2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Michael has read 1 book toward his goal of 50 books.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Worst Luck

Hey guys! I haven't posted in a while and I miss it D=

But I've just been super busy and with work and school and some epic events which I'll post about it later on. But to top it all off, my laptop charger broke so I have to buy a new one. Hopefully tomorrow because I would like to start posting again Sunday because I have a blog tour thing coming up.

I'm currently on my computer which sucks because everything is on my laptop. But if this comes out the same as on there then I can do it here but if not then I'm in deep crap.

So thank you all for sticking around! See you all later! =D

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review: Triangles

Title: Triangles
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Pages: 533
Rating: O for Outstanding
Review: We all know what it feels like to be a teenager. Most of us are still going through that awkward moment. The moment where we get our first kiss, our first love, our first drink, our first everything for the rest of our lives. But what happens when our teenage years are over; when we finally leave our teenage years behind. What happens when you find yourself a middle-aged person with kids and a cheating spouse? With a child you know won’t make it past the age of four. With a son who is experiencing his firsts. What happens when you can’t take it anymore? Do you allow yourself to collapse?

Triangles follows the lives of three middle-aged women as they go through their day-to-day life. Holly is a stay at home mom and wife who wants to experience a new life. Marissa is a mother of two who has to take care of her daughter with SMA and deal with her husband being at work all day, everyday. Andrea is a single mother who ties the two together and handles everyone’s problems but her own. With the lives of these three women, we get to experience how different situations affect different people and just how hard they take it. We get to see their reactions and have our hearts broken at the same time as theirs. We get to see how life is after the fun.

This is the first adult novel by Ellen Hopkins, famous author of the Crank Trilogy and many other Young Adult novels about teens. I didn’t quite know what to expect from this to be honest. I was a bit afraid that it wouldn’t match up to her other novels that have such power in them to make a person cry with a single phrase. I was scared that because it was about middle-aged women, I wouldn’t connect and that I would drop the book at only a few pages. I was excited when I received the book for review, but the fear didn‘t go away. It lingered on around my mind.

I immediately dropped the book I was reading at the time just to read this and I am beyond glad that I did. Not only did I connect with the characters, I loved them. In this one book, I became the imaginary son of these three women and saw their lives unfold before my eyes. It was a bit uncomfortable seeing their pain as if I were seeing my own mother in pain. I’m the type of person who is very reserved about my feelings around my family. I tend to keep them inside of me and not let them out. Why? I don’t exactly know, but I just do. Whether it’s a death or sadness or pain, I don’t show it. But when I read this book, I showed my emotions with ease. When a character cried, yes I felt awkward but I cried along with them. When they were happy, I smiled from ear to ear. And by the end of the novel, my eyes were red and puffy from all the tears I shed. By the end of the novel, I opened myself up to these characters. I became comfortable.

You might think that it helped me open up to my family in real life and made me realize that I‘m missing out on a big happy family, but it didn’t. That’s not the point of the book. It showed me that what I’ve been doing is normal and could even be the right thing for one to do. Your family can be your best of friend, but they can also be your worst enemy. But this isn’t about my feelings, it’s about the three ladies. I gained so much respect for women, more than I already had, now that I got to see their inside lives and secrets. I was able to go into their heads and see how they have this connection with us, their kids, and how they actually feel for us despite what they show on the outside. We might think they love us, but they do more than love. There is no word to describe the higher power. It’s just there.

But while I did gain respect for women, I lost some for others. While women have the power to do more than love, they also have the power to do more than destroy. Women are what hold everything together. They are these powerful people who can pick you up and bring you down in the snap of a finger. Triangles showed that they can destroy not only a person, but a whole entire family. It left me broken-hearted and afraid that one woman can destroy everything. It made me think that the symbol of purity and peacefulness and gentleness and everything else that I can think of that makes them who they are, wasn’t something that should be broken. As harsh as it sounds, I was disgusted by the actions of one particular woman in Triangles.

But many might be wondering how this novel is compared to Hopkins’ Young Adult novels. The truth is, it is the Young Adult novels but for adults. I love them equally and would not be able to choose between the two. Perhaps the Young Adult novels since I’m still connected to my teenage years. But beware. While Triangles is for adults and can be read by Young Adults who are over 18 or close, it is a bit raw and shouldn’t be read by those who can’t take mature situations. And no I don’t mean all of the emotions part. I mean all of the sex parts which are more like Erotica at times. I won’t be a man about it and say, “Yea! Sex!” But I will say that it makes one fan themselves.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Author Interview - Ellen Hopkins

Well to be honest it's more of a one question ordeal than an interview. Why one question you ask? Because, anything you want to find out by Ellen Hopkins can be found online and it would just be a bother to her to be asked things we already know. So I chose one question that really got me thinking and really got inside of her.

Not only that but she's busy writing more novels, attending her family and going on tour really soon. (She'll be in Princeton, NJ twice and in NY once which I need to attend at least one!) So I just asked her one question and hoped she would answer. Which she did!

I sent her an email saying how I was doing a novel spotlight week on her new adult novel,Triangles, and the process of what I would do on the blog and hoped she would answer a question. The question was;

Are you ever afraid that people will think your books are becoming repetitive or that you're running out of ideas?

Her actual response;

Hey Mike,
It will be great to get some buzz out about Triangles. As for your question, my answer is I don't worry about what people might think when I choose subject matter or build characters. I write the stories that speak to my heart. So far, I believe, my characters are all very different, and they are the ones telling me their stories. The book I'm writing now, Tilt, is a young adult companion to Triangles, so looks at the Triangles story lines, only from the POVs of three of the teens you meet in Triangles. They started insistign they had stories of their own to tell. Three very different characters than the mothers in the book, and three very different stories.

I hope that helps!

So you heard it here! I'm super excited for Tilt and now we know what it has to do! A companion novel seems freaking awesome especially since we get to see how the teens are dealing with all of this, especially since we don't really get to see them all.

But I think Ellen is right, her characters are different and although they might relate to the same problems, they're all very different and I think that's freaking amazing!

I want to thank Ellen Hopkins for taking the time to respond back to me through Twitter all the time and through email. She's an amazing person both writer and personal and I hope she never gives up writing.

Check back tomorrow for my review on Triangles!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hottest Female Characters (10)

Hello everyone and welcome to;

This week I'm following the course of the novel of the week theme and doing Triangles by Ellen Hopkins!

Now for those of you who don't know what this is, I choose the women of novels, and choose the actress' who would portray them in a movie. This of course is based on my opinion and doesn't reflect everyone else's. The reason I do this is because all around the blogging community, girls talk about how amazing male characters are and how hot they are and for the few males that are here, we're just like, .... So I decided to portray these females in a respectable way. So let's start off!

First we got Holly. A stay a housewife and mother who wants to experience new life outside of home. The reason I chose Courtney Cox for Holly is because she has that oomph factor that I was looking for. Holly wants to be fit, she wants to be sexy, she wants to be it. And Courtney has all of that, just looking at the picture we're like damn. She looks like the type of person who would go out in the morning and jog for all the boys in the yard and come home all sweaty and such and flaunt off to her husband. But I don't want to spoil the novel, so you'll have to read it to see why I pictured her. I had help from my friend in choosing these women and it was pretty hard. Some other choices for Holly were Sofia Vergara and Eva Longoria. But Courtney won out!

For Marissa it took a bit longer than Holly to find the perfect one. We went from Dana Delaney to Kirsten Dunst before reaching Debra Messing. The reason I went with Debra is because she has this sort of warm feeling to her. Someone who looks amazing on the outside but once you look into her eyes, you see a lost soul. Someone who has to deal with things like a daughter who has a deadly disease and a son who doesn't want to be around his family. I can seriously imagine Debra running towards her daughter as she cries in the middle of the night, calm her down to sleep and return to the kitchen and throw a cup because her husband hasn't done a damn thing. It was just a scene that hit me with such power that I had to decide Debra Messing was the one.

Now Andrea. Oh Andrea. We went from again Dana Delaney, to Kristen Dunst, to Cynthia Nixon, JoAnna Garcia and everyone else in between until my friend said the magic word. Adele. I stopped everything I was doing and praised the books that he said this word. I don't know why I was going only for actress' when there's talent out there that goes beyond that. And now that I look at Adele I see her. I pictured Andrea a plump red-head, pretty like her sister and maybe even in her own way, but brought down by her weight, a single mother and someone who is struggling for life. Adele already has the emotion which we can see through her songs to bring out this power and this rawness of pain and sorrow. Andrea is what brings both Marissa and Holly together and I completely see Adele as the one now. Perfect match, my friend is a genius for this. THANK YOU BRIAN!

Again, like I said these view my choices (and my friend also who helped) and maybe you might agree or disagree. But I would still love to hear your thoughts. So leave the comments down below on what you think and I'd love to hear what you have to say! Give your own suggestions to who should play who!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Novel Spotlight (30)

Hello everybody and welcome to Tuesday's Novel Spotlight. I know books are released today and I usually talk about them, BUT! This week I'm doing a Novel Week based on;

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins! I had the liberty of reading an ARC of this novel way back in June and I was so stoked when I opened the package and saw this that I dropped everything and began reading this novel. But to see what I thought about it, you'll have to wait until Friday when I put my review up! But let's see the synopsis. Synopsis! I summon thee!

In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I'm halfway to death, is this all I've got to show for it?

Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, watches her friend Holly's meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for-a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly's castaway husband?

Then there's Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges-a gay teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. As one woman's marriage unravels, another one's rekindles. As one woman's family comes apart at the seams, another's is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman's up is another one's down, and all three of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.

*This synopsis was taken from goodreads.com

So what do you guys think? Does it sound good, because it sure is! Check back tomorrow to see who I cast as Marissa, Holly and Andrea and then Friday to see my review of the novel. See you all later! =D

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox/Book Haul (14)

Hello everybody and welcome to another day of In My Mailbox which is hosted by The Story Siren where we show you what we got this week and hope that you share your haul also! This week I didn't get many books. Only 2 which I'm still happy about because I'm trying to lower my To Be Read Pile so I can make way for more books.

Far From The War by Jeffrey David Payne (Paperback)
A dystopian novel set in today's world, sounds pretty interesting so we'll see how it goes.

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima (Hardcover)
Pre-Ordered this in July, finally got it. Super excited as I love Chima's work and this series is freaking epic! Can't wait to read it.

And that's basically all I got. One I bought one, I received for review. But I have a few books I want to buy and a couple that I already pre-ordered and so I'm waiting to receive them. I hope your haul was just as good as I think mine was. Leave a link down below and I'll go check it out!
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