Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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January is Officially Netgalley Month!

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Uncategorized 0 Comments



I have a confession to make. I… am a Netgalley addict. I’ve been quite successful as of late in reducing my Netgalley stack, except I continue to request more than I read. When I found out that Red House Books was hosting Netgalley Month in January I figured this was the exact kick in the pants I needed to get my stack reduced down to the single digits (that’s my goal at least!)


So here’s how it works… it’s fairly simply. The challenge is to read as many Netgalley books as possible from January 1st to January 31st. I’ve already gone through my stack and selected 15 (I felt that was a manageable goal) that I plan on reading in January. By my calculations that should bring my Netgalley  number down to 7. SEVEN! I haven’t been in the single digits since I joined Netgalley so I thought this would be an awesome goal to accomplish for the New Year.


Interested in joining in? Write up a post about your plans for Netgalley month and then head on over to Red House Books to sign up! Easy as pie. If you’re a Twitter user, you can use hashtag #NetGalleyMonth when you’ve finished one!

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Follow Friday (2)

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Follow Friday 4 Comments

Parajunkee and Alison Can Read host ‘Follow Friday’ which helps everyone get their blog out there for others to love. If you want your blog to get more follower love, click the picture below or continue reading below to find out more about it!

Here are the general rules:
1. Follow the ‘Follow My Book Blog Friday’ Hosts.
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button and place it in a post. This post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. 
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This weeks featured question:


Q: ‘The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?’


A: Considering that I’m BRAND new to the world of blogging, there are tons of things that I could revise, revamp and redo for 2012. For starters I plan on (at the very least) spending some time updating the look of my blog (and researching how to go about doing this), mix it up and post more than just my book reviews, and I want to look into getting a more professional looking layout. Am also considering teaming up with someone to make this blogging experience that much more fun. We’ll see how it goes though, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. 🙂

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Poetry Review – Love Songs by Sara Teasdale

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Poetry Review – Love Songs by Sara TeasdaleLove Songs by Sara Teasdale
Published by Kessinger Publishing on May 16th 2012 (first published 1917)
Pages: 50
Genres: Poetry
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

1928. Teasdale's work has always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and the Poetry Society of America Prize for Love Songs. She later committed suicide. In addition to new poems, this book contains lyrics taken from Rivers to the Sea, Helen of Troy and Other Poems, and one or two from an earlier volume. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

Sara Teasdale wrote Love Songs in 1917 and received 3 awards for it: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry that I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon.

My absolute favorite:

“I Am Not Yours”

I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon, Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright, Yet I am I, who long to be Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love–put out My senses, leave me deaf and blind, Swept by the tempest of your love, A taper in a rushing wind.

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Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan PoeThe Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrator: Ryan Price
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1st 2006 (first published 1844)
Pages: 48
Genres: Classics
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Macabre

five-stars

Visions in Poetry is an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions. The fifth book in the series, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," delves into the hidden horrors of the human psyche. Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this unforgettable poem.

‘Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume
of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’

I had started reading the Raven before but was never able to quite get through it. When I came across this illustrated version at my library I decided to give it another shot. The illustrated version made it so much better. The illustrations by Ryan Price are dark and gritty… much like the story of the Raven. I’ve read several illustrated books this year that have added a certain something to the already great story (A Monster Calls comes immediately to mind) and the Raven is no exception.

You can find a few more illustrations by Ryan Price from the book here but I would also recommend checking out the rest of his work here as well, although I must say I think his work in the Raven is my favorite.

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Book Review – Fallout (Crank, #3) by Ellen Hopkins

December 29, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Fallout (Crank, #3) by Ellen HopkinsFallout by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Crank #3
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 14th 2010
Pages: 665
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Triangles, Crank, Burned

four-stars

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.
Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she’s ever known crumbles, Autumn’s compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there’s more of Kristina in her than she’d like to believe. Summer doesn’t know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother’s notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.

Crank series

Crank (Crank, #1)Glass (Crank, #2)

Crank (Crank #1) {Purchase}
Glass (Crank #2) {Purchase}

The final chapter in one of the most heart wrenching trilogies/series I’ve ever read. A truly emotional read and I believe a fabulous ‘ending’ although maybe ‘wrap-up’ would be a better description as the story is far from over.

In ‘Fallout’, Ellen Hopkins has switched up the point of view and timeline of the story. Set in the future, Kristina’s youngest son Hunter who was just a toddler in last book is now 19. The story is told from Hunter’s point of view, as well as Summer and Autumn’s: both Kristina’s children. By now Kristina has yet to fully get her life back on track and has 5 children all living with other family members or in foster care.

I was a bit skeptical at this change and how well I would enjoy it after reading through Kristina’s eyes for the past books, but I was pleased at how well written it was. The multiple POV reminded me very much of Triangles; however, I had difficulty in differentiating between Summer and Autumn for at least the first half of the book.

It was extremely intense ‘experiencing’ the impact Kristina had on each of her children. It was tragic, heartbreaking, and extremely painful to read about. Was it worth it? Yes. Ellen Hopkins has yet to disappoint and I continue to be amazed at how influential and powerful her books are.

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Short Story Review – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

December 28, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 1 Comment

Short Story Review – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman CapoteBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Published by Vintage on May 15th 2012 (first published 1958)
Pages: 160
Genres: Classics, Literary Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany's; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

This volume also includes three of Capote's best-known stories, “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory,” which Saturday Review called “one of the most moving stories in our language.” It is a tale of two innocents—a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend—whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth.

Having watched the movie, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ I never really had any desire to read the book. Finally deciding to do so, I was quite surprised that the movie created a superb rendition of the book and that the role of Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, was an absolutely perfect portrayal.

Holly Golightly has to be one of the strangest fictional characters I have read to date. She’s eccentric and odd in a completely entrancing way and yet shows no attempts at actually trying to be this way; she just simply is.

“So,” he said, “what do you think: is she or ain’t she?”
“Ain’t she what?”
“A phony.”
“I wouldn’t have thought so.”
“You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

I quite enjoyed Truman Capote’s writing and look forward to his next book on my list: In Cold Blood.

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Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

December 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel SparkThe Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Published by Penguin Classics on 1970
Pages: 128
Genres: Classics
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Lise leaves her home in northern Europe for a holiday, but it is not rest and relaxation that she is looking for...

Driven to distraction by an office job, she leaves everything and flies south on holiday—in search of passionate adventure, the obsessional experience and sex. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in the unnamed southern city that is her final destination.

I had a really hard time at first getting a grasp of what this story was really about. Essentially, it’s about a peculiar woman named Lise who travels to a Southern European city, presumably Naples, to meet a supposed boyfriend. Once she arrives, all the men she meets she’s mentally judging them based upon whether they are ‘her type’ or not. It’s not till later in the story you realize she’s looking for a specific ‘type’ for a completely different reason than you may originally think. By the beginning of the third chapter, you’re already made aware of a shocking fact:

’She will be found tomorrow morning dead from multiple stab-wounds, her wrists bound with a silk scarf and her ankles bound with a man’s necktie, in the ground of an empty villa, in a park of the foreign city to which she is travelling on the flight now boarding at Gate 14.’

It’s tough not to become immediately enthralled in watching the rest of the story progress to find out how this could possibly have occurred.

There’s something incredibly strange about this woman but it’s never revealed what exactly is wrong with her or why she is the way she is. (But then again, many of the characters in this story are odd. Like Bill? And his ‘I haven’t had my daily orgasm. It’s an essential part of this particular variation of the diet, didn’t I tell you?’ Excuse me?!?) You catch a glimpse early on in the story of her mental instability when she proceeds to flip out on a sales woman who attempted to sell her a dress made of stain resistant material. She took this as a personal insult as if the sales woman was attempting to say that she was a messy eater.

“Do you think I spill things on my clothes?” the customer shrieks. “Do I look as if I don’t eat properly?”

Suffice it to say that was her first but not final moment of unpredictability. She’s a habitual liar and it’s quite shocking how easily the lies flow from her mouth. And she definitely found her type in the end.

“Will you feel a presence? Is that how you’ll know?”
“Not really a presence,” Lise says. The lack of an absence, that’s what it is. I know I’ll find it. I keep on making mistakes, though.”

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Short & Sweet – Other People’s Love Letters by Bill Shapiro

December 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short & Sweet Reviews 0 Comments

Short & Sweet – Other People’s Love Letters by Bill ShapiroOther People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See by Bill Shapiro
Published by Potter Style on October 30th 2007
Pages: 192
Genres: Non-Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Fevered notes scribbled on napkins after first dates. Titillating text messages. It's-not-you-it's-me relationship-enders. In Other People’s Love Letters, Bill Shapiro has searched America’s attics, closets, and cigar boxes and found actual letters–unflinchingly honest missives full of lust, provocation, guilt, and vulnerability–written only for a lover’s eyes. Modern love, of course, is not all bliss, and in these pages you’ll find the full range of a relationship, with its whispered promises as well as its heartache. But what at first appears to be a deliciously voyeuristic peek into other people’s most passionate moments, will ultimately reawaken your own desires and tenderness…because when you read these letters, you’ll find the heart you’re looking into is actually your own.

• "i think UR great. wanna have wine & Tequila again sometime?"

• "I can't believe you're real, and I think about you constantly in some way or the other all day. I haven't given the finger to anyone driving since I met you."

• "With you I learned how to fight cleaner, how to talk things out better, and how to make a strong loving family out of nothing. These are priceless gifts that I will carry with me the rest of my life. One more thing you did for me: you left, and I had to get through it."

• "P.S. I look forward to your letters too much to call. Also, where do you stand on chains?"

’You should know…that still my life is consumed by you.’

This was an interesting little book that I was not expecting to like as much as I did. The title of the book may be ‘Other People’s Love Letters’ but they aren’t all your standard love letters. These are rejection letters, text messages, telegrams, breakup letters, letters of apology, but there are also true love letters that honestly had me crying at times. I quite enjoyed how some of these letters even included a postscript with explanations on some of the letters, or of details on what transpired after the letters were written.

’And I shall love you until I draw my last breath, and beyond.’

This was a charming collection of letters although I would have made slight adjustments if it was up to me. I found that there were several that disrupted the flow of the book as a whole because they were written about occurrences that of course we had no knowledge of. I found those in particular to be confusing and disjointed and felt that if they were removed the book would have been better for it.

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Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami Hoag

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) by Tami HoagDeeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
Series: Oak Knoll #1
Published by Dutton Adult on December 29th 2009
Pages: 421
Genres: Detective, Mystery-Contemporary, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Down the Darkest Road

three-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author joins the Dutton list with the thriller her millions of fans have been awaiting for two years.

Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print.
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

The body of a woman with her eyes and mouth glued shut are discovered in the woods by three school children on their way home from school. Discovering the woman’s body is only the beginning of how they become entangled in this mystery in a small town.

This was my first Tami Hoag book. I’ve been seeing her books everywhere for years and have been meaning to get around to it. My coworker actually brought me her copy from home and let me borrow it so it gave me the extra shove I needed to finally get on it.

One thing to note about ‘Deeper than the Dead’ is that it’s set in 1985. I must have glanced over these previous information, if it had been mentioned earlier, but not until I read a part where they were talking about an individual having a car phone and calling it an extravagant toy.

”But I doubt he and his cronies are playing cards in his car, and why would he lug that phone into his card game with him? You have to carry the damn things around in a suitcase.”

I need to get me one of those.

What I found most interesting about this murder mystery is the fact that there were three very prominent suspects that were regular members of society. I find that typical serial killer novels I’ve read are always lurking in the background and aren’t out standing in the spot light. I first liked that there were SO many suspects so that it wasn’t quite so obvious, but as the story progressed not only did I know exactly who it was but the intense focus that was placed on the other ‘suspects’ made it seem cheesy and a bit annoying after a while. I’m big on the murder mysteries but this one definitely wasn’t my favorite. I’ve got more of Tami Hoag’s books that I’ll be diving into in the future, I just hope that she spices things up a bit more.

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Book Review – Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen Hopkins

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 3 Comments

Book Review – Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen HopkinsBurned by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Burned #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 1st 2006
Pages: 531
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Triangles, Crank, Fallout

four-stars

I do know things really began to spin out of control after my first sex dream.

It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.

This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?

It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.

Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.

In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn's story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.

He was a dream. A safe dream.
Safe, because he was unattainable,
something to adore from afar.
Like a snow-drenched mountain
or an evening star.

The Storyline
17-year old Pattyn Von Stratten is the oldest child in a Mormon family which consists of an alcoholic and abusive father and an extremely overwhelmed mother. Unconsciously, she starts to rebel little by little from her strict family’s rules. After her father catches her in a moment of rebellion she is inevitably sent to live with her Aunt in rural Nevada. Pattyn begins to realize that life with her Aunt may not be as bad as she had originally thought and that going back to her old life may be harder than she thought.

Thoughts
This was the second Ellen Hopkins book I’ve read, and even though this was not as enjoyable as Triangles, I did still enjoy it. It was damn near impossible not to feel bad for Pattyn and her ‘moments of rebellion’ which wasn’t even anything that bad… her family just put her on such a short leash that any form of rebellion was conceived as horrible and wrong.

I can’t help but feel that these types of family situations only make things worse on these children in the long run. Placing so many rules and responsibilities on them at such a young age usually leads to crazy acts of rebellion. Of course this is not always the case and many kids that live in strict households end up turning perfectly decent members of society. When I was in high school I used to have two really good friends who were both Mormons from large families (with enormous responsibilities) who ended up having a huge impact on how I view families such as these.

I finished this book with my jaw on the ground; it was an extremely abrupt and unexpected ending. I went into this thinking that it was a stand-alone novel but come to find out there’s more to come in this series… I’m extremely interested in seeing how the author takes this story.

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