Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Sunday Salon (35) - Happy Easter!

The Sunday Salon
Or, as a coworker of mine puts it, Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

Right now, as you're reading this, I'm probably working.  I was supposed to have today off, but other things happened.
I woke up Thursday morning with some sinus pressure.  As I was at work, and continued working, it kept growing and growing and it was throwing off my equilibrium so bad that I almost face-planted on the concrete floors several times.  Finally, I couldn't take it, and I didn't trust myself to drive (everything was swimming) so I had my lovely mother come get me and take me to Doctor's Care.  I waited in there for over an hour, crying because the pressure on the left side of my face HURT SO BAD and it was making my teeth hurt.  He put me on some antibiotics for a sinus infection and sent me home.  But then the fever started.  It was a low grade fever, but a fever nonetheless, so I had the day off Friday and stayed in bed.  Read an entire book.  By 6, I still had the fever.  I was supposed to work all day Saturday.  Well, I'm contagious while I have a fever, so I called my coworkers and no one could cover me, so they just had to deal without me.  But, since I called out that day, I was supposed to have Sunday off, but I had to make up the day I missed.  YAY BEING SICK.
The only good thing:  I read all of A Wrinkle in Time Friday afternoon, and I read The Walking Dead Volumes 4 and 5 and the first volume of American Vampire on Saturday.

And I wrote a bunch of reviews and such in between naps.  That's about the only good thing about being sick.

In other life news, I'm going to be going to an employment agency sometime after this plague completely goes away and I'm going to pray that they can find me a full time job.  I love Old Navy and I love my coworkers, but I just can't do part time anymore.  I can't make a career out of it and I need to move on and get my own place and be with the person that makes me the happiest I've ever been.  So.  That's the next step in my life.

So that's all I have for today, so I leave you with this video.  The Seduction by He Is Legend.  This is easily one of my top ten favorite songs of all time. And the video is just funny.  With the puppets and what not.  Enjoy :]

Friday, April 6, 2012

TGIF: Book Series Finales.

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
Book Series: Which book, from any series has been your favorite ending? What about your least favorite ending?

I'll be honest, there really aren't that many series that I've read.  I can probably count them on two hands.  But I do have some favorites.  Black Heart, the end of The Curse Worker's Trilogy was one that I really enjoyed.  Black left the ending sort of open, but that was one of the things that I liked about it.  Sometimes its good to be left wondering a little bit rather than have everything handed to you all nice and neat.

My least favorite?  That would probably be Breaking Dawn of the Twilight Saga.  The books and the entire series to me were horribly anticlimactic and while there were some good points about the series, its not something that I think I would ever read again really.

What about you?  What are your favorite and least favorite series finales?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

REVIEW: The Darkness: Origins, Volumes 1 & 2 by Garth Ennis

cover of The Darkness Origins Volume 1 by Garth Ennis
Title: The Darkness: Origins, Volumes 1 & 2
Author: Garth Ennis
Genre: Fantasy
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 stars (Vol 1), 2 stars (Vol 2)

Jackie Estacado is your average 20 year old.  You know, women and fast cars.  Oh, and he's also an assassin for a crime family.  You know, totally normal.  On the eve of his 21st birthday, Jackie discovers that he has a gift that allows him to control demons from another deminsions, The Darkness.  And of course, there are people that don't want Jackie to wield this gift and set out to destroy him.

These two volumes take you through the beginning of Jackie's time with this 'gift' and explains how he comes by it.  The first volume is the one that really goes through who Jackie is, how he came to be who he is, how he came to be an assassin and it introduces you to the gift and the people that actually want the gift.  Some of the people that appear in this volume are the same people that appear in the second video game.  The artwork in this volume was fantastic, that was something that I really enjoyed.

Cover of The Darkness Origins Volume 2 by Garth Ennis
In the second volume, the artwork was just as good, but this was about the best thing about the volume.  It started out where the other volume left off, but you get three issues into this volume and then suddenly you go from I think issue #9 to issue #17.  So there have been all these things that have happened between that time and you have new characters and something called a Witchblade and you're like "What the hell is going on here?"  Maybe if you're a seasoned comic book reader, you would have an idea of what that way, but I had no idea and it made me like that volume a lot less.

Overall though, I really liked the artwork, I enjoyed the story when I could follow it, and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys comic books of that nature.

One more thing, I read both Volumes on my ipod.  I downloaded the Comixology app onto it, and you can download the volumes or issues directly to your ipod or iphone or ipad.  You can also purchase different things in the app and you can delete them and redownload them anytime you want.  And the app itself is free.  It features guided reading, which really helped me, because I think had I been reading it on a page, I would have skipped around and managed to confuse myself even more.  I think the app is pretty awesome, and you should check out the site and the app if you're a comic reader!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

REVIEW: The Waste Lands by Stephen King

book cover of The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Title: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)
Author: Stephen King
Date Published: First published in 1991
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Page Count: 588 pages
Challenge: The Dark Tower Reading Challenge
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The third installment of the Dark Tower series.  You can read my reviews of The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three to learn more about the series.

Writing reviews of a book in a series is really hard, because you don't want to give anything away to those that haven't read it.  I will say that this one and The Drawing of the Three are two of my favorites in the entire series.  I absolutely loved it.

As with a lot of Sai King's books, this one is a little on the thicker side, but it really takes you no time at all to read it.  The plot goes quickly and is full of action from the beginning, though you do hit lulls in the action that allow for a little bit more character building.  In this book you really see Eddie and Susannah come into their own as gunslingers and Jake make his reappearance.  Of course the ending of this book, you're just thinking oh my gosh what's about to happen?!  I must go on to the next!
Of course, for those reading these as they came out, there was a six year gap in between the books, which makes me grateful that I read the series the first time after all of them were published.

I have to say, one of the reasons that I love this series so much is because of all of the connections that you find to other books that King has written, as well as the references to our world.  For example, you know that there was some sort of nuclear fallout in Lud, you know that there are elements of our world in theirs, but you don't know how they got there and you want to read on to see if you get any more clues about mid-world.

Basically, I love this book.  There are a lot of people that read The Gunslinger and can't go on to the rest of the series, but I BEG you to go on, it only gets better from there.  And of course, if you want to participate in the Dark Tower Reading Challenge, you can sign up at any time!

Other Blogger Reviews:
Adventures in Borkdom
Book Den

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

REVIEW: Black Heart by Holly Black

book cover of Black Heart by Holly Black
Title: Black Heart (The Curse Workers #3)
Author: Holly Black
Date Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 296 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Black Heart is the third installment in the Curse Workers Trilogy.  If you haven't read the first two, you can read my review of White Cat and Red Glove to give you a better idea of the premise of the series.  Also, this might be kind of spoilery to the series as a whole, so you may not want to read past here if you're planning on reading the series.

Synopsis: Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

My Thoughts:  So honestly, I felt that the second book dragged.  It just wasn't that exciting to me, I don't know, I just didn't like it as much as I did the first one.  This book totally picked up and made me love the series again.
One of the reasons that I love this series so much is because of Cassel.  He's dishonest and he knows it, he knows what he is, but he still desperately wants to be a better person and he's so hard on himself that it makes you feel bad for him, you want him to get the girl and live happily ever after, even if they just rob people all the time and never get caught, or something like that.  And he's also so incredibly smart, and you can tell.  He goes from running a small betting operation at school, to working with the feds and possibly a crime family.  He knows how to keep his head above water, which I think is fantastic.  I haven't read many YA books with a male POV in them, and this is a really good one.

I also love Black's writing and I was constantly marking pages so I could put the quotes up on my tumblr page.  One of them that I especially loved was this:
“A girl like that perfumes herself with ozone and metal filings. She wears trouble like a crown. If she ever falls in love, she’ll fall like a comet, burning the sky as she goes.”
I also loved the ending.  Honestly, there were several things that were left unresolved.  It was left open, like she might be able to write another book about Cassel, but I don't think that she would.  And really, I think that was the best way that she could have ended it.  It didn't leave you going "ONMYGOD TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!!!"  It just sort of left you thinking "hmm..."

Overall, I loved this book, I loved this series, if you haven't read it, I highly suggest that you pick it up!  4.5 out of 5 stars!

I'd also like to thank Southern Book Bloggers for giving me the opportunity to read this book early and participate in the tour! :]

Other Blogger's Reviews:
The Starry-Eyed Revue
A Cupcake and a Latte
Gone With the Words

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Dark Tower Challenge - March Discussion

Okay, so I'm a little bit late here, since it is April, BUT, life happens and here we are!  So, let's get on with the discussion for March.

My Personal Progress
I finished The Waste Lands about halfway through the month of March.  I have yet to post my review, but that will be going up this week.  As soon as I'm finished with Game of Thrones, I'm going to be starting Wizard and Glass, which is something that I'm looking forward to.
Where are you in the series?  How are you liking what you've read so far?

Book Cover of The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen KingThe Wind Through the Keyhole comes out this month!
Though I won't be reading this book until probably July or August (sticking with reading one of the books a month, I still pre-ordered the book, so I'll have it when it comes out!
Has anyone else pre-ordered it?  Are you excited about it?

Making Connections
No matter how far you are into the series, you have to notice the connections that run throughout Sai King's novels.  I can name countless books where the same ideas or people make appearances throughout the books.  Some examples that first come to mind are The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman, Black House, and Salem's Lot.  What connections have you noticed and what do you think about them?

Of course, post the reviews that you have done so far or for the month, and don't forget to post them to The Stephen King Project as well!

Manic Monday: Week of April 2

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

So, in lieu of talking about what I'm reading and what I'm picking up next, I'm just going to let you watch this vlog, because it is about my April TBR pile, and I am STILL reading A Game of Thrones.  I hope to be finished with it by the middle of the week!

The Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
American Vampire, Vol 1 by Stephen King
The Walking Dead Volume 4 and Volume 5 by Robert Kirkman
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Hell House by Richard Matheson
The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker


What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  A review of Black Heart by Holly Black!  Tuesday is the release date!
++  Wednesday: A review of The Waste Lands by Stephen King
++  Thursday: A review of The Darkness: Orgins, Volumes 1 and 2.
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about the ending of certain books series.
++  Saturday: Free day!  There won't be a post.
++  Sunday:  The Sunday Salon.


In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday (35), featuring Cassandra Clare and The Used.
++  GoneReading!  Bookish gifts for a cause.
++  Review:  Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
++  TGIF:  Book Blogger's Retreat
++  March Rewind! (vlog)
++  Bloggiesta Progress!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sunday Salon (34) + Bloggiesta Finish Line

The Sunday Salon
Alright, so Bloggiesta for Sunday was basically a no go for me.  I worked all day long and had to bring part of work home with me so that my life will be easier Monday afternoon.  But, that's okay, because I got a lot of things done Saturday anyway.  SEO is going to take a little bit of work a little bit at a time, since I have to teach myself all of it anyway.  But, I'm okay with that.  I moved some things around, deleted some things, changed my social media buttons, made some buttons of my own.  Overall, I think that I accomplished a lot over just Saturday. I did record a vlog after I got all my work done this evening that I didn't think I was going to get a chance to get to, so that was a plus.
Pedro of Bloggiesta
I really hope that I get a chance to get more reading done this week.  I spend a lot of time writing posts in advance for this blog in the evenings.  That's one thing that I really hate about working on Sundays, I used to spend that day writing all of my posts for the week, which is one of the reasons that my posts were so consistent.  And then when I started working even single Sunday, I lost that.  So I really need to find a rhythm.  We'll see how that goes in the weeks ahead.

Really, bloggiesta was the biggest thing that I had going on this week.  I wish I had more to tell you, but I don't. :/  So, I'll just leave you with this awesome song by The Damned Things.  Awesome super group with an AWESOME album and this video is hilarious.  Enjoy :]

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