Monday, June 25, 2012

Mom Monday - When it's REALLY time to head to Barnes & Noble

Some sort of force draws me in...Must be in the  Paranormal  section!
     I will find any excuse to go to the bookstore. ......Hey we're at the movies, let's park so we have to walk through Barnes and Noble to get to the theater......Or it used to be the boys making me go to Gamestop was my excuse to go next door and hang out in Borders.  Is there ever a time when you really NEED to go to the bookstore?  I say this qualifies.....

     After a movie-marathon Thursday, Friday brings about a bored 9 year old. I suggest, "Why don't you get a book and read?" Which is a typical mom-stand-by boredom buster that is usually met with, "But, Moo-oom, I don't want to."  Instead, I was blown away again by his reply, 
"But, I've already read all those - see, I've read this one and that one and this one..."

     Proud moment, definitely!  Qualified for a trip to Barnes and Noble? Most Definitely!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

     First of all, I have to say - COVER LOVE!  This is one of those books where the cover gets your attention and is a perfect representation of the main character.

     Shatter Me is Tahereh Mafi's first novel, written in the writer's unique non-conventional style. She starts off in Juliette's fragile mind - barely able to walk the line between sanity and insanity. Juliette is in a prison/mental ward because her powers are so dangerous even her parents are terrified of her. But soon her days of perpetually counting everything and secretly writing in her journal end when she meets her new cellmate, Adam. At first she's afraid of him and has nowhere to go, but soon, he takes her to his commanding officer and she finds herself in the "grips" of Warner. Warner is and egotistic, power-hungry, tyrannical leader. He's not only out to control the entire post-apocalyptic world, he wants to control Juliette as well.
     The story takes a turn and Juliette and Adam are off on an adventure that takes them to what could be freedom, or could be another life of being controlled and used to fight a war for another operation. Juliette has to figure out if she wants to fit in or flee before things get out of control.
     Reviews for Shatter Me were all over the place. Mafi writes in a style that reveals not only the main character's thoughts, but goes even deeper. She's transparent in that most characters have one solid thought, hers share their chosen thought  path at the same time as revealing what they are really thinking, usually the opposite. It's very different and you either love it or hate it. It's like listening to a song and having someone "scratch" every few minutes. I had a hard time with it and found that once the writer stopped doing it, I enjoyed the flow of the story more. I think I could have done without about 75 pages of Juliette's madness in the beginning. That's not to say she should not be true to herself and write the way she wants. She is very brave and out-of-the-box with her style and did keep me interested.
     I think this is one of the few times I fell in love with the secondary characters before I even liked the main character. Once the story developed and the main character, Juliette, was able to focus, I began to like her too. The last few chapters pave the way for a promising second book that I can't wait to read. Now we're talkin'!  Once I finished the book and read the inner jacket, I found that Mafi is a kindred soul..."When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts."  A true lover of all things written and I would love to meet her!

I give Shatter MePhotobucketfour stars! Can't wait for Unravel Me - I just know it's going to be her best work!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giveaway - Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson, Autographed

I just wanted to make up for my absence so here's a chance at an autographed copy (and bookmarks) of Tracie Peterson's Touching the Sky . Touching the Sky  is book two of the Land of the Lonestar series. If you enjoy strong women as main characters and historical fiction, specifically Civil War era set in Texas, then this book is for you!

Just for you!
Goodreads synopsis 4+ stars!:
Romantic Adventure from Tracie Peterson 
When Laura Marquardt first meets Brandon Reid, their encounter is anything but pleasant. But when the two are seated together at
a dinner party, they soon find that they share similar interests--Laura desires to educate blacks, and Brandon, as a white officer
over colored troops, eagerly supports her cause. 
When Laura's sister, Carissa, marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation when she overhears plots to
kill Union soldiers. Though in her heart she feels she should share this information with Brandon, Laura fears she will betray her sister's trust and possibly endanger her sister's life. And when Brandon's motives for pursuing her come into question, her heart is even more conflicted. Where is God leading her?

How do you enter? Simple! Just leave me a comment and your email address. I will have a drawing on Saturday, June 23rd.
Monday, June 18, 2012

Mom quote me!

     Some parents are proud of their kids when they get good grades. Others are proud of their kids if they have character or lots of friends. Some are proudest when their kid tries his hardest at baseball - even when his team loses by 10 runs. We all love our kids for their uniqueness and quirkiness.

     Off and on, the boys and I will talk about language. It usually starts with one of them making a bad choice of words - then we have the talk.....Which is usually me telling them not to use that word, but not stopping there. I like to make them think....I remind them that they are intelligent and kids that use those same (foul or offensive) words over and over to describe something are not showing how smart they really are. Then we try to find a replacement word.

     I have to say I was astonished when my nine-year-old aspiring "Skater-Dude" was throwing in words like "basically" and "literally" and the cherry on top - he used "Quotation marks" with his fingers (and the appropriate sarcasm) while telling a story about his brother.   
     Oh yeah, that's my boy! Now I have to "I "do that????

Friday, June 15, 2012

To Mock or not to Mock, to Shatter or not to Shatter?

      I jumped into the gut-wrenching world of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games right before the movie was released. Then I flew through Catching Fire and was amazed that she could write another blow-me-away ending. I've stayed away from any spoilers for Mocking Jay, but still have friends mentioning that someone dies and I won't like it. So for those of you who read the entire series I ask you this - should I stop after Catching Fire? Will I be missing the grand finale or will I be preserving the characters in my mind before the author does them in? To Mock or not to Mock?

And this one, another 4 1/2 stars on Goodreads, but I'm almost a third of the way in and I feel like I'm prying into the mind of a mental patient - it just feels creepy! Yet, most of the reviews I've read rave about this book.   Is this one of those books where you have to get to a certain point before it becomes worthy of finishing? To Shatter or not to Shatter?

     Help me out here readers - reading time is like gold to me and I want to make the best of it.....

And check back next week for a little gift from me......
Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting this train back on its track....

     I feel a bit derailed by the last few weeks of events and can't wait to get back to blogging about reading (Shatter Me), blogging about writing (and the creativity involved) and blogging about raising those boys (school, summer, growing up)!

     We've had three concerts, 20 baseball games, one 8th grade promotion (which by the way is a MAJOR event in our town), drivers' training parent meeting, sports meeting, phone conferences with teacher, sick kids, 38 hour work-weeks, a four-day family event sandwiched by two weekend visitors and one more that I can't wait for on Saturday - and on top of that has been summer courses, which are nothing like I expected. 
     Not knowing that each 6 week course is all-consuming 20 hours a week plus weekends, I ended up dropping the statistics class until spring and sticking with my Exceptional Students class, which is so interesting and useful and sent me out into the classroom to observe some amazing teachers and paraprofessionals helping students be the best they can be.

     Congratulations to my son, Josh for graduation 8th grade - with honors! And congratulations to all the students that were chosen for my favorite award - the Idol - for modeling their school's values. 

     Here's to getting back on track next week! I'm still dying to talk about creativity and how IT gets derailed.....and about TED.....and about Mockingjay.....and about Mother's Day.....and......and....
Russian Jet Train