Catching Fire!

 

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Amazing! Outstanding! Fantastic! Okay, so maybe I liked this movie….a lot. I have been excited about Catching Fire for a while (since the first one!). I was not disappointed.  Catching Fire was so true to the book, and we all know that does not happen very often.  If it’s possible, I love Peeta even more than ever. Sorry,Gale fans.  He’s a snore-fest.

If you liked the first movie, you won’t be let down with this installment.  Jennifer Lawrence delivers yet another wonderful performance as Katniss Everdeen, our favorite girl on fire.  The addition of Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason was flawless.  Both characters gave more depth to the story and each provided their own laughs and heartache.  So head on over to the movie theater, and may the odds be ever in your favor for some extra buttery popcorn.

Teri

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead Review

 

Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

 

 

Holy cliffhanger, Batman! Once again, Richelle Mead has left me screaming for more.  It is a well-known fact that she has a love-hate relationship with pulling the rug out from underneath us in the third or fourth book of a series. Shadow Kiss, anyone??? But in all honesty, isn’t that what keeps us coming back for more? I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this book definitely got a lot steamier than its predecessors.  Oh, how I love Adrian Ivashkov.

It’s always my worry with any series that with each coming book I will be disappointed.  So far, I have not found that to be a problem with Ms. Mead.  I pined for more Sydrian for months, and now I’m right back where I started; with a new countdown for Silver Shadows (July 29, in case you were wondering). But for the record, this is a must-read….I’ll probably start it again now.

Teri

Interview with the Vampire…..I Love NOLA!

 

Greetings, everyone! This post is a bit delayed, so accept my apologies.  New Orleans! There are so many great things I can say about NOLA, but for time constraints, I will stick to all things book related.  First and foremost, I always think of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.  She was able to hypnotize us with the glamour of it all. The movie adaptation was excellent as well, and sealed my lifelong love for Brad Pitt (slightly marred post-Angelina). I did a fabulous ghost tour and they actually took us down a street where part of the movie was filmed. **Insert 6th grade girl scream here**

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I will now attempt to try to move past this phenomenal experience.  One of my favorite books of all time (referenced here) also takes place in New Orleans.  The Awakening by Kate Chopin changed my life.  I can thank my high school English teacher for having us read this.  I absolutely love the level of feminine power WELL before it’s time.  Such an empowering story.

Not to forget my current young adult obsession, The Vampire Diaries! While most of these books take place in Virginia (home state shout out!!), some of Stefan’s Diaries take place in NOLA.  With vampire books, this city has such a rich history and so much to offer.  Why not use that as a blood-sucking setting?

What books have you read and loved that take place in NOLA? If you get the chance to visit this city, take it! You won’t be disappointed, and you might spot your own book to movie location.

Teri

Vacation Reads Reviews

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Greetings, everyone!  As you can see, I just returned from the beach.  Fabulous Aruba, to be exact.  You know what that means.  Lots of time to read! Here are a couple of the highlights I couldn’t put down.

Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
 Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

 

Nicholas Sparks stole my heart many books ago, and this was no exception.  I will say, at times The Longest Ride felt like the longest book, but it was worth the wait.  I fell in love with both story lines and couldn’t wait to see where it went.  All the while, wondering if it was going to end in tragedy like so many of his other books (no spoilers here!).  If you are a fan of Sparks, you won’t be disappointed.  He delivers not one, but two love stories to steal your heart, yet again.

Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
 

 

 

 

Wow.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker (pun intended) for vampire books.  This book was no exception.  I love vampire books that can offer me something new.  This was one such book.  I couldn’t quite figure out Tana’s motivation in the beginning, but I was still drawn into her story.  I loved her interaction with the mysterious and quirky Gavriel.  Admittedly, he stole my heart right away.  The only thing lacking was more interaction and development between the two. This story was deeper than just Tana, though.  I think that’s what kept me wrapped up.  It was about Gavriel, Aiden, Pearl, and Jameson, just to name a few.  Each character came alive for me and I loved watching it unfold.  If you have a thing for vampires, prepare to be captivated, and yes, sucked in. I have my eye on Holly Black and can’t wait to read more from her.

Teri

 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review

Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publication Date: October 22, 2013

 

I realize this may not be anything profound as far as reviews of Allegiant go because EVERYONE has given their opinion.  I just feel the need to vent. Warning, there will be SPOILERS!!! Stop now for your own safety if you have any desire to read this book.

I feel incredibly let down.  Like so many others, I was sucked in with Divergent.  I held my breath during Insurgent.  I eagerly (and impatiently) waited the agonizing months for Allegiant.  When I finally got my hands on it, I couldn’t figure out who was talking! Tris, Four, Tris, Four, Tris, Tobias! Who the heck am I listening to?? I love my husband, but if our internal dialogues were that similar, I would be worried.

I really wanted to love this book.  I just felt like it dragged on and not much happened.  There was so much description of the compound and what they do, blah, blah, blah. Some of it just got plain confusing.  GP’s and GD’s (hahaha)…..but I digress.  The story goes and goes and goes, and then BAM! Tris dies. Just gone. This whole trilogy is about her and then that’s it.  If it was about Tobias, then why wasn’t he the one who narrated the first two books? AGGGGHHHHHHHHH.  It’s just too much.  I don’t necessarily need everything wrapped up in a bow at the end, but this just left me completely unsatisfied.

Here’s hoping Veronica Roth can have another stellar trilogy with maybe a more tidy ending.  Disappointment abounds.

 

Teri

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday: The Fiery Heart

Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Aghhhhhhhhhh! It’s almost here! I have a major obsession with Richelle Mead’s books.  This one looks sure to please just as every other book in this series has already.  I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  Adrian…..swoon.

 

Teri

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Books I Can’t Stop Reading….Again

 

Top Ten Tues

It’s Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish featuring whatever I feel like this week. These are the books I can’t help but read over and over….and over again.

night circusEliteVA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I seriously LOVED this book.  It was beautifully written and I could not wait to start it over again and see what I missed the last time around.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: If you have not read these books, you need to make it happen. Now. Forget everything you think you know (sparkly!!!) about vampires and throw it out the window.  With your free hands, pick up this book.

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken: This book came out of nowhere.  There I was, looking for a quick read while on sick leave and BAM! I was reading this book back to back.  The sequel is almost here. Squeal!

big stone gapElla enchantedawakening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani: Maybe it has something to do with it being set near where I grew up, but I love this book. The history woven throughout this story is amazing.  I can’t wait for the movie next year! (Ashley Judd!!!!!)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: This is one of my earliest memories of a book obsession.  I was super excited about the movie, but alas, was disappointed.  Char is the epitome of Prince Charming in my head. Sigh. 

The Awakening by Kate Chopin: This book is not for everyone.  However, I love the character development and the sense of female independence found in this book well before it’s time.  

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin: Two words. Mr. Darcy. 

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson: This is NOT James Patterson’s usual thrillers (which I also, incidentally, adore). This book could go toe-to-toe with Nicholas Spark’s best work.  Read it now.  You won’t be disappointed. 

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I was completely put off reading this book because it is about cancer (I’m not insensitive, I just couldn’t deal with it).  However, Green brought a lightness to the topic that made it enjoyable.  I loved Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace. Enough to endure this torture repeatedly. 

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach: Call it the pharmacist in me. I am fascinated with educating topics told from a fun point of view.  Mary Roach nails it every single time.  Check out her other books for some varying topics. 

Monday Maybes: Alice in Zombieland by Gina Showalter

 

Monday Maybes is a weekly feature of books that have kept me on the fence. Do I add them to my kindle library or leave them on my wish list?

Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
SHE WON’T REST UNTIL SHE’S SENT EVERY WALKING CORPSE BACK TO ITS GRAVE. FOREVER.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real.
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

 

Zombies. Hmmmmmmm. Not my usual cup of tea.  I can’t think of a single zombie book I have read.  I was also intrigued with World War Z, but not to the point that I picked it up.  Maybe because the movies aren’t my favorite? I’m leaning towards reading this, but may give Warm Bodies a try first.  I need something to convince me to take the plunge.  Give me vampires any day! 

 

Teri

 

 

Guardians: The Shoma by Lola StVil

The Shoma

Purchase on Amazon

In order to reunite the Council and save both our world and theirs, the Guardians need to assemble three missing pieces of an ancient relic called The Shoma. But their search is derailed by their love lives and entanglements. Surrounded by evil and under the threat of annihilation our lives depend on this one team. But with all the sex, scandal and secrets, who has time to save the world?

About Lola StVil

lola

Lola was seven when she first came to this country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She attended Columbia College in Chicago, where her main focus was creative writing. In addition to plays, she also writes screenplays and short stories.

She has been commissioned to write for ABC, CBS and Princeton University. She won the NAACP award for her play “The Bones of Lesser Men”. In addition to being nominated for LA Weekly awards. Her work has also received positive reviews from The LA Times, Variety and LA Weekly.

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Guardians Series

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Book 1: The Girl