Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Secret Life of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Published: 2001 by Penguin

My Rating:
4.5 stars
Realistic | Historical | Girls
Includes: Profanity, Brief Violence, Sensuality, Racism

First Lines: At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.

Lily Owens, a 14 year old budding writer, lives with her abusive father, T-Ray, and their housekeeper, Rosaleen. Taking place in 1964, racism is very popular in her town, and soon Rosaleen finds herself in jail. Lily, in a desperate attempt to run away from T-Ray, is able to sneak Rosaleen out, and flee to Tiburon, S.C. But Lily is not only running from the present, but also the past and her dreadful memories of killing her mother when she was just four years old. Now, Lily is eager to search the truths for the real reason her mom left their family while she was still alive, and learns life-long lessons along the way. Lily and Rosaleen reside in a house where three black sisters live, August, May, and June Boatwright. Lily is put to work as a beekeeper with August, where she also befriends a boy her age named Zach. The story slowly unravels from there, revealing secrets of Lily's mother's past, changing Lily's life one day at a time.

From Page 277
I plucked leaves off the elephant ear plants and fanned my face, sat with my bare feet submerged in the trickling water, felt breezes lift off the river surface and sweep over me, and still everything about me was stunned and stupefied by the heat, everything except my heart. It sat like an ice sculpture in the center of my chest. Nothing could touch it.

First off, the reason I started reading this book was because of my reading class at school. We're on the topic of racism in the '60's, so my teacher wanted us to read this. When I first started it, I wasn't that into it. I've never favored historical-fiction books that much, so I was a little sketchy about reading it. However, after a few chapters in, I was hooked. Sue Monk Kidd's writing is unbelievable! I actually felt like I was looking through Lily's eyes, and each character was described beautifully.

Another thing that I liked from this book, was all the female power! Besides a few male roles, the book was basically centered around women, especially Lily and the "calendar sisters". There are some thought-provoking lessons that Lily and myself learned from the inspiring August Boatwright.

It's also interesting that Sue Kidd included a quote at the start of each chapter relating to bees. Bees serve as a humongous symbol throughout the book, which was fitting for the title. There was a minor thing in the book that I didn't like, though: the profanity. It wasn't like
some books, that drop the f-bomb on every other page, but there were many curse words throughout the book.

But despite that, I deeply enjoyed this book and would read it again. Overall, the novel started out slow, but ended strong. I recommend it to females, especially ones that have lost a dear mother or need to be filled with a little hope.

Book Supplied by: My English teacher.

Waiting on Wednesday: Shrinking Violet

Hola! :) This is my
first "Waiting On Wednesday" meme that I've seen some sites do, and really enjoy reading their posts from it. Breaking the Spine was the creator of this fantastic idea to get readers pumped for upcoming books! For those of you who don't know what it is, it's simple: Each Wednesday, I'll blog about a book that will be published within a month (or two) and that I really want to read. Hopefully, you will too.

Soooo, today's pick is Shrinking Violet, by Danielle Joseph! It will be released on May 5, 2009, which is just a week away. Here is the summary of the book from Amazon: "High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out -- doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T -- and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize -- Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare.... "

I really want to read this YA book because I think I'd be able to relate to Teresa pretty well, since I'm the same way. I'm also a sucker when it comes to realistic fiction in a teen girl's perspective. I'm so excited for this book to come out, mark your calendars! RELEASED ON MAY 5, 2009.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Musing Mondays: Skipping Around

:) My first Musing Mondays Post! A lot of sites do these a little differently, so I'll just tell you how I am going to do it. Each Monday I'll try to post a Musing Mondays topic that I either thought of myself or saw from someone else's site. Then, I'll answer the question, giving you my opinion(s). Following that, all of YOU guys get to post your lovely comments answering the question, too! Just please be respectful of what others have to say.

Today's Topic: Skipping Around
When reading, do you read every word? Do you ever skip chapters or skim over parts? Do you ever go back and re-read something that you had already read?

I'm a pretty slow reader myself, so I always read every word on the page. I don't like skimming because I'm afraid that I'll miss an amazing sentence or an important part in the story. I don't know about you readers, but I love to tab parts of my book that really stand out to me; whether it's a symbolic paragraph or just a well-written, detailed sentence. So, no, I don't ever skip chapters or skim over pages. I like to digest the entire book. :)

A fresh start...

1. So I just spent the last two hours (yes, I luckily had a lot of free time today) making my own template!! I'm so excited, because I've only had the site for three days, and I already think I'm getting very well-known with blogger and its features. So, (not bragging haha) I just thought it was pretty cool that I made this "layout." Plus, I was able to add a little quiz up in the right corner, so please cast your vote and help me out.

2. I would really like some tips (from all you experienced book bloggers ;D) on how to get your website more popular and have more followers! I already know the basics, but it would be great to have a helping hand while I just start out.

3. I'm going to start some weekly memes, which I think are AWESOME. I've seen many sites that have them, and I think they are a fun, and creative way to keep up the blogging on sites. So, keep your eyes peeled for some of those.

Ok well I think I'm done for now, but please comment if you have anything to say! Thanks guys.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Project 17
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published: December 2007 by Hyperion Books

My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Suspense | Ghosts
Includes: Intense Scenes, Suggestive Themes

First Lines: I take the road that leads up the hill, my heart beating louder than the Cryptic Slaughter song that's thrashing out my car speakers.

Danvers State Hospital, the abandoned mental institution on Hathorne Hill, is rumored to be haunted. Locals in town share stories about the cold underground tunnels and the unmarked, and forgotten graves surrounding the hospital. Some even say there are still dead patients' souls locked inside. Perfect setting for a ghost story, right? On the eve of the demolition of Danvers State Hospital, six teenagers break in to spend the night. They plan to film a movie inside to enter in a contest afterwards. But after coming across patient's records, journals, and personal belongings, the teenagers start to feel uncomfortable in this madhouse. These 6 completely different teenagers, each with their own story, have to work together to make it through the night alive. What begins as a teasing joke for the teens, unravles into a hectic, terrifying night of surprises.

We each went to Danvers State Hospital, the old abandoned asylum on the hill, with the intention of spending one night before the place got torn down. Little did any of us know how haunting the experience would be. Little did I know that the experience would change my life. Forever.

If you're looking for a quick, scary story, I advise for you to pick this book. Just looking at the cover of the book caught my attention, and made me wonder the secret behind the title. The story's characters reminded of The Breakfast Club, with your mix of popular boy, class clown, shy unapproachable girl, ego-filled actor, cocky and materialistic girl, and freaky goth...which kept my attention throughout the book.

What started out as a cheesy horror, predictable-ending book, quickly changed into an exhilarating, thrill of excitement. Particular chapters gave me goosebumps, and I constantly found myself looking behind my back (haha) when I was reading it alone in my bedroom. Which reminds me to tell you, be sure to read it at night, to get the full effect. Overall, this novel kept me attentive, gave me a rush of excitement, and had a convincing ending.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hello! (:

Heyyy and welcome to my first-ever blog all about books! This site is where you can read reviews written by yours truly, of YA books that I did and didn't appreciate. I'll also start some fun challenges once I get the hang of how to use blogger please become a follower of Books Obsession, for my 'motivation' :P I read a wide range of books (all for YA) including ROMANCE, thrillers, fantasy, historical-fiction, mystery, but most of all, just your good 'ole realistic fiction. Once I figure out how, I'll try to include some interviews with authors, and start some weekly/monthly book blogs. Well, I think that's it for now, check back later. thanks!
oh and by the way, I'm not the fastest just be patient with me haha.