Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book # 46

#46 - Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - If you don't bother to click on the link provided, let me provide the synopsis you'd find there:   Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

I adored this book.  Eleanor and Park were such endearing characters.  There's not many books that I'd read for a second time, but this is one that I will keep on my shelf to read again in the future.  If you like teen fiction, love stories, awkward but adorable characters, and an emotion-filled read, then this book is for you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book #43 & #44 & #45

#43 - Victims by Jonathon Kellerman - his wife, Faye, writes and his son, Jesse, does too, but I prefer Jonathan Kellerman's thriller mysteries to the other family members.  I had some catching up to do in the Alex Delaware series, so I read two of them back to back.  This was a creepy psycho thriller, and I enjoy creepy. 

 #44 - Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman -  I preferred this one to the previous.  Much like the tactics of Law and Order SVU, this book steals some headlines, families, places, people from the headlines, tweaks them a little to become fictional places, characters, and stories.  Creepy again, and again, I enjoyed it.

#45 - Rockettes, Rockstars, and Rockbottom by Keltie Colleen - Super quick and easy to read (I read it in a day and a half), this memoir is written very much like a blog (well, the author is a blogger, as well as a dancer, performer, and now entertainment correspondent).  After disastrous relationships, she learns lessons from each.  She spells out those lessons for the reader (which I don't need; I prefer to view the situation and draw my own conclusions and lessons, but hey - this is her book, not mine).  I did genuinely feel her heartache and pain in some circumstances, and I assume most who have had a heartbreak would to.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book #42

Book #42 (and the first book of 2014) - A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown - Cupcake Brown's life completely unraveled at the age of 11 when she discovered her mother dead.  She experiences abandonment as well as sexual, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. She descends into prostitution, gang activity, criminal behaviour, and severe drug and alcohol abuse.  She perseveres and overcomes.  This is her story.

I liked the book; I like memoirs.  I have tremendous respect for the author's dedication to drag herself out of the gutter (literally and figuratively).  With the painful experiences early in life, it is no surprise the path her life took.  The only thing that bothered me is she never seems to totally express remorse for her criminal behaviour and gang banging activity.  She tells you what happens (mostly), and seems to take responsibility (somewhat), but I didn't feel any remorse or empathy.  I believe we all have lessons to learn and room to grow.  Without a doubt, she has learned SO much, but I think there's still room to grow.  In my extremely humble opinion, she had poor excuses for adult role models in her life for a significant amount of time.  She never experienced her tormentors (biological father, foster parents, foster sister and other siblings, ex-husband, etc.) taking responsibility for the harm, damage, and abuse towards her.  Therefore, she hasn't quite grasped that lesson of showing remorse or empathy.  Just my take, my opinion.

I think this book is a great example of one person taking responsibility for their own life (with the help of a support system) and overcoming adversity that no one person should experience. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts # 6 - Strangers

We can all relate - whether we grow up or grow apart - life changes, interests change, priorities change - so friends change too.  Sometimes it is necessary.  Sometimes there are toxic people in our lives that we need to get rid of.  Sometimes it's just a part of life, and that's okay.  Sometimes it's very sad, even hurtful to lose a friend.  Friendships experience an array of emotions, so why shouldn't there be a variety of emotions experienced when we lose that friend too?

During the last several years, I've experienced a crazy, stupid amount of change.  Some as a normal part of life; some based on my own decisions (good, bad, or really ugly); and some unexpected.  I've mentioned on my blog before, and I'll probably mention again, that I have done a lot of self-analysis.  I've grown a lot.  I've worked hard at it.  And, I acknowledge that I will continue to analyze, work, and grow.  I'm happy about that path too.

With that growth, I've learned how to look at some things in a positive way.  Sometimes, I have to force myself to do it, but I feel better for it.  Losing some friendships along the way, I've learned to not focus on the sadness, the hurt, the void that is left behind.  I've learned to focus on the memories; to appreciate and value some of the amazing experiences I've had with some tremendous individuals.  There are a handful that I thought would be in my life forever.  Yes, it's sad, even hurtful, and I do feel their absence.  But, I choose to remember those special times, those treasured moments, and consider myself lucky to have those memories. 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Books #40 & #41

 # 40 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - this book was recommended to me. The narrator is a teenage boy with Asberger's Syndrome. It was certainly different, interesting, and insightful. 

#41 - Jellico Road by Melina Marchetta (also published as "On the Jellicoe Road") - it took a while for me to get into the story, but once I did I loved it. The last two-thirds of the book is fantastic. For those of you whole enjoy a teen fiction book every now and then, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

List #9 - Shuffle '13

With so many annual recaps of the top news stories, top albums, highest grossing movies of 2013, I thought I'd have my own recap.  My ipod is on shuffle 98% of the time.  I just go with whatever song the ipod universe decides I should hear (although, I admit to skipping a song every now and then).  I've looked at what songs have played the most in my music collection during the past year.  As much as I think I have varied tastes in music, this list pretty much shows that I'm a rock chick through and through...
Here's my top 15 most played songs from 2013:
1.  Breaking Inside - Shinedown

2. Say You'll Haunt Me - Stone Sour

3. Leader of the Broken Hearts - Papa Roach
(I'm surprised this wasn't #1)

 4.  Tonight - Seether

5. Feels So Numb - Rob Zombie

 6. You're a Lie - Slash featuring Myles Kennedy

 7. Passenger - Powderfinger 
(highly successful Aussie band that I discovered when I moved here; I have no idea why they didn't break internationally)

8. Because We Can - Bon Jovi

 9.  Lonely Boy - The Black Keys 
(goodness gracious, I love this video)

10. Demon Speeding - Rob Zombie

11. The Hand That Feels - Nine Inch Nails

 12. Everything - Buckcherry

 13. What About Now - Bon Jovi

 14. - Lost In You - Three Days Grace

15 - Lies of the Beautiful People - Sixx A.M.