Monday, December 30

Favorites of 2013 - Carole Awards

Happy Monday everyone! Slowly the clock is ticking until the New Year. Yet again...I have to work that day and the day after. Sighs. Oh well. is now time to award the Carole Awards for my favorites of the year! WOOT WOOT! It was a good year, so picking was a wee bit hard. However, let us begin!!!!!!! *shots gun in the air*

Category 1 - Music:
Favorite Song of the year....
Royals by Lorde

Favorite Solo Artist of the year....
Justin Timberlake

Favorite Band/Group of the Year....
Maroon 5

Category 2 - Movies:
Female Character of the Year....
Theodora from OZ, The Great and Powerful by Mila Kunis

Male Character of the Year....
Tae-sik from The Man from Nowhere by  Bin Won

Movie of the Year....
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

Category 3 - Books:
Female Character of the Year....
Miss Stanton/Charlie from Springtime Pleasures by Sandra Schwab

Male Character of the Year....
Eddie from The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Author of the Year....
Sandra Schwab author of 'Betrayal' and 'Springtime Pleasures'

Favorite Book of the Year.....*drumroll*....
Werewolves Be Damned by Stacey Kennedy

That's that! Hope you enjoyed this year's Carole Awards! What were your favorites of the year? 

This is my last post for 2013!!!!!! I hope you all had a great year, I know I did! Can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me and my little blog. Good luck and enjoy the New Years! Don't get too craaaaaaaazy. haha

Sunday, December 29

2013 Conclusion and Wrap-Ups

Happy Sunday everyone! I can't believe that 2013 is nearly done and over with. So crazy. I'm looking forward to 2014. 

Here is my wrap-up up on 2013:

 Book Read & Reviewed: 

Movies Watched & Reviewed:

Read 50 book - accomplished

Not too bad. Had a few dry spells throughout the year, but I feel I was more active with posting this year. I know for sure I'll up my reading challenges for the new year, since I know for sure I'm taking Winter semester off (due to lack of money). Spring is still up in the year depending on how much Financial Aid I get next year since I no longer live with my parents. ANYWAYS. It had been a busy year and I'm proud that I was able to not only accomplish my goal, but able to go a wee bit over it. Yipee! 

Tomorrow I shall post my favorites of the year. I think I shall call it the Carole Awards for now on. hahaha. 

Saturday, December 28

It's My Birthday and I Can Cry if I Want To!

I hope everyone's day is going great! It's still a little early on this side of the world and I have a lot of birthday left. If I could, I would get everyone these cupcakes (including myself) these are so cool. 

Have a good day everyone! Here are some pictures from the park yesterday. A birthday hike if you will:

Can you find the squirrel? 


Thursday, December 26

Happy Holiday!!

Happy Holidays everyone! 'Tis the season to be jolly and whatnot. What a busy day yesterday was. Jeez. Sometimes I forget how busy a holiday can be. Is it really a day off? I think not.


Hope the snow and ice haven't bogged you down this season!

Sunday, December 22

Book Title Madlibs Challenge

This year I'm going to be doing something a little different this year. The last two years I did the 'My Life According to Books', but I found a fun little book title madlib from YA Book Lover. Be sure to join, because its super fun!

The Madlib:
A. Place name or type (from a book title) can be a proper name or noun like Italy or mountains
B. Fave Villain (from a book – list title/series)
C. Adjective (from a book title) (hot, cold, dark, etc.)
D. Number (from a book title)
E. Noun (from a book title)
F. Fave Hero/Heroine you wouldn't mind spending a LOT of time with (from a book – list title/series)
G. Object (from a book title)

My Answer: 
Help! I’m being held captive in The Road, by King Claudius from 'Hamlet'!
It is very Scandalous (My Scandalous Viscount) here!
He is demanding 1984 Spring Moons to set me free!
I have just discovered that Faramir from 'The Return of the King'  was captured too!
On second thought, please send Purple Plumerias (Passion of the Purple Plumeria) , and don’t worry if you don’t hear from us for awhile!

Friday, December 20

Book Review: Natasha

Author: Suzanne Finstad
Title: Natasha - The Biography of Natalie Wood
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
Pages: 544
First Published: June 12th, 2001
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Natalie Wood was always a star; her mother made sure this was true. A superstitious Russian immigrant who claimed to be royalty, Maria had been told by a gypsy, long before little Natasha Zakharenko's birth, that her second child would be famous throughout the world. When the beautiful child with the hypnotic eyes was first placed in Maria's arms, she knew the prophecy would become true and proceeded to do everything in her power — everything — to make sure of it.

Natasha is the haunting story of a vulnerable and talented actress whom many of us felt we knew. We watched her mature on the movie screen before our eyes — in Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, and on and on. She has been hailed — along with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor — as one of the top three female movie stars in the history of film, making her a legend in her own lifetime and beyond. But the story of what Natalie endured, of what her life was like when the doors of the soundstages closed, has long been obscured."

I read this a few years ago in High School and since then I've been a big fan of Natalie Wood. Well, I had liked her movies, but I didn't really appreciate her career until I learned more about her. So when Boyfriend and I talked about her randomly, I knew I wanted to read this or something similar about her. When I went to the library (which is a different library then were I borrowed it originally), I stumbled upon this and decided to re-read it.

She truly was an interesting person and came from an interesting family. Especially her mother, who was...well...interesting. Hahaha. Her mother has been labeled a "pathological liar", or "crazy", or just really creative. Perhaps some of the stories she told were true. I mean, she did go through hard times during and after the Russian Revolution. Perhaps, her and her daughters are related to the Russian monarchs. The were rich and well off, so I can see it. However, no one will really know the truth, for Maria (Natalie's mother) was always coming up with something and there are no records (that we know of). Again, who knows what Russia is hiding. I'm still convinced that Anastasia survived and that the Russian government tampered with the DNA tests. Why would they want to give hope for the monarch coming back? That would indeed be crazy.

Anyways...this was a fun and light read. Well, it was rather tragic especially near the end, but I still found it a light read.  Poor go out like that. All her life she feared "dark water" and that was how she went. I wish she had lived and done more movies and maybe TV shows. She had so much more to offer to the industry. All the three great actresses in US history are gone now. So sad. 

There is not much else to say...but I highly enjoyed this and now I must watch one of her movies. haha

In the end, I would recommend this to those that Natalie Wood or to those who like the old movies. It's very interesting to get the back-story of one of the most popular actresses of the time. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. :) 

Sunday, December 15

Manga/Book Review: Basilisk - The Kouga Ninja Scrolls Vol. 4

Author: Masaki Segawa 
Title: Basilisk -The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (#4)
Genre: Science Fiction, Manga, Fantasy, Drama, Action, Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: April 2004 
Where I Got It: On my shelf (got it from the Basilisk website)


The titanic battle between the clans rages on. Akeginu and the blinded Oboro of the Iga clan encounter a powerful aristocrat named Ofuku, who will do whatever it takes to make her godson, Takechiyo, the next Shogun. If Ofuku and her troops join forces with the Iga, will the Kouga still have a chance at victory?

Meanwhile, the Kouga leader Gennosuke, also blinded, and his comrades–including the shapeshifter Saemon and the deadly seductress Kagerou–embark on a long journey to Sunpu to find out exactly why the truce was dissolved. They will face the fury of the calculating Tenzen and the whirlwind-wielding Koshirou. In the end, who will survive this bloody game of deception and politics?"

This is the 4th manga in the series. Unlike the other two, I wouldn't read this as a stand alone. Many references one can only understand if they read the last 3. These references and back-knowledge are important to understand whats going on.

I've been dying to read this, because I believe that this is the best of the series. I still think so (so far), still have one more to go, so we shall see. So much is going on, but I love every second of it. 

I especially love the number of flashbacks that are showed. Awesome and the little cute, romantic scene between Hotarubi and Yashamaru. Super cute! The flashbacks are really bittersweet though, because you really wish the treaty was never broken by the corrupted politics. Damn them. Things had been looking up for both clans with the engagement between Oboro and Gennosuke.  Meh. 

This manga also was bittersweet, because a couple really awesome characters are slain. I know its gunna happen, but I still get upset when it happens. I especially am bitter, because one of my least favorites has a hand in the killings. >_> Stupid tragic manga....


This is and was my favorite of the series. So much going on, but it's just so good. I can't say more without spoiling it. I do believe my favorite parts of it are the flashbacks. So bittersweet. *sighs* Well, I shall HIGHLY recommend this manga to those that love this genre. So fantastic. I wish it was more popular, because it does deserve the attention. It really does. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Gennosuke, Koshirou, Hyouma, and Saemon (awesome power)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Oboro (meh), Tenzen (asswipe), and Kagerou 

Saturday, December 14

Book Review: The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats

Author: Constance Corcoran Wilson
Title: The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats (Christmas Cats #1)
Genre: Child's book, fantasy
Pages: 32 pages
First Published: October 22nd, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me for honest and unbiased opinion by the author/publisher

"The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats is a Seuss-ical tale for young children which builds upon the moral of the first Christmas Cats book to once again teach children a valuable life lesson. 

In this second Christmas Cats adventure the lesson to be learned is: In life, always keep an open mind. Don't accept stereotypes as true or let the unfounded opinions of others prevent you from finding out the truth for yourself. We all need to act without prejudice and learn to accept each other as individuals.

The Christmas Cats learn that rats, too, should be judged as individuals. Another message: all of us should try to help others.

Written for the author's four-year-old granddaughters, Ava and Elise Wilson, with the assistance of talented professional illustrator Gary McCloskey, The Christmas Cats continue to have adventures while attired in their familiar silly hats from Book One (The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats).

Learning to accept others in a non-judgmental, open-minded fashion is a lesson we all must learn. If children can internalize this behavior while young, learning to help others and to do good works, the world will be a better place"

Like earlier stated I read this for the publisher/author for my honest and unbiased opinion.

I couldn't help myself when I seen this book. Just the cover and title had me drawn in like a bee for honey. Yes, it's a kid book and I don't have any rugrats of my own yet, but I do like to check out an occasional kid book. There are little kids running amuck in my life and I love them. I like exploring the books and seeing what would and wouldn't make a good book for them. After reading this, I would say this would be for 4+, so it's a little old for my "nephews". But it would be perfect for my cousin's kids.

This was super, duper cute. It was very short, but you can only keep a kid's attention for so long. I loved the rhyming and Dr. Seuss feel to it. However, there were no made up words (darn), but it was more realistic. Which is good, I suppose. The pictures were very adorable too. Ah, I miss picture books. *sighs*

Such a good way to get to children the good ol' moral lesson of loving those who are different then you. The author used cats and rats (which not only rhyme), but are sworn enemies! The cats aid the rats and it was cute. I especially loved the hats that the cats had to wear (again, rhyming at its best). 

One thing did lift my brow a wee bit. The glorifying testing on rats. Some would argue that testing on rats is a good thing, because it has helped us with many cures and etc...but the story makes it seem that rats chose this life of saving us. Meh. Luckily it wasn't the main thing of the book, because I would have had major issues on this. Poor, nasty, rats...

ANYWAYS....this was a cute read and I would recommend that children 4+ be read this book. The story was cute (besides for the mentioning of the "goodness" that rats do while being tested) and the pictures were adorable. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with's more like 3.3-3.4, but I don't give decimals, so I rounded. 

Favorite Character(s): The kitties. :)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The Lab testers

Friday, December 13

Movie Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Length: 1 hr. & 48 minutes
Released: 2004
Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy, & Science Fiction
Rating: R - language, drug use, and sexual content
Directed By: Michael Gondry (Written by Mr. Kaufman)

Where I Got It: My shelf (Boyfriend owns a copy, yayy me!)

Joel Barish is a man who is informed that his ex-girlfriend Clementine has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Mierzwiak. Not to be outdone, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself. As Mierzwiak's bumbling underlings Stan and Patrick perform the operation on Joel -- over the course of an evening, in his apartment -- Joel struggles in his own mind to save the memories of Clementine from being deleted


Joel Barish - Jim Carrey
Clementine Kruczynski - Kate Winslet
Mary - Kirsten Dunst
Dr. Mierzwiak - Tom Wilkinson
Patrick - Elijah Wood
Stan - Mark Ruffalo

This would have to be about the third time I've watched this. The best part of it, was that it was a class assignment to watch this movie. It was the final piece to watch (and read, we had to read the screenplay as well). Boyfriend adores this movie, so he had no issue watching this with me for homework.

Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Gondry are geniuses. This was a brilliant film and I'm so glad its finally getting some major appreciation, because when it first came out no one had even heard of this movie. I wasn't allowed to watch it when it did come out do the R rating. Sighs. However, the wait for worth it. It's such a good movie. It's so heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time. It makes you really realize that the bad memories are bad, but they are worth it, because of the good memories. You can't have the good without the bad. The bad makes you appreciate the good memories even more. A certain song comes to mind as a I write this review, "Daylight" by Maroon 5. 

It fits the movie pretty darn well.

But the plotting was amazing. Mr. Kaufman took the A-typical boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-but-boy-wins-girl-back story and made it something seriously different and original. A hint to watching this movie...look at Clem's hair. Her hair helps you piece together what scene belongs where. It's all scrambled up, but by the end everything makes sense. 

The actors were great. It was such a good cast with such big names. How the hell did this not get an Oscar? Really? But, yes, they all did wonderful. The chemistry between Clem and Joel was good. The dialogue was brilliant. 

I really could go on and on about this film, but I shall stop my ramblings. 

In the end, I simple adore this film. It is a brilliant and amazing film. The actors were fantastic and the plotting device perfect to sharing this story. I loved the ending. It was perfect as well. I would recommend this to those who love romances, but with a twist. This is not just a love story, but its a human story. There is a major lesson that should be learned from watching this. I have many bad memories myself, but I would never erase them, because they allow me to be who I am and it allows me to appreciate the good memories even more. Out of 5 stars I shall stamp this with 5 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Joel, Clem, Stan, and Mary
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Patrick (I love the actor, but his character was a creeper and a pervert. Tsk). 
Favorite Quote(s): Clem: Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours.

Thursday, December 12

I'm Back!


Done with classes and exams for the semester. YIPEE! I will also be taking winter off...I may take off Spring (we shall see then). However, I will probably going on a book binge. hahaha. I haven't been able to truly read for pleasure the last couple of weeks due to crunch-time. Sighs. Such is the curse of school. I have a couple reviews lined up for you guys! Thanks for being so patient with me. ^.^ *hugs*

Wednesday, December 11

Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Author: George Orwell
Title: 1984
Genre: Classic, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 328
First Published: 1949
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while the year 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions. A legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time."

This would be my second time reading this book. The first time I've read this was in High School for my Senior's English class. It's been a little while since I've read this, but with all the references in my Contemporary class this semester, I've decided to revisit this book. forgot how dark and depressing this book is. However, you can't help but put keep reading. It's like a car just can't but look with wide eyes. Ah hahaha. The cover seems to be appropriate.

This may be dark and depressing and there seems to be hope, but good ol' Georgie Orwell rips it away from you. However, you are left with the reminiscent of the hope. *SPOILER ALERT* Winston and Julia do fall in love and decide to rebel against Big Brother...both are no-nos. At first there seems to be that hope for these characters and for this world. Love seems to be the key. However, at the end Winston and Julia are captured by the minions of Big Brother and they betray each other and turn to love Big Brother. There seems to be no hope and I don't see it, but one can debate that Julia and Winston created a ripple and maybe someday they will relight the flame of rebellion against Big Brother. A load of crap, but its nice to think that such a dark book has a tiny, tiny flame of hope. *SPOILER END* Alas, I don't personally see the hope in the text, but after the text. Perhaps this will wake up those who read it and not allow their government to be like this. The hope lies in the awakening and knowledge given to the reader. HAHA. My professor would be proud of me. Too bad we didn't read this in class. class we've been talking a lot about hope and darkness and etc.'s stuck in my head. XD

Anyways....I was very upset with the ending. I really hated all that went down and it made me mad that George Orwell took away the hope that I was having. I knew what was going to happen, but still...I hoped for a different ending. HOWEVER, I understand WHY he ended it the way he did. It's very symbolic and meaningful. Which brings me to the next point.

This was a very meaningful and genius book. Pure genius and I can see this lasting the sands of times and kids in future English classes having to read this. Every kid SHOULD read this book especially when learning about the time period in which it was written. Waaaaaaaaaay better then 'Animal Farm' (hated that book with every fiber of my being) to getting the point across. 

Well, that's all I have to say without giving away anymore major spoilers....

This was just as dark and depressing as it had been the last time I've read this. I understood the meaning and symbolic-standing behind this the first time, but with time comes wisdom. I have taken many literature classes and I've read many more books and learned more about history, so this just really stuck with me more this time. I really should watch the movie (there is a movie right? Or am I mistaking). I would recommend this to those that like classics and those that want a good adventure that will make them wide-eyed and make them think about the world. In the end, I shall stamp this book with 3 stars. One star more then what I gave it last time. ^.^

 Favorite Character(s): Winston (at the beginning), Julia (at the beginning), and O'Brien (made my skin crawl, but he was a gentlemen. Just read and see what I mean).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Everyone else....especially BIG BROTHER (even though you never see him)


Thursday, December 5

Book Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Author: Laurie Viera Rigler
Title: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Jane Austen Addict #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 304
First Published: August 2nd, 2007
Where I Got It: On my self (Got from Barnes and Nobles many moons ago)

"After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy? 

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney's borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own. 

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially w
ith a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all."

I have been saving this book for a long, long time. I wanted to read all the novels by Jane Austen, before diving into this. Why? Well...I felt like it would be more appropriate if I had read all the books. I still have to read the short stories, but oh well. 

Mmmmm, where to begin? *thinks*

First off...poor Courtney. She may have been addicted to Jane Austen books, but she was not AT all ready for the time travel that fate would make endure. A lot of people in other reviews have criticized her for being a "baby" and being "condescending" about this time period. Okay...I LOVE history, but if I was sucked into the past I think I would be a little baby-ish or condescending too. I mean not having a shower and wearing tight corsets are going to come off as hard. I would love to see someone completely reform right off the bat with not having rights as a woman or having to pee in a chamberpot. Unlikely. 

Sorry for my rant...

Yes, I did find Courtney annoying at times and very blind to the truth, however, I do feel bad that she had to deal with Mama Mansfield and her super bitchy cousin, Susan and with Frank (grrrrrrr). Courtney was very blonde and naive and thoughtless at times. Buuuuut I did like her...-ish. 

Overall, the story was fun and I enjoyed it. The ending confused me a little bit and I wasn't entirely sure on what happened. *SPOILER ALERT* Did Courtney and Jane morph into one? Did Jane get sucked back and forget she was living in modern times? WHAT? GAH! *SPOILER ENDED* This was still cute even though I was slightly confused by the ending. Perhaps it will be better explained in the second book that follows Jane's adventure in Courtney's body. ^.^ Excited to read that one day. I encourage those Jane Austen addicts to give this a try, you'll like it I bet. I think one does need some Austen book knowledge to understand many of the references. Well, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Wes, Courtney (-ish, she was annoying at times), Papa Mansfield, and Mary.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Frank (bastard), Lousia (mmmm), Susan, Mama Mansfield, and Charles (sorry, I wasn't impressed by him). 

Monday, December 2


Hey you guys! As you know I've been on a wee little hiatus last week/weekend. I got a couple posts in, but not as much as I would like. I'll probably still be sort of absent this week...or until I get all my big papers out of the way. As of right now I have two papers left. Yipee! One is an 8 pager and the other is a 16 pager. >_____< Once I get those done, I'll be pretty much free again. I should be back and posting like a madwoman by the end of this week or next week. Perhaps if I get some freetime, I'll be able to post what I want. I just have limited time to actually type up reviews and etc. GAH! Stupid college life, I hate you. So good luck all my college-goers I know that finals are on the horizon. Take a deep breath and relax.