Anything Goes by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman

cover

Title: Anything Goes
Author: John Barrowman, Carole E. Barrowman
Length: 257 pages
Genre: Biography
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: I’m a bit obsessed with John Barrowman

This is the first autobiography of John Barrowman. He recorded the stories he wanted to tell on his ipod, and his sister wrote them down. The book mainly focuses on his career onstage in various musicals, but he adds some anecdotes about his television and movie careers as well.

The good: Oh, where to begin? There are so many funny stories that he tells,and even a few sad ones, but I think the best thing about the book is it is so personal. As I was reading I could practically hear him laughing, squealing in delight. I could hear the love in his voice when he talked about Scott. He gave a real glimpse of himself, and his off the wall family. I was literally laughing out loud. it happened so often Michael would ask me about it, and I’d read the passage. It had the same effect for him. He talked about his insecurities, and his phobias, and it felt like I’ve known him forever. It read less like a book, and felt more like I was sitting at a table , listening to him tell stories over dinner and wine.

The Bad: As much as I loved the book, I have to admit that the narrative jumping around got a little confusing, and made it harder to follow, but if that is the only complaint I have about the book, then I guess it’s more of a nitpick. Barrowman did say in the acknowledgments that it was not in chronological order.

I would absolutely recommend the book to any Torchwood/Doctor who fans. And I am already reading his second autobiography. These two books have been on my TBR list since I first heard about them. and this book was exactly what I expected and more.

Die for me by Amy Plum

cover

Title: Die for me
Author: Amy Plum
Length: 174 pages
Genre: YA, Paranomal
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: The cover drew me in.

16 year old Kate and her older sister Georgia move to France after their parents die. Soon after, Kate meets Vincent and his “family” who are Revenants, people who take the place of someone who was about to die. As Kate learns all about Vincent’s world,her sister goes out Partying with a Numa, which is, you guessed it, an evil Revenant. Numas do what Revenants do, but in revers, they spend their lives murdering people instead of saving them.

The good: In a genre where everyone seems to be jumping on the vampire/angel/werewolf bandwagon, a new paranormal entity is a breath of fresh air. Kate was relateable to me personally as the girl who likes to find a nice quiet spot somewhere and read. And even Vincent was a great character. He was almost like a nobleman the way he was always so gentlemanly in his ways. I think they were a perfect match, something you don’t get in many YA books.

The bad: I didn’t like Kate’s sister. She came off as very whiny and self centered. I actually forgot that Georgia was supposed to be older than Kate because while she did give some good sisterly advice at times, the rest of the time she just seemed immature. Also, there was a bit with a minor character Charles, that seemed to be really random or put in there to serve the purpose of giving him a role. Or make you not forget about an otherwise forgettable character.

Over all, I liked this book. I initially sew it in the book store and was immediately in love with the cover (just look at it). And I wasn’t too disappointed with what I was reading. Sometimes it gave too much information about Revenants at one time, but I think that was the author’s way of getting you closer to how Kate felt. I would definitely recommend the book.

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT banner

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Top 10 Favorite Authors In X Genre, so here goes my list.

I picked fantasy and Mystery.

Fantasy picks:
1. Anne Rice: I know I’ve posted about how much I love her already, And as if those reasons weren’t enough, she made vampires a little bit more romantic, at least for me. whenever I read her books, I feel I’m revisiting old friends. But she never made any of them too human, even Louis who was the most in touch with his humanity could remind a reader that he is an undead predator.

2. J.R.R. Tolkien: I first read The Hobbit and LotR in high school. Mainly due to the movie coming out, to tell the truth, but my love of Tolkien’s worlds came alive because of the books. And in his way, Tolkien brought me closer to my dad. My dad, ever the sci-fi/fantasy nut was alsways giving me books form his shelf and asking me to read them. I could always find star trek or star wars on when my dad was home, but until discovering Tolkien’s work, I never truly understood why my dad loved the genre.

3. J.K. Rowling: Again, and author I discovered while I was in high school, and even then not until a few years after the books came out. The first three were already in paperback, and the fourth had just come out. I received the first book as a gift on my 16th birthday, and since then, magic literally happened.

4. Marion Zimmer Bradley: I’ve always been drawn to Arthurian Legend, and although there are many wonderful books on the subject to choose from (most of them on my shelf as we speak), it’s Bradley’s that stand out to me. Not just because of the imagery she provides, but because it bought me closer to a friend. I’ve never met this friend in real life, but she has been a constant in my life since I first talked to her on, predictably, a Tolkien fan site.

5. Richelle Mead: since twilight came out, vampires seem to be everywhere. But Mead’s vampires give some one to relate to to her readers. To me that is the bet gift an author can give. Just when I thought that I wouldn’t find another vampire series that could stand up to Lestat, I found Mead’s vampires. And what is more, she gave it a spin that was like a breath of fresh air to the genre.

Mystery Picks:
6. Agatha Christie: What kind of mystery fan would I be if Christie wasn’t on my list? But I didn’t put her on here just because she belongs on it. I put her on here because he books make me feel ever so slightly closer to my grandmother When I was young, I’d spend the night with my granny and she’d be reading an Agatha Christie novel. As I got older, I found my own way to Christie, and when I read her books, I feel my grandmother with me again.

7. Alan Bradly: I fist found Bradly’s books when the first in the series was picked for book club. But since I was busy with other commitments, I skipped the book and the meeting.The thing I love most about his books is the setting. I love that it takes place in the 50s. I also loved that Flavia is a spunky know-it-all 11 year old sleuth. I mean, kids think they are know-it-alls as it is but Flavia really is.

8. C. S. Challinor: when I stumbled on the first Rex Graves book in the library, I didn’t know what to expect, except murder of course. There is something slightly Christie-esque about Challinor’s writing, but it’s more modern-day which is equally as fun

9. Graham Moore: Sherlock Holmes has always had a soft spot in my heart, again because of family. But Moore put a new spin on Doyle for me. It is really easy to forget sometimes that there is a real person behind your favorite heroes, and, at last for me, it’s easier the more time has passed since the book was first published. I love Holmes and Watson, and even Moriarty, but because Moore used Doyle to tell his story, it humanized Doyle for me.

10: Joanne Fluke: Flukes cutsey cozy mysteries are fun to read. She, like Challinor, gives off a Christie-like vibe in that her character of Hanna is not a detective, but an every day shop owner/baker who is helping out on cases in her small town home. But thing that makes her books stand out in the cozy mystery genre is the cookie recipes. every book has a few recipes in it. I know other authors that do it as well. It just that extra thing that makes it cute.

So there it is. My list for TTT. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed blogging it.

As for my reviews, I should have one up later this week. I’m behind on them, but I’ve read so many great books this moth, I can’t wait to share them with you guys.

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar

cover

Title: Gossip Girl
Author: Cecily von Ziegesar
Length: 224 pages
Genre: YA
Format: ePUB
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: I’ve always been curious about the books

The book is centered around Serena Van der woodsen and her return to the upper east side after a year at bording scchool. once she returns, she is shunned by old friend Blair Waldorf for reasons unknown to Serena. Rumors circulate among her old friends about why she is back, But Dan Humphry, who has always been in love with Serena doesn’t believe them.

The Good: This book was a quick read, and since I’ve already watched the Cw series on TV, I was already familiar with the characters. with there being so many main characters and the story lines jumping around, It could have been confusing.

The bad: except for the rumors about Serena, nothing about the book wasreally memorable. Hopefully the series will pick up as it progresses, but this book simply didn’t do much for me.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

cover

Title: Crank
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Length: 537
Genre: YA
Format: ePub
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Recommended to me

The book is about Kristina, a 16-17 year old girl who is visiting her dad for the summer. While at her dad’s house, she meets a boy named Adam who convinces her to try meth. The two start dating, but break up soon after Kristina goes back home. while at a water park, Kristina meets Brenden and Chase, and begins dating them both. After getting high with Brenden, he rapes her. Throughout the rest of the book, Kristina gets more and more addicted to meth, and gets put into juvenile hall, becomes a dealer, and discovers she is pregnant.

The good: This novel is overall more believable than Go ask Alice. For one, yes, Kristina and her mom and step-father have a falling out, and it is fixed, but there is no “mommy loves me so I guess I’ll be good and it will be all better” garbage. Also, this novel is more relateable. It’s a story about a young girl falling in love and making bad choices. It offered a real look into the world of drugs and that anyone, even the most innocent of girls can fall prey to them. sadly, this is based on the story of Hopkin’s daughter.

The bad: Warning nitpick time! Although the story was compelling, I had a hard time getting through the book. Not because it was poorly written, or because it was a sad tragic story, but because I read it on my nook. I love my nook, but since the book was originally written in a disjointed poem/verse form, sometimes it was hard to distinguish the start and end of a sentence. Or even a page at times. But I bought the book as a kindle MOBI file, and converted it into ePUB, so that could have something to do with it.

I don’t usually like books about drugs, but this one while sad, served a purpose and did it well. The book was recommended to me while I was at the library returning Go ask Alice. I was told it was better and more real. While this is true, it is also a good and a bad thing. I know the world isn’t perfect, and that bad things happen to good people. I don’t want to metaphorically sweep it under the carpet and ignore it, so I truly believe there are some stories that just have to be told. I think this was one of them.

It’s that time again

I know I’m behind on my reviews, and for that I am sorry. I did finish a book before the weekend, and am about to finish another. I am also about to start on the October selection for my book club.

Meanwhile, this weekend I got very little reading done. I think I read maybe six pages total this weekend. It is all due to Anime Weekend Atlanta. A convention dedicated to, you guessed it, Anime. But not just that, anything Japanese really, from food to video games, to fashion. for staff the weekend starts on Thursday and goes until Sunday. it’s fun, it’s a HUGE crowd of people, a lot of great costumes, and a lot of stress, but I love it.

Now that it is over and I have time to sit, relax, and read, I’m going to enjoy it, and thank the Gods that I only do this once a year. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I know some people who work two or three anime conventions a year, back to back, and I don’t know how they do it and keep their sanity.