Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go Gets 4 Blings!

Wow!

Never Let Me Go is a simple story, yet so complex. There isn’t much I can say without giving away important information about the plot.

I will say that the story of Hailsham students sounds so calm and beautiful, but quickly begins to hint that all is not quite right in this tranquil setting.

It is a beautiful story. I think I will find myself thinking of it often. A story that that at feels effortless yet intricate at once. It is told in a gentle rhythm, and it left me in a state of awe.

Also, did not know this was a movie. I’m trying to decide if I want to watch it or not.

Have you read Never Let Me Go? Seen the movie? I’d love your thoughts! 

The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake Illustrated by Adam Rex

I am in love with The Dirty Cowboy! Just WOW!

The Dirty Cowboy Gets 5 Blings!

Hysterical, beautiful, and endearing, The Dirty Cowboy was fun and engaging! I’ll surely be buying this for all the little beasts and monsters in my life-those who will take a bath and those who refuse! I have a feeling that we’ll just be calling it the naked book for a while, but that’s OK!

Thank you Amy Timberlake & Adam Rex for a sure to be classic (even though some crazy people want it banned!).

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

5 Blings for One Second After!

Goodreads Says: New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real…a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages…A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the BeachFail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future…and our end.

Wow! No, really…WOW!

One Second After was awesome!

I am quite addicted to dystopia and apocalypse reads lately. There are just so many awesome titles! And, quite frankly, I was getting a vampired out! (OMG, but I still love them…just need a break! I’ll never have a crush on a zombie, I swear!). I love disaster movies like Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow. So, when I read about the book on Parajunkee’s awesome blog, Parajunkee’s View, and just had to read it. Click here for her review! 

One Second After is (gasp) not YA. It is a real grow-up book. But, it was still awesome! The book focuses on a family in a small town & their struggles after an EMP (electromagnetic pulse–super scary stuff) blanks out all electronics. Image it…everything with a computerized or electrical component instantly gone! Freaky stuff! Freaky FOR REAL LIFE stuff!

This book was awesome. I loved the characters, even the ones I didn’t like, and I got pretty attached to their stories. I could easily imagine myself being forced to rethink how to live without all of my gadgets and luxuries that I generally take for granted (especially my iPhone & iPad, hot showers, and-OMG-my Keurig!). My head was spinning throughout the book as new problems arose…like lack of critical medication for diabetics and those with mental illnesses. When things get bad, they really get bad.

I loved how Forstchen brought me in to the lives of those in his small mountain college town, made me experience all of their fears, losses, and small triumphs. It was tense at times…really tense. There were heart wrenching decisions that had to be made, lives that were lost, and total shockers that really made my mouth drop open.  A few times I felt like I knew something awful would happen, and I would silently beg to be wrong.  That wasn’t always the case in One Second After! Forstchen did what needed to be done for the sake of the story, even when the outcome was dire or severe. That’s dedication!

The threat of an EMP attack is real. The world post EMP created by Forstchen is entirely possible. I sure as heck hope it never comes to that!

Read One Second After!  It is an awesome, terrifying, & realistic look at a future I  never want to see! 

Sookie & DEAD RECKONING get 4 Blings!

4 Bling Book!

I usually don’t read reviews of books. I just read what I like or what a friend (or awesome blogger) recommends. But, for some reason, I read a few reviews of DEAD RECKONING and they were awful. So, of course, I had to read more reviews. I was pretty shocked at how negative they were. I mean, this is like the 11th book in the series, they knew what they were getting into.

I thought the book was Sookie being Sookie, vampires being vampy, and everybody else doing what they usually do in this awesome Charlaine Harris series. The only thing I really (REALLY) noticed was the lack of explicit bedroom scenes. There was a pretty heavy one on the porch, but that was it. And let me tell you, that was quite fine with me. Didn’t really miss it. I always look around like a guilty kid when I read those hot and heavy scenes, like I’m about to get caught doing something really awful, anyway. So, aside from that, I still don’t see what the big fuss is all about.

Several reviews stated that not much happened in this novel. I thought the amount of action was on point for the Sookie series. But, I also think that DEAD RECKONING was a “bridge book” of sorts. By that I mean that it was needed to act as a bridge between the book before it and the book after it. I mean, really, Charlaine Harris knows what she’s doing with this series, so I trust her on stuff like this. Every major series has a few “bridge books” in their lineup. It just has to happen sometimes.

Another common comment that I read was that there were several inconsistencies in the plot. They named details that, quite frankly, weren’t ones that stood out to me or even mattered once they were pointed out. I kinda wanted to tell those guys to chill the heck out. It is a super fun and trashy vampire series for heaven’s sake. It’s not going into the cannon! Geez! But, I can see why those super obsessed fans would like to point out stuff like that. I do know many a fan of other things (cough, cough, Star Wars, cough, cough, my Schmoopy) that would be able to rattle off any slight inconsistency ever in any related material. I get it, but really. Calm down. It’s not a deal breaker to me.

All that being said, I enjoyed the book. It was fun and had a bit of mystery. The plot made sense to me and everyone I wanted to hear about was there. I still don’t totally get Eric and Sookie’s relationship. I mean, he is way hotter and way less caring than she is. Even though I think he is way hotter than Bill (bad boy complex, I know, I know), I just don’t see them together for long haul-not that they could be anyway, since she has no interest in being a vampire.  But, maybe we’ll see a Sookie and Bill, Sookie and Sam, Sookie and somebody that she can have a happily human ever after with relationship soon. Maybe.

What can I say. I’m a fan and I look forward to the next in the series, the new story collection  HOME IMPROVEMENT: DEAD EDITION by some of my favorite authors of all things supernatural & the SOOKIE STACKHOUSE COMPANION, both due out in August, 2011.  I’m counting down the days until the new season of TRUE BLOOD on June 26, too. I am so totally crushing on that Eric’s vampire hotness! Uh-huh!

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13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

4 Bling Book!

This book wasn’t on my list to read next, but after I flipped through a few pages of 13 Little Blue Envelopes I had to find out what happened!

I love the idea of this story. Ginny gets a package from her long-lost (and now deceased) favorite & eccentric Aunt Peg and she is instructed to follow the directions in each little blue envelope exactly as stated. She has to follow rules like no maps, guide books, or cell phones. She has to go by herself with only a backpack. She has to open the envelopes in order and only after she has completed the task in the opened envelope. She basically has to completely abandone her safe little world and just dive into the world of the envelopes. Wow, I don’t know if I could have that much self control or trust in anyone or anything!

I really liked this story and Ginny’s adventures. I loved the way her aunt slowly revealed herself with the pictures and information that accompanied each envelope. So, why only 4 Blings? I couldn’t get past the part of her parents letting her take off to Europe on her own at 17. I didn’t totally buy the love(ish) story between Ginny and Keith. It was too fast and too sketchy at times. Other times, I totally believed it and couldn’t wait for them to see each other again. I also felt like I needed to know more about a few things in the plot. I wanted to know more about Richard, more about the paintings, and I just hated that the envelopes were gone. I get why they had to be, but I just didn’t like it.

I will read the second story The Last Little Blue Envelope and that may make me feel better about what I felt was missing. I do love the concept and Maureen Johnson’s writing style.

Book Basics
Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTempest
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Pages: 317
BLING Rating: 4 Blings!

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Since it is National Poetry Month, I think Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas deserves a Shout-Out!

I ran across this book at the library a few months ago, read it in one evening (devoured it, really) and it has been on my mind ever since. Written in verse, it tells the story of a girl named Anke who isn’t being abused by dad, even though everyone else is. She grows stronger and stronger, both physically and emotionally, after making the volleyball team. All of the yelling of “Mine!” in the sport lead Anke to finally defend herself and her family from her abusive dad.

This book is amazing and totally earns all 5 of its Blings!

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt

 

5 Bling Book!

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Pictures of You is the kind of book that stays with you for a long time. It’s many layers touched me so deeply and on so many levels. It is a beautiful story that springs out of misfortune of two women trying to get away from their lives. The story covered me like a hand-made quilt in a warm bed on a rainy morning.

I stayed up reading this beautiful novel late into the night. I felt like so much of Caroline Leavitt’s story was written directly to the secrets of my heart. The love, loss, betrayal, and eventual healing were magical. Isabelle, Charlie, and Sam captured my attention and compassion so completely that I caught myself holding my breath several times throughout the book (and not just when Sam was at his asthmatic worst).

This is a story that will stay with me; one that I will read again and again. I believe that Pictures of You is the type of novel that will continue to reveal itself to me for a long time.

Welcome to Books and Bling!

I love books! I love my Bling!

The two are together at last!