Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Blogger Hop and Feature & Follow

To join in the Book Blogger Hop, click the image above!

This week's question:
What is your favorite series that you've
finished all the books (more than 3 books) to?

Well, I'm sure the obvious answer is going to be Harry Potter... and I admit I'm on that bandwagon too :) but there are a few more I'd like to share as well, so here's a list:

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
2. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
3. Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
4. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
5. Discworld by Terry Pratchett
6. Sandman by Neil Gaiman
7. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
8. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
9. The Nicholas Flamel Alchemyst Series by Michael Scott

Now, I'm reading quite a few other series that are more than three books that I love, but they're not finished yet, so technically, I haven't finished all of the books XD I didn't include those. The stories above are strictly finished series... welllll.... except Discworld... but man... I *HAD* to include Pratchett. I'm not even sure it counts as a series... but I've been reading them in chronological order, so I'm counting them that way.  :)

To join in the Feature and Follow hop, click the image above.

This week's question:
What blogger would you most like to meet in real life?
Tell us about him or her.

I'm going to be honest, I've never really thought about it.
Meeting new people in general gives me a mini panic attack.
I'm not saying I'm a shut in, I get out, I socialize... but all with people I've met in person first.
For some reason, I have real anxiety about meeting people I've only talked to online.
It's not a safety thing, it's a "Man, what if I totally disappoint them?" thing.
Crazy, I know.

Also, please check out my review, HERE, for the upcoming release,

The Wells Bequest
by Polly Shulman

ARC REVIEW: The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman

The Wells Bequest
by Polly Shulman
 Release Date: June 13th, 2013
This ARC was provided by the publisher at my request.

Leo never imagined that time travel might really be possible, or that the objects in H. G. Wells’ science fiction novels might actually exist. And when a miniature time machine appears in Leo’s bedroom, he has no idea who the tiny, beautiful girl is riding it. But in the few moments before it vanishes, returning to wherever—and whenever—it came from, he recognizes the other tiny rider: himself!

His search for the time machine, the girl, and his fate leads him to the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects instead of books. Hidden away in the Repository basement is the Wells Bequest, a secret collection of powerful objects straight out of classic science fiction novels: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink ray—and one very famous time machine. And when Leo’s adventure of a lifetime suddenly turns deadly, he must attempt a journey to 1895 to warn real-life scientist Nikola Tesla about a dangerous invention. A race for time is on!

In this grand time-travel adventure full of paradoxes and humor, Polly Shulman gives readers a taste of how fascinating science can be, deftly blending classic science fiction elements with the contemporary fantasy world readers fell in love with in The Grimm Legacy.

Leo: The main character, Leo is pretty level-headed for a teenaged boy. He's sweet and swooning over the girl he likes, and smart to boot. He comes from a family of incredibly intelligent people where he's a bit of an outcast, not because he isn't smart, but because his brain works in different ways. However, when he's visited by his future self, his life becomes a tad bit more interesting as he learns about a library that will change his life. He's a likeable kid, cautious and respectful of things like Time Machines and Death Rays... you can't help but admire those qualities.

Jaya: Headstrong and defiant and the girl that Leo is swooning over, Jaya is a character from The Grimm Legacy, the companion book to The Wells Bequest. At first I was worried I wouldn't like her, since headstrong girls are often obnoxiously portrayed in books... but I found Jaya completely likeable.

Simon: Simon is the villian of the story, but one could more aptly call him "The Teenaged Boy of the story" and be totally accurate in their description. He's actions are ruled totally by hormones, unfortunately, he just so happens to be a bit more connected than your average teenaged boy, so he can cause a bit more trouble.

For me, this book cleared up the issues I had with The Grimm Legacy, I didn't read this one thinking, "Wow, they just solved that HUGE problem really easily..." I felt like a little more time was taken in this one to really craft each encounter that the characters had. This story was cute, the adventures were well paced and I truly enjoyed their historical and present-time interactions.
All around, a lot of fun, and I can't wait for more in this series from Polly Shulman!

After reading this book, I've also decided I need to figure out a new rating rank that is around 4 Squeeds, but instead of saying (but probably wouldn't read again) it needs to say (and will absolutely read this to my children). :)

This is a book I highly recommend to not only friends, but also to the teachers I know. The combination of classic literature along with historical figures will entice any kid to want to learn more about these topics. Much like The Alchemyst series by Michael Scott, this is the kind of book that is going to make kids sit up and take interest in the past.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Spook by Mary Roach

by Mary Roach

The best-selling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers now trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive.

I have to admit, this one was slow going for me. There were bits and bobs along the way that were fascinating (and I flew through those chapters), but I think the fact that Roach seemed to think this was all hokum herself made this book dull when compared to books like Stiff.
There seemed to be a lot more by way of techno-babble, I'm not sure if this was due to the lack of legitimate scientific findings in the realm of there being an afterlife (other than the resounding "No, there doesn't seem to be one" that usually was what the evidence pointed to)... or if it was because Roach herself is a skeptic, so chose to focus on things that gave more substantial output than peoples feelings and experiences.

I'm not saying this book isn't worth reading, it still has quite a few interesting ideas to present the reader with, but it was definitely a slower read for me than Stiff.