Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Round-Up {1}

Friday Round-Up is a new feature in which I round up all the 
exciting bookish happenings of the week and update you on what I'm currently reading.

1. The TFIOS trailer was released online this week and as a result the internet exploded! As of this afternoon, it has over 6.2 million views on YouTube! You can read my reaction post here.

2. Laini Taylor has revealed the UK cover of Dreams of Gods and Monsters, and it's gorgeous.

3. I read Esther Earl's This Star Won't Go Out, which was so funny and charming and heartbreaking and man, did I cry.

4. I finally got my hands on a copy of Cruel Beauty, one of my most anticipated 2014 reads!

5. In other Laini Taylor news, Daughter of Smoke and Bone has received a library challenge. Not cool. To bring back a quote I posted to tumblr during Banned Books Week:
"The rights and protections of the First Amendment extend to children and teens as well as adults. While parents have the right—and the responsibility—to guide their own children’s reading, that right does not extend to other people’s children. Similarly, each adult has the right to choose his or her own reading materials, along with the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the right of others to do the same." - Robert P. Doyle

6. I have been slowly but surely making my way through Mark Helprin's historical fantasy, Winter's Tale, the movie adaptation of which is coming out in two weeks, starring the handsome Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findley of Downton Abbey fame! Will I be able to make it through the remaining 600+ pages by then? We'll see!

What does your Friday Round-Up look like? Have any interesting book news to share? What did you read this week? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Trailer Reaction: The Fault in Our Stars

For those of you who don't know, John Green effectively broke the internet yesterday after the first ever trailer of The Fault in Our Stars premiered online. 

Be warned: I have made no attempt to be professional or critical about this. Prepare to be bombarded by fangirlish zeal and ALL-CAPS.

Okay, have you got the trailer up? Has it buffered? Ready to go? 

Let's do this.


0:31-0:37 - WIPE THAT ADORABLE SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW, AUGUSTUS WATERS. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE SO ADORABLE WHEN I KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO BREAK MY HEART. And did - did they just use the same music from The Perks of Being a Wallflower trailer? Oh God, am I going to cry over this movie as much as I did over Perks? (Yes. The answer is an unequivocal yes.)

0:38-0:45 - THEY'RE IN THE LITERAL HEART OF JESUS! And hey, look, it's Isaac! 

0:46-0:54 - "Why are you staring at me?" "Because you're beautiful." MY CRIES

1:20-1:24 - Ugh, noooo. Gus standing there looking so upset is heartbreaking!


1:52-1:55 - :((((((((



So, in summary:

What did you think of the trailer? Did it live up to your expectations? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Book-Collecting Disorder

I have a bit of a problem when it comes to my book-collecting habits. No matter how many times I tell myself, No, you can't buy that book or You already have ten books checked out from the library! Do you really need another? I can never stop myself from adding to my constantly growing pile of books. The good thing about this is that I always have a plethora of books to choose from. The bad thing about this is...I always have a plethora of books to choose from.

With all the books I have checked out from the library, plus all the unread books already on my shelves, it's usually next to impossible for me to choose what to read next. The minute I get my hands on one book that I want, there is always another book that catches my eye. It's like watching previews at the movie theater; by the time I've sat through fifteen minutes of trailers, I'm so excited about the movies that are eventually coming out that I've all but forgotten the movie I initially came to see.

Maybe the answer is to stay off Goodreads. Or impose a ban on all trips to the library and bookstore until I've finished the books I already have. The bookstore ban is certainly feasible, with a little--okay, a lot--of self-control, but banning myself from the library is more challenging. Because at some point, I will have go to the library to return the materials I've already checked out and avoid being deemed, as my dad calls it, a "library felon." And while I'm there, I might as well have a peek to see if there's anything that catches my eye. It would save me a later trip...which would save on gas...which would help the environment...which means I'd be doing my part to save the planet. It's sound reasoning, right?

So, do any of you suffer from the same book-collecting addiction as me? Do you have to employ a buddy system on outings to the library or bookstore so that you have someone there to be the voice of reason and save you from your insatiable need for more books? Or do you have amazing self-control when it comes to buying books?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2014
Length: 380 pages
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
My rating:

Ever since reading Gone Girl last winter, I've developed somewhat of a fascination with murder mysteries. So when I read the synopsis for No One Else Can Have You on Goodreads, I immediately requested a copy from my local library. Surprisingly, I didn't have to wait long at all for a copy to come in--a miracle when requesting a new book--and I immediately started reading. The beginning of the book was promising, drawing me in with the mystery of Ruth's brutal murder and her friend Kippy's grief. Before the funeral, Ruth's mother gives Kippy Ruth's diary, hoping that she may use it as inspiration for her eulogy, and then return it with all the "offensive" bits removed. But as Kippy reads through the journal, she discovers Ruth has been keeping all kinds of secrets. First, she's been cheating on her boyfriend, Colt, with a creepy, middle-aged taxidermist/lawyer, Jim Steele. And second, she's not the friend Kippy thought she was. After reading entry after scathing entry that Ruth has written about Kippy, she begins to wonder if Ruth was ever truly her friend at all. Despite this, Kippy is still determined to find out who killed Ruth and why. With the help of Ruth's brother, Davey, Kippy starts up her own murder investigation.

For about the first fifty pages, I was really interested in where this story was going. So much so that I was able to forgive the oddball behavior that seemed to afflict every character in the fictional town of Friendship. But the further I read, the more the strangeness of it all started to wear on me. For starters, when Ruth's murder is first reported in the newspaper, there is more talk about what is to be done with the crops in the field where her body was found than about the poor girl herself! Then there's Sheriff Staake, whose personal vendetta against Ruth's boyfriend Colt renders him completely blind to all the obvious evidence that shows Colt can't  be the killer. The ineptitude of the sheriff and the mob mentality taken on by the whole town was so frustrating to read that at times I wanted to throw the book at the wall.

Then there's our main character, Kippy, who I could not for the life of me connect to. Oftentimes I felt her behavior was more appropriate for a character in a children's or middle grade novel; she was very awkward and immature and sometimes just downright idiotic. At one point, she reveals to Jim Steele the incriminating information she has found in Ruth's journal and is going to use against him, and then hands it over to him so he can read it. 

Now I'm no detective, but I'm pretty sure that one of the things you definitely should not do is hand your evidence over to a potential suspect.

On her investigations, Kippy wears rainbow or animal-print turtlenecks and a utility belt, which she uses to carry a Dictaphone and Ruth's diary around with her as she investigates. This created such a ridiculous mental image that all I could picture in my head when I thought about Kippy was Sue Heck from The Middle. I honestly could not figure out if Hale was trying to write a character that we were supposed to laugh at, or if she was trying too hard to make Kippy a quirky, original character. 

Sue Heck
To be honest, I found myself asking that same question about the book as a whole. Was it meant to be over-the-top ridiculous satire of small-town Midwestern life that was just poorly executed? Or was I as a reader supposed to take the whole thing seriously? In the end, all the problematic elements of this book made it too frustrating for me to continue reading. I admit that I ended up skimming through the last third of the book because, despite all the things I didn't like about the book, I still wanted to know who Ruth's killer was (and it turned out that the prediction I made at the beginning of the book was right! So at least I had that to make me feel a little bit better about the whole reading experience).

Now I want to know: have any of you read No One Else Can Have You? What did you think of it? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

The Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

1. The Marauder's Era - Ever since reading Order of the Phoenix, I've been fascinated with what's been deemed the "Marauder's Era" of Harry Potter. I think it would be so cool to read about James and Sirius and all the others as Hogwarts students during Voldemort's first rise to power. It would awesome to see how the Order was formed and how James and Lily "thrice defied" Voldemort!

2. Midnight Sun/The Twilight series from Edward's POV - Judge me if you will, but I have not made any secret of my unabashed love for the Twilight saga. I cannot begin to tell you how heartbroken I was when Stephenie Meyer announced that Midnight Sun was being put on indefinite hold, all thanks to someone leaking the first twelve unedited chapters online. Edward Cullen is one of my favorite fictional characters and I really, really hope that someday Stephenie will have a change of heart and be able to continue his story.

3. Historical YA - When I was younger, I was absolutely obsessed with the Royal Diaries book series. So obsessed that during one library outing, I checked out every single volume they had available (which probably amounted to about ten books). I think it was reading these books that first made me realize that being a princess was, in reality, absolutely nothing like the Disney movies would have you believe. These young girls struggled and dealt with hardships and responsibilities that were unfathomable to me at the ages of twelve and thirteen, and I admired them so much for it. Once I got to high school, I became less enthused with the selection of historical fiction available for young adults; it all seemed too unrealistic. But now that I'm really getting into shows like Downton Abbey and Reign, I would really like to see some good historical YA books again.

4. YA Thrillers - Think Gone Girl for the young adult set. The book I'm currently reading, No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, sort of falls into this category.

5. Time Travel/Doctor Who-style Fantasy - After being on tumblr for almost two years, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I finally got sucked into the Doctor Who fandom. After seeing endless gifs/fan art/fan videos/you name it popping up on my dashboard, I felt like I was part of the fandom even though I'd never even seen the show! So when I was browsing through my cable's on demand menu and saw that they had the new series of Doctor Who, I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a shot. I started with episode one of series five and since then I've come to adore Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as the Doctor and Amy, and have being dying to read stories similar to theirs.

6. LESS LOVE TRIANGLES - Good lord, if there's one thing that annoys me when reading a book it's when I start hardcore shipping two characters together only to have a new guy/girl come along and try to break up the relationship. STOP IT! JUST STOP! I know it adds drama to the story, but for once, just once, can we please see a relationship where two people stick together and don't stupidly fall for another person?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year, New Look

Hey everyone! Life in the Pages has a new look! I've been trying to come up with a new look for the blog for a while, and I've finally switched to brighter colors, a more fabulous banner, and I've added a Review Policy and Rating System page. Let me know what you think of the changes!

Also, what will you be reading this weekend?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bookish Resolutions

Well, it's a new year which means it's time to make some resolutions of the bookish variety.

1. Read 100 books by December 31. You can start your own 2014 reading challenge here on Goodreads!

2. A week ago I found these really cool printable calendars designed by nerdfighter, Karen Kavett. They're called Don't Break the Chain and at the top of each calendar there is space for you write what activity you want to track and how long you want to do that activity each day. The idea is that once you start tracking your chosen activity, you won't want to stop, or "break the chain." I'm using mine to track my reading and have made it my goal to read at least 30 minutes every day!

2. Participate in the 2014 Book Memories Challenge, created by Grown Up Fangirl.

3. Complete these Reading Bingo sheets:


I've printed them off to hang on my bookshelf so I can track my progress!

4. Read more of the classics. Ever since graduating from college, I haven't really pushed myself to read anything outside my comfort zone (YA and contemporary adult fiction). I have a shelf filled with nothing but classics, some of which I read in school and others that I've been meaning to read for a long time. Even though I'm sure I won't make it through all of them, I'm going to make it a priority to read Nicholas Nickleby and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the ones which have been on my shelf the longest.

What are your bookish resolutions? :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Book Haul

Hello all! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and a wonderful start to the new year! Santa was very good to me this year. I got three books that I am very excited to start reading, two of which were on my TTT list last week: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka, and Gothicka by Victoria Nelson, a nonfiction book about the supernatural genre's recent rise in popularity. I also received the My Bibliophile book journal (which is going to be so useful for helping me keep track of my thoughts for book reviews!) and the board game, It Was A Dark and Stormy Night, in which you try to identify the first line of a book (much harder than it sounds!). Both the journal and the game are from the awesomely bookish website Gone Reading.

Now that it's cold and snowy again, I'm ready to snuggle up on the couch with my fuzzy blanket and one of these awesome books! If only I could decided which one to start first...

Let me know in the comments if you got any books for Christmas and what your favorites were!