December 2011 Wrap Up

December was fantastic! Although it was much warmer than usual, with no snow and hardly any feel of winter, it was an odd month. But it was the wonderful kind, and I got some good reading in:

In the Forests of the Night-Kersten Hamilton

Paintings from the Cave-Gary Paulsen

Shift-Jeri-Smith Ready

A Matter of Perception-Tahlia Newland

Can You Survive? Sherlock Holmes-Ryan Jacobsen

Ashfall-Mike Mullen

My Beating Teenage Heart-C.K. Kelly Martin

Every Which Way but Dead-Kim Harrison

Perfect-Ellen Hopkins

Nightspell-Leah Cypress

Books I purchased: 0
Won in Contest: 1
Borrowed from friend: 1
Checked out from library: 2
Review books: 6
Pages read: 3248

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 2/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 11/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 9/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 2/4

So many new favorites, all in one month! And now there’s an entire new year before me. I wonder what will come next!

How was your December? Have any New Year’s resolutions?

4 stars · fiction · romance

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

The Lucky One

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Pages [hardcover]: 326

Favorite Characters: Logan & Ben


When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.
Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, The Lucky One is Nicholas Sparks at his best—an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.


 I picked up this book mainly because I knew there would be a movie coming out about it next year, and I’ve been meaning to read more Nicholas Sparks, anyway. The novel sounded interesting, but I had no idea just how wrapped up in the plot I would get, or how much  I’d end up loving this book.

The characters were interesting, and different. I liked Logan most of all, maybe because he was so hard to figure out. At first I was thinking that he was a simple, not very complex person, before I relaxed there are layers to him. Everything he does is for a reason, whether he acknowledges it or not. It sets him apart from the rest, in a good way.

The setting was lovely, and I could really picture everything that was going on. I liked that imagery, and it helped to draw me further into the book. I couldn’t stop flipping the pages, and ended up staying up late just to finish. With all of the twists and turns, the unexpected additions and a wonderful ending, I wasn’t wanting for drama.

I liked how the ‘luck’ theme pervaded the book, really tying everything together, both bringing characters together and pulling them apart. I loved reading about Logan’s backstory, and seeing what had led him to this part of his life. This Nicholas Sparks book is great, and definitely makes me want to read more by this author. I give The Lucky One 4/5 stars. Definitely recommended!


June 2011 Wrap Up

This month, I read:

 A Golden Web-Barbara Quick
Ash-Malinda Lo
Hush, Hush-Becca Fitzpatrick
A Great and Terrible Beauty-Libba Bray
Peter and the Starcatchers-Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
Cloaked-Alex Flinn
Insatiable-Meg Cabot
Uncommon Criminals-Ally Carter
Dr. Franklin’s Island-Ann Halam

Books I purchased: 1
Won in Contest: 0
Borrowed from friend: 2
Checked out from library: 5
Review books: 1
Pages read: 3164

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 0/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 8/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 8/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

It’s the start of summer! I look forward to this month every year! June was awesome. Once finals were over of course. (: I can’t wait to really get into the swing of things, and July will hopefully be twice as fun.

How was your June?


May 2011 Wrap Up

This month, I read:

The Adoration of Jenna Fox [Fox #1]-Mary E. Pearson
The Alchemyst [Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1]-Michael Scott
The Dead Tossed Waves-Carrie Ryan
Across the Universe-Beth Revis
Snow-Terry Lynn
What Happened to Goodbye-Sarah Dessen
The Iron Queen [Iron Fey #3]-Julie Kagawa

Books I purchased: 0
Won in Contest:  0
Borrowed from friend: 3
Checked out from library: 4
Review books: 0
Pages read: 2492

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 0/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 6/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 5/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

This month was very hectic, but fun. I loved a lot of the books I read, and some were in a series I was dying to read. Hopefully next month will be filled with awesome books that I’ll want to read again and again.


April 2011 Wrap Up

This month, I read:

The Scorch Trials-James Dashner
Tyger Tyger-Kersten Hamilton
You-Charles Benoit
Two Moon Princess-Carmen Fereiro-Esteban
Invincible-Sherrilyn Kenyon
Along for the Ride-Sarah Dessen
Happy Birthday to Me-Brian Rowe
Midnight Pearls-Debbie Viguie
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow-Jessica Day George
Impossible-Nancy Werlin

Books I purchased: 1
Won in Contest: 0
Borrowed from friend: 1
Checked out from library: 6
Review books: 2
Pages read: 2856

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 0/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 0/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 4/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 3/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

April was one of the busiest months I’ve ever had. It was fun while it lasted, but now I’m looking forward to summer weather! With only a short snatch of time until I’m freed from the stresses of school, it’s hard to concentrate on reading. 😀

books to movies · fiction · romance

Books to Movies: Dear John

After reading and reviewing Dear John last week, I decided to pick up and watch the movie. If only to get my friends off my back, as they absolutely insisted I watch the thing. (: Please, Channing Tatum was in it, and if it turned out to be a train wreck, I could at least mute it and watch something pleasant…

Turned out, I didn’t have to do to extremes. The movie was great, and there were moments when scenes from the book played out exactly as I imagined them, which I always think is awesome. It’s one thing to picture a scene in your mind, filling it with possibilities, and quite another to see it on the big screen-or, in my case, a not-so-big screen.

The only thing that bothered me was the pointless change of details. Savannah lives by the beach in the movie. In the book she’s only down for the summer. Maybe they thought it’d make more sense if she lived close to John? Also in the book, Alan, the autistic boy, is Tim’s younger brother-definitely not his son, as portrayed in the film. I’m really clueless as to why they felt the need to include Alan as a son. Did it really affect anything else in the movie? Nope.

And then there was a huge, enormous, ending-shattering difference that left me thinking oh no they didn’t. I won’t say what they did, because it would definitely ruin the end for those who haven’t yet seen it. Suffice it to say I was extremely annoyed.

I liked it, overall. It wasn’t a favorite, and I won’t be begging to rent it again anytime soon. But I don’t regret watching it. It was good, in its own way.

fiction · romance

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John

Author: Nicholas Sparks (also wrote The Last Song)

Pages [hardcover]: 276

Memorable Quote: “We’d met at a carefree time, a moment full of promise, in its place now were the harsh lessons of the real world.”

Favorite Characters: John & Tim


An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life–until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. “Dear John,” the letter read…and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever.


I’ve been meaning to read more of Nicholas Sparks’ work, and this is the second book of his that I’ve read. It was interesting, had a nice romantic storyline, and kept me reading. The only thing I wasn’t completely satisfied with was the ending.

I loved every character in this book. From Savannah, to her best friend Tim, to John’s father, every one of them had a unique personality that made them memorable. I especially liked how the relationship between Tim and his younger brother Alan was shown.

I don’t know much about the miliary, or what it’s like to be in the army. I like how Nicholas Sparks assumes that is true for most of his readers and lets us experience what it may be like for someone choosing to enlist.

The ending . . . Well, I can’t complain about it being unrealistic. For those of you who haven’t read it, or watched the movie (I’m going to watch it tomorrow), I’m not going to give it away. But it makes sense, so I can’t say I hated the book because of it. I just . . . Expected something different. It’s not always a bad thing to get something unexpected.

Dear John  gets 4/5 stars from me. It was a quick read full of fantastic characters.