The Great Grocery Bag Exchange - Your Loot!

The Great Grocery Bag Exchange - Your Loot!

Well, it's here! People have started receiving their packages and posting links on their blogs so if you are interested in seeing reusable grocery/book bags from around the world, click on the links below to see what everyone got! Thanks again to all those that participated in this event, and thanks to everyone checking out the links. It was heaps fun!

Blogging Break

After long and hard thought, I have decided to take a blogging break. With the holidays coming up and some personal issues I am having, I need to make this decision for myself. It's been a hard decision to make, but one I need to make. I hope to come back soon and return to blogging, but at this time, I can't give a definite time frame.

I will still read and post reviews for the books I've received for review, and I will still continue doing the Book Read 'Round the World Event so all those participating have nothing to worry about. I will still post your guest posts on my blog and the McKlinky will stay up for you to post links to your reviews of the books. I will also post a McKlinky for the Great Grocery Bag Exchange event as well.

I hope everyone has a really Happy Holidays and I'll still occasionally run around on Twitter so I don't lose touch with all of you. Thank you all for following my blog and being such good friends. I promise I'll be back and posting new reviews soon!

Friday Coffee Chat (19)–What are we telling young people?

What are we telling young people?

Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading is taking the week off of her portion of Friday Coffee Chat. She'll be back next week with a new post so make sure you stop by her blog next week!


This week I have invited Amy from Amy Reads and Rachel from And the Plot Thickens to cohost a special edition of this week’s Friday Coffee Chat. I have had conversations with both of them about the portrayal of young women in books. Because all three of us have read some of the paranormal romances like Twilight and Shiver, we decided to write about it this week and really open a dialogue about this topic.

Click here read Rachel and Amy’s full comments on the topic.

I have to say that for the most part, I don’t think a lot of the books are super harmful. I enjoyed Twilight even though it is clear that Bella has issues. To me, the relationship between her and Edward is troublesome, but not for the reasons everyone might think. His possessiveness I had always thought of as part of his vampiric nature which is animalistic—meaning that it is difficult to control (he does after all see Bella as filet mignon) so when he told Bella not to answer the phone when Jacob called, I thought that his vampiric nature was showing. I also never thought about the obsession/possessiveness because I thought, “Hey, there’s a group of bloodthirsty, super-fast vampires after her. I might want a scary vampire to protect me too!” However, after hearing what Rachel and Amy had to say, it gave me another perspective.

Rachel’s Point of View

Twilight has morphed into this oddly shaped monster that is devouring the minds and souls of women everywhere! Overly dramatic? Yup, totally. But with good justification. I am sure anyone who has been living and breathing for the past two years is just as sick of hearing about Twilight as I am.
So besides my obvious distaste for this series due to it's hold over the mass media, what else do I see is wrong with it? Frankly, it sends a very bad message to teenage girls and Bella is a shockingly poor role model for impressionable teens.

Teenage girls, in general, are moody, dramatic and easily swayed. I know this because I was one, and because I teach them. Every little thing is the end of the world. If I move a girl away from her friend for talking while I am trying to teach, that is cue for tears and tantrums.

They take dating very seriously and break ups... oh boy... It's a combination of World War III and a Joy Division song all rolled into one. So the fact that their role model is a girl their age, who has a dramatic break up then wants to die, worries me. The only reason she gets it back together is because of another guy. What sort of message is that sending?

I will say that in Shiver (click HERE for my review), Maggie Stiefvater accomplished what Stephanie Meyer did not when she actually brought up the painful subject of parental neglect when Sam confronted Grace about her absentee parents. However brief, it was something and extremely profound since so many teens turn to the opposite sex for love when they are not receiving it at home. The thing that disappointed me was that Grace didn’t seem to realize this and was the aggressor when pursuing Sam physically. There was so much hurt in her that turning to a physical act of love would eventually not cover up the emotional hurt from the lack of parental involvement in her life. However, I know the book was a romance so I need to give a little slack to the book and its author, Miss Stiefvater for my reservations about how the situation played out not only for the pure romance of it, but also for the truth in how those situations often play out.

Amy’s Point of View

This year I’ve been reading [a lot] more young adult books than I usually have in the past, and more recently published books. In my reading, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend. Most (if not all) of the young adult paranormal books that I read show unhealthy relationships, girls being forced into things and then deciding they like it so of course he should have pushed her. They show girls who at the age of sixteen to eighteen are saying they know who and what they want for the rest of their lives – based on these unhealthy relationships and rape situations.

Twilight was one book, now it’s seeming like it's all books. This, to me, is disturbing. The more often we see the same message, the more we internalize it. The more we internalize it, without realizing it, the more we come to accept this behavior as normal. Yes, we like to think we know better than to believe these things, but if we get it enough times it won’t matter because we’ll absorb the message anyway.

As women, we want to read about strong women and yet we turn to these romance stories and enjoy them. While talking to Rachel and Amy the other day (they have a much more firm stance on these YA romances than I do), I made the comment that we love old fairy tales and don’t hate characters like Cinderella because she is also saved by a man from a terrible home situation and lives happily ever after. We realize that it is a fairy tale and fantasy, not real life. I pointed out that these YA romances today seem very much like that to me—modern day fairy tales that are not always written well but resonate with us on that fairy tale level.

Amy’s Point of View
Fairy tales aren't always the most positive representations for women... but the thing with older fairy tales though is that they were quite often written BY men FOR men and were about keeping us women in our place. As female authors have been re-telling them, they quite often create stronger female characters and show the positivity in the situations. With the young adult paranormal books we are still stuck in the past, only we have women writing these disparaging situations for women. Shouldn't we want to build each other up?

The situations in these ya paranormal books are, in my opinion, often written they way they are because it is the quickest and easiest way to move forward. They are fighting? Well, don't have them talk it out respectfully, have him jump her and she will realize how much she loves him deep down and everything will get better. I refuse to give authors the pass anymore, so I will point it out.

One book isn’t a big deal, a constant barrage of the same unhealthy message certainly is.

Rachel’s Point of View
I just want to make it clear that I am not anti-sex in teen books. I think sex is an important issue and needs to be addressed. It's a natural part of life for teens and a good YA book should talk about it (so it's not taboo) but in a educational/responsible way. It should not glamorize sex, or make it 'a bad thing', just something that should be well thought out before you take that 'big step'. Making the decision to have sex takes emotional intelligence which a teen does not get just because they have turned 16. This is something that YA books seem to miss. Usually the character (and often the female) can't wait to be bedded and practically jumps the male! Although true for some teens, how about looking at why she feels so needy that sex seems like the best way to be close to her honey?. I'm all for a bit of a nakie romp but not because your parents neglect you and you want to feel loved. That does not send a good message.

Point is, paranormal romance does not send a good message to teenage girls and I really hope this all just a passing craze. It's time we started giving our teens (and adults) great books to read! Stories with strong, morally grounded heroines who take on the world and retain their individuality in the face of adversity! Who never stop fighting and live good,well-rounded lives. We need heroines who put education, achievement and being true to themselves before shacking up with a hottie.

Some good food for thought from Rachel and Amy. Make sure you check out both of their complete statements HERE

So my questions for readers this week are:
  • Do you think that the female protagonists in YA romance novels are poor role models for young women?

  • Do you think that teenagers are not capable of understanding these situations where young women depend on young men are fantasy and not how healthy relationships really are?

  • Do you find some of the sexual content objectionable where it normalizes teen sex rather than make it something that should be more thoughtful on an emotional level?

  • Are you disturbed by the trend of adult women fawning over these teenage boy characters who give so much attention (sometimes in a far too controlling way) to their female counterparts? Is it inappropriate?

Shiver–Maggie Stiefvater

Book: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
392 pages (Hardcover)
My Rating:
3h stars

As a child, Grace was brutally attacked by wolves. She only remembers seeing a wolf with mysterious yellow eyes as she lapsed from consciousness. Over the years she watches this same wolf with amber eyes watching her from the woods. She feels drawn to him and has a real connection with him. Sam enters Grace’s life in the waning warm months of the year. He also has amber eyes and Grace immediately knows that there is more to Sam than most people think.

Rikki from The Bookkeeper and I decided to do a read-a-long together because I am not big on romance books and am trying to open myself up to different genres. She suggested Shiver because she hadn’t read it either and we have both heard good things about it. My review below will include some SPOILER type discussion so if you are interested in the book and don’t want to know anything about it, I would navigate away at this point.

Shiver has created a lot of dialogue between some of my book blogging friends and I. I found it enjoyable, but I also found that something was lacking for me. The writing had a distant quality to it, so connecting with the characters was actually quite difficult. I felt like even they felt like they were on the outside looking in on their own lives. I wonder if Maggie Stiefvater intentionally wrote the book this way or if this is just her writing style. Either way, it didn’t necessarily hamper my enjoyment of the book, but it was something that I noticed throughout the book. The chapters are divided into Grace and Sam point of view chapters

There is something about teen romance that I find problematic. I don’t know if things have changed that much since I was a teenager in the 90’s, but I feel like the YA books I’ve read to date are much more mature in teen language regarding romance and sex. For example, when Sam and Grace are having a “romantic” moment, Sam growls and Grace says:

‘That was so sexy,’ she said, voice uneven. ‘I didn’t think you could get any sexier.’

I find dialogue like this problematic between teens because as a teenager I frankly would have been too awkward to say something so bold to a boy. I also get uncomfortable reading scenes that include sex between teens (although I know in some books there is a sociological importance to confronting the issue) because frankly it makes me feel like a peeper in a inappropriate private moment between underage people. Can’t teens find something more constructive to do than fall into bed with each other? I know it’s just the reality of things, but I sometimes feel like sex between underage people is encouraged now. I was a teen in the time when it started being normalized, but we were introduced to the perils of it as well including teen pregnancy and STDs (which were both all too common at my high school). I feel like all forms of media now make teen sexuality less taboo than it probably should be. In this respect, I think Shiver is not alone in romanticizing teen sex rather than showing it for what it really usually ends up with—heartbroken young people who often make poor choices and give a part of themselves to someone.

However, this being said, I do think that Shiver dealt with parental neglect in a way that Twilight did not. There was actually discussion about the absentee parents Grace had to live with whereas in Twilight it was more taken for granted that Bella came from a neglectful home. Sam did confront Grace about her parents behavior and it was clear that she was hurt by them not being a major part of her life.

[Sam] ‘Does it bother you? That your parents are the way they are?’…[Grace] ’Why can’t I make them love me any more than they do?’…[Sam] ‘Grace, they love you. It’s not about you. It’s their problem.’ [Grace] ‘I’ve tried so hard. I never get into trouble. I always do my homework. I cook their damn meals, when they’re home, which is never—‘…”

Grace’s pain is tangible and real and is something that many teens deal with. I was glad for this discussion since essentially she was shacking up with Sam for a good deal of the book and her parents were none the wiser. I thought it gave a better understanding to her humanity and her desire to be loved. People might argue that Grace should not find her love and identity in a boy, but I think this is part of the human condition so I actually applauded this portion of the book because it is a situation I could see happening. However, I wonder how teens would deal with a passage like this. Are they mature enough to see that they don’t actually have to find their identity in a boy and that the fairy tale romance is not usually something that occurs?

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I will read Linger (the second book in the series) at some point in the future, but the disconnected feeling of the writing kept me from thinking this was a really good read. I also didn’t care for the song lyrics and poetry recitation in the book. What it boils down to is that I’m truly not a romantic for the most part. I think I would think it was corny if someone sang to me or recited a poem for me. I’m going to own that unromantic side of my personality. It may work really well for others though so if you enjoy those heartfelt declarations then Sam Roth is definitely a loveable male character. I definitely recommend Shiver as discussion material for teens and adults. I found that in the end it was definitely a worthwhile read because of the dialogue it created for me and my friends.

Links of Interest
Rikki at The Bookkeeper – Shiver Update #1
Rikki at The Bookkeeper's full Shiver Review
Chachic's Review of Shiver
Iris from Iris on Books' Review of Shiver

**I am a Book Depository and IndieBound afilliate so If you purchase any of the books I have featured through the links I posted or from the banners in my left hand sidebar, I get a small commission from them. I am in no way compensated for the reviews I post of my books.

The Gates–John Connolly

Book: The Gates
Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Atria Books
295 pages (Hardcover)
My Rating:
4 stars

Samuel Johnson is ready for Halloween—so ready in fact that he and his dog Boswell have gone trick-or-treating a few days early. The first door he knocks on is the Abernathy house and he is rudely sent away. Little does he know that strange things are afoot at the Abernathy house and that all Hell is about to break loose. Literally!

I have never read John Connolly before and I don’t know much about him, but I have to say, my journey into YA has been quite fun because The Gates was AWESOME. I am not sure how to tell everyone that a book about the Gates of Hell being opened and demons wreaking havoc in England could be fun and hilarious, but this book was just that. Samuel is a really clever little boy and has the obligatory adorable and faithful dog, and his friends are pretty cool too. The book is a little reminiscent of The Goonies with the kids running around and having a great adventure, but instead of pirates, they are battling The Great Malevolence.

I like that the kids are at the forefront of the adventure and are basically put in place to save the planet because kids suspend disbelief more often than adults. This was pointed out to me at my book club and I wish I had thought of that while I was reading the book. There is a faith in children that adults just don’t have and The Gates truly showed that adventurous and creative spirit that kids have.

I didn’t find any of the demons to be scary. Some of them were downright funny. I don’t want to give any of their antics away, but there was one demon in particular that was a major character in the book that I feel ok to write about. Nurd, The Scourge of the Five Deities is the demon with the heart of gold. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he means well despite being a demon. He is the most loveable character in the book and he really is competing with Hellboy for my favorite demon of all-time!

In all, I thought this was a great book to read during Halloween or really any other time. It has more humor than horror and recommend it to people who want a light hearted, quick read. I will definitely be picking up more of John Connolly’s books in the future!

Link of Interest
Man of la Book's review of The Gates

**I am a Book Depository and IndieBound afilliate so If you purchase any of the books I have featured through the links I posted or from the banners in my left hand sidebar, I get a small commission from them. I am in no way compensated for the reviews I post of my books.

Friday Coffee Chat–Book Burnout

What do you do when you have book burnout?

Last week on Friday Coffee Chat we talked about movies that were better than the books. I was surprised to see so many movies on people’s lists and I definitely have to add some of these movies to my Netflix queue. After you weigh in on this week’s chat, head over Jennifer at Girls Gone Reading’s Friday Coffee Chat. This week she is talking about reading fears so make sure you let her know what you think!


As readers we all go through book burnout. I occasionally see the blog entries from other bloggers about how they are feeling when they go through a reading slump. Mostly it seems like we all want to know what to do to get us back to reading. The more I’ve thought about it lately, the more I’ve realized that yes, sometimes I go through reading slumps, and I’ve felt guilty about putting down my books and doing other things. Lately I’ve been wondering why I’ve felt guilty. It makes no sense. I have a lot of different interests and I realize now that it’s ok to go through periods where I read less. Does this make me any less of a reader? I don’t think so. I just like other activities besides reading.

So, let’s throw the guilt out of the window. When I hit these slumps there are a few things that are my go tos:

I find crocheting so relaxing. I don’t have to think about what I’m doing and I can just sit and watch a movie while I make cool things like blankets! I am also trying to teach myself to knit. These are worthwhile things to do I think because it works a different part of my brain than reading does.

OK…this one is a vice in a way. Sometimes I watch WAY too much television and films, but I do think that sometimes I watch really good quality film and television that I don’t feel bad. Other times I admit that I watch utter crap and still enjoy it. I really enjoy watching foreign films and documentaries which to me, open my eyes to the world and lets me see culture and events outside of the United States.

2010-10-29 21.06.47
My Dogs
Oh the baddies! I love them though and sometimes I just would rather take them for a walk than read. They get so much joy out of being outside of the house and it makes me happy to watch their doggie faces of joy.

Sometimes just like to shoot the breeze with friends. I like having coffee or dinner with friends once in awhile just to get outside of myself and see what is going on with them.

So there it is. Those are some of the things that I really enjoy when I’m not reading or in a reading slump. I refuse to feel guilty about enjoying these things anymore. Life is too short to not enjoy every moment!

  • Do you ever feel guilty about going through times where you don’t read very much?
  • What are some of the things that you enjoy outside of reading?
  • Is there anything you wish you could learn to do outside of your reading time?

Eco Libris’ Green Books Campaign–Finding Chief Kamiakin

Today is the day! 200 bloggers are simultaneously posting reviews of books that are produced on environmentally friendly paper. Eco Libris in partnership with Indigo Books and Music is running the Green Books Campaign to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when purchasing your books. I really like what they have to say on their vision page: “We don’t believe in preaching doom and gloom. It’s not our style. We do believe in taking action and in the power of small changes to make a big impact.”

Personally, I had never thought about books being printed on environmentally friendly paper until this event. I feel a little ashamed of that since I do like to buy paper products that are recycled when I can. I really like that this campaign has made me more aware of the processes in which books are made and now that I’ve been sent a book to review (and seen another called The Texas Legacy Project) I know what to look for when I purchase books.

I received the book Finding Chief Kamiakin by Richard D. Scheuerman and Michael O. Finley to review. On the inside of the book where all the copyright and publishing information is, this small line was included:

The Texas Legacy Project had an emblem on the inside of the book indicating that it was produced by environmentally friendly methods (Jenn from Picky Girl is reviewing that book so head over to her blog if you are interested in reading about it). If you are interested in this campaign, but you haven’t signed up to participate, here is a link to Eco-Libris’ blog on things you can do to promote the campaign. If any of the books interest you (and there are MANY good ones), take a trip to your local bookstore or order it online! The more demand for green books the more publishers will supply them!

I thank Eco Libris and Indigo Books and Music for allowing me to be a part of the Green Books Campaign and hope to participate next year as well. I think they are doing a very good thing promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly paper in books.

Click here to see other reviews from Eco Libris’ Green Books Campaign

On to my review…

Book: Finding Chief Kamiakin – The Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot
Author: Richard D. Scheuerman and Michael O. Finley
Publisher: WSU Press
175 pages (Coffee table paperback book)
My Rating: I am halfway through the book so I will only say that so far it is excellent!

Chief Kamiakin was an important chief of Inland Washington area in the mid-1850s. It was a time of westward expansion and both the fur trade and gold mining were booming. The indigenous people of the Northwest were faced with having their ancestral lands moved in on by the White man and sought to protect their people and their way of life. Chief Kamiakin rose to prominence because he believed in protecting this very thing. He heard about other indigenous peoples’ encounters with White men and was wary about what would happen to his own people and the land they lived off of. Despite these sweeping changes that were about to happen, Kamiakin was an honorable man that welcomed White men, albeit cautiously. When it became evident that U.S. policy was to take the land whether it was agreed upon or not, Kamiakin and some of his fellow Indians took up arms to protect their way of life.

This review is going to be posted in two parts since I am only halfway through the book. I also admit that I have never actually read a coffee table sized book because I tend to just pick it up and look at the pictures. This book has convinced me that I need to start paying more attention to large size books because so far, it is excellent! I know nothing about the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and when this book popped up on the Eco Libris campaign I jumped at the chance to review it. So far, the story goes almost like all other native peoples’ stories in the U.S that I am familiar with. There is one big difference. The Pacific Northwest natives knew of previous treatment of other indigenous people so they knew what they were facing and those odds were not in their favor. It is interesting to read about how they dealt with the coming changes and how their lives have already been affected by the change with more accessible trade routes.

I am tempted to say that this was an advantage for them, but this would be a lie. Governor Isaac Stevens was bent on having the railroad built in Washington and opening up the land to mining and agriculture. Kamiakin was aware of Stevens’ goals and sought out the advice of Father Pandosy, a man he considered a trusted friend. What Pandosy told Kamiakin was disheartening:

“It is as I feared,” Pandosy told Kamiakin, “the Whites will take your country as they have taken other countries from the Indians….Where there are only a few here now, others will come with each year until your country will be overrun with them….[Y]our lands will be seized and your people driven from their homes. It has been so with other tribes; it will be so with you. You may fight and delay for a time this invasion, but you cannot avert it. I have lived many summers with you and baptized a great many of your people into the faith. I have learned to love you. I cannot advice or help you. I wish I could.” (p. 31-32 Finding Chief Kamiakin)

The book is written in such a way that although it is non-fiction, I felt myself reacting with true sorrow over statements like these. Scheuerman and Finley write in a mostly clear and powerful manner and quotes like these were placed in a way that make me feel like I was there watching that exchange take place. Chief Kamiakin must have felt despair for his people and for himself at what he knew was inevitable. Rather than allow his people to suffer on reservations that didn’t include things like their traditional fishing grounds, Kamiakin and others took up arms to give their people a chance to have at least some of their way of life preserved. After fighting at Toppenish Creek, Kamiakin had a letter dictated to Father Pandosy that was one of the most powerful things I have ever read. Here is a short excerpt:

“If the Governor had said to us, my children, I am asking you a parcel of land in each tribe for the Americans, but the land and your country are always yours, we would then have given with good will what he would have asked us and we would have lived with you as brothers. But he has taken us in small groups and thrown us out of our native country, into a strange land among people who is our enemy (for between us we are enemies) in a place where our people do not even have enough to eat for themselves.” (p. 48, Finding Chief Kamiakin)

I admired his efforts to fight for enough land to sustain his people. Governor Stevens seemed to be a major part of the problem (but I do feel if it weren’t him it would have been someone else that did exactly the same thing) and didn’t understand nor care about the Indians’ differences in culture and tribe. Stevens was of the prevailing thought of the day—that the Indians would assimilate and learn to farm and graze livestock or be eliminated from the earth. This was all too common in westward expansion. Were the leaders of the tribes supposed to sit there and watch their children starve because they couldn’t live off of the land? Reservations were not the choice pieces of land that allowed people to live fruitfully.

Thus far, the book gives a very good, descriptive account of what the Palouses, Cayuses, Yakamas, and other native groups faced during the American expansion into the Inland Washington area. The chiefs of the Washington tribes were skilled in negotiations because of their experiences in trading and their knowledge of the Americans’ westward movement. It makes it difficult to read because they were fighting a losing battle both on the war front and the diplomacy front. This book and others should be read by us all because all too often we do not see how our nations’ policies and actions affect those people that we are trying to help or infringing upon. It is a part of history that isn’t covered very well in U.S. History class—we tend to applaud the idea of Manifest Destiny and the entrepreneurial spirit, but our actions as a nation had consequences to those people we infringed upon. I am loving Finding Chief Kamiakin – The Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot because it is giving a clear voice to the indigenous people of the United States—one that is long overdue.

**I will post Part 2 of my review next week or the week after.

On the Edge–Ilona Andrews

Book: On the Edge (Book 1: The Edge)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
309 pages / Paperback
My Rating:
3 stars

Rose Drayton is a resident of the The Edge, the area between the non-magical Broken and the aristocratic magical Weird. The people of the Edge don’t quite fit into either world, but they are usually able to cross over into either realm. Rose works an under the table job in the Broken where magic doesn’t exist, but her astonishing abilities make her attractive to those in the Edge and the Weird. Between working hard for pennies and having people pursuing her for her magic, Rose’s plate is further filled with caring for her two brothers. When a blueblood noble named Declan shows up at her doorstep, Rose believes that he is only after her magical abilities. Little does she know that his appearance is about to turn her life upside down.

After reading the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews I was really excited to read On the Edge. However, because I'm not a huge fan of romance Chachic from Chachic’s Book Nook warned me that it is a little more on the romance side than Kate Daniels was. I’ve promised myself to be more open to different genres (including romance) so I picked it up and read it. The book is in fact more heavy on the romance, but it still features a woman that can take care of herself and doesn’t feel she has to identify herself by a man. I think Ilona Andrews definitely writes some of the better female characters when it comes to romance because there isn’t as much angst or misplaced anger in them. They are quite simply, strong women. Rose is no exception. Although she does spend a good portion of the book attracted to Declan, I never felt like her character was overtaken by the need to be loved by a man. She felt a strong duty to herself and her family and had her own identity throughout.

However, this book fell short to some extent for me. It just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. There was definitely good world building and good action, but for some reason I felt a little disconnected with the characters of Rose and Declan. I actually enjoyed the supporting players in the book more than the the main characters. This isn’t a bad thing since I love a good supporting cast, but I wish that I liked Rose and Declan a little more than I did. I am not sure that I felt the real connection between them as a couple and their relationship was definitely a big part of the book. The romantic tension just wasn’t quite up to my expectations. Don’t let this turn you off the book though because the story was actually good and the world was interesting. I also say this because the first books of series oftentimes just set up what is to come in the world its building, and I’m wondering if that is the case in this series.

The world itself was interesting. There is a dark character that is bent on having his way (no spoiler here because that’s just a plot point in pretty much all fantasy books) and the way peoples’ magic is used in the story kept me guessing as to how things would turn out. I like the idea that the magical world and the non-magical worlds couldn’t mix except for this select group of people from The Edge. I also enjoyed the rural Georgia setting which I wasn’t expecting to like. I ended up thinking it was the perfect setting for a story like this.

I am definitely looking forward to reading book two of the series, Bayou Moon because it is about Declan's friend William who was my favorite character in On the Edge. I recommend this book to people who like enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal romance that is fast but with decent world building, strong characters, and a little bit of romance.

Link of Interest
Chachic’s Book Nook’s review of On the Edge (she loved it and her review will give you a different perspective)

*Notice of Disclosure: I received On the Edge for review from Penguin Books.

**I am a Book Depository and IndieBound afilliate so If you purchase any of the books I have featured through the links I posted or from the banners in my left hand sidebar, I get a small commission from them. I am in no way compensated for the reviews I post of my books.

Friday Coffee Chat (17)–Better Than The Book

The Movie/TV Show is Better Than the Book!

Last week on Friday Coffee Chat we talked about whether or not we imagine everything we read right down to length of someone’s hair. I found out that I’m somewhat of an oddity because I am one of those people that imagines everything, but there are a few people that read the same way I do! It makes me feel like less of a freak! Jennifer at Girls Gone Reading talked about whether or not we require great lines in books to really love them. Make sure you check out Girls Gone Reading’s post this week on Friday Coffee Chat after you comment here.


This morning, one of my friends posted an article from the Huffington Post on my Facebook page talking about movies that are better than their paper counterparts. Is this possible? Blasphemy you say? Surely there must be a movie or TV show that you saw that a) was better than the book, b) made you feel it was unnecessary to read the book, or c) was just as good as the book. I definitely have a few shows and movies that are amazing.

I’m just going to admit it right off the bat. I loved Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson. I could watch it OVER and OVER again. Could I read the book over and over?…hmmmm…No. I read it, and maybe someday I’ll read it again, but for now, I’m good snuggling up on the couch with my dogs and watching the movie. I think most Jane Austen fans would think that was blasphemous because the movie does combine some characters and inevitably left things out. Emma Thompson was also older than Eleanor Dashwood was supposed to be. I don’t care. I love her. She’s my favorite actress and I could watch that movie forever!

Field of Dreams is another movie that I don’t know if it’s better than the book, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, but it comes pretty close. I mean, that scene with Annie when she is protesting at the school board meeting to ban books is perfect. “You want to step outside you Nazi cow?!!!” Now tell me there is a better line than that?! Atonement is another movie that I thought was just as good as the book. The film was beautiful and stayed very faithful to the story. Even the casting was perfect for the film.

In television, Band of Brothers is probably one of my all-time favorites. I actually do like it better than the book because I think it captured the essence of brotherhood better. The book was fantastic as well, but the mini-series I watch several times a year. I watch it so often that I know some of the lines in each of the episodes and I even know most of the more minor characters (who aren’t really ‘characters’ since they were real people).

The other show that I haven’t read the book for, but it’s on my short list of non-fiction that I MUST read is The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Edward Burns which HBO’s The Wire is loosely based on. The Wire is simply the best television series I have ever seen in my life. The book itself actually had a mini-series that was produced before The Wire, and I need to see that as well. It’s an amazing show.

…And my last TV show, is True Blood. The show is SO much better than the books (of which I have only read four). The books are ok, but the show is just amazingly written. The characters are better, the situations are better…but Bill is still as boring as ever and Sookie is still just as life-sucking as ever. It’s the supporting cast and writing in that show that makes it worth watching and the dialogue is so good! I love it.

So the questions for this week are:
  • What movies or TV shows do you think are BETTER than the book and tell us all why you think that.
  • Are there any movies or TV shows you think are comparable to the book and you enjoy them equally?
  • What TV shows or movies have you seen that make you want to read the book?

The Great Grocery Bag Exchange!

The Great Grocery Bag Exchange!

Have you been aching to get a piece of the international blogging community, but are short on funds? Well, look no further because here is an exchange that is relatively inexpensive and helps you find and meet bloggers from outside of your country! The Great Grocery Bag Exchange is here and I am looking for people to join in on the worldwide fun!

How did this start? Well, in the Book Read ‘Round the World event on my blog, a group of us are sending small gifts with a book we all read around the world. Some of the cooler gifts we have been receiving have been reusable grocery bags! They are cheap, you use them all the time to lug stuff around in, and they are all unique since they are from a country other than our own. For a few of us, it’s become an obsession. I’ve received bags from Germany, The Netherlands, and Australia and am looking forward to adding to my collection. I look so posh when I go to the grocery store with my special bag that no one else has! Haha!

If you are interested in joining, fill out the Google Doc form below. There are a few requirements:
  • You must send between 1-2 reusable grocery bags.
  • A small treat from your country is optional (postcard, candy, etc.) but is NOT required.
  • You must have an active blog or be active on Twitter so I can keep in touch with you.
  • You can sign up to send to more than one person, but no more than three people.
  • You must be willing to send the package First Class or by Air Mail (no Pony Express, Sea Mail, or other super slow mail is allowed).

If you feel like you can meet all these requirements, fill out the Google Doc Form below by November 12, 2010. I will pair people up and send e-mails out with who you will send to one November 13. You will have one week to ship everything out to the person or people that you have been paired with.

Remember that others are buying bags for you and are spending money on postage as well so it is courteous to get your package out on time. All your information will be kept private and will only be shared with those you swap with.

Signups are closed. 

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