Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Best DVD's of 2011

I made a list of my favorite movies that came out on DVD in 2011:
  • Dinner for Schmucks
  • Megamind
  • The Switch
  • The Tourist
  • Chronicles of Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Country Strong
  • No Strings Attached
  • The Other Woman
  • I Am Number Four
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Rango
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Thor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Bad Teacher
  • Captain America
  • Water for Elephants
  • Secretariat
  • Burlesque
  • Morning Glory
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Paul
  • Horrible Bosses
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • Dolphin Tale
  • The Help
  • Cowboys & Aliens

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever

"The Alchemy of Forever" (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams
Hardcover: 256 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 3, 2012)

Seraphina's first love made her immortal...her second might get her killed.Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

This was an intriguing book to read.  At least it wasn't vampires or werewolves or angels.  Not that there's anything wrong with those, it's just that there are SO many books already written about those.  This book is about body snatching or soul sucking...whatever.  It's pretty good for the first in a series.  The book moved along at a nice fast pace and was really interesting.  I liked the book right up until the end, when I was like....WHAT?  It leaves you hanging in suspense for the next book.  As long as you don't mind that happening, it's recommended reading.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor
Hardcover: 418 pages
Published: Little, Brown & Company (September 27, 2011)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I didn't finish reading this book.  In fact, I couldn't get into it at all.  I started reading the first couple of chapters, but disliked the writing style and overall mood of the book.  So, I won't be giving this book a full review. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


"Divergent" by Veronica Roth
Hardcover: 487 pages
Published: Katherine Tegen Books (May 3, 2011)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

This book reminded me a little of "The Hunger Games" in the way it's written.  It takes place in some future dystopion existence in Chicago, so at least it's not a made up land like other books.  The four factions or groups of people in this book were a little hard to swallow.  I'm not sure that it would necessarily happen that way in real life, but it made for a good story.  I'm sure I'll read the next books in the series.  There's not too many books that could replace "The Hunger Games Trilogy" though.  Those are my favorite dystopian books.