Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Darth Vader and the Lost Command

Darth Vader and the Lost CommandDarth Vader and the Lost Command by Haden Blackman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a long time Star Wars fan, this is the Darth Vader I've wanted to see for years.

I don't make it a secret to my friends that I wish the first prequel had started with the plot of Episode III and continued until moments before Episode IV began.

For me, I always wanted to see inside the madness of Darth Vader. A man torn, haunted by his past, bitter about the family he lost, with perhaps the slight stirs of the light side still within him...buried deep within. Thankfully, with this graphic novel, I have what I wished for.

In Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command there's plenty of emotional turmoil and action on Darth Vader's part. I wish it had been a little longer, with the minor charaters a little more developed. However, this is a soild start to filling the gap between Episode III and Episode IV.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun)The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex: by Sheila Wray Gregoire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, at first, I was really scandalized that Zondervan, the Christian book and Bible publisher, was releasing a book like this. But, after the shock was gone, I was curious how they'd pull this off. Was it really a guide or more of an improve your relationship/advice book?

Turns out, it's a little bit of both and it's tastefully done. Part of it is a guide for soon-to-be-married or newly-wed, inexperienced Christian gals. Part of it focuses on relationship and physical issues that may arise years down the road. The book carefully balances not only the physical needs of a marriage, but the emotional and spiritual needs as well.

For some Christian denominations, the author's viewpoints may be more modern and liberated than what they traditionally teach. However, the author admits that her interpretations, such as Genesis 38 and Lev. 18:22, are what she thinks. She isn't pushy or preachy about it, and recommends couples stick with what they are comfortable with.

I think it'd make a fun bridal shower gift!

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In My Mailbox (8)

My mailbox has been pretty busy lately:

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads: Ordered as a gift for someone.
Hearts West: From paperbackswap.com
Tantalize: ditto
Willow: ditto
Jane: wish it had the dustcover, oh well, ditto
Wither: ditto
Vampire Academy Graphic Novel: ditto
Hate That Cat: Gotta love paperbackswap.com, ditto
Back Home Again: From a Guidepost Book club
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Ordered from BN.com

RIP Jan Berenstain, Co-Creator of Berenstain Bears

I recently read that Jan Berenstain, the co-creator of The Berenstain Bears series, passed away at 88.

Until now, I never really thought about the major impact The Berenstain Bears had on my childhood or on children's literature in general. There are more than 300 Berenstain Bear titles in over 23 languages! Simply astounding. I think it's safe to say that nearly everyone is familiar with her work.

When her husband passed away in 2005, her son, Mike Berenstain, began co-authoring the books. According to the article I read, he plans to continue the series and the legacy that his parents started in 1962.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Preorder Pandemonium and get Hana ebook free!

Hey, everyone, just a reminder not to forget that Pandemonium, the sequel to Delirium, comes out later this month. I really enjoyed Delirium, it was a great read for me after I finished The Hunger Games.

Also, I just read from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's post, that, if Pandemonium gets 5,000 pre-orders by Feb. 13th, Lauren Oliver and MTV.com will release a short story ebook called Hanna (set in the world of Delirium) for free.

Sounds like an great deal to me! Visit the author's blog for more info: http://laurenoliverbooks.blogspot.com/2012/02/want-to-read-hana-for-free.html

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Stepping on Roses, Volume 7 by Rinko Ueda.

Release Date: March 2012

Book Summary:"Poor Sumi Kitamura… Her irresponsible older brother Eisuke keeps bringing home orphans for her to take care of even though they can barely afford their own basic needs! Just when Sumi's financial problems become dire, wealthy Soichiro Ashida enters her life with a bizarre proposition: he'll provide her with the money she so desperately needs if she agrees to marry him. But can Sumi fool high society into thinking she's a proper lady? Moreover, is it worth giving up everything for this sham of a marriage?"

My Thoughts: I'm a wannabe artist, so I'd like to think at my age it's not immature to keep up with a few manga series here and there out of slight artistic curiosity. Although, I'm sure there's people out there that would think otherwise of me. Regardless, I gotta say that Stepping on Roses is one of the most gripping romance stories I've ever read...and it's a manga! It's got everything I enjoy in a good romance novel. It's historical, it's got sexy brooding characters, an interesting love-triangle, back-stabbing, rags-to-riches, etc (I could go on). This series has been a page-turner for me. Volume 1 was just a random, impulse buy. However, it so was good, I bought Volumes 2-6 within the next week (Oshie fussed, but I couldn't help it, I was hooked). I am eagerly, eagerly anticipating how it will end! So, if you like shojo (girly) manga, check it out. Or if you like historical romances, and your open to trying the manga format, you won't go wrong with this one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Movie News: Hunger Games and Beautiful Creatures

Hooray for the new Hunger Games trailer!

And for Beautiful Creatures fans there's also news that Viola Davis from "The Help" has signed to play Amma! I think she's a great choice. Amma and Uncle Macon were my favorite characters from that series.

Read more on the authors' blog: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/beautiful-creatures-casting-news-viola-davis/

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked The Hunger Games: The Official Movie Companion.

Release Date: Feb. 7th 2012

Book Summary: "The New York Times bestseller by Suzanne Collins is now a major motion picture -- and this is your guide to all of the movie's excitement, both in front of the camera and behind it.

Go behind the scenes of the making of The Hunger Games with exclusive images and interviews. From the screenwriting process to the casting decisions to the elaborate sets and costumes to the actors' performances and directors' vision, this is the definitive companion to the breathtaking film."

My Thoughts: Oh man, I am so anxious about this movie. Anxious, you say? YES. The last time I anticipated a movie this much, I was let down. It was 1999 and the movie was Star Wars Episode I...I was a huge Star Wars fan up until that point, and that movie kinda killed my personal fandom for the series. I still like the originals, but not as diehard from that point on. So, yes, I am anxious about The Hunger Games movie because I don't want all this time dreaming and hoping for a cool movie version to be a waste. Regardless, I feel that I will still always love the books...I just really want to love the movie, too. I wanna see the wonderful characters and scenes brought to life. Maybe checking out this book will help reassure me that the movie will do justice to the book.

Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 0312577206 (ISBN13: 9780312577209)

Vonze: 5 out of 5

Book description: "Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope."

Review: Kristin Hannah's latest novel is a powerful, emotional read. At first, I wasn't sure I'd identify with the main character, Jolene, a 40 year old mother who is being deployed to Iraq. However, Kristin Hannah, who I wasn't familiar with prior to reading this novel, truly breathes life into her characters. I felt that Jolene and her husband, Michael, grew and evolved in a natural, realistic way.

Although the plot involves the Iraq War, the novel does not come off as political, it does an excellent job of focusing on the struggles of a wife and mother who happens to be a soldier. The story breaks your heart and then believably begins to heal the pieces.


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