Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eclipse First Impressions

Saw Eclipse last night at midnight. I really wasn't too excited for it. Had to work today, knew I'd be super tired. Wasn't sure the movie would be worth it.

For the record I really disliked Twilight when I first saw it. I could. not. stand. Kristen Stewa
rt. I thought the acting was atrocious. Felt New Moon was a step in the right direction but still had quite a few irksome things.

Really enjoyed Eclipse. I should probably preface this "review" with the fact that it's been years since I last read Eclipse. I don't recall all the specifics from the book, so I can't speak to how close they stuck to the book. However, there were several scenes that I know they got right.

Anyway here are my initial impressions on Eclipse as posted via Twitter this morning:

Eclipse impressions #1 Acting - Gets better and better! K Stewart = less annoying, Rpatz= less creepy, Taylor Lautner = best part of movie!

Eclipse Impressions #2: Cullens - all look slightly less weird. Except for Emmett, what did they do to his hair?!

Eclipse Impressions # 3: Sparkles - Minimal

Eclipse Impressions # 4: Edwards Hair - Sans rats nest!
(In response to @kmont
's comment: Maybe they thought it was time for Edward's hair to get a little competition? A hair-off?)

Eclipse Impressions # 5: TEAM JACOB. Seriously Jacob was fab in this movie.

Tara of 25 Hour Books also posted her thoughts on the movie. She said it stuck really close to the book. I also agree with liking the flashbacks/back stories on the Cullen's (I also liked the tribe history too!). I thought the first 2 movies when they did flashback they were a little ridiculous. These were more well done.

Overall, the best in the movie franchise so far, IMHO.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Just like in March, where I only finished ONE BOOK, I've been in a reading slump. So far in June I've listened to Graceling by Kristen Cashore on audiobook and I'm still reading Lover Avenged.That's it. So sad and pathetic. I've had NO time to read and/or when I find time I'm distracted and can't focus. This blows!

Last week, though, I got some great recommendations for audiobooks thanks to Jen at Devourer of Books for her spotlight on audiobooks!

Rowena of The Book Scoop gave me my first award, The Versatile Blogger Award! Yay! Thanks so much! Hopefully I'll have my post up soon handing out the award to others. Already have few people in mind :)

What are y'all reading?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Audiobook Meme

Audiobook are you currently reading/you read most recently:

Impressions?: Fantastic production! The narration/dramatization is entertaining and engaging. C.S. Lewis' insight into human nature and our struggles with faith is... unnerving. He hits the mark again and again.

How long you’ve been listening to audiobooks: I listened to all the Harry Potter books a couple of years ago. Then recently (past month) started seeking out more audiobooks. A relative audiobook newbie!

First audiobook you ever listened to: The first audiobook I attempted was some Amanda Quick novel. Didn't care for the narrator. Quit listening after a couple of minutes. The first audiobook I actually completed was the first Harry Potter book narrated by Jim Dale. And I was hooked for the rest of the series!

Favorite audiobook title: Since I haven't listened to too many this isn't too difficult to decide. I would have to say any of the Harry Potter books. Truly amazing narration!

Favorite narrator: Again, I'll sing Jim Dale's praises however, listening to the Screwtape Letters, the one narrator is the same actor who voiced Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. He has real talent

How do you choose what to listen to versus read? Since I'm still fairly new to audiobooks I've been turning to the Audiofile magazine and choosing titles that have won their Earphone Awards and I've been browsing through the Audie Award winners on the Audio Publisher's Association website.

Be sure to stop by the Devourer of Books blog to participate in her week long celebration of audiobooks! If you fill out this meme be sure to fill out her Mr. Linky!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Audiobook Week! June 21st-25th

Sticking with the theme of my last two posts, I thought I'd share that the Devourer of Books blog is hosting Audiobook Week. She has a ton of great discussion topics planned, and has fabulous audiobooks to give away! So stop by and take part in the discussion! Not an audiobook listener? Perhaps you'll get some recommendations and a desire to try one out!

Don't forget to check out my audiobook review of Graceling by Kristen Cashore and you can get free audiobook downloads all summer long from Sync!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Audiobites: Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I first read Graceling in March 2009 and I loved it. I read it around the same time I read The Hunger Games, which I also loved, and felt that both these books portrayed strong, young adult protagonists.After reading a review of the audio version of Graceling and because June is Audiobook Month I thought I would give it a go.

The audio version is produced by Full Cast Audio and each character is representd by a differnt actor. This was a different experience for me. The only other audiobooks I've ever listened to were the Harry Potter books read by Jim Dale (who is AMAZINg and won all kinds of awards for his narration). He does all the voices for all the different characters, so to hear a book with a full cast was quite different.

The audio version of this book gave me quite a different experience than reading the text. One of the things I noticed was how much more attention I paid to the little details. Because the text is being "read" aloud or acted out, there is no temptation of skimming or glossing over any of the text. You hear everything well, unless your mind happens to wander!

I was concerned that perhaps the actors voices they chose to portray certain characters would not match my idea of what the characters should sound like. However, all the main characters had great voices that I found appropriate for each character. Especially Po's voice. Sigh.

The only thing I would comment on as far as the story goes, that I hadn't noticed when I read the printed text, was how anti-climatic the encounter with the villain of the story was. I didn't notice it when reading the story but when listening to it, our protagonists when through sooooo much to evade the villian and when they do encounter him the resolution seemed so rushed like....that's it? Really? I don't know why it stood out to me so much more on the audio than it did with the text.

That being said, the audio version really brings to life, literally, the amazing world and characters that Kristen Cashore has created. I enjoyed this audio book immensely and I intend to check out other Full Cast Audio productions.

I thought I should mention that AudioFile Magazine gave this audio book their Earphone Award which is given to:

truly exceptional presentations that excel in all the following criteria:
  • Narrative voice and style
  • Vocal characterizations
  • Appropriateness for the audio format
  • Enhancement of the text
I would agree! And even if you don't want to check out the audio version I give both the audio and the print version:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Audiobook Month & Free Downloads!

I didn't but according to Booklist's Audiobooker blog, SYNC, an online community that seeks to build the audience for audiobooks among readers 13 and up, is giving free audiobook downloads all summer!!!
Each week, SYNC will give away 2 FREE downloads--a popular Young Adult title paired with a Classic title that appears on Summer Reading lists--starting July 1 through September 1, 2010.

These are the titles and dates they've listed so far. Titles will be available in MP3 format.

Available July 1 - July 7
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Available July 8 - July 14
Over the End Line by Alfred C. Martino
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Available July 15 - July 21
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Available July 22 - July 28
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Available July 29 - August 4
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Available August 5 - August 11
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Available August 12 - August 18
Coming Soon...

Available August 19 - August 25
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 - September 1
Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I've never really been big into audiobooks. I tried listening to a romance novel on audiobook, will NEVER do that again. It felt really pervy listening to someone speak all the sexy bits. Yuck. I was NOT a fan!

However, I did listen to all the Harry Potter books on audio. Jim Dale, the narrator, was AMAZING. He's so good he's won a TON of awards for narration including two Grammys Awards. Anyway, it's been really hard to find any that compare to the Harry Potter books.

However, I recently picked up a copy of Graceling by Kristen Cashore on CD at my local library. It's a full-cast production. I'm not too far into it but I like it so far. I also read some great reviews of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters on audio and reserved that from the library as well.

I'll probably keep the CD's in my car and listen while I drive. Might take me awhile to get through a book though, since I only have a 15 minute commute to work.

What about you all? Do you listen to audio books? If so, where and when? Can you recommend some good titles?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware

A man with no future...

When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift" – he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past. . .

Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one... until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?

If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that takes them beyond danger.

Beyond desire.
Beyond the night.

So thankful to Kristie(J) and Nath for bringing this series to my attention. I've been getting into the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre for awhile now. However, most of what I've read has been of the YA variety, aside from a few adult titles, like The Road by Cormac McCarthy. So I was uberexcited to hear that this series combined both post-apocalyptic AND romance.

Part Resident Evil, part I Am Legend, throw in a little Atlantis conspiracy theory and add romance and you've got yourself the beginning of a fabulous new series! I really enjoyed this book, not necessarily for the romance but mostly for Ware's world building. As readers we're being introduced to this new version of our world after a catastrophic geological phenomena that remains a mystery. I'm really anxious to learn more about what, or who, caused this catastrophe that basically wiped out the planet. This bit of mystery and intrigue extends to both the Rip Van Winkle clan ( Why were they zonked out for 50 years? Why do they have new-found powers?) and to the Strangers (Who are they? Are they responsible for the apocalypse? What do they have planned next?) So many questions! I can't wait to find out the answers in the following books!

I rarely find the first book in a series to be my favorite (the exception being Outlander by Diana Gabaldon), especially in sci-fi/fantsay/UF mostly because the first book is usually setting up the entire world for the reader. I usually find the romance to be a little lacking in the first of a series. This was the case with Beyond the Night. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the romance between Jade and Elliot but one of the reasons I love reading a series is because authors often give characters a story arc that span several books. Some readers don't like this. I love it. I feel like I'm invested in these characters and usually enjoy their stories the most. Unfortunately, I lacked this connection with Elliot and Jade. The sexy bits are hot but I'm more interested in find the answers to the above mentioned questions and learning more about Elliot's companions.

All in all this book lived up to my expectations. I'm so glad there's a post-apocalyptic romance series! I can't wait to pick up the next book!

The Envy Chronicles in order:

  1. Beyond the Night
  2. Embrace the Night Eternal
  3. Abandon the Night


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reading Recap: May 2010

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! It's that time again, reviewing all my reads from the past month. I read 6 books this month, got 3 of them reviewed. I'm still planning on posting my reviews of Beyond the Night and Tyger, Tyger. Here is a breakdown of my reads by rating:

Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (via Netgalley)

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Up next I'm reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut for my Book Club followed by Dead and Gone by Charlene Harris. That's about as far as I've planned.

So what was everyone's favorite read from this month? Mine was probably Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton.
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