eclipse + breaking dawn

First things first — have to congratulate my friends Leah and Ricardo! They welcomed their baby girl to the world on Sunday. It’s like baby season! Aww.

Second. I’m finally caught up with Gossip Girl. WTF is up with all the partner-swapping?!? GRRR.

Third. Another WTF to tonight’s episode of 90210. Silver is a whole new brand of kerrrazy.

Fourth. I just LOVE the tagline for the new Fast and Furious movie. NEW MODEL. ORIGINAL PARTS. Hehe, that is awesome.

Now. I started this part of the entry waaaaayyyyy back in November and never finished it. Oopsie. I had already written half of it so I figure better late than never.

So I finally finished the last 2 books in the Twilight series. Some thoughts (possible spoilers)…
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new moon

I bought Rob an iPhone for his belated birthday present and now I am SO. JEALOUS. I want one too (whine, whine). Sadly AT&T won’t let me get one until November (stupid contract).

Anyway, I finished New Moon over the weekend and I liked it about the same as Twilight.

Emma hit the nail on the head in her comment to my previous entry — it’s been so hard to get through this series because the writing isn’t so great. 🙁 This was definitely more noticeable in New Moon.

But I did understand Bella more in this second installment. Which is an improvement. Unfortunately, I still don’t really like her. I found her to be reckless and selfish. And it completely bothers me that she’s so nonchalant about becoming a vampire. Cause I don’t feel like she’s taking it seriously or that she’s really weighed the pros and cons. Interestingly, I liked Edward much more in this book — maybe because compared to Bella, he was like the voice of reason. I also really liked learning more about Jacob (he might just be my favorite character) though I still don’t understand why the vampires and the werewolves are enemies. Did I miss something?

I’ve gotten this far so I want to read the rest of the series… but I’ll have to find a generous friend to loan Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to me. Only the hardcovers are available and I’m CHEAP. Anyone? 😛

twilight

Wow, blogging 3 days in a row. Go me!

Gosh, I haven’t done a book update in ages. I swear I’ve been reading!

So I got sucked into the Twilight series. People at work kept talking about it and I felt out of the loop. 😛 I read the first book when I got back from Kaua’i so it’s been a good 2+ weeks since I finished it and I honestly haven’t felt inspired to blog about it. I think that says something. I liked it… but didn’t love it. And I wanted to. I really did.

Edward and Bella’s relationship was sweet but I think it was too much, too soon. Their lives started to revolve around each other so quickly and I didn’t even feel like I had a handle on who they are individually. It’s hard to root for a couple when you don’t have any feelings for either of them outside of that relationship. The action at the end kept me reading, though, and I was sufficiently intrigued enough to purchase New Moon (which I haven’t started yet). I might even try to watch the movie (if I can find anyone who wants to go)! I don’t follow Twilight fandom but it seems like people either love or hate Robert Pattinson’s casting as Edward. While he’ll always be Cedric Diggory to me (HP!), I can totally see him as a vampire as well. Should be interesting.

After Twilight, I read Eat Pray Love. Erm, how do I explain my thoughts? I liked it and didn’t like it at the same time. Really. It took me awhile to get through the first 25 pages or so because I found Liz to be slightly unlikable — I know she went through a huge, emotional and messy divorce but there were times when she was crying non-stop that I wanted to reach out through the pages, shake her, and tell her to snap out of it. And sometimes her journey came across as self-absorbed and arrogant instead of reflective and insightful. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too young. Or maybe I haven’t lived enough so I don’t “get” it. Fortunately, she has a really fun (and funny), easy writing style that made the book easy to read. And I’m a sucker for a book about travel (I would LOVE to be able to take a year off and travel the world — so jealous). I just wish the ending wasn’t so neatly packaged.

I also read The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares. It totally sounded like a book I would enjoy… a story about sisters and the boy they grew up with at their summer house… but sadly, the characters drove me nuts. I was so frustrated and annoyed by their choices, their lack of communication, their passiveness. Ack. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series is far better than this book. :/

I’ve read other chick-lit books but they’re more the forgettable kind. Not worth highlighting here. Hop over to GoodReads to see what else I’ve been reading. I have no idea how to direct link to my profile (is that even possible?) so let me know if you’re on there and be my friend!

hp7 thoughts

So. Again with the Harry Potter. Sorry guys!

I’ve been in a “post-Potter state of depression” (tm Sarah) since finishing the last book. It seems so silly but I’m incredibly sad. 🙁 It’s been a great ride for me… I didn’t start reading the books until the summer of 2001, right after college graduation. I was a “late bloomer,” as they say, hehe. One of my college roommates recommended them to me after she read the first 4 books during our senior year. I remember wondering why in the world she was reading children’s books. Little did I know. 😀 Fast forward to the summer when I had no job (no full-time job anyway) and lots of free time to do nothing. It sounds fun but doing nothing all day gets old pretty quickly. I used to pick up books from the Borders across the street regularly and one day, I finally broke down and bought the first HP book. After reading the first few pages, I was hooked. And I raced through the next 3 books that same week.

The HP world has been a part of my life since then. That’s 6 years of re-reading the series, speculation and discussion, impatient anticipation for the next installments and midnight release parties. It just doesn’t seem real that Harry’s story is over. Well, at least there’s always the last 2 movies! They’re not nearly as good as the books but I love them just the same.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of the HP phenomenon. As soon as I got home with Deathly Hallows, I knew that millions of people around the world were doing the exact same thing I was. I find that freaking incredible, you know? Anyway, I sat down to type up my thoughts on DH and I’ve totally went off on a random tangent, lol.

Here goes.

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first book post

I thought I would do a quick book post (haven’t done one of these in *forever*) since Bev asked me why I didn’t like The Time-Traveler’s Wife

I started and finished this book on the plane ride home from Paris so maybe I rushed it a little bit, I’m not sure. Anyway, I thought the story was compelling (I wouldn’t have read 500+ pages if it was a snoozefest) and I thought the time-travelling concept was interesting (though I did find myself confused a few times because of all the back and forth) but I didn’t care about the characters. They weren’t very likeable, their choices frustrated me and I just didn’t feel connected to them at all. 🙁 Plus, I have to admit that the relationship between Henry and Clare made me cringe at times. <-- I think this'll make more sense after reading the book. Anyway, I hope that didn't dissuade anyone from checking this book out... I'd love to hear what you all have to say. So, what have I been reading lately? I recently picked up a romance novel and I've found myself addicted to them. Hey, they're so easy to read! And fast too! I turned to Alie and Sarah for recs and they didn’t disappoint. I’m currently on the last book of Nora Roberts’s Three Sisters Island trilogy. The books combine witchcraft, suspense along with romance. It’s a great mix and I love that the story isn’t sacrificed or rushed along for the romance.

I’ve also read some chick-lit books… nothing particularly memorable except for Something Blue by Emily Giffin. UGH UGH UGH. I normally LOVE chick-lit, despite the heroine’s typical flightiness, but Darcy in Something Blue was just awful. She was shallow, self-centered and obnoxious. I’m so glad I found the book on the bargain table at Borders.

Finally, I finished The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, which I really enjoyed. It’s my first stab at a historical novel and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved being immersed in Henry VIII’s court (yes, despite all the inaccuracies) and thought it was an interesting choice to write the book from Mary Boleyn’s perspective, who is overshadowed (in real life and in the book) by her sister Anne. Highly recommended. Anyone know if Philippa Gregory’s other books are as good?

That’s it for now… I don’t think I’m very picky when it comes to books so if you have any recs, please share them! 🙂

feb books

OMG. The Project Runway reunion show is HILARIOUS. BEST THING EVER. It also made my Zulema hate flare up and I officially think Daniel Franco is creepy. Also, what was up with Guadalupe? She was drunk or stoned. Probably both. Oh man. That was SO MUCH fun.

Anyway, books! Here’s my update for February…

03. General’s Daughter by Nelson DeMille, 512 p
I am loving Nelson DeMille’s books right now. This is an engaging and actually, really sad military detective story. I loved all the layers to the mystery and just COULD NOT put it down. Highly recommended.
04. School of Dreams by Edward Humes, 400 p
I only read this book because it’s about my former high school (a small public magnet school in southern CA — Whitney High). I wanted to see what a journalist would have to say about WHS after spending a year amongst the students. It definitely didn’t capture *my* high school experience but that’s not what it’s about. Instead, the book is a study about the reasons for Whitney’s success and why its students do so well. It’s an interesting read.
05. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, 432 p
This was recced to me by Sarah. It was a much darker book than I thought it would be but I loved it. My only complaint is that some things aren’t fully explained (ie. the purpose of the Order and what Gemma means to them) but I assume that’s because this book was always meant to have a sequel. I don’t know if I can wait for Rebel Angels to be released in paperback — I want some answers!

Right now I’m reading another Nelson DeMille book called Spencerville. So far, so good. 🙂

book challenge 2005

Even though I failed miserably at the Book Challenge last year, I may as well post an update…

October
28. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner, 521 p
I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would… pretty much only because I didn’t like Maggie (one of the 2 main characters). At all. (Haven’t seen the movie but this is Cameron Diaz’s character). I really liked Rose, though (played by Toni Collette), so her journey was what carried me through the book. Good story about sisters finally coming to an understanding about one another.

November
29. Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner, 375 p
Yes, another Jennifer Weiner book. I like her writing style! Lots of character description and background information. Anyway, this wasn’t your typical chick-lit book. It’s a “happy” story but there are a lot of bumps in the road, and one that I definitely didn’t expect. Recommended.

… And that’s it for 2005. Sad, huh? Only 29 books!

I think I’d still like to keep track of the books I read this year but maybe not push myself to read 50. I at least want to read more than 29 books! Hee. With that said, here’s what I’ve read in 2006 so far…

January
01. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, 371 p
I read the entire book in about 2 hours. I really liked Samantha (thank goodness, Becky from Kinsella’s Shopaholic series has started to get on my nerves) and her situation felt real. But for some reason, I felt really indifferent about Nathaniel (Samantha’s love interest). Normally, I love all the romance! But yeah, he just didn’t do anything for me. Fun read anyway.

02. Up Country by Nelson DeMille, 576 p
AMAZING book. A co-worker let me borrow this book and I really had no idea what to expect. It kinda reminds me of a detective version of John Grisham’s legal novels. Anyway, this particular book is about a retired Army Criminal Investigations officer who is asked to return to Vietnam (he’s a veteran) in order to investigate one more (but highly important) case. Really suspenseful and intriguing book. There was maybe a little too much description of Vietnam (the terrain, geography, weather, etc.) but it made sense since we were seeing it all again through Paul’s eyes. Highly recommended.

Next up… another Nelson DeMille book. My co-worker’s going to surprise me.
Yay books. 😀

july-sept books

It doesn’t look like I’ll be finishing the 50 Book Challenge. I barely hit the halfway point! 🙁 I thought this would be easier than it is — if only I had enough money to buy books every week. I really should get myself to a library but I have a problem when it comes to returning books. Heh.

Brief thoughts and possible spoilers? I’ll be vague.

July
19. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling, 652p
My initial review is over here. I’m sure I’m going to reread this book. Probably when Potter mania hits in November. 😀
20. I Do But I Don’t by Cara Lockwood, 335 p
Chick lit. Was one of my impulse bargain book purchases. A wedding planner, an obnoxious bride, and mistaken identities…

August
21. Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot, 328 p
I normally love Meg Cabot’s books but this one was a little disappointing. I loved the back and forth banter between the heroine and her object of affection… it’s just that the whole scenario of the two of them being thrown together was waaaayyy too fast. The entire book took place within the span of a week!
22. Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, 535 p
Whoa, totally different from the movie! That was my first impression. 🙂 But seriously, this book took me forever to get through (a few months — how embarrassing!). Part of the problem was the small font (my eyes were killing me when reading). But really, I’m blaming the story. It was intense. Like the kind of intense that you just have to put the book down because you can’t take it anymore. Phew. Anyway, I did enjoy the book (once I finally finished it) and I’ve already picked up The Bourne Supremacy. I’m sure that’ll take me another few months.

September
23. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, 870 p
Re-read.
24. Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella, 352 p
The novelty of the Shopaholic series is gone. I loved Rebecca in the first 2 books but after her wedding in the third book and now her adventures of meeting her sister in this fourth book, I’m tired. She drives me crazy with her shopping and rationalizations and just plain selfishness. I hope this series is over cause I know I’ll be tempted to read the next one. Still love Luke, though. *swoon* Is it weird to love a fictional character? 🙂
25. The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa-Valdes Rodriguez, 308 p
More chick lit (I’ve resorted to chick lit because it is *much* faster for me to get through). This time about a group of friends in their late twenties and their respective lives, loves, and careers. This was a little more substantial that the “typical” chick lit I read. It was even a little depressing (or maybe it’s just realistic), especially with regards to relationships.
26. Goddess For Hire by Sonia Singh, 305 p
This book was recommended to me by a co-worker. It’s about a 30 year old woman (with no direction in life) who suddenly finds out that she’s a Hindu goddess destined to fight evil. Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer-ish. Cute.

October
27. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot, 374 p
Found this for $4.98 on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble. Score! This was the last of the ‘Boy’ books that I had to read. Enjoyed it (as usual) but again, the resolution came way too quickly for me. Or maybe it’s that the pacing of the book seemed too fast. I guess that can attributed to the format (it’s written through a series of emails exchanged between the characters) — everything seems like no time has passed since there’s no actual descriptions of anything. I believe the book actually spans six months but while reading, I could have sworn it was only a few weeks.

I’ve been seeing lots of commercials for that movie In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette… makes me want to read the book (the movie looks… okay). Maybe that’ll be my next read? I also want to try Meg Cabot’s Mediator series (recced by Sarah). Hmmm.