____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! (IMM14)

Muwahaha!!!! (evil laugh)

I’ve been so excited for HalloweenNot that I have anywhere to goOr am dressing up, or anything exciting like thatWhile I do love to get all decked out in a good costume, this year I’ve been in a new place and have been just as happy to chill with some spooky books and scary movies on some classic stormy, dark nights.

So, while I’ve been catching up on some of the classics, and some of my favorites, I’ve been a little slow in acquiring books the last couple weeks—(that and the Barnes&Noble is still being pretty chintzy with their free ebook specials.  I’m certainly grateful for all their previous giveaways, but I’m slightly irked to find that they have a brand-new Nook coming out just 6 months after I bought mine.  And of course I bought mine at the original price, not the new lower priceAnd mine gets wi-fi, but not 3G.)(*DISCLAIMER* I still love my Nook, and I would have been absolutely lost without it the last couple of months; it’s without a doubt one of the best investments I’ve ever made)(not that I wouldn’t be absolutely ecstatic for the shiny new version)(sigh)

Not that this week has been a loss, by any means.

First off, I don’t think I mentioned, (at least not until yesterday) but in the Halloween spirit, I got a galley of Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.  It’s to die for!  ;)

Also in the Halloween spirit—or at least in the spirit of candy, Tera Lynn Childs released chapter 9 of her sweet sensationEye Candy.  If you’re not reading this, I’m so sad for you.  First, because it’s free, and secondly, because it’s absolutely mouthwateringly gooooood!!!!!

And speaking of sweetnessHalloween ended up coming a little early for me this year.  Or at least the trick-or-treating.  Ok, it was all treats.  Apparently there is a real place called $1 Bookstore.  And it is filled with books that are only $1.  It’s like a Dollar Store, but filled with books.  Forget Disneworld, this is the most amazing place on earth.  I could have spent forever there.  Sigh.

I came away with Meg Cabot’s Teen Idol and Tina Ferraro’s Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, both of which are new (to me) books that have been on my tbr list for awhile, but hadn’t quite made it into my hands until now.


I also picked up a couple of old favorites, just for nostalgia’s sake.  I read Theodore Taylor’s The Cay and Joanna Campbell’s Thoroughbred series as a kid, and couldn’t resist picking them up to reread.


And lastly, I’m always on the lookout for older books that are kind of off-beat, hence Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints.


Well, that’s it for me.  Here’s hoping your Halloween is all treats and no tricks!!!!




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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

With Halloween looming ever nearer, I’ve been spending my time getting in touch with some classic scariness.  And I feel that I would be remiss in not mentioning one of the all-time classic scary movies:


Psycho.


So, yeah, there may have been monster movies before Psycho.  There may have been crime movies and mysteries.  There were even plenty of Hitchcock movies that came before.


But has there EVER been anything before or since that can come close to the mind-bending, gender-bending twists, the surprises, and the phenomenon of Psycho???


I’m a BIG Hitchcock fanyeah, in sixth grade, when everybody else was doing reports on people like Abraham Lincoln, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (apparently I had a very civic-minded class), I was doing a report on Sir Alfred Hitchcock.  (I titled it: Presenting Alfred Hitchcock, in case you’re curious.)


So I was absolutely super-psyched to find Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.


I’ve watched Psycho beforeOr, that is, I thought I’d watched it.  But reading Rebello’s account was like watching the movie for the very first time.


As a Hitchcock fan, I’d read and heard a lot of behind-the-scenes type stuff before I’d ever watched the movie.  And when I did watch it, in the darkest of rooms (as proper etiquette dictates the watching of Hitchcock movies), as I pressed play, I found myself enwrapped.  And just like the first time I watched Psycho, I thought I knew what was coming, when I picked up Rebello's Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho, that is, until I opened it and found myself forgetting everything I thought I knew.

I was absolutely drawn in from the very first page, from the horrifying real-life inspiration of the story, to the best-selling novel, throughout the amazing efforts that it took to make Psycho into Psycho, and the instant, wide-spread, long-lasting effect Hitchcock’s Psycho had on society.

As a movie-buff, I’ve read plenty of memoirs and behind-the-scenes storiesI LOVE them.  They FEED me.  But I truly found myself riveted, not just by Rebello’s relating of the story, but by the way his own writing was so infectious, that I was hanging on every word and hungering for more.


So, if you’re a movie fan, a Hitchcock buff, interested in mysteries, true crimes, or looking for something to scare you into the Halloween spirit, I would absolutely pick up a copy of Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.


And thanks to Open Road Integrated Media for making this riveting read available digitally!!!!




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Follow Friday (FF4) and Happy (belated) Queeb!!!!



Hey everybody!!!

Happy Queeb!!!!

Yes, I know Queeb was Thursday, and I was going to post, but then I woke up and it was Friday, so happy belated Queeb!!!!

And for those of you who don't celebrate Queeb, I'm sad for you.

For those of you who don't know about Queeb, I'm really sad for you.

I should tell you about it sometime.  ;)

But for now, how about this...

I haven't done a blog hop in a while, mostly because I've been having
r  e  a  l  l  y   s  l  o  w
internet issues.  But I miss seeing everybody, and I know lots of people have lots of fun stuff going on with Halloween coming up, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I may not get to everybody in the most timely fashion, but I'll definitely give it my best shot!!!

For anyone else who wants to participate in the hop, head over to Parajunkee's to get all the Follow Friday info!!!!  And make sure to check out this week's featured blogger Julie @ My5Monkeys!!!


Happy Friday!!!! Happy Queeb (10:28/10/28)!!!  And Happy Halloween!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Heads Will Roll

So, to get in the Halloween spirit, I’ve decided to rummage through some of the classics.

And I was all busy rummaging through said classics, when I stumbled upon Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Although it was one of those stories that everybody kind of knows, I didn’t actually read it until I was in high school.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that one of my earliest introductions to the story was via Nickelodeon.  (Raise your hand if you remember Special Delivery)  On weekends they used to show anime-esque cartoons of fairy tales and classics.  One of which happened to be The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I’m pretty sure that’s why I always have a cartoon version of Ichabod Crane in my head instead of Johnny Depp.

Although, to be fair, after rereading the story, the character of Ichobod really is kind of cartoonish.

The story takes place in early New England, post-Revolutionary War.  And the thing that most stuck with me from when I read the story in high school, is that “Dutch” is really a corruption of “Deutch,” and so the community base that Irving’s story is set around are actually German descendants.

Irving does a great job of layering several stories in one.  The story is first given as being

“Found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker.”

And from that, we take the unknown Mr. Knickerbocker to be our narrator.

Next we hear Mr. Knickerbocker relay the scenic beauty of the local countryside, and a nearby village called Sleepy Hollow.  Sleepy Hollow is also known for its multitude of superstitions, charms, and ghostsOne in particular, being that of the Headless Horseman, believed to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier.  The story being that the soldier had been on a ride when his head was shot off by a cannon-ball.  Various stories allow for the Headless Horseman to be out riding every night either towards a long-forgotten battle, or in search of his head, as long as he’s back to the church cemetery by sunrise.  And while he does seem to have a wide area to roam, the church bridge seems to be beyond his limits.

And the final layer; enter Ichabod Crane.  Ichabod is the local schoolmaster, who becomes besotted with the lovely Katrina Van Tassel.  Actually, it’s difficult to tell if Ichabod is really in love with Katrina, or if, more likely he’s in love with the idea of inheriting the Van Tassel estate.  For that matter, it’s hard to tell if Katrina is really interested in Ichabod, or if she’s just using the schoolteacher to make Brom Van Brunt jealous.

Does Katrina spurn Ichabod?  Is he being chased by the Headless Horseman?  Or a jealous suiter????  Is Ichabod dead?His soul haunting the old schoolhouse?  Or was Ichabod so embarrassed that he left town and moved to New York (without a word to anyone, a horse, or his meager possessions)???

No one really knows.  When Ichabod’s horse returned riderless, a search party was sent out, and found two sets of furious hoof prints leading up to the church bridge, with a pumpkin lying next to Ichabod’s hat on the other side.  Ichabod’s body was never found (unless you count the guy who claims to have run into Ichabod in New York, years later).



Irving’s short story is full of local color and lore, along with a fast paced dash to the end.  It seems to be both part caricature and part commentary of the times, but also a fun and engaging story.


Perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit (before it gets you!!!!!)!!!!




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Monday, October 25, 2010

Frankenstein

 As Halloween gets nearer and nearer each day, it’s putting me more and more into the spirit.  Usually that means that I go crazy decorating, and then wait until the next holiday to take things down and redecorate.  But since we’ve moved and the ceilings are crazy high, I’m feeling the need to get my Halloween fix in other ways

And since the weather has been cooperating nicely, meaning cloudy and drizzly, it seems like the time to reread some of the old school monster books, or classics as my teachers used to call them. ;)

Full-disclosure, you should know I’m a little bit of a scaredy-cat, so in general, I don’t read a lot of scary things.  And maybe Frankenstein was scary a couple hundred years ago, when it was written  But, honestly?  Not so scary.  I think most of the scary stuff is actually what the characters envision, and what the movies portray.

As a kid, I was a lot more R.L. Stine than Frankenstein, so I didn’t actually read Mary Shelley’s masterpiece until it was assigned in my gothic lit class.

And the scariest thing, by far, was the paper I had looming.  And just for future reference, it’s not the best idea to try and combine your gothic lit paper with your soc. paper.  I know it may seem like a good idea, because they’re due at the same time, and how could that just be a coincidence????But trust me; it doesn’t save you any timeYou probably end up spending more time than if you’d have just written the two papers separately.  But by the time you realize that, you’ll have wasted too much time trying to make the two papers fit together, that you’re kind of stuck and just have to go with it, and both of your teachers will be confused.  And, while yes, you did, do the papertwo papers in oneand technically you passed, you really just ended up making a lot of extra work for yourself.  I’m just saying

Eh hmm (cough, cough).

I think most of us know the idea of Frankenstein, the mad scientist who creates a monster, which then goes on to wreak havoc on the nearest village.  Before my gothic lit class, I’d only seen the Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein.  Other than that, I knew Frankenstein as the giant green-skinned, flat-topped, bolts-in-neck, inarticulate, stiff-walking, grunting monster.

Yeah, um, not so much.  Just in case you didn’t know, Frankenstein doesn’t actually refer to the monster everybody envisionsVictor Frankenstein is actually the creator that is usually portrayed as a mad scientist in the movies.  And the creature is never even given a proper name; he’s just referred to as “the creature.”

The actual story is more in your head, making you think, making you wonder who real monster is.  Although, the lack of actual scariness is not to say that this isn’t a good time of year for reviving the storyDon’t worry; there are plenty of dark and stormy nights going on.

Victor actually is a little bit of a mad scientistHe starts out as an ambitious young boy who gets inspired by the magic of science and wants to learn everything he can.  He’s kind of the example of good and bad for being self-taught.  The “science” books Victor absorbs as a child are actually long-forgotten alchemists.  Yeah, can you imagine getting to college, and then learning that basically all of your heroes are out of date and you have to relearn everything????

Victor starts studying chemistry, and quickly catches and surpasses the rest of his class.  Soon, Victor starts reimagining his old studies, combined with his new, and forges on a quest to create life out of death, to be able to bring the dead back to life, to conquer disease, and, you know, um harness immortality.  No big.

Victor is completely self-absorbed and bent on glorysecluding himself in his laboratory, working himself sick, neglecting his friends, his sleep, and his health.  And while we all know that Victor does meet his goalHe cheats.  He’s impatient.  He wonders if he should attempt some smaller trials, but Victor’s whole attitude is go big, or go home.  And he ends up cheating his creation.  As talented as Victor is, he doesn’t have the skill necessary to work on the intricate veins and arteries of a normal human bodyThey’re too small.  So, Victor does what any mad scientist would doGets bigger body parts.  Problem solved.

But once Victor achieves his goal of creating life, he’s horrified at what he’s created.

Victor is sick and wasted away from his endeavors.  At the beginning, Victor saw everything as beautiful and proportionate.  He saw only the wonders of the human body, and the wonders of creation.  And glory.  He envisions an entirely new race that is indebted to him.  He sees himself as God.  But the truth is Victor didn’t create anything.  He assembled dead body parts and brought them to life.

Ok, that in itself is a great accomplishment.  But as Victor grew sicker, he also lost the luster of his work.  He worked in a fever, and the more secluded from real life he became, the more he resented his work; his creation.  Until he hated it.  Was repulsed by it.

And the moment Victor gives life to his creation, he also abandons it, and condemns it.  At that point, I have to wonder if Shelley is making a parallel to God, asking if God was so repulsed by us, that he abandoned us.

But that could be a WHOLE OTHER topic

I think what really gets me, is what a wuss/coward/ass/jerk Victor is.  He’s completely repulsed and horrified by what he’s created, but does he try to clean up his mess?  I’m sorry, but I think, if someone thinks they’re unleashing a monster on the world, they kind of have a duty to protect people.  Whether he was right or not, Victor THOUGHT that he had created a monster.

And what does he do?  He RUNS AWAY.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  And if Victor ever was the hero of this book, I think that’s the point where there is no doubt that he is NOT a hero.  I really think if Victor was any kind of MAN, he would have destroyed his creation as soon as he realized what a mistake he’d made.  He’d have at least TRIED to stop it.

But Victor doesn’t just walk away, he RUNS, FLEES.  And while he has a little trouble falling asleep, his intended recourse is to just FORGET it ever happened.  Oh, yeah, I CREATED A MONSTER; but if I just FORGET it happened, it’ll be cool.  No worries.  SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!?!?  SERIOUSLY???????

So, while Victor was brought up loved and adored, by doting parents who felt it was their responsibility to ensure the happiness and success and fulfillment of their offspringVictor, ABANDONS his.

So who created the REAL monster????  The loving, doting parents?  Or the mad scientist who abandons his creation???

No doubt, the creature is indeed better off.  If Victor would have been a better man, the creature would have been destroyed.  But being a lesser man, the creature is left to fend for itself.

The creature definitely has some mishaps on his own.  But even though he’s been abandoned, he perseveres.  Much like his creator, the creature is self-taught. On his own, the creature seeks out food, shelter, companionship, and knowledge.  The creature realizes he scares people, so he hides.  In hiding, he learns to speak, to read and write.  He becomes both very educated and articulate.

And lonely.

Because unlike the creator of man, whether we are loved, or have been abandoned, we at least have each other.

But Victor left his creature alone, no mate or companion, with none like him.


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I had forgotten the amazing language and description that Shelley uses.  Frankenstein is actually a fairly quick read, and a truly fantastic story, and why it is still a classic today.  Rereading it left me no doubt that it is a true monster story.  And I have no doubt who is the true monster.



I would definitely recommend this as some required Halloween reading!!!!





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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Things Are Made of These

Um, ok, this feels a little embarrassing.  But I used to be completely addicted to Sweet Valley.

Sweet Valley EVERYTHING.  At various times I was reading three or four of the series at the same time.  I only stopped reading Sweet Valley Kids because the book sellers started looking at me funny.  For anyone out there who missed the Sweet Valley craze, there was the original Sweet Valley High, followed by Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley Kids, a mini-spin-off with Jessica and The Unicorn Club, Sweet Valley University (SVU), Sweet Valley Jr. High, Senior Year, a mini-spin-off where Elizabeth goes to London, and a tv show.  There were Special Editions, Super Editions Chillers, Secret Diaries, Thrillers, Super Star Editions, Magna Editions, and Sagas.

And a fan club.  Did I mention I was in the fan club?  I think it came with a pencil box, a bookmark, and a sticker.

Throughout middle school, I read at least a book a day, starting with Sweet Valley Twins, followed by Sweet Valley Highclose to a hundred each.  And when I was done, I had to twiddle my thumbs and wait until the beginning of each month, when the newest book would be released.  That's righta month.  Back then, you didn't have to wait a year or longer for the next installment of your favorite series, by your favorite authors.  You only had to wait a month for Sweet Valley, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Thoroughbreds, The Babysitter's Club.  But it still felt like foreverA whole MONTH before the next one came out!??!?!?!!?

Yeah, I was a Sweet Valley junkie.  Completely addicted.

I don't know if they were moments of weakness or strength, but I managed to wean myself off of each series, one-by-one, only to go through withdrawal, be sucked back in at various intervals, and have to repeat the entire process.

And I know that even though they lived in California it was ridiculous for them to have ten summer vacations and four Christmases, six Halloweens, and five Spring Breaks in the same year* (*I totally just made up those numbers, but they probably aren't bad estimates).  I know that it was basically a sitcom format, where something crazy happens, the twins get in trouble or stir up trouble, or have to get someone out of trouble, and everything gets resolved.  Voila!  Happy ending.  Their friends were basically like special guest starsSomeone was vain or spoiled or a troublemaker, but then you'd find out they were sensitive underneath, or had a problem, which is why they were acting out.  And it was mostly quantityI couldn't get enough.

But I have to say, it wasn't without quality.  Because besides the familiarity and knowing what to expect, besides the novelty of twin sisters who were beautiful and could switch places and impersonate each other, there was something else that kept drawing me back to their world.  Something fantastic and amazing and endearing.  And I couldn't get enough.

And I still can't.  I thought I made a clean break several years ago, when I left for college.  At one time I had two book cases devoted to my devotion, but I went through all of them and traded the majority in to a used book store.  Now I hear that there's a new book coming outSweet Valley ConfidentialTen Years Later.  [EXCERPT] And I feel myself being sucked in all over again.

I've switched over most of my books to my Nook, which is the main reason that I haven't started re-acquiring the series, but I can't say that if the Sweet Valley books were reissued in digital format, I wouldn't snap them up in a heartbeat.

And so, close to ten years after I thought I'd kicked my habit, I find myself eagerly anticipating the newest release, and possibly another series.

Sweet Valley:  ConfidentialTen Years Later, as the title indicates, is set to take place ten years after we last saw the twins.  Now because of the many various series, I'm not sure if that means ten years after Sweet Valley High, the main series, which took place during their junior year of high school; Senior Year, or the SVU series which took place when they were in college.  So that would put them somewhere in between 26 and 32 years old, give or take.  And apparently, Jessica and Elizabeth, who were always close, despite their differences, have become estranged.  Jessica still lives in Sweet Valley, while Elizabeth is off in New York.  But it sounds like Elizabeth is about to make a trip back homeClass reunion; maybe?  Or revenge?

One thing is for certain, it's never boring when Jessica and Elizabeth are together!

Oh, and another thing...People.com just revealed the new cover!!!!

It's completely reminiscent of the old school original Sweet Valley High covers.  Judging by the hairstyles, I'm guessing Elizabeth on the front cover, Jessica on the backJessica and wavy hair being more high-maintenance; Elizabeth being more practical, more subtle.  Is it sad that I know that?

So, are they still the same girls they've always been?  Did they get married?  Have kids?  Was there just a simple misunderstanding (like there usually was)?  Or are the twins finally going to turn Sweet Valley upside-down????

I don't know, but I can't wait to find out!!!!  Can you?!?!?!

Sweet Valley:  ConfidentialTen Years Later is set to be released March 2011 from St. Martin's Press.





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Sunday, October 17, 2010

IMM13

Hello, hello!!!!  It’s been a bit of a slow week mailbox-wise…which makes it the perfect time to try to catch up on my ever-growing tbr list…

My sweet tooth was slightly satiated with chapter 7, the latest weekly installment of Tera Lynn Childs’ Eye Candy.  This is one of the most delicious things I’ve read since…last week.  Or until next week.  It’s the most sinfully addictive diet I’ve ever tried…and completely calorie-free…And FREE free—If you haven’t been reading, you should totally check out Tera’s site and catch up on the previous installments!!!


Still no more free ebooks.  I think Barnes&Noble is getting chintzy.  But I totally caved and actually bought one anyway.  I was watching the tv show Haven, which is based on Stephen King’s book, The Colorado Kid, and it was getting soooooo good.—I just had to know what happened.


So, that was my week.  Hope everybody else had a great week, too!!!  Happy reading!!!




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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You're Unbelievable

I keep getting a song stuck in my head—from the early ‘90s--“The things you say/You’re unbelievable” from the EMF song Unbelievable.  Except those were the only lyrics I knew—I didn’t even remember the band name, so I totally had to google it.  Um, yeah, apparently I didn’t listen very well, because the song is kind of dirty and totally has some swear words, and I probably only knew the radio edits…It was probably the most disappointing thing I’ve ever googled.  And I still can’t get the ONE LINE I know OUT. OF. MY. HEAD.

You know the other thing I can’t get out of my head???  Sara Shepard’s Unbelievable.

Yeah.  It totally BLEW. MY. MIND.

I thought I knew what to expect; Unbelievable is the fourth book in Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, following Pretty Little Liars, Flawless, and Perfect.  Shepard has a talent for making the series flow together seamlessly.  Shepard has talent, period.  While each book so far has read like a chapter in the overall series, I keep finding myself satisfied at the end.  Don’t mistake me—I still want LOTS more, the who dunnit, the whys, and the hows…  But I’ve read some series where their versions of cliffhangers are giving you half the story, no answers, and making you wait a year until the next book.  Well, I’m sure I’d be going crazy if I had to wait that long for my next Liars installment…And thankfully I don’t have to wait.  But I have to say, Sara Shepard does a fantastic job of making the unsatisfying seem satisfying.

So…In case you haven’t read the books, watched the tv series, or seen my reviews of the previous books…The Pretty Little Liars series is about a group of girls who used to be friends…before one of them disappeared.  Now, years, later, someone starts sending the other girls messages threatening to expose all their secrets.

For anyone who has watched the tv series, it follows books one through three pretty closely.  Perfect had a very climactic ending, and since the series seemed to end where Perfect ended, I had no idea what to expect of Unbelievable.  But I didn’t expect anything.  I didn’t see any of it coming.

I’ve said before, I love mysteries, but I’m HORRIBLE at them.  And this is BY FAR one of the juiciest, most gossipy, delectable mysteries I’ve ever read.  And I still have no idea what’s coming.

The only thing I know, is that I don’t believe ANYTHING.  The ending was too good.  And it’s only the fourth book.  So, it CAN’T BE the ending.  I know there’s more.  I have four more books sitting on my desk to prove it.  Oh yeah, there’s A LOT more.  But that’s all I’m going to share.  For now.

So frackin’ Unbelievable!




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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not So Perfect

I shouldn’t say that, because I am IN LOVE with Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, and the third book in the series (after Pretty Little Liars and Flawless) is, well, Perfect.  And saying that Perfect is pretty perfect isn’t hard.

This a gossipy, juicy, mystery that has had me at the edge of my seat since the very first page.  I watched the tv series, before picking up the books.  As a fan of the series, I’ve been very happy to see how well they kept pace with the books.  I was actually a little worried after reading the first book, because I felt like the tv series would be ten years long if they kept up the same pace—And since the girls are supposed to be in high school, I didn’t see how that could work very well.  But after reading the first three books, I see how brilliantly they flow together.  And for those of you watched the tv series cliff-hanger—It coincides perfectly with the ending of Perfect.

I mentioned in a previous post that I LOVE mysteries.  But that I’m HORRIBLE at them.  So I’m not even positive that Ali is dead, or that Ali’s not A.  Yes there was a body, and there was a funeral—But I didn’t see it, and it sounded like it was a closed casket.  So I’m not counting her out yet.  Until I see a dead body, I’m not counting ANYBODY out—Even the girls.  In the beginning of the book, although this is the most unlikely, right before she disappeared, Ali was trying to hypnotize the girls—Did she really do it?  What kind of suggestions could she have implanted?

My best guess for the trigger factor is that when the new girl, Maya, moved into Ali’s old house, into Ali’s old room, somewhere amidst all of Ali’s old stuff, were all of Ali’s old secrets.  We know that Maya tossed out boxes of Ali’s stuff on the street, where anybody could have picked them up and dug through them.  But we have no way of knowing that Maya didn’t go through everything before she tossed it out.

There are just so many things going on in this series—everybody’s secrets seem to be repeating themselves, along with revealing themselves.  And above all, who is A?  What does s/he want with the girls?  And what really happened to Ali?

Pretty Little Liars is a series about a group of girl who used to be friends…before Alison DiLaurentis disappeared.  Alison was the glue-trap that held them together, the girl that the others told all their secrets to.  And when Ali was gone, it was like the girls were finally free, and they all went their separate ways.  Spencer is the preppy, straight A, overachiever who kissed her sister’s boyfriend years ago.  Hanna is the beautiful, popular, IT girl, who used to be overweight.  Before she got an eating disorder.  Aria is the free spirit of the group, smart and thoughtful, searching for her true self.  Aria’s family is the cornerstone of her world, until she catches her father having an affair.  And Emily is the jock; a swimmer.  But Emily might have loved Ali more than all the other girls; she’s afraid that she’s gay.  And Ali knew every single secret.

Now everybody’s secrets are not only replaying themselves, but they’re multiplying—Spencer’s not only in love with her sister’s new boyfriend, she also stole one of her sister’s papers.  Hanna is finally popular and has the boy of her dreams, but she still wasn’t perfect enough for him.  Hanna’s popularity is poised to topple, just as her eating disorder threatens to return.  Not to mention she’s an occasional shoplifter.  Aria catches her father cheating again.  Meanwhile, Aria’s fallen for her own teacher.  And her boyfriend is threatening to expose them.  And not only is Emily pretty sure she’s gay and that she loves Maya, but she’s pretty sure that her parents are racist and won’t love HER when they find out.

Right before she disappeared, Ali seemed constantly on the brink of spilling everyone’s secrets.  Years later, when someone moves into Ali’s old house—Ali’s body is discovered…And it seems like all of Ali’s secrets—all of THEIR secrets have been discovered, too.  The girls are living in an eggshell of perfect, and someone calling themselves “A” is sending the girls cryptic messages, threatening to expose all of their hidden cracks.

Who is A?  What is A’s agenda?  Shepard is a master at inserting doubt and mistrust.  In Flawless, Aria had an assignment on the topic of untrustworthy narrators…which basically reminds us that we don’t know any more than the narrator, or each character, tells us.  And to instill further mistrust, the paper Spencer plagiarized was on the topic of the “Invisible Hand,” a theory about people offering someone help for their own personal gain—As in, when A offers each of the girls some seemingly benevolent advice, in between menacing messages.  I know the girls should have known better than to trust A, but when they don’t trust each other, when they can’t turn to their parents, friends, or teachers, who can they trust?

Like I said, juicy, gossipy, good…And I can’t to find out what happens next!!!!!!




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Monday, October 11, 2010

IMM12 plus Award and Mylar Balloon

So I woke up early Saturday morning to see someone stealthily creeping into my room…with this attractive Mylar balloon…It was still dark out, so I pretended I was sleeping…and fell back asleep.  My parents have been visiting the past week and everyone let me sleep in a whole ‘nother hour before breaking into my room singing Happy Birthday.  While it was only 6:30 am here, that would make it 8:30 central, and I certainly didn’t let any of them sleep in mumblemumble years ago when I was born, so I guess all’s fair.  :)  And plus, I got this attractive Mylar balloon!!!!! :)

Then, after dropping our parents off at the airport, :(  my sister begged me to go to Barnes&Noble on the way home.  (yeah, I’m sure that’s how it happened).  Actually, my sister was the only one who walked away with books—I didn’t have any good downloads for Nook, and since I’m still in the middle of reading Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, I didn’t want to buy anything new on a full stomach…which isn’t to say I walked away empty handed…

Shout out to the ‘80s—I scored the complete first season of SCARECROW and Mrs. King.  The series stars Bruce Boxleitner (from the ‘80s movie Tron and the upcoming sequel, Tron Legacy—You’d recognize him if you saw him) and Kate Jackson post-Charlie’s Angels.  She’s a divorced housewife; he’s a spy…And suddenly she’s drawn into the world of espionage—Whether he likes it or not.





Now on to my award…I’MM pretty excited because Anna from Books to Brighten Your Mood blog gave me the fabulous Life Is Good Award!!!!

So, how’s it work?

Here are the rules:
·      Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
·         Answer the 10 survey questions.
·         Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
·         Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.


Questions:
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
Well…I’m kind of anonymous, kind of not.  I mean, if you asked me about myself, I’d probably tell you.  But I made up the name NYMFAUX, because I didn’t wanted to be limited…by myself, if that makes sense?  Basically, I’m being slightly paranoid, but I just wanted my blog to evolve naturally and not be boxed in by who I think other people think I am…and using a fake (faux) name (nym) makes it more me, the real-whoever-I-am-at-the-moment me.  Plus I think it sounds cool.  So, yeah; I’m happy.
2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
No. (is that stubborn?  or just defiant?)(ßand look.  I know I should have capitalized some of those words and used complete sentences, but I don’t want to, so I’m not gonna)(again, stubborn?  or just defiant?)(either way, spell-check has at least half a dozen things it doesn’t like about this answer.)
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Depends on if it’s a good hair day or a bad hair day.  And either way, it usually ends up in a ponytail.
4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Honestly?  Although I definitely love a vanilla malt on special occasions…for every day, milk and coke are usually at the top of my list.
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Sleep.  Read.  Watch movies.  Blog.  I feel like I go back and forth between “Adventuresome Me” and “Inert Me.”  Lately, I’ve been a little more inert, happy to veg out with a good book or movie, but occasionally I plan grand adventures and go on road trips, camping, hiking, dancing.
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I want to pay off my student loans, be completely 100% debt-free, drive all night, dance all night, live in a mansion, travel everywhere, write books, read everything, learn to knit, watch movies, go on a cruise, win an Oscar, speak 10 languages, go to the Grand Canyon and see the pyramids, meet the man of my dreams, elope, have kids (or raise poodles).  I want to be happy.  Oh, and I would love learn how to whistle really well.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
I never ditched in high school…although college certainly had its moments…  I was shy to some extent, but always observing.  And I was a little bit of a teacher’s pet (or at least that’s what my classmates in high school thought).  Overachiever some days; procrastinator other days.
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
When I think of poignant moments, I usually think of scenes from books and movies—especially where lovers are torn apart, secrets are revealed, or someone dies.  Graduating from high school and college were definitely milestones, but don’t feel especially poignant.  I think the closest I can come to poignant is when I visited Paris, while I was in high school.  For the most part, I could hardly believe it was happening at all.  But when we visited Paris, all of a sudden, all these historic places started coming to life in a way I’d never imagined.  The first time was walking along the banks of the Seine towards the Notre Dame—All of a sudden I had this mental flash of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in the movie Charade, floating down the Seine on a tour boat, passing the Notre Dame.  Later, we went to the Louvre, where I stood in an entry way next to the Venus de Milo, and opposite me, down the long hallway, was a cascading staircase where Audrey Hepburn glided down in the movie Funny Face.  While we were at the Opera de Paris, I saw myself sitting in the balcony where Audrey Hepburn gazed down at Gary Cooper in Love in the Afternoon.  Whether they’re really the definition of poignant or not, in these moments, I felt caught between two worlds, like I was a part of something bigger, and that I was connected to something important.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I think I’m mostly myself, I probably sometimes tell more than I have to, but I love to tell a good story…And I love to share my love of stories, especially books and movies.
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read.  Honestly, I’ve never been a big phone person.  I’d rather hang out with my friends in person, or email.  Sure, once in a while there’s a really good, long juicy phone conversation, but it’s just so much more fun in person.

Passing the Award along…I know a lot of really fantastic bloggers, and I would be honored to share the Life Is Good award with them!—So here’s to you for making life good!







And back to IMM, Tera Lynn Childs’ posted chapter 6 of Eye Candy on her site Friday—I don’t know why everyone isn’t reading this—It’s *FREE*!!!!  And, it’s simply d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.


And secondly, FREE EBOOK ALERT!!!

I would like to thank Vicki Pettersson from the Supernatural Underground (and an amazing author in her own right) for giving a shout out to some authors that inspire her…In particular, she mentioned Diana Gabaldon, and for anyone (like me), who hasn’t read Ms. Gabaldon’s Outlander series, her publisher is giving away FREE Kindle editions.  Good to know.  But since I’m not a Kindle user, before I tried to download their version, I thought I’d look it up at B&N—Low and behold, they also have a FREE version available!!!!!—So I went ahead and downloaded the first book, making both my Nook and myself very excited!!!!


That’s all for this week—Happy Birthday to me!—And happy reading to the rest of you!!!!




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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!