Tuesday, February 28, 2012

poppy done to death

poppy done to death
charlaine harris
aurora teagarden mysteries #8
penguin group usa
published 2009

When Aurora finds her sister-in-law murdered in her home she discovers that people just weren't who she thought they were.

Finally, the last in the series.  At least for now.  Charlaine Harris has said she might revisit Aurora, but she makes no promises so as of now this is the last book.  The mystery in this book is sort of secondary.  It seemed like Harris planned on this book being the last so she was busy tying up loose ends and creating a 'happy' ending for Aurora.

I suppose this was a satisfying end to the series, though to be truthful I wasn't a huge fan of these books to begin with.  Aurora was snobby and self-centered.  There were times when I just didn't understand why she couldn't keep out of it, but then I guess that wouldn't make for a very exciting book, would it?  Though they weren't really that exciting...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

things can get ... stressful

2021 has been a challenging year so far.  Seven and a half weeks in and Emma's probably been sick for 4 of those weeks.  First it was a cold, then some kind of stomach virus and then a UTI and now that UTI just won't go away.  She's been on antibiotics for 21 days so far with 9 more days to go.


This time she took her dose in the morning and about 3 minutes later threw up.  We gave her water and another dose and she promptly threw that up.  After talking to a pediatrician (hers is on vacation) we decided to try an anti-vomiting medicine to try to get her to keep the antibiotic down.  Otherwise she has to go in and get a booster shot of antibiotic.  She had to have this last time she had a UTI a year ago and she STILL talks about it.  Every time we go to the doctor she asks if she's going to get a shot.  I so don't want to have to take her in to get a shot.

As she's throwing up for the third time in 2 hours this morning she was crying to me saying she just didn't want to be sick anymore.  I don't want her to be sick either.

Thankfully, Olivia wasn't cranky today, but she still needs attention and junk and Emma was feeling so awful it was going to be difficult to get her motivated to go to the store to get some Gatorade.  I mentioned that I needed to go out and get some Gatorade and 10 minutes later two friends showed up in my driveway with bottles of Gatorade and PowerAde in various flavors.

My friends are amazing.  Seriously.

Monday, February 20, 2012

last scene alive

last scene alive
charlaine harris
aurora teagarden mysteries #7
penguin group usa
published 2009

In the first Aurora Teagarden book, Real Murders, Aurora teamed up with mystery writer Robin Crusoe to solve the murders.  Robin went on to write a book about the case and moved out to Hollywood.  Now he's back with an entire film crew to make the movie based on his book in Lawrencetown.  Aurora is less than happy about the film, especially because everyone wants to know who this quiet, rich, librarian is who the main character is based on.  And it turns out someone else doesn't want the movie to be made...

I discovered that while reading this book one of the main reasons I enjoy reading series is because I like getting to know the characters.  I like following a character throughout several installments.  They become people I know and I enjoy that.  Charlaine Harris has succeeded in spoiling that for me in almost every turn.  With the exception of very small bit characters she's continually removing characters who could possibly play a large part in Aurora's life.  I miss Martin & Angel.  Though Angel does make an appearance in this book, it's brief.

Nonetheless, the story took longer than usual to get going and there were quite a few times when I wanted Aurora to ditch her Southern manners and tell someone where to stick it.  But of course, she doesn't and that starts to get annoying.  The mystery itself was kind of blah.  I felt like this was more of a bridge book to show how she was getting over the loss of Martin and moving on.  There's one book left in the series and from all accounts this is the last one so I'm interested for sure to see how everything ends for Aurora, but I'm glad I'll be finishing up.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

true blood: all together now

true blood: all together now, volume one
alan ball, david tischman, mariah huehner & david messina
idw publishing
published 2011

Sookie & the rest of the regular cast are hanging around Merlotte's when a squid like monster traps them inside the bar killing patrons and forcing them to tell their stories of shame.

Oh.  My.  God.  This sucked SO HARD.  At first I thought, wow, Sookie and Bill are just as annoying in comic book form as they are in TV show form.  Then as I read more and more I realized that the entire book was shite.  Serious shite.

They tried to make it sound like Tara from the show, or Lafayette, Sam, Eric & Jason, but it didn't sound like any of them.  Nothing that came out of their cartoon mouths was anything I could imagine them saying on the show.  And certainly not the books.  wth.

I just can't get over how holy freaking horrible that was.  Poor Charlaine Harris.


dramacon, volume one
dramacon, volume two
dramacon, volume three
svetlana chmakova
published 2005-2007

Christie attends her first Con with her jerk boyfriend who flirts with every cute cosplayer who stops by their table and treats her like dirt.  She runs into (literally) Matt in tears and he comforts her and so begins a sweet little love story set in Anime Con carnival.

I really, really like Svetlana's work.  I loved Nightschool and so I went out and found Dramacon just so I wouldn't be so sad to have finished Nightschool so quickly.  This story was fun, silly, cute and a couple of time a little serious.  I loved every single one of the characters, though I wish we could have found out what was wrong with the bitch at the next table in Volume Two.  Blech.

Cute cute cute overload.  But I love it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

tantalize: keiren's story

tantalize: kieren's story
cynthia leitich smith & ming doyle (artwork)
tantalize series
candlewick press
published 2011

This is a retelling of the novel Tantalize, but from Kieren's point of view instead of Quincie's.  Kieren is a hybrid werewolf.  His family has to keep their were status a secret and in a few short weeks Kieren will be leaving to join a pack.  He's been putting off telling Quincie, his best friend and biggest crush, but when strange, bad things start happening in their town - all centered around Quincie's family restaurant - Kieren knows he can't leave until he makes sure Quincie is safe.

I wasn't a huge fan of the novel, but I thought it was kind of fun.  It seemed silly and I wasn't really sure if it was that way on purpose.  Reading this graphic novel I felt like they were trying really hard to be serious.  Somewhere in the retelling all the fun got left out and now it just seemed corny.

The artwork was definitely not my cup of tea.  I thought it looked awesome - from the cover, but the cover artwork was done by Sam Weber.  Newcomer Ming Doyle's style just isn't my favorite.

scott pilgrim is awesome like ninja

scott pilgrim series
oni press
published 2004-2010

Scott Pilgrim is 24 without a care in the world.  'In between' jobs, dating a high school girl and in a band...how can life get any better?  Until Ramona Flowers starts skating through his dreams.  Then life gets a little complicated for a guy who is about as uncomplicated as you can get.  When he falls for Ramona and convinces her to go out with him he finds out if he wants to keep her he's got to fight all of her exes!  Is he up to the task?

Scott Pilgrim is hilarious!  I love the video game background that pops up every now and then.  Scott is an idiot, but he's a lovable idiot.  The supporting cast of characters are awesome.  They're almost better in the story than Scott!  I'm pretty sure I'd read a book about Kim.

There's always a couple of lines in each book that give me a chuckle out loud moment.  For instance, trying (against her better judgement) to help Scott find a job, Kim says to him 'Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it.  I would punch your life in the face.'  Later on, Stephen Stills tells Scott, 'Scott, if you life had a face, I would punch it in the balls.  Seriously.'

Cute little one-liners that get me every time.  I haven't seen the movie, wanted to wait until I finally got around to reading these, but now that I have I'm not all that interested in seeing Michael Cera is Scott, but maybe I'll change my mind later on.  Right now I'm just going to enjoy the magna-influenced Scott.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


rebecca donner & inaki miranda
dc comics
published 2008

(from the back cover) When Danni and her mom move in with her mom's alcoholic boyfriend, Danni develops a fierce crush on Haskell, her soon-to-be-stepbrother who's a hardcore environmentalist.  Desperate and confused, Danni wrestles with what she's willing to sacrifice as she confronts first love, family secrets, and the politics of ecoterrorism - set against the lush backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

This was one of those graphic novels that I wish was actually a book that had been turned into a graphic so I could go back and read the novel.  There was so much story, it was so rich, but I felt like I wanted more.  More dialogue, more history, more story.  Danni is wonderfully refreshing.  Her mother, not the typical stays-with-abusive-boyfriend stock.  There's mystery that never really gets revealed, but bravery abound.

lost at sea

lost at sea
bryan lee o'malley
oni press
published 2002

Raleigh's soul was stolen when she was younger.  By a cat.  Or so she believes.  Now she's in a car with three almost strangers driving back to Canada from California.  Will this trip be what brings Raleigh out of her shell?  Will she even survive this trip?!

This was not like Scott Pilgrim at all!  At first I was a little bored.  Raleigh has a way of telling her story that makes it confusing, which I suppose is the point.  But the further along they get on their road trip the more she starts to fall apart and somehow everything starts to make sense. 

I loved Stephanie and how she tried to make friends without forcing the issue.  I loved how everyone embraced Raleigh's craziness.  And I loved how when it really started to meltdown Stephanie wouldn't let it.

I just wish I knew what was in the letter!


nina malkin
swoon series #1
simon pulse
published 2009

Candice has been moved to the town of Swoon to get away from 'troubles' she had in NYC.  Though it's not the most exciting place in the world, Candice doesn't mind.  She's got her cousin Penelope and Pen's friends to keep her occupied and relatively normal.  Until Pen falls from a tree and is inhabited by a vengeful ghost bent on making the families of Swoon pay for the misdeeds of their ancestors.  No one is aware of Sinclair except for Candice and though she knows that he's trouble for their town she can't help but falling for him.

This book was so ... weird.

There were times when a chapter ended and then a new one began that I thought maybe I had missed pages somewhere.  Half the time I felt lost, something just went right over my head.  I got the gist of the story, but details were a little foggy.  I also didn't quite get why Candice fell for Sinclair.  It was immediate and the only reason I could think of was pity.

There was quite a bit of sex in this YA book.  Nothing graphic, but nothing vague either.  It actually is the one thing in the book that isn't vague!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

dark mirror

dark mirror
m. j. putney
dark mirror series #1
st. martin's press
published 2011

At sixteen years old, Lady Victoria Mansfield lives quite the carefree life.  Until the day that her family discovers she has magic.  Her father sends her away to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for aristocrat children who must be 'cured' of their magic.  There is nothing more Tory wants than to be cured and return to her family...until she discovers a group of students who meet secretly to learn how to control and use their powers in the hopes that someday soon they will help defend England from Napoleon.  Does she choose to defy her family and risk being turned out from her home to practice magic or will she stay on the path to be cured?

There is no doubt that Mary Jo Putney is an excellent writer.  I've never read any of her historical romances (not really my thing), but this one caught my eye.  Tory is a great heroine.  She's strong and fearless.  She's not easily shocked or scared, which you would imagine a girl coming from a privileged family would be.  Even the dreamed 'mean girl' has some golden qualities.  There is of course, a romance element, but it doesn't overwhelm the story and it's sweet and innocent and quite lovely.

The magic is fun, quite complicated.  Not simply that someone can heal or that you either have it or you don't.  Putney puts a lot of thought and effort into making even the magic a story.

That being said, I wasn't in love with the book.  I wasn't excited to get back to it once I put it down.  In all honesty, I should have been done with this book days ago, but there just always seemed like something better to do.  The second book, Dark Passage is already out.  In fact, I saw that book first and that's what got me interested in reading this series.

So I'm not saying run out and buy it. It's certainly a library read, but it is well written and there are a few nail biting moments.  I'm not going to rush out and get Dark Passage, but if I find myself itching for something to read and I've finished my Off the Shelf Challenge then I'll probably pick it up.  If you're interested Barnes and Noble is currently offering Fallen From Grace for free as a NookBook.  Fallen From Grace is Tory's love interest, Allarde's diary and this takes place before the events in Dark Mirror.

Friday, February 10, 2012

once a witch


carolyn maccullough
once a witch series #1
clarion books
published 2009

Tamsin was born into a family, or rather THE family of witches.  When she was born her grandmother fortold that Tamsin would be the most powerful witch in the family.  She would be a beacon.  But when Tamsin's 8th birthday comes and her Talent doesn't manifest she realizes that for the first time her grandmother was wrong.  To escape the fact that she is the outcast of her family she attends boarding school in New York, but one night while home working in the family shop a man mistakes her for her powerful sister Rowena and asks her to find a family heirloom for him.  And that's when everything falls apart.

Tamsin is fun, sarcastic and just a tad pouty.  But who could blame her?  Not only does she live in the shadow of her perfect, talented, soon-to-be-head-of-the-family sister, but she also is the only one in her family who has no Talent.  Her 'loooove' interest is instantly familiar.  I guess because he sounds like every other YA hero, but that's okay.  I'm more interested in Tamsin.

The book certainly leaves off with a cliffhanger, but not nailbitingly so.  Enough that you're interested in reading the next one, finishing the story.

All in all, a quick, fun read!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

happy happy joy joy

The babester is officially four months old today!

At her well baby check up she measured in at 14.5 pounds and 24 inches long.  All I kept thinking about was that woman who gave birth to the 14 pound baby.  She gave birth to my four month old.  Jeez.

All is well and she's healthy and happy.  Well, maybe not happy (all the time).  She can be quite the little grumpster and has nooooo problem telling you she's pissed.  We call it being a monku monku.  But she also is quick to smile when she's happy and has the funniest little laugh.  For the most part she's pretty happy, but recently she's been stuffy off and on and that doesn't make for a happy girl.  She really wants to hold her bottle and it's not always helpful, but she's getting the hang of it.  She tried some rice cereal the other day and decided that just doesn't happy fast enough so for now, she prefers her bottle.

It's funny how different Emma and Olivia are.  But everytime I think that they look so different I see pictures of Emma when she was around Olivia's age and think they don't really look so different.

Olivia definitely has more hair than Emma did at four months!  And more chubs.

However much they do or don't look alike though they sure don't mind hogging our bed.

cutie pies.

Monday, February 6, 2012

a fool & his honey

a fool & his honey
charlaine harris
aurora teagarden series #6
penguin group international
published 2009

When Martin's wayward niece shows up on his and Roe's doorstep with a baby that no one knew about in tow Roe is irritated with the unexpected house guest, but she's too busy to put anymore thought into it.  Until that is, they come home and find a dead man on the steps leading up to the garage apartment, Regina missing and the baby hidden under the bed.

This book was quite unexpected.  It was eye opening for me a bit.  I never really thought about how self-centered and selfish Roe was until Sally pointed it out to her.  I understood the reasons why she saw the baby as a burden.  I understood how she didn't want to bond.  And I softened my stance.  I still found her to be a little self-centered, but I didn't think she deserved what happened in the end.

The book had a bit of guesswork going on, but I suspected the right villain and didn't understand why neither Roe nor Martin did!  But it was a good read and I'm glad there are two more books in the series so I don't have to end the series like that.


tracey porter
harper collins
published 2011

When 16 year old Lark is kidnapped and left for dead tied to a tree in the first snowstorm of the year her friends are left behind to make sense of the tragedy.  Eve pretends that she isn't bothered by it and Lark visits 12 year old Nyetta to get the help she needs to release her soul.

This book was very short, but completely worth the read.  Nyetta is heartbreaking, my favorite character in awhile and I was surprised to find myself half in love with her stepmother as well.  Eve surprised me the most in the end and her actions in the last few chapters both broke my heart and raised me up.

A beautiful, beautiful read.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

why i will avoid the pink

I'm sure you've all read about or at least seen a headline about the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood hoopla.  If you haven't, basically this past week the nation has blown up over the Susan G. Komen's decision to stop funding cancer screening and prevention at Planned Parenthood.  The decision they said was based on a new policy to not give money to groups under investigation.  Currently, a Republican Congressman started an "investigation" into PP allowing SGK to create their new policy and stop funding to PP.

That day the web exploded.  Posts all over Facebook, Twitter & hundreds of blogs turned the web into a movement.  Even 22 Democratic Senators got into the movement, sending a letter asking SGK to reverse it's decision.  In one day Planned Parenthood reported donations of over $400,000 with a promise from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of $250,000 more to make up for the $600,000 SGK would not be providing PP.  And donations are still coming in because despite SGK's very public 'apology' and promise to reinstate funds to PP they also went promising to continue grants to PP, just finish out the one they already had going.

I was incensed.  I am a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and not just because I am a woman and Pro-Choice.  I support Planned Parenthood because they provide health care for women who could not afford to seek that healthcare elsewhere.  When I was working as a waitress with no health benefits I visited PP on a regular basis.  Got everything I needed from them and they never once made me feel ashamed that I couldn't afford to pay much.  I always tried to pay something, but no where close to what those services would have cost me anywhere else.

And yes, 3% of PP's services are focused on abortion.  3%.  Planned Parenthood provides contraception, STD screening, care & prevention, prenatal care, cancer screening and prevention, primary care, adoption services, pregnancy testing and abortions.  But guess what?  Everything listed there is legal.  It's procedures and services that hundreds of clinics and hospitals perform everyday.

So to deny PP funds that go directly to cancer screening and prevention the Susan G. Komen foundation is denying women health care.  They are going against what they say they are about.

I started reading more about Susan G. Komen and came across this blurb about Behind the Pink Curtain and it was about that time that I decided there were better cancer groups to support.  Planned Parenthood isn't the only group who will soon not get funding from SGK.  The foundation will not support any group that supports or participates in stem cell research.  So they really aren't 'for the cure', are they?

I am not denying that SGK has done great things for cancer research as well as inspiring people worldwide to try to make a difference, but for now I'm supporting Planned Parenthood and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  I believe in stem cell research and I believe a woman has a right to take care of her body.  Like Balloon Juice said it is VERY easy to not support SGK.  All we have to do is look out for those pink ribbons.

*click to donate to Planned Parenthood*


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