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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 30 - April Book Challenge (I DID IT)

Guys, I DID IT! 

I was able to finish the April Book Challenge! 


Just as a recap, at the beginning of the month, I challenge myself to to April Book Challenge. 30 posts about various book topics. You can check out my original post here.

Considering I have an amazingly short attention span, I am incredibly proud of myself for finishing this task. 

Without further ado, the final book challenge is

"A book you love but feel judged about loving."

This one is particularly hard for me because I never feel ashamed of who I am or what I like and don't like. Life is too short to care about what other people think. 

With that being said, I will adapt the challenge a little bit. 

Many people NEVER like books they read in high school, but there was one I actually enjoyed reading. And no it wasn't Shakespeare. But I felt slightly embarassed that I enjoyed this book...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I actually enjoyed this story very much.

So go check out the Goodreads page here because I am not going to attempt to summarize the plot for y'all. 

And now, I AM DONE! 

-Shawnee Smith

Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

In honor of me beginning to read Frozen by Erin Bowman (Taken #2) last night, I thought it would be good for me to review Taken by Erin Bowman. The story that started it all. 

Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken (Taken, #1)

In Claysoot, there are no men. Every boy mysteriously vanishes at midnight on their 18th birthday. Everything changes with Gray finds out that he is a twin and doesn't vanish on his 18th birthday like his brother. Suddenly, there are more questions than answers. Grey then decides to climb the wall to the outside world, something which no one has done successfully. Everything outside however, is not what it seems. 

This book is incredibly complex. If you're not paying attention to every word on every page you will miss something important. Whether it is relevant to topics in the book, or set up for the rest of the novels. This story has continued to stay in my mind since I read it a while ago. I think I read it when it was first published. And to say that I remember the majority of the plot is something that doesn't happen often. Usually the details of a book that I remember are the important ones, not the minuscule ones. That being said, this is an amazing novel. 

Let's talk about The Heist. The night where the birthday boy vanishes. This thought, this concept is so incredibly thought out by the author Erin Bowman. It is a mystery to everyone in Claysoot what happens, and it is a mystery to the readers as well. Slowly parts if the mystery is revealed and the characters and readers both are clued in to what is happening. And here's the weird part. Everything makes sense. Even the reasoning behind the Heist. 

As a character, Gray is not my favorite. He is actually one of the most forgettable parts of the novel which is a shame. He just didn't stand out to me in ways that other heroes do from other adventure novels I have read. Obviously his personal journey through the novel is complex and his reactions to these life altering realizations are exactly what they should be, but Gray never does anything I don't expect him to do. I expect him to be a hero, I expect him to climb the wall, I expect him to have a love interest. It all kind of blends together and creates a forgettable character. 

I definitely think the best part about this novel is the plot. There is a strong comparison to another amazing novel that I could make but I don't want to give away the plot, and it's twists to readers. But let me tell you, the twists are absolutely amazing and I never saw them coming. Well except for the one about Gray being a twin, because lets face it., that's not really a twist. 

In the end this novel was great and I can't wait to get further into the sequel Frozen! 

-Shawnee Smith

10 Year Anniversary?!

As you probably know, today is the 10 Year Anniversary of the movie Mean Girls.
Through its 10 years, it has stayed relevant to ALL teenagers in high schools. Pretty much everyone I know has seen this movie and love it, even the boys.
What you probably don't know is that Mean Girls was based off the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.
Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
It is a self-help kind of book (or an Adult-help-Child kind of book). But it is based on a book so I can post about it here :)
Make sure you wear pink today because
-Shawnee Smith

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 29 - April Book Challenge

The end is near. I can see the finish line.


Including this post, there is only two more days in the April Book Challenge!

I can't believe it is almost over. Even though I have only been doing it for 28 days, it will be weird to see it go. 

Anyhow, today's subject is Favorite Black Book. 

I have previously discussed what a color challenge could mean, and I went with the color of the binding/cover of the book. 

So without further ado, today's book is....

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

I am really digging this cover. It's slightly creepy, yet looks totally AWESOME. 

Don't know what Unwind is about? Check out the Goodreads page linked above or continue reading. 

In the not so distant future, the Government has ruled that all babies must be carried to term. At which time they will either be cared for by their parents, put in an orphanage, or left on someone's doorstep. In order to create a way to fix overpopulation the government has also made a law that stats that at age 13, children may be signed over to be "unwound" where 99% of their body will be cut up and used to fix other human beings. The story follows three children running away from their unwindings, attempting to just live until they are 18 and are free. 

I have actually read this novel and it wasn't bad. So go pick up Unwind by Neal Shusterman! 

-Shawnee Smith

What I'm Reading Right Now

I currently have no feeling in my hands because I just finished mowing the lawn. The vibration of the lawn mower has caused my hands to feel out of whack and I don't even know if I'm hitting the keys half of the time. Such a weird sensation. 

I realize it has been some time since I have updated on what I'm reading so I thought I would catch you guys up to date. 

Since my last post about Avalon my Mindee Arnett, I have read...

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver #1)

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 (Revolution 19, #1)

If I Stay by Gale Foreman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

And I just started reading 
Frozen by Erin Bowman 

Frozen (Taken, #2)

Yupp, that's my life. 

-Shawnee Smith

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 28 - April Book Challenge

Some good and bad has happened to me today. Last night my Dad's snoring was SO LOUD so I only got about 3 hours of sleep. Kill me now. My brain hasn't been working properly all day. 

But on the good side, I got my first essay back for my English 107 and I got a 4.0


Honestly, I thought I didn't do that well.

Anyways, though I am proud of my grade, I am partially stalling. Because while I have read many many books that have good kisses in them, I can't really think of any one that stands out. 

Can I just list a few good ones? Is that all right with you? If its not, too bad. This is my blog after all. :)

I really like the final kiss between Day and June in Prodigy by Marie Lu. Not because it's sweet or anything but because its nice? I don't really know how to explain it. Whenever I read it, it makes my heart hurt. 

Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Lisa @ turningpages94.blogspot.com suggested Waiting On The Sidelines by Ginger Scott. I haven't read it, but based on the synopsis the story sounds sweet. 

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines, #1)

I also liked the first kiss between Ky and Cassia in Matched by Ally Condie. There was so much anticipation leading up to the moment but when you got there you didn't celebrate. Instead you sort of savor the moment because it is so perfect. 

Matched (Matched, #1)

Though these books stand out to me for their kisses, I feel that almost any book that you pick up and read will have a good moment between the romantic leads. Its such a simple moment between two people so it has been written down hundreds of times. So really, any book could have been in this post for Best Kiss. 

-Shawnee Smith

New This Week

Week of April 28, 2014


The Breakup Artist by Philip Siegel

Deenie by Judy Blume

Exile (Exile #1) by Kevin Emerson

Forever... by Judy Blume

The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

The Treatment (Program Series #2) by Suzanne Young


The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

Camp Payback (Camp Boyfriend Series #2) by J.K. Rock

Carpe Jugulum (Discworld Series#23) by Terry Pratchett

Deenie by Judy Blume

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fifth Elephant (Discworld Series #24) by Terry Pratchett

Forever... by Judy Blume

French Kiss (Diary of a Crush #1) by Sarra Manning

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Jingo (Discoworld Series #21) by Terry Pratchett

The Last Continent (Discworld Series #22) by Terry Pratchett

Life After Theft (Life After Theft #1) by Aprilynne Pike

Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Trilogy Series #3) by Wendy Higgins

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

The Way of the Wilderking (The Wilderking Trilogy #3) by Jonathan Rogers
-Shawnee Smith

'The Fault In Our Stars' Trailer #2

On Friday, a new, extended trailer for The Fault In Our Stars was in theaters before The Other Woman. Earlier today, it was released on the internet! 

So good! 

I loved the new scenes, especially being introduced to Patrick! It's so great. 

Don't know what The Fault In Our Stars is? Check out the Goodreads page for the book here or the IMDb page for the movie here

The Fault In Our Stars is in theaters on June 6th 

-Shawnee Smith

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver #1)

Publisher: 1993, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 225
Series: Giver #1

Jonas was raised in a seemingly perfect community. Everyone is respectful, thoughtful, and does their part to help the community flourish. However, when Jonas learns that he is selected to become the next Receiver of Memories, he learns the whole truth about his community.

I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time. Since it is actually older than I am you can probably guess how long it has been on my to be read list. About 6 or 7 years by my estimation. I don't really know what was keeping my from reading it, but since the movie is coming out in August I thought to myself  "Shawnee, stop procrastination and read this book!" I am glad I finally did. 

When you read this book, please keep in mind that it was originally published in 1993. So while in today's literature world it may be considered "dystopic fiction" it is nowhere near the style of today. Its not up to par with the rest of the books written. If you try to compare it to other dystopic worlds like the ones in Divergent, Hunger Games, and Matched, you will be disappointed. I'm just warning you now.  So keep that in mind. 

With all of this in mind, I REALLY enjoyed this novel. I thought the society was seemingly picturesque. Nothing could really go wrong there. And I found myself upset during some of Jonas' revelations, because while he was finding out the truth, so were the readers. Some of the things that happen behind closed doors in this community is quite frightening. 

For Jonas as a character, I thought it would have worked much better if he was older. If I'm remembering correctly he is only 12 years old in the novel. Some of his thoughts and reactions just don't fit a 12 year old in my opinion. Putting that aside, I believe that Jonas was a great leading character. He was incredibly smart and caring. His identity transformation while he was undergoing his training to be the Receiver of Memories was fascinating. I couldn't put the book down, and my heart ached for Jonas. 

While there were several other characters in the novel, only one had a great importance. The other were just there to show how different Jonas was becoming from the rest of his community. The once character of importance was, of course, The Giver. The Giver was Jonas' mentor as he received all of the memories The Giver had been holding for years on end. You can see how strong The Giver is during the novel, but you can also see how his strength was weakening. He was the perfect mentor for the young Jonas. 

Now that I have read this novel, and have thoroughly enjoyed it, I can't wait to see the movie. While I can already tell that it is going to be very different from the novel, I still want to see it. And I also want to continue reading the series (yes, The Giver is the first installment of a series) because The Giver ended on a cliff hanger! It sucks! So now as I wait for Gathering Blue to come to me, I will read other books. :)

-Shawnee Smith

Day 27 - April Book Challenge

Well we are approaching the end.

It is only fitting that today's post be about my favorite book.

While you may think that my favorite book is Legend or Divergent because I can't stop talking about them, you would be incorrect.

Incorrect Joel Mchale animated GIF

While those are two of my favorite YA books, my absolute favorite book of all time is...

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

The Three Musketeers

This story has always held a special place in my heart since I first read it when I was 13. I was an over achiever okay? 

Don't know what this book is about? You can check out the Goodreads page here, or you can go watch one of the dozens of movies that they have made of the story.

Personally I recommend the one with Charlie Sheen and Chris O'Donnell. It's my favorite adaptation.

The Three Musketeers (1993) Poster

And stay away from the Orlando Bloom/Logan Lerman version. I love those two actors but the story is not even close to the original. I mean flying blimp pirate ship things? Are you kidding?

The Three Musketeers (2011) Poster 

-Shawnee Smith