Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book 67 of '10 97 Things To Do Before You Finish High School by Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder

Dust Jacket Description:

"Suggesting that there is more to a teenager's life than just homework and classes, this fun and helpful guide outlines the must-do items for every teenager—from going on a road trip to learning one's blood type—and offers advice on such topics as friendship, dating, and independence. Motivational, funny, sincere, and packed with information, this is an ideal resource for the adventure-seeking high schooler."

We shall abandon the typical format for this non fiction book. ONWARD.

I was thrilled when Zest books asked me to review one of their books. I'd read Split in Two before and found it very relevant to my life as a child of divorce. This book didn't disappoint. The design is easy and fun to flip through. There was everything from getting your driver's license to going skinny dipping or getting your palm read in the pages. The writers have realistic ideas and impressions of teenagers. I plan on writing a manifesto and making a dessert soon! The book is light and easy to carry around if you want to figure out what to do when you're bored. I'd recommend this book to any bored teen or young adult who wants some cooler ideas of what to do then play video games and chat on the computer. If you want out of your rut, go for this book!

Psst, Zest Books writes some really awesome books. You should check them out.

Emma Out!

CSN Giveaway

Hey Guys,

Sorry about taking forever to set up the official contest. I'm a fail. Anyways, here's the 75 dollars gift card CSN stores giveaway! The gift card is applicable with all of their sites. Expect more posts from me this week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Your Book Collection

Hey Guys,

I know I've been a really bad blogger. I blame the flu that's going around, but I digress. Onward!

Anyways, CSN Stores approached me about having another giveaway. After perusing the site, it got me thinking about what I do to save precious space for my books. Classic bookshelves are great, but there are cooler ways to show off your books at home that are less clunky. At this point in my book collecting career, my bookshelves are packed to the brim! I really like the idea of using console tables as book shelves to show off my extensive book collection without being messy.

My parents are divorced, so I get extra shelf space that way. I also love book towers and invisible book shelves. At some point, I hope to have a room just for my personal library and I love thinking about different presentations. I have whole fantasies based upon organizing my library via the Dewey Decimal system. I am such a YA librarian.

How do you organize your book shelves? Are there any unique styles of book shelves you love? I want to know!

Emma Out

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book 66 of '10 The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

Dust Jacket Description:

""It is 1498, the dawn of the Renaissance, and Venice teems with rumors of an ancient book that holds the secret to unimaginable power. It is an alchemist's dream, with recipes for gold, immortality, and undying love. Everyone, rich and poor alike, speculates about the long-buried secrets scrawled in its pages and where it could possibly be hidden within the labyrinthine city. But while those who seek the book will stop at nothing to get it, those who know will die to protect it." "As a storm of intrigue and desire circles the republic that grew from the sea, Luciano, a penniless orphan with a quick wit and an even faster hand, is plucked up by an illustrious chef and hired, for reasons he cannot yet begin to understand, as an apprentice in the palace kitchen. There, in the lavish home of the most powerful man in Venice, he is initiated into the chef's rich and aromatic world, with all its seductive ingredients and secrets." Luciano's loyalty to his street friends and the passion he holds for a convent girl named Francesca remain, but it is not long before he, too, is caught up in the madness. After he witnesses a shocking murder in the Palace dining room, he realizes that nothing is as it seems and that no one, not even those he's come to rely on most, can be trusted. Armed with a precocious mind and an insatiable curiosity, Luciano embarks on a perilous journey to uncover the truth. What he discovers will swing open the shutters of his mind, inflame his deepest desires, and leave an indelible mark on his soul."

Characters: I loved the Chef! He was a very endearing personality. He was a great mentor to Luciano and I found myself rooting for him even before I was clear on the plot line. I was very irritated with Luciano the majority of the time. He made idiotic choices based upon his love for Francesca, the convent girl, but he was still an interesting character. The relationship with the Chef and Luciano was the best part of the book. I still love to speculate over certain loose strings. Francesca was Luciano's product of infatuation and I would've preferred more scenes with her. I loved the cat, Bernardo, and was glad to finally see a pet that wasn't killed off half way through the novel. I loved the passages about the Dodge as well. Overall, there weren't a lot of characters, but the Chef and Luciano kept me interested. 4 and a half flowers.

Newmark's writing is absolutely gorgeous. The descriptions of Italy were rich and luscious, and I haven't even started on how the food is described. The prose is like dark chocolate that you want to savor for as long as possible. 5 flowers.

The plot isn't clear from the beginning, and figuring it out is a long winding road. There were parts of the book that were almost anti-climatic, but I loved the mystery of the Book and the story itself. 4 flowers.

I loved how the ending let the story come full circle. I was slightly disappointed with certain aspects, but overall a satisfying conclusion to a descriptive read. 4 flowers.

After reading the book I like this cover a lot more then I did when I originally saw it. 4 flowers.

Dust Jacket Description:
Mimics the prose and entices me to read a rich Renaissance novel. 4 flowers.

If you love the Renaissance era, beautiful prose, detailed food descriptions and a dash of mystery to read, this is definitely the book for you. 4 flowers.

Emma Out!