"I will let you down..."

This Lullaby
Sarah Dessen
379 pgs; pub 2002

If I did the maths with Dexter, on paper it was perfect. We’d come in well under the three-month mark, with me leaving for college just as the shine was wearing off. But the problem was that Dexter wasn’t cooperating. If my theories of relationships were plotted geographically, Dexter wasn’t even left of centre or far out in right field. He was on another map altogether, rapidly approaching the distant corner and headed into the unknown. (40)

Remy, eighteen and obsessively anal, is counting down the days until she leaves home for college. This is her last summer at home and she’s doing what she can to make it a clean split: she breaks up with Jerk Jonathan, she cleans and organises her room, and she finalises the details for her mother’s fifth marriage. She’s all set to go until Dexter comes crashing into her life.

Convinced that they are simply meant to be together, Dexter is determined to win the heart of Remy Starr. Unfortunately for him, he’s everything Remy KNEW she never wanted: gangly, messy and, worst of all, a musician. And she has “strict rules about musicians.”

Suddenly her no-strings summer is a lot more complicated and Remy has to face the truth that she may actually have real feelings for the boy, that it is actually possible to love.

Last year I read Sarah Dessen’s Lock and Key after having heard/read people rave about her, so when I saw This Lullaby at our local library I thought I’d give her another go. I would have to say that I preferred Lock and Key as an overall read, but that I really felt for Remy.

In the author’s note, Dessen wrote that of all her narrators, Remy is her favourite, and it’s understandable why. Remy is smart about everything except love – where she couldn’t be more wrong. She’s cynical before her time and this has affected how she lives her entire life. This Lullaby is, above all, a book about love – what it is, and what we want it to be. 3.5/5

Challenges: 100+ Books, A-Z Books,

Other Reviews
Have you written a review for this book? I would love to include it, comment below and I'll add your link!

Teaser Tuesday (Jan 27)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

All of us thought the first shots were firecrackers - part of a Halloween prank, as firecracker season starts early in October. When the popping got louder, people in the cafeteria looked to its six eide doors with teh expectation of being slightly amused by sme young kids doing a stunt.

~ Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland

Musing Mondays (Jan 26)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about lending books...

A few weeks back we had a question about borrowing books, this week I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks.

Okay, I'll come clean, I have an ulterior motive for asking this question. I lent my copy of Twilight to a friend... but cannot for the life of me remember who it was I lent it to. So if it's you can you PLEASE let me know? I don't need it back, I just need to know who has it so I can stop going crazy.
And on to the real answer.
I tend to be a little bit of a book pusher - I'm aware that I do it and I try to curb the impulse, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Occasionally someone will head home with a little pile of books and a face that clearly says 'I'm not quite sure what happened there, and hey look! how did I get these books?'
As for people who actually WANT to borrow the books, I'm pretty easy going. I don't really like lending out books to people I don't know (friend of a friend borrowing) but people I know can borrow whatever they want and (as my mini-rant above may show) as long as I know who has what they can have it as long as they want. I usually just write up the list on my whiteboard so I don't go looking for them - I spent many a week looking for a book that wasn't in the house before I started this system.

What Kind of Reader?

I found this on Bookfan-Mary's site a while ago and couldn't resist.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I'd probably have to agree with the top two: Literate Good Citizen (I'm pretty open-minded and will read almost anything) and Obsessive Compulsive Book Worm (cause, well, it's me).

Not sure how I feel about the Book Snob part though, I don't think of myself as a book snob in the slightest. My shelves have everything on them from the classics to chick-lit.

Fun to do the quiz though :) Why don't you do it and tell us what you get.

Library Loot and more

I came across Alessandra and Eva's Library Loot meme last week and thought that since I had a big library haul this week I'd show off what I picked up.

* The Origin of Lament - Emma Magenta

* The Never Boys - Scott Monk

* This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen

* Friction - E.R. Frank

* An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

* Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland

* A Little Rain on Thursday - Mark Rubinstein

* The Geographer's Library - Jon Fasman

* The Book of Air and Shadow - Michael Gruber

* On Beauty - Zadie Smith

* Blankets - Craig Thompson


And all these books have made their way into my house since the beginning of the year. I don't feel too guilty cause the pile on the left are all from library/market sales and the pile on the right is my last book order from 2008 (the last book only just arrived). So TECHNICALLY speaking I didn't break my 'no new books' rule.

* Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator - Roald Dahl

* The Witches - Roald Dahl

* Eldest - Christopher Paolini

* Hogfather - Terry Pratchett

* Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett

* The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - Terry Pratchett

* Faust/Eric - Terry Pratchett

* Howl's Moving Castle - Dianne Wynne Jones

* Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris

* Fool Moon - Jim Butcher

* Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

* Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

* The Tale of Desperaux - Kate DiCamillo

* The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld - Compiled by Stephen Briggs

Rescue the Rainbow Fairies!

Rainbow Magic Series [Books 1-7]
Daisy Meadows
published 2000

This series has been a huge hit with my six-year-old cousin. She and her parents read every night and have read far into the double digits. Every time I see her she updates me on her new ‘fairies’ – she was very excited to tell my sister (Bethany) and I when she got Rebecca the Rock and Roll Fairy and Bethany the Ballet Fairy in the same set. She’s a very imaginative child and so her play has quickly come to centre on stories involving these characters and I finally had to read the books simply to keep up.

Kirsty Tate and Rachel Walker meet on the ferry crossing to Rainspell Island where their families are both going to spend a week’s holiday. Easy friends, they quickly set off exploring the island.

While in the woods they come across an old upturned pot. Trapped inside they find a small red fairy by the name of Ruby. Temporarily giving the girls wings of their own, Ruby escorts them to Fairy Land to meet the King and Queen of the fairies: Oberon and Tatiana.

Impressed with the young girls, the King and Queen charge them with the responsibility of finding and freeing the rest of the Rainbow Fairies. These fairies, you see, are being targeted by the evil Jack Frost and with them missing, so too is all the colour of Fairy Land. Kirsty and Rachel must rescue them if Fairy Land is to return to normal.

Each book focuses on the finding of a new fairy – Ruby, Amber, Saffron, Fern, Sky, Izzy and Heather – somewhere on Rainspell Island. The books are clearly aimed at a very young, almost ‘new reader’ audience but is more than your run of the mill ‘Jack and Jill go for a picnic, the end’ book. Stories, characters and locations carry over somewhat while still maintaining the clear and easy direction of the book: find the fairy, evade Jack Frost. The text was big, clear and easy to read with plenty of illustrations.

My only issue with the book was with Jack Frost and his minions. They maintained a constant presence – yet hardly ever managed to actually do any damage. I realise these are books aimed at young children, but I would have liked to have seen them as more of a threat. 4/5

Other Reviews
Have you written a review for this book? I would love to include it, comment below and I'll add your link!


I just wanted to thank everyone who wished me well. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who left me litte 'get well soon' messages - so thanks!

Also, as it seems to be the time of year that everyone is getting the flu or something similar, I want to wish the same to all those MM participants (and others!) who mentioned that they were under the weather. Curl up with a good book and feel better soon.

Musing Monday (Jan 19)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading while sick…

As I said in my last post, I've spent the week with the flu, which has led me to wonder:

How does your being sick (or injured) affect your reading? Do you read more? Less? Do you pick out a different book than you had already planned? Do you have a "comfort book" that makes you feel better?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks.

One of the things I remember the most about sick as a kid (I never really got sick, but managed to catch every cold that went around) was curling up in my mum's bed and watching The Sound of Music - my all-time favourite movie. It always made me feel better. I was thinking about this today, and it suprised me to realise that I don't have/do a book equivalent.

When I'm sick I pretty much just lie around and read - as long as I don't have to actually move, then I'm good. My reading is usually punctuated by a lot of dozing so while I read almost all day, it's in little 10 minute spurts.

Most of the time I'll read whatever I'm currently reading until it's done. This time it was Middlesex, and I managed to read over half of it in a day and a bit. After that I try to pick up something easier on my poor brain that's been shook around from all my coughing. I read the first seven books of Daisy Meadow's Rainbow Magic series - the huge font was heaven :)


(okay, so that's not me, but I DO have those tissues)

I have spent a lovely week here at home, with bouts of violent sneezing being broken up by my burrowing my way out from under piles of tissues and coughing so hard that I actually felt my brain ping. And to make it all the better, today reached a beautiful temperature of 43 degrees (that's Celsius, for those of you not using that system) - we've been hovering around that all week so it's just icky all over.

Needless to say, this week (and last week's I-feel-a-cold-coming-on lead up) has been less than productive - as can be seen by my lack of reviews of late. I've managed to finish my book for book club next week (Middlesex) so at least I'm on schedule there. And as soon as my head stops spinning I'm planning on getting caught up again.

So anyways, just checking in, and now I'm off to continue sneezing.

Musing Monday (Jan 12)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about assigned reading…

How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc? How do you think on these books now? What book were you 'forced' to read when you where in school that you've since reread and loved?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks.

I know this will come as a huge shock in face of my overwhelming awesomeness (hey, you in back, stop sniggering) but I was always a nerd in high school; I always looked forward to assigned reading - and usually enjoyed them when I got them.

Things were a little differnt once I got to uni, however. I think it was because it coincided with my 'discovery' of the public library. Why would I want to read Heart of Darkness or (ick) Voss, when I had a whole library of free choices to pick from? I did enjoy most of my readings but there was the occasional ones that stick out in my mind as real ordeals to get through. Heart of Darkness and Voss were the two biggest, but I wasn't a huge fan of In the Skin of a Lion, Loaded, On the Road or The Last of the Mohicans either.

I haven't really gone back and given any of these a second chance yet - I think I need a few years separation.

The Sunday Salon (Jan 11)

The Sunday Salon is something that I've been meaning to participate in since I started this blog back in August last year, but never quite managed to get to. Well, seeing as I didn't quite get the review I was working on done in time I thought this made the perfect opportunity to jump in.

As I said, I'm a little behind this week (with everything it seems) and that has affected my reading. I'm re-reading Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex for my book club... in fact, if I don't get a wriggle on I'm not going to get it finished in time. I do have a few other books on my 'nightstand' but I'm not getting the chance to actually read them.
Things should smooth out over the next few days (as long as I survive the dentist tomorrow) so I should get the chance to get caught up on reviews and get back on track with my reading.

Currently reading

Read but not reviewed

Reading next week

Premio Dardo Award

This week seems to be my lucky week indeed! BethF and Debbie have been so kind as to award me with the Premio Dardo award. I just want to thank them for the honour and thank everyone else for coming by, reading my reviews and playing along with Musing Mondays.

I started this blog a few months ago to keep track of the books I read and review. I never really expected anyone to actually read it, so to read everyone's lovely comments and see people return makes me very happy :)

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I hope the previous awarders (or anyone else) doesn't mind, but I'm not going to nominate 15 others. Like I said above, I'm only reasonably new to the book blogging world, and haven't gotten to know a lot of book bloggers yet! Sorry bout that.

And a chicken named Sylvie...

The Origin of Lament
Emma Magenta
80 pgs; pub 2007

You know those books you pick up on your way out of the library – the ones that catch your eye and you put in your pile even though you’re not quite sure why? This was one of those books; an odd little read, for sure.

Magenta, a young girl who is greatly saddened by her loss of everyone and everything to the hands of fate, goes out in search of her “joyous self”. She tries everything to regain her sense of joy and happiness but to no avail. What will it take? Will she ever find herself again?

Like I said, this was an odd little read: simple, almost childlike illustrations juxtaposed with sophisticated (even overly so) language – “…a cluster of sentient beings gathered about her as comrades”. Though it made for a nice effect, I have to say that I didn’t really enjoy reading it. I liked the idea, but found it a little too heavy for such a short book; too much weight in too small a space. 2.5/5

Butterfly Award

Thanks to Book PSmith for this Butterfly Award. I am so grateful to receive it and it makes my day a very happy one! I've not received an award before, so this is extra special for me.

Here are the rules if you would like to participate:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Award up to ten other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.

I am passing this award on to:

Musing Monday (Jan 5)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about library books…

Do you have a system for borrowing out books from the library? Do you know what you're going to borrow before you get there? How often do you borrow out books?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks.

I usually go to the library once a fortnight, usually on a Sunday morning - thought lately my sister's been coming with me, so we've been going at random times. It makes a nice change to be going in with someone else, as my sister reads different books than I do. This is the reason I've been reading so many YA novels this year; we've been working our way through the collection.

When I do go, I usually have a book or two in mind that I'm looking for, and I always have a list on books I want to borrow out (ones I KNOW the library has) on my phone in case I need it. But for the most part I just browse for a while and pick up whatever grabs my eye. Now that I go to the library so regularly it makes it much easier to pick up novels I wouldn't normally read. Of course, it also means that I come home with a huge stack :)

Button, button, who's got the button?

Coraline (Graphic Novel)
Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
186 pgs; pub 2008

When Coraline and her family move into a new house, she is pretty much left to entertain herself while her workaholic parents are distracted by their own pursuits. Getting to know the neighbours only takes up so much time, and their apartment isn’t really that big. In fact, to Coraline the budding explorer, the most exciting thing about their new home is the door in the corner of their apartment that goes… nowhere at all.

Left alone, yet again, Coraline is drawn back to the door – only to find that, this time, it actually leads somewhere. Crossing the dark passageway through the door, Coraline finds herself entering her own apartment once more. Except, in this apartment, everything is slightly off. For one thing, her parents are exceptionally happy to see and spend time with her, and, for another, they have black buttons sewn on in place of their eyes.

Fearing for her safety, Coraline runs home, only to find that her parents – her real parents – are missing, being held hostage by her Other Mother in the apartment behind the door. Coraline is afraid of this woman with her black button eyes and long sharp fingernails, but she knows she must return to rescue her parents.

This was one of my Christmas books this year (yay!) and I was so happy to get it because not only is it written by one of my favourite authors, and it was a book I had wanted to read for awhile, but also because I had no idea that I was going to get it – always fun! So as you can imagine, I was very much looking forward to reading it, and I enjoyed it very much.

However, it scared the heck out of me!

I think that if I had been reading the prose version (which I’m still planning to read eventually) I wouldn’t have been as scared. The images of the Other Mother with her scary eyes and fingernails freaked me out a great deal – which, I imagine, was the plan.

Fright aside, I thought the book was a fascinating look at the dynamics of a family and the role of a single child of working parents. The emotions felt by the young Coraline – boredom, loneliness, curiosity, fear, relief – are all beautifully rendered in Russell’s drawings. I’ve not read a lot of graphic novels (something I’m trying to remedy this year), but I thought Coraline to be an intriguing one. 3.5/5

Other Reviews
Have you written a review for this book? I would love to include it, comment below and I'll add your link!

BTT: New Years Resolutions

A little behind schedule this week, I'm afraid.

So … any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?

Name me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!

I have two main reading resolutions this year, and I've signed up for challenges that should help me with them.

1) to review every book I read. I only reviewed about one in three last year, so I definately want to fix that.
2) to read off my own shelf. Since one of my (non-reading) resolutions this year is to save a bit of money I'm trying my best to stay away from the book stores. They'll call, but I'm just not going to listen.
As for specific books for the year, I'm not sure, I have a couple of books picked out for some challenges, but mostly I want to read a couple of the second books in series as I went on a bit of a first book bender last year.

Happy New Year