, but that’s alright.

Also considering ordering the newly published The Last Vampire books by Christopher Pike.  Man did I love that series as a kid, and from what I hear on the book-vine, there’s gonna be another new Sita book.  Cannot wait!! I’ll read them all in one sitting and beg for more…ugh!

And now I’m tired and sleepy and worrying because today is CD25 and I want it to already be CD27 so I can take a test and see if I’m pregnant or not.  Ugh ugh ugh!


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