Thursday, May 31, 2012

Win A Copy Of The Host by Stephanie Meyer Thanks To Mammoth NYC!

You might know Stephanie Meyer from that obscure book she wrote called Twilight? Have you heard of it?  I bet you have.

She ALSO wrote a book called The Host which will be coming to the big screen in March of 2013 which is also well loved and some would consider infinitely better than her sparkly vampires series. You can check it out for yourself since Mammoth NYC has been so generous to allow us to offer FIVE of our readers the chance to win a copy! It would make a great summer read!

 Official Synopsis: THE HOST is an enchanting and fateful story about the survival of love and the human spirit in a time of war. Our world is invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over, while their bodies remain intact. Most of humanity has succumbed.

Additional Info:


- 1 copy of The Host by Stephanie Meyer for 5 lucky readers
- Must have a US mailing address
- The giveaway prizes will be sent by Mammoth NYC

To enter, leave a comment with a way to get in contact with you should you win AND recommend to us a book that would make a great summertime read! Not that we need to add to our TBR piles or anything :P

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Books I Hope They Are Still Reading

For information about Top Ten Tuesday and how to participate or to see the schedule for the upcoming TTT, go here.

Hey everyone! We apparently had a little too much fun this holiday weekend that we totally forgot about Top Ten Tuesday! I'll get my list up later today but I just wanted to post the linky for y'all!

Today's Topic: Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope Are Still Being Read In 30 Years

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Natanya Reviews A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

Title/Author: A Year in the Merde, by Stephen Clarke
Publisher/Date: Random House, 2004
Where I got it: Gibert Jeune, a Paris bookstore chain
Why I read it: I’m studying in Paris, and it’s about an English man who spends a year in Paris, so it seemed up my alley

From Amazon:
Brit Paul West escapes his homeland to take a job in Paris marketing English tearooms to the French. Over a year's cycle he discovers that the French way of doing business thrives on maneuvering nimbly through a minefield of unique, demanding personalities. An inveterate womanizer, he finds plenty of skirts to chase and conquer. After a comic search for an apartment, he settles in the city's trendy Marais district. Urban stress in general, combined with a need to escape the upstairs family whose every move reverberates to distraction, forces West to escape to a Norman getaway featuring all the bucolic charms and a cast of neighbors and townspeople to rival Peter Mayle's Provencal rustics. West disdains French food for its love of organ meats and its fascination with revoltingly smelly cheeses. Francophobes will find much here to reinforce their prejudices; more balanced observers will find Clarke's caricatures of the French simply very funny reading.

I bought this book because the title amused me so much and I couldn’t believe I was finding a book like this in Paris. Overall, it was quite funny, and I was not disappointed. Since I’m studying in Paris this semester, I really related to a lot of the problems Paul faced in Paris, particularly early on—the dog poop all over the sidewalks (it’s really everywhere), making sure to say hello or goodbye correctly (bonjour/bonsoir/bon journee/bon soiree…), the metro system, et cetera. But Paul did also clearly get a lot of things wrong, so if you do read this, take everything with a grain of salt—he has a pretty skewed perspective.

A lot of this novel is also very over-the-top. No, the French do not go on strike every single month. In fact, the only significant strike I’ve experienced this semester was a transit strike in Rome, not Paris. But the descriptions of how foreigners view Parisians are quite accurate (as in, I know there are a lot of visitors who feel this way about Parisians), regardless of whether these stereotypes are true, so if you have a negative opinion about Parisians, this will certainly uphold it.

However, Paul’s experiences with finding housing in Paris are pretty accurate, though his ultimate subversion of the system is probably more infrequent than he makes it seem. I did love how Paul felt the need to go buy a house in the countryside after just a few months; although this seems excessive, I can attest to the fact that after a few months in this city—which has very few grassy areas, unless you happen to live right near a park—some time out in the countryside sounds fantastic (there’s a reason I hung out with sheep in Ireland for half of my spring break).

However, Paul can be fairly arrogant and ignorant, and I think a lot of readers would find him pretty annoying. Honestly, probably part of the reason I didn’t mind is because I read this over spring break, when I was off discovering how much more I prefer the rest of Europe to Paris.

So if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read, pick this up (particularly if you’ve visited Paris), but if you’re looking to actually improve your knowledge of the French/Parisians, you should probably avoid it.

3 stars

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jen's Top Ten Blogs/Sites That Aren't About Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here will answer. Everyone is welcome to join! All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Future Top Ten Tuesday topics are posted here.

Today's TTT is a little bit different than usual:  it's non-book related.  I don't think we've had a Top Ten list not related to books, reading or anything literary before?  

Jen's Top Ten Blogs/Sites She Reads That Aren't About Books:

  1. Smart, Pretty and Awkward:  Offers three pieces of great advice (how to be smarter, prettier and less awkward) and I love the quotes.
  2. The Glitter Pox:  Fantastic blog to discover new music!  I'm also in love with the name of the blog.
  3. Skinnytaste:  Food blog with amazing recipes!  I found this blog via Pinterest.  Seriously though, do yourself a favor and make a recipe from Skinnytaste.  I highly recommend the baked penne.
  4. 40:20 Vision:  A great blog where women in their forties answer questions, give different perspectives and just offer life experiences to women in their twenties. 
  5. The Oatmeal:  The grammar comics are my favorite.
  6. NPR:  National Public Radio, I love you.  I don't know why but NPR is my favorite news site.  
  7. The Beauty Department:  If you're feeling super girly this is a great blog.  Lots of hair, makeup and nail tutorials.  One day I will master something other than either straightening my hair or throwing it back in a ponytail.  
  8. Budget Bytes:  The idea behind this food blog is that you can still eat like a queen while on a downsized budget.  Each recipe is broken down into cost per recipe and cost per serving.  There are some really great recipes, I've been meaning to try the Spinach Artichoke Pasta.
  9. Dear blank, please blank: Sample:  Dear parents, Wait, so you named me after bread?  Seriously?  Sincerely, Peeta.  Another one (spoiler for Mockingjay so highlight to read!):  Dear people who think friend-zoned is bad, Try cousin-zoned.  Sincerely, Gale Hawthorne
  10. Twitter:  I love Twitter.  Some days I think I'm on it wayy more than I probably should be.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Daisy's Review of Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Title/Author: Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publisher/Date published: Graphia, May 8th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "A story of crushes, corsets, and conspiracy
Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem."

You guys, reading Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink was like hanging out with my best girl friends as in that I was smiling and laughing and just having a blast! And it was just so cute!

I absolutely adored the writing! It was just that perfect blend of lighthearted mixed with some serious things and Stephanie Kate Strohm definitely knows how to bring on the funny! It was just amazing! I immediately fell for the characters and the museum and history camp with all the cute little 8-year-old girls in Libby's group and it just had this wonderful feel-good vibe going on!

Libby is a wonderful, charming and very easy to love main character! She's the smart girl with a sense of style, with a shoe buying addiction as well as a passion for history. And Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink does a lovely thing in showing you how 'don't judge a book by its cover' is something we should all remember! Because of Libby's shoe obsession and her Hello Kitty tendencies, people sometimes judge her to be not all that smart and not so serious about history and the job she's there to perform. It's funny how first impressions sometimes get you, huh? Libby does everything with a passion and she really knows her stuff! I loved her and was rooting for her the whole time, even though she does this thing where she puts her phone in her bra (which I've seen people doing a lot lately), which I HATE (no offense if you do, but it's just not my thing), I excused her for it because she was just so adorable. And it made for a funny moment later on, so I'm good with it.

Libby doesn't have the best douchebag radar, I mean, the gorgeous sailor was basically holding a sign with the term on it and waving it around. But well, I feel like a little old lady saying this, but I haven't been out of my teens all that long and I get it. I mean, at 16-17 my bullshit-o-meter wasn't all it should have been and well, hormones and all you know?
But seriously, the other guy? The BETTER guy?? My little nerd loving heart pitter-pattered all over the place! I absolutely loved the moments between him and Libby, getting to know each other, getting over their prejudices and just having great chemistry and laughter-inducing banter. Their scenes together had me smiling and it was just great! Also, HELLO, KITTY! :) *inside joke, if you read it you'll understand* And the boy had the whole movie kiss down, it was swoonworthy in the extreme!

There were just so many characters for me to love, including Libby's best friend Dev. Who, admittedly, is a bit of a stereotypical YA gay best friend, but I loved him and his quirks! And he totally made it work! And the friendship between him and Libby felt real to me. They were very similar and I loved their interaction and the over the topness of it all sometimes.

So, to sum it all up: Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is an adorable, feel-good read that had me laughing out loud and had me still smiling a couple of hours after I'd finished it! It's a fabulous debut and Stephanie Kate Strohm is definitely someone I will be watching out for in the future, I loved her voice!

My rating: 5 stars

Friday, May 18, 2012

Julia Reviews Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Title/Author:Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence, Narrated by Emilia Fox
Publisher/Year Published: Audiobook: October 2008 by CSA Word (first published 1928)
How I got this book: The Library
Why I read this book: Long car trip alone :)
Rating: 3 stars

I often wonder what makes a book live through history. Why am I still hearing about this book published in the early 20th century and not some other book? The best way to start this review of Lady Chatterley's Lover is to give you the summary off the back of the audiobook:

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the subject of one of the most infamous trials of the 20th century when its publisher, Penguin, was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. Finally, after testimony from expert witnesses for the defense, including E. M. Forster, Penguin was acquitted and permitted to publish the novel in 1960. It quickly became a bestseller, largely on account of its explicit sex scenes and liberal use of four-letter words. Nearly 50 years later the sex scenes are still graphic, even by today’s standards, but the book is now read for its brilliant portrayal of the tenuous relationship between the nobility and the working class. Explicit, romantic, and emotional, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a tour-de-force, a passionate embrace of life itself. Emilia Fox reads with energy and feeling, further enhancing the narrative and extracting every bit of nuance and subtlety within the text.
Now, there is a nice summary of the background surrounding this book. When I started listening to it, I was relatively unaware of this. I knew it was a banned novel and I knew it was about an illicit romance because of the title. I may have known about the naughty words, but I sure as hell forgot until I heard them spoken to me aloud in a car riding down the highway.

It's pretty safe to say I went into the listening of Lady Chatterley's Lover with a pretty open mind as I had forgotten all of this. In a side note about how I read books, I put books on my TBR list on Goodreads and don't read the description again unless I am looking to read something specific. Lately I just chose and go into the book trusting that I added it for a reason.

Getting to the story, we hear about Lady Chatterley's past and what brought her to current circumstances in the first chapter. This includes how her husband came back from the war paralyzed. They no longer have an intimate relationship and instead are just living in the patterns that they have each established.

We can see she is bored with her life and that leads her to take on lovers, and then THE lover, the Gamekeeper. That is the basic bones of the story, really. I want to talk more about how this fits in with society today, and if the book when listened to by a modern audience is still as shocking.

As a women whose books read in a year consist of almost half romance, I was shocked by some of the passages.

There is a lot of descriptive sexual acts written in the book as well as some fun usages of certain four letter words. I think this fact alone is really what people remember it for. Why was this shocking to me, as I have read about people's intimate sexual acts in sometimes graphic detail? Two reasons that I can think of: 1) it was spoken aloud to me via the audiobook 2)there really wasn't much of a build up to the beginning of any romance.

Let's look at point two first. Lady Chatterley pretty much just sleeps with these men most dispassionately sometimes. There is no emotional connection or even very much attraction sometimes. Then when she finally engages, it's with almost negative participation on her part. Many of her internal monologue makes it feel like having sex with these men is a chore. That didn't sit well with me.

The story rests on the love or love affair between Lady Chatterley and the Gamekeeper (seriously, I think they said his name like four times. He was always the Gamekeeper). But the love didn't seem solid enough for them to act as they did. Was it not believable? At times. Did the overly sexual language pull me out of the story at all? Sometimes.

Did I enjoy it though? You know, it wasn't bad. I think I enjoyed it more because I was listening to it, which brings me back to point number one. Any dirty scenes read aloud by someone who slightly resembles Mary Poppins (especially when she did her Lady Chatterley voice!), just makes me laugh or blush. It didn't help that they always seemed to be in the middle of a passion scene when I was going through a toll booth.

Emilia Fox does a great job bringing each character to life. Her voices were actually quite good and distinguishable. My one complaint is how she did the Gamekeeper. He sounded like a crotchety old man which took the picture of Johnathon Rhys Meyers right out of my head. But overall it was really her reading the story to me that upped the enjoyability factor. And it kept me company on my lonely car ride.

Will I read it again? Probably not. Did I enjoy reading it? Yes, and I am glad that I can say that I have. Going back to my original musing on what makes a book withstand the test of time, I can see why in this case. At its heart it's about taking yourself out of your 'going through the motions routine' and take something you want. Live your life the way that pleases you. And of course, the descriptive dirty-word riddled sex. There is that, too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tahleen reviews: "The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" by Ree Drummond

Title: The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
Author: Ree Drummond
Publisher: William Morrow, 2011

Rating: 4 stars

I've been a longtime fan of The Pioneer Woman, whose cooking blog is outstanding (as is her cookbook that I own, The Pioneer Woman). She is funny and personable, and just a friendly type of gal from what I've read. I have always wondered about how she ended up on a ranch in Oklahoma, since she has often hinted that she grew up in or near a city and wasn't born into this life of ranch work. When she published her memoir, I got really excited because now I could finally find out!

Her story starts when she is 25 and single, just moved back into her childhood home with her parents. One night while out for a drink with friends, she spots a cowboy across the bar and goes up to talk to him. And thus begins the rest of her life.

I loved this account. It's full of her whirlwind romance with her husband, whom she lovingly calls Marlboro Man (we never know what his real name is, probably because he doesn't want it known by the world), as well as all the pain and joy they experience together throughout the journey. Drummond goes through some really rough times during their courtship, and things continue to be painful and a bit rocky in the first year of their marriage. But through it all, the love they feel for each other is so evident and palpable that it's clear why she gave up the life she knew to spend it with her husband in the middle of nowhere.

Drummond has this way with words that just hooks you. She writes with a lot of humor, which constantly had me smiling as I read. I usually find I take a long time to read nonfiction or memoirs, but not with this one. I flew through it. Another added bonus is the inclusion of a number of recipes she references during her story at the back of the book. This is really just a feel-good story—if you're in need for something funny and romantic with a few dashes of drama, this is a great book to seek out.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top Ten Authors Jamie Would Like To See On A Reality Show

This week was scheduled to be Top Ten Authors I'd Like To See On A Reality Show but I got a lot of feedback about how HARD it maybe not as good as an idea as I initially thought! SO..I opened it up as a Freebie Week but I decided to stick with the topic! 

1. John Green -- I'd love to see John Green on Survivor! As king of the nerds, he'd show all the nerdy/geeky guys who have come on this show to show everyone that it's more about brains than brawn (and then FAIL to do so), how it's done! He'd be charming, entertaining to watch and somehow I think he'd be pretty cunning at the game while also proving you don't have to be a total douchenugget. OR he and Hank on the Amazing Race! BRILLIANT!! Somebody sign them up!

2. Maureen Johnson: Maureen just deserves her own reality show. THE MAUREEN SHOW. It'd be awesome.

3 & 4:  Stephanie Perkins & Kiersten White: I'd love to see the two of these authors on The Amazing Race together! I love peeping on some of their witty Twitter banter but they seem like they would have a good time! Also, I've met Stephanie and SHE IS it would prove to be very good tv!

5. Beth Revis: I don't have a reality show in mind per se but it'd have to be something where you get to vote people out and be ripping out people's hearts while doing so. I learned, while at a tour stop for Breathless Reads, that Beth really loves killing off characters and laughing while doing so. SO, she'd be hilarious to watch because she's oh so sweet but she'd have no problem voting your ass off!

6. Kirsten Hubbard: I'd love to see her on her own reality show that is somewhat in line with Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations but a little more adventurous and fun. She's a world traveler and I'd love to watch a travel adventure show from someone who is around my age!

7. Megan McCafferty: Again, don't have a specific show but she cracks me up and she's super entertaining and I'd root for her until the end!

8. Tahereh Mafi: I LOVE HER. She is so adorable and hilarious and I would love to hear her commentary about the other contestants/houseguests and the general state of whatever reality show she was on. It would make me laugh.

9 & 10: Jonathan Safran Foer & Nicole Krauss:  I would love to see two of my favorite authors  (who happen to be married!) be on the Amazing  Race! I don't really know what their personalities are like but I'd sure like to watch!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Paula reviews The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones + Giveaway

Book: The Uninvited Guests: A Novel by Sadie Jones
Publisher: HarperCollins, May 2012
How I got my hands on it: Received an ARC from HarperCollins

 Rating: 4 stars

The setting: The Uninvited Guests takes place in one evening at the Sterne house. The Torrington Family is throwing a birthday party for Emerald. While it may seem like a simple evening- the family is worried about losing the house and the quiet party gets interrupted by a train crash nearby. The railway tells them that it is their duty as the closest estate to take in the travelers until the railroad can be fixed and they can continue on their way. Although as the night progresses, something seems off about the travelers and the Torrington Family experience a lot more than they expected.

It's hard to talk about this book without giving too much of the twist away. It was a very enjoyable and a very quick read. I found myself narrating it in a voice similar to the narrator from "Pushing Daisies" or "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" and I think that made it infinitely more entertaining and I highly recommend doing that.

The book is a comedy of manners set at the turn of the century. There was a lot of commentary on what the proper thing to do was. Such as: "The traveler's are third class citizens, is it really necessary to feed them?" Or "Fine we'll feed them, but does it have to be the food from our feast?"

I think my favorite character was the youngest daughter, known as Smudge, who wanted nothing to do with the party. Instead she was plotting what she called "The Great Undertaking". Smudge's pass time was tracing all the animals of the house onto her wall. She had already traced all of the dogs and cats- and so while the family was trying to organize dinner, she decided to sneak a pony inside to trace it on the wall. She was... somewhat successful.
Overall it was a really enjoyable book that I definitely recommend you check out. Thankfully HarperCollins sent me 2 copies of the book. So I don't have to be selfish and keep this darling little book to myself. So it's GIVEAWAY TIME. I will be giving away both copies. So follow the directions on the Rafflecoptor and 2 lucky winners will be chosen (at random). Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kelly's review of "Revived" by Cat Patrick + giveaway

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Published: 8 May 2012 (Little, Brown Books)

Summary from goodreads: "As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined."

Due to this AMAZING description, I eagerly devoured Revived in just a few hours. What I didn't know was what an emotional roller coaster I was in for -- not emotions within the book/plot, but my feelings towards the book overall. Basically the entire first half of this book annoyed me to no end. It's very rare that I stray from the historical fiction genre, so it's no surprise that the slew of modern brands, stores, and TV shows were a bit weird to me. However, I think the constant inundation of mentions of TOMS, etsy, Target, and Arcade Fire would annoy ANYONE. It felt like you were talking to that one irksome person who always name-drops all of the "cool" and important people he knows. Also, from the book's description, I was expecting Daisy to be some daredevil who skydived and went bull-riding for Not in the slightest. She stays in her room and does...well, not much else. Her previous deaths were all mostly accidents. Where were all of these "extraordinary risks?" 

Luckily, after about the first 150 pages, the plot picked up tremendously. Questions and suspicions arise as Daisy's identity and future are in balance. Daisy experiences a real death with no ability to use Revive and bring them back. Towards the book's climatic ending, I'll admit that I became nervous and my palms sweated a bit -- a 180 degree turn from how I felt towards the beginning of the book! Get through the less-than-exciting beginning and the ending/twist will blow you away.

Overall, I think that the characters and their relationships were my favorite part. Daisy was sweet and likable. It was interesting to hear about her past and her memories of death, dying, and the consequences. I loved her relationship with Matt, it was a great picture of young love! It's a bumpy road with happiness, laughter, and fights. I did question her decision to tell him her secrets so quickly, however -- secrets that could be deadly for both of them. Her friendship with Audrey was abrupt but cute to read about. I loved Daisy's little makeshift family as well. These elements all made it relatable and enjoyable. I'd rate Revived anywhere between 3.5 and 4 stars!

 It's a sad fact, but the truth is, I have absolutely NO more space for books. This may be unlucky for me, but not for you guys! I'm giving away my copy of Revived to one of you! Just fill out a form HERE to enter! US residents only please.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jen's Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here will answer. Everyone is welcome to join! All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Future Top Ten Tuesday topics are posted here.

I love quotes.  Whether they're from books, songs, movies or people.  I love them.  I'm always writing down quotes I like on random scraps of paper or pasting them in a blank word document.

Jen's Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books:
  1. “I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.” - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  2. “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.” - To Kill A Mockingbird
  3. “Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.” - Fahrenheit 451
  4. "But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I'll get through today.” - Where She Went
  5. “You've got to have pride in your home. You are where you're from. Otherwise, you're always going to be lost.” - Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
  6. "Girl Scouts didn't teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys" - Anna and the French Kiss
  7. "Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished, just to stay near it." - The Book Thief
  8. “No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention." - Invisible Monsters
  9. “Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.” - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
  10. “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” - Anna Karenina

Those are just a handful of my favorite book quotes!  What are some of your favorites? 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Daisy's Review of The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze

Title/Author: The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
Publisher/Date published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Happily ever after is a thing of the past.
A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.
When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.
Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope — and to love — once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become... The Last Princess."

You guys, I'm always happy to read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel and I'm ALL about the princesses! And I have a huge obsession with anything to do with England and their royalty. So when I saw them combined in The Last Princess, I just knew I had to read it.
But I'm sad to say it has left me... disappointed. And I'm going to do a 'Jana' and let you know through a list what exactly happened for me to feel that way.

1. I found myself wondering if pages were missing: It was a pretty short book and while that's not always a problem, to me with The Last Princess it felt like there was just a whole lot of things that were missing. Like they'd been there but had been cut away to make the book shorter. I found myself actually wondering if the e-ARC I was reading was faulty and missing huge chunks of the story, but I don't think that was the case.

2. I felt lost: The story felt all over the place and everything seemed to be happening at once without a moment to reflect or get to know the characters or to just figure out how much time had actually passed. I felt lost while reading this book and that's not a good way to feel for me personally.

3. Failure for me to get a sense of the main characters' identities: I've finished the book and I'm still not sure what to say to characterize Eliza. To me it's a problem when I can't do that for the main character, cause it all revolves around her right? I mean, I should be able to tell you what makes her Eliza and I can't. I should be able to tell you more about the love interest besides him being blond.

4. The romance: I would like to tell you that the romance was sweet, but instead I have to say it confused me. I mean, seriously, these two were together for a whole whopping day and she's in love? I mean, really? REALLY?

5. Cruelty without a good explanation There's a lot of cruelty going on and sometimes it was horrifying! Also, for those who are sensitive to animal cruelty/dying, like I am, be warned (a dog dying broke my heart). The things that were done by the ruthless revolutionary's army were insane and astonishing in their mindnumbing viciousness and I would have liked to see a bit more explanation as to how it all started and why people were behaving like that! And about the Seventeen Days!
With all the killing going on, I thought some of the miraculous survivals were a bit convenient. I mean, I could have handled either Polly or Mary surviving that last fight, but both seemed a bit too much seeing as they both seemed pretty mortally wounded. They had to look EVERYWHERE to find antibiotics, how did they manage to fix these girls up? And Caligula, how actually does a horse survive a lance in the side?

I did like the premise of the book, which is what made me read it in the first place, but I would have just liked a bit MORE of everything. A little more backstory, a little more time for me to get to know Eliza and actually care about what happened to her. A little more description of what was going on instead of just saying two weeks had passed and it had been horrible. Because that doesn't work for me.

I also really appreciated the relationship between the siblings and little Jamie stole my heart with his sweet boyness. The ending leaves me thinking that this will be a series and I'm curious if we will find out all the gaping holes of knowledge that The Last Princess has left me staring at. So while this book didn't really work for me, I might just pick up the next one (if there is one, does anyone know??) to see if it's better and if it will live up to the potential of this premise.

My rating: 2 stars

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Book Tour + giveaway: "The Flower Reader" by Elizabeth Loupas

The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas
Author's Website:
Twitter Event Hashtag: #FlowerReaderVirtualTour

This is going to be a difficult book to review, as I feel that most points of the story could be called spoilers. The back cover and descriptions give away an awful lot of the plot, so much in that nothing surprising or shocking ever happens because you are already expecting it. So, I'm going to attempt to summarize as vaguely as possible! Rinette Leslie has been under the wardship of Mary of Guise (Mary, Queen of Scots' mother) for many years.Upon her deathbed, Mary of Guise entrusts Rinette with a box containing important secrets/information for the young Scots queen when she returns to Scotland. A while later, when Rinette goes to deliver the box to the queen, her husband is brutally murdered. Rinette then is able to use the box as a pawn: she will only give it to Mary when her husband's murder is avenged and Rinette knows she will be safe. Needless to say, the contents of the box are of special interest to many people (Catherine de Medici, Elizabeth I, etc.), so Rinette must stay on her toes and keep alert as danger constantly surrounds her.

Books about Mary Stuart are usually pretty iffy for me. She annoys me most of the time because she is either portrayed as a misunderstood martyr or a whiny brat. In The Flower Reader, she is very realistic. She is still an 18 year old girl with childish tendencies, but she is also smart and powerful. As the author wrote in the afterward, this portrayal of Mary in the few years before all of the excitement she is most known for (the husbands, exile, death) gives us an entirely different view of her. I really liked Nicolas de Clerac, the man helping and protecting Rinette. As for Rinette herself, I mainly liked her because she didn't always win. She was not perfect, but she was able to learn from her mistakes/defeats. 

My only problem has to do with the title. Rinette is a flower reader -- she can associate people with flowers and deduce their personality traits and future. It's SUCH an interesting concept that wasn't used nearly enough. I loved the meanings associated with each flower and how what they meant went along with each person. Rinette's reading of Mary and Henry Darnley was just plain spooky. I wished we could've seen a lot more! Overall, The Flower Reader was exciting, romantic, full of mystery, and just plain fun. 4 stars.

I'm excited to be able to give away two copies of The Flower Reader! One lucky winner will also receive a handmade flower bookmark as well. Entry is simple, just fill out a simple form HERE. The giveaway is only open to US residents, you have until May 9th. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Julia's Top Ten Books To Be Made Into Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here will answer. Everyone is welcome to join! All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Future Top Ten Tuesday topics can be found here!

Hello again, and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! Julia here bringing you the movies I want to see made (whether they are in production or not). I do have to mention though it was really hard finding books that have not been made into some sort of visual medium (movies, miniseries, TV shows). Did all of you have the same problem?

Top Ten Books I'd Like To See Made Into A Movie

1. Catching Fire and Mockingjay
I guess this one is cheating a bit because Catching Fire is most likely already in pre-production. It's pretty much guaranteed that these are going to get made because of the boatload of monie$ Hunger Games made and is still making. I am okay with that :) (Shameless plug: Book vs. Movie: The Hunger Games @CompBiblio)

2. His Dark Materials
Oh, stupid studios! Why did you have to mess with The Golden Compass so much that it turned to cinematic trash?! I saw the filmed scenes in the trailer for the correct ending! I know the ending was there. I so wanted to see Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig acting out some scenes from The Amber Spyglass! I would love if these got made, but sadly I don't think it will be for a while now, if ever :(

3. Across the Universe
Across the Universe, the first book in Beth Revis' as of yet incomplete trilogy of the same name, I think would translate to film very well. It's got the love element (yay! not a triangle!) and some cool futuristic sci fi elements combined with an interesting and engaging plot. All the best ingredients for a good blockbuster movie.

4. The Book Thief
Though this would break my heart to actually view, I think The Book Thief could be a great film. It would need an outstanding director/visionary to interpret the character of Death best for the screen, but I think it could be done, and done well.

5. The Desperate Duchesses
Eloisa James' romance novel series that was inspired by Desperate Housewives (though of Georgian England) I think would make a WONDERFUL BBC/Masterpiece miniseries. The entire story through the six books weaves together so well and yet each book completely stands alone. I know it would be super popular with the Downton Abby crowd. Romance in Georgian England? Yes please. Though actually, now that I think on it, I'd want HBO or Showtime to pick this up so we can see all the yummy dirty scenes. Done with tasteful class of course :)

6. Soulless
Steampunk movie! With the success of the new adaptations of Sherlock Holes which are somewhat steampunk, I think this would have a foothold in the money making market for movies. And if it did well, it could continue through the series. I think this could just be a really cool standalone movie, though.

7. The Graveyard Book
I really enjoyed this book and think it would be a pretty interesting movie to make. Cool effects for the dead people, too!

8. What Happens in London
A fun romantic comedy, but instead of being in modern time, Regency London. Seriously, I don't understand why more romance novels aren't made into movies... I think they would make money. More money than some of the crap they put on screen today.

9. My Name Is Memory
While My Name Is Memory really intrigued me, it left me bored at some parts. Despite that, I think this could be translated to film really well. Especially with the time/reincarnation elements. Some of the things that didn’t work well for me in book form could be translated to the visual medium and some of the crappy/strange/series beginning(?) ending issues changed :)

10. The History of Love
Oh, The History of Love. You would be a movie I would head straight to the theaters for. As I think a lot of women would.

So that's enough of me talking. What are your lists? Link them up below!

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