Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (from goodreads): "Dear John", the letter read. And with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives changed forever.
When Savannah Lynn Curtis comes into his life, John Tyree knows he is ready to turn over a new leaf. An angry rebel, he had enlisted in the army after high school, not knowing what else to do. Then, during a furlough, he meets Savannah, the girl of his dreams. The attraction is mutual and quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah vowing to wait for John while he finishes his tour of duty. John must choose between love and country. Now, when he finally returns to North Carolina, John will discover how love can transform us in ways we never could have imagined.

My Thought: Dear John is an quick, emotional, but enjoyable read. Like most books by Nicholas Sparks, this one definitely tugs on the heart strings. Though I didn't cry, I am just lucky Aunt Flow wasn't visiting or I might have actually broke down and bawled, I felt connected to the characters and their situations. Let's just say you know your in for an emotional rollercoaster when the prologue makes you feel disheartened.

Line from the prologue: "Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. And although this is the way all stories unfold, I still can't believe that ours didn't go on forever."

If you cry easily, you may want to have some tissue ready. In other words if you are looking for that classic happy ending then turn away now.

Love is a beautiful, breathtaking thing that can turn your whole world around. Love is also a challenge, and sadly love is not always as simple as we wish it could be. Sparks covers every aspect of that in Dear John. Of course no love story would be complete without both the highs and lows. And when the two main characters John and Savannah fall in love -- it is simply delightful.  So sweet and pure, the kind of love people often hope for. The lows of the relationship were kinda like running into a brick wall - painful. Aren't most that way? Sparks did have a few bittersweet moments, but as I already mentioned he mainly just tugged at the heartstrings. My heart felt heavy when I finally closed the book.

The writing flowed and I enjoyed how I easily read multiple chapters in one sitting. It is an easy book to connect with and though at times I found some of the characters too perfect -- it did NOT change my overall opinion of the book.  Because overall the characters were likeable and more importantly relateable.

Dear John is a love story that includes: survival, young love, heartbreak, sacrifice, responsibilities, and that scary "whatif" factor. And it is now one of my favorite books.


"I finally understood what true love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be."

"Believe me, I'm no romantic, and while I've heard all about love at first sight, I've never believed in it, and I still don't. But even so, there was something there, something recognizably real, and I couldn't look away."

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Feel free to comment :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Reason Read: I've been trying to read some of the more famously known books. And this one was free on amazon :)

Rating: 3/5 stars

This book has its ups and downs as far as reading goes. At times I was drawn in by the characters and flew through the pages. Other parts of the book were slightly sluggish and I had to push forward. Overall though I enjoyed this book.

Of course, Stevenson made the characters descriptive and rememberable. Some of which are even very lovable. The story is mainly told through the eyes of young Hawkins. He is smart, adventurous, and in my opinion pretty lucky. And I couldn't help but like Long John Silver. I would have actually enjoyed seeing some of the story through his viewpoint. Like most, the pirates were very colorful. Their speech was hard to understand at times though but once I got adjusted to their way of speaking it flowed a lot easier. I had to use my kindle dictionary a couple of times to help me understand some of the ship and sea lingo.

This book contains: pirates, fighting, treasure maps, backstabbing, a parrot,  and of course lots of rum! If any of the things above interest you then you will love this sea story.  It is, after all, a classic!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read this review.  Please leave a comment and say hello. Have you this read Treasure Island already? Did you like it?

I think the next book by Stevenson that I want to eventually read is Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Have you read it? What do you think? I hear it is scary!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter Imax 3D Experience = EPIC

Back at the start of the New Year I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish in 2011. One of which was see a movie in Imax. I can now mark number twenty-two off of my list:

21. I want to make more friends (corny, I know)
22. I want to see an imax film
23. I want to eat breakfast before class

This past Sunday I watched the final Harry Potter in Imax 3D. Wow.
It was like an overload of awesomeness.

Usually, I am not a fan of 3D movies and chose to see movies in 2D. I am so glad that I decided to see this movie in 3D. I don't know if it was because it was imax or just a better made 3D film, but the 3D wasn't blurry or annoying.  The screen, the sound, the 3D just pulled you in and made for an awesome movie watching experience. Add all of this to that fact that I was watching the final Harry Potter movie... epic!

Loved the movie!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Beginnings Friday: Black by Ted Dekker

"Carlos Missirian was his name. One of his many names.
 Born in Cyprus.
The man who sat at the opposite end of the long dining table, slowly cutting into a thick red steak, was Valborg Svensson. One of his many, many names. 

Born in hell." - Black by Ted Dekker

This is actually from the prelude (I think that's the correct word or would you use preface?) of the book and not the first chapter. And I know it is more than a couple of sentence, but they're short so I posted a bit more so you can meet two of the characters.

These first few pages actually confused me a little because I only got a brief glance at the middle of something that had been building for a while. But at Chapter 1 the author jumps back twenty-four hours and slowly starts piecing the meanings together.

This is actually a Christian book series. Similar to the Narnia books you can see the comparisons to Christianity, but anyone who enjoys a bit of fantasy, mystery, romance all mixed together would enjoy this book.

Full review coming soon, after I finish the last few pages.

Credit:  A Few More Pages hosts this event. Jump on over there to join in on the fun and to see what others are reading.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

Summary (from goodreads): Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Quick Thoughts:  Hilarious. Smitten. Witty.

Review -  This book is a smooth read that quickly had me hooked. Anna has to spend her senior year at a boarding school in France. At first she is not thrilled with the idea, but she meets a group of friends and of course a most gorgeous guy. (And he has an even more gorgeous doesn't even matter that I can't hear it. French and British mixed together...swoon is right.). Anna narrates the story; she is witty, relatable, and even had me laughing out loud at some scenes. St. Clair had me smitten in parts (of course I am starting to think I am sap) and I figured that their was no wonder that Anna was crushing so hard.  If you enjoy the classic chic read then you will love this book - especially the building realtionship between Anna and St. Clair. It some of the best in the (chic read) YA genre, definitely an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A Few Quotes I Liked:

"I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons."
"How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else's - be pulled and stretched and twisted - before they snap? Before they can never be mended again?"

Read It: on my kindle

Don't Forget:

Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel for  Anna and the French Kiss and it schedule to come out in a few months. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this review. Feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts on the review or a link with your own review on this book. Or if you just want to say hello -- that's great too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by the wonderful  people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Check over at their site to join in on the fun, look at other people's list, or to see their other upcoming top ten questions.

The question this week is: Who are the top ten authors that you'd DIE to meet?

Bunny Trail: One time my grandma took me to meet this local authors who had a store not far from my grandma's house. I was probably about ten but I still have the book she signed for me on my bookcase.

Anyways, on with my list (in no certain order):
  • S.E. Hinton - She happens to be one of my all time favorite authors. Since high school, I have loved The Outsiders. It is brilliant.
  • C.S. Lewis -- If I met this man I think I would be speechless. I would just want to sit down and let him teach me anything he wanted.
  • Madeline L'Engle -- A Wrinkle in Time -- amazing!
  • Lurlene McDaniel --  I probably should thank her for getting me into the reading spirit when I was younger or maybe she should thank me because I own over twenty of her books.  And I occasionally reread some of them too - Angel of Hope or Angel of Mercy (love 'em!).
  • A.W. Tozer -- Again, here is another man that I would like to learn from. Tozer is similar to C.S. Lewis. If you like some of Lewis writings on Christianity, you'll probably enjoy The Knowledge of the Holy by Tozer. It is very deep and thought provoking.
  • Ted Dekker  - So I have only read one of his books, but I am currently working on the 2nd. He is my roommates favorite author. She actually got to meet him. He made my list because I want to meet him now too.
  • Bruce Olson -- He wrote about his true journey to South America in his book Bruchko.  And how he met and ended up living among the native tribes there. I had to read this one for class, but it was amazing. It made want to tie my hair in braids and move to the jungle.  
  • J.K Rowling -- Just because it would be cool to say that I have met her.
  • Francine Rivers  -- I love her Mark of the Lion series (well I still need to read the last one, but the first two are great) and of course Redeeming Love.
  • Victor Hugo -- So Les Mis is on my to-read list, but I hear once you finish the whole novel that it is practically life changing. C'est vrai?
Well there you have it my list of top ten.  I am sorta surprised that I came up with ten different authors that I would like to meet, but it would be awesome to meet any of these great people. What's your list?

Have a great Tuesday :)

P.S. My site is almost finished with construction. Really the only thing I lack is adding more information to the side bars.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Layout

Do you like the new look?

I worked really hard on designing this new layout. I am not a pro and still have a few things that I would like to fix up...but over all I am really pleased with the outcome.

So recently I have became slightly addicted to reading book blogs and surfing around goodreads. I have all of these books that I am wanting to read. If only I could I would be at the beach, stick my feet in the water, and read..ahhh that would be lovely.

Guess this is the perfect time to start singing Alan Jackson.."some beach, somewhere...."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Joys of Reading

Taking General Chemistry II within a six week summer session was barely short of torture. So it has been nice to enjoy this past month at home. I have enjoyed sleeping late, spending time with my family and friends, becoming slightly addictive to television shows (ehh...Bachelorette), and reading some great books.

I made a New Year's resolution that I wanted to read at least ten books for the joy of reading this 2011 year. Well, thanks to my kindle and this relaxing summer I am well on my way.

On that note, I must say that I love my kindle. Love, love, love! Don't get me wrong it is hard to beat the joy of bookstores and the smell of books. However, I love how many books I can drop in my pocketbook in one single device. And the best part is that it is weightless and not bulky.  Ah, anyway, another reason I love my kindle is that the classics are free. You heard me FREE!

I've noticed that reading the classics are much more enjoyable when you are not forced to read them.

So so far this summer I have read...
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 Okay, I actually started reading this one back in the school year. However, life got busy and I just put it down. I finally finished reading it and it was delightful. It is not action pact and a bit slow at points, but simple ends up being a marvelous book.

 Beauty and the Beast by Marie (Le Prince de Beaumont)

Bitterly short, but enjoyable. This original is like a young children book (no wonder Disney grabbed this up). I read this easily in one sitting - late at night to boot. The details are not flushed out very well, but if you know the storyline or seen the movie you'll probably enjoy this quick read.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Oh man, where to start. I started this book and at first put it down; however, I ended up reading a good starting portion of it one night at the camper (due to the fact that I had no wi-fi to download another book and that one of my favorite movies, The Proposal, mentions it).  I'm glad that I stuck with Bronte. The writing is a little thick and hard to understand at points. She likes to tell the story through someone else's eyes.

It is basically a love story of the worse kind; filled with hate. I kept looking for some ray of light throughout the whole book. I know it is a classic but I had absolutely no idea how the book was suppose to end. I guess the only redeeming quality is love, but you can be the judge of that.

After finally finishing the book, I could not figure out why so many people loved it. But looking back and reading some reviews about it, I realize that it is one of those books that you have to read more than once to fully appreciate; the more you read it the more you become captured by Heathcliff and Catherine.  Or at least that's what I am guessing.

Overall, I'm so glad that I read the book and would probably rate it a 3.5/5.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

If you have not read this book - you need to! In my opinion it is a masterpiece; right up there with C.S. Lewis and Narnia. My mom read me this book when I was younger and I remember enjoying it a whole lot. Rereading it now at twenty, I absolutely love it. The writer writes for a younger audience so the style is easy to follow and makes for a quick and easy read. This is only the first in the series with four or five to go, I'm super excited to see what happens with these lovable characters.

I'm Currently Reading:

Black by Ted Dekker
(Erica You'd Be So Proud...)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

 An awesome website that I found is called Goodreads.  Check it out if you like to read. Anyway, here are some of the books that I really want to read soon.
Jenna's bookshelf: to-read

A Wrinkle in TimeWuthering HeightsBeauty and the BeastThe Secret GardenRedeeming LoveTwilight

More of Jenna's books »
Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists