Zombie Tops: Music & Movies

As you can guess, my love of zombies is not limited to books.  In fact, it wasn't until a few years ago that I got my hands onto a zombie novel.  My only outlet was movies.  Here's my list of my all time favorite zombie movies and music!

Movies

  • Shaun of the Dead —When this movie hit the theaters, I didn't give my poor husband and option of whether or not we would be attending.  Unfortunately, our local theater didn't bring it, so we traveled about an hour to find one that was showing it.  As soon as the movie hit the racks, I bought it!  Honestly, it is my all-time go-to favorite zombie movie!  Because of it, Simon Pegg is one of my favorite actors.
  • Zombieland — This one seems to be a favorite of zombie buffs.  The rules nearly brought me to tears!  I find them to be extremely practical in most circumstances.  And how can you resist a zombie movie will Bill Murray? 
  • The Last Man on Earth — I admit, I watched I Am Legend before seeing this movie.  However, while my dad was visiting a few years ago, we pulled this DVD out.  This movie really questions human nature and whether zombies are always bad.  Vincent Price will always be my favorite horror actor!
  • Dawn of the Dead — The remake with Sarah Polly is my favorite.  The zombie baby is exceptionally creepy.  I love the guy across the street in the weapons store and taking shots at the zombies for pleasure.  And how could you not love the awesome zombie-mobiles they create?
  • Planet Terror — I have no idea how to describe this movie.  It is action packed, full of blood and guts, and a sexy girl with a gun for a leg!  How could you possibly go wrong? 


Music

  • Walk Like a Zombie by the HorrorPops — When I first put their CD into my player, I didn't pay too much attention to the song list.  After a minute, I realized that I was listening to a rockin' zombie love song.  It incorporates the Addam's Family, howling at the moon, and walks in the graveyard at night.  Plus the rockabilly upright base makes it that much better!  And, to make it that much better, I got the opportunity to see it in concert!!
  • I Walked With a Zombie by Wednesday 13 — I'm not even sure where to begin on this song.  I just absolutely love it.  It's horror punk, so it's a little weird.  That being said, it is hilarious!
  • Zombie Love Song by Your Favorite Martian — It's Ray William Johnson, is there anything else I can say?
  • Zombie A Go Go by Captain Clegg — This is just a cute, throw-back to the 60s song.


Those are my top picks.  What are yours?
Sinn

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the follow:
  • Grab your current read
  • Opening toli a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Here's my teaser for this week:
'They used to do that kind of stuff at Gameland, and other stuff that's even worse.  A lot worse.'"
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, 163



Sinn

Zombie Month Book Review -- First Days


Title:  First Days: As the World Dies
Author:  Rhiannon Frater
Genre:  Post-apocalyptic
Pages:  Oversize paperback, 331
Published:  2008, 2011
Opening Lines:  "So small.  So very, very small."

"It begins on a peaceful, beautiful morning.  Katie, a prosecutor, is driving to work when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her.  Elsewhere in the city, Jenni, a housewife opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their infant son.


"Fate puts Katie outside Jenni's door when the younger woman flees her zombified family.  Fate—and Katie's quick reflexes behind the wheel—see them safely out of the city while most of the living are quickly chased down by the undead.


"The two women begin a cross-Texas odyssey to rescue Jenni's oldest sin and hopefully find safety . . . somewhere . . . Jenni discovers the great joy of watching a zombie's head explode when she shoots its brains out.  Katie learns that her analytical mind is perfect for planning the best attacks and escape routes.


"A small, isolated, fortified town is their only hope.  Fewer than one hundred people have gathered there, clinging to civilization and to hope.  They all know the zombies will come for them.  But until that day, they will live, and love, and maybe even laugh."
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts:  I first ran across this book back in 2008.  I'm not sure if I found it during a casual zombie search of Amazon or if I saw it mentioned somewhere.  One way or the other, I was completely and utterly drawn to this book.  However, for various reasons mostly focusing on forgetfulness, I never ended up buying it.  So, when I decided to host Zombie Month, it was the first book on my list!

First Days follows the story of Jenni and Katie—two women thrown together through unfortunate circumstances.  Katie is a prosecutor and Jenni is a battered housewife.  Both women are from completely different walks of life; however, they find solace and resolve in each others company.  After fleeing the city, they decide to rescue Jenni's remaining son.  Camping up in the National Park, Jenni hopes that he has escaped the dangers of the city.  On the way, the meet Narit, an ex-Israeli sharpshooter, and her husband Ralph at a small hunting store.  The four form a quick bond.  With Ralph and Narit's help, the girls now have a plan—and guns—to rescue Jason.  While everything seems to be going good, the women are chased by a horde of zombies and find they are far away from the safety of the hunting store with a dangerously low fuel line.  Through Ralph, Narit, a small town sheriff, and a CB, the women are led to a safe area in a small town.  Even with such a crazy and action packed beginning, their story has barely started!

Throughout the book, the POV shifts between Jenni, Katie, and sometimes other characters.  This can be problematic for some authors; however, Rhiannon does an amazing job of keeping each voice unique while supporting the integrity of the story.  It also gives the reader a well-rounded view of the zombie situation and the characters.  To me, this really added to the reading experience.

Even though Jenni had her short-comings and desperately needed to get over her victimization at the hands of a abusive husband, it was refreshing to read a novel with strong female leads.  In fact, I found Jenni's abuse was a wonderful vehicle to show character development and the realities of fighting for survival.  Along those lines, I felt that she put a lot of thought into her characters and their reactions to the situation.  The unknown vigilante and the renegades at the end really show that.  Also, the whole controversy surrounding the views of Richie, Shane's response to Katie, and so on goes a long way to show the tenuous nature of their small society.  As Juan said, in-fighting tends to make the zombies win.   

The scenery of the book was amazing!  I never felt bogged down by descriptions.  On the contrary, I felt Rhiannon gave enough details to allow me to form a mental picture.  It was obvious that she knew he way around Texas.  That lends an authority to the novel.  Further, she does an amazing job turning the zombies into background scenery.

My only misgiving about the book is editing.  On the whole, the book has very good editing; however, there are occasional mistypes and sentences to be reworded.  A few times, I had to reread sentences.  It kind of slowed down the reading and broke illusion.  But, as stated above, this was not all the time.

Honestly, this book was worth the wait!  I found myself intentionally slowing down, so I could make the book last longer.  It is action packed, but has a very deep plot.  Rhiannon definitely put a lot of thought into the book.  If you love zombie books, I highly recommend this one!

Stay Tuned for a Guest Post by Rhiannon Frater!

Rating:
Currently: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Current Pages:
2788
Current Progress:

8/50 books





Sinn

Theme Song Saturday (17)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to this post to read the rules and get the code.

Here's my pick for First Days by Rhiannon Frater:



Three Little Birds by Bob Marley has been running through my head since last night.  Granted, for this book, it is a little upbeat, but I still feel it fits.  Even though both Jenni and Katie have been through some awful shit when they first meet, they are able to form a fast and thick bond; they end up with Jack; run over zombies with their truck; meet some awesome, gun-toting people; and more!  And that isn't even 150 pages into the book.  So whilte the zombies are moaning outside, the horde is cashing them, and they are T-bones with legs, the girls still manage to find things that make the situation better.  Plus, this song choice could also be seen as homage to I Am Legend.  (By the way, The Last Man On Eath with Vincent Price was much better!!)

What is your pick this week?  Leave a commnet with a link back to your post. 


Sinn

Zombie Month 2012!

If you've been following my blog, you all know that I love zombies.  It isn't this casual passing phase.  I have enjoyed zombie movies since I watched Night of the Living Dead  with my Dad.  And this version, ladies and gentlemen, was the original black and white.

I guess you could say that something completely broke in my brain after watching this.  Even though I was young, I started planning for what seemed like the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Since our house had a two-story flight of stairs to the front door and we had no windows on the back (well, except for my small window), I figured we would be pretty safe.  Even though the front of our house was covered with windows, I could not see how the zombies would be able to manage the stairs.  And, if all else failed, the four of us could crowd onto my loft bed and survive.  However, the ability of four people to live on the bed didn't really enter into the equation.


As you can guess, this passion followed me throughout my life.  I would scrape together money in order to rent the newest Romero movie to hit the shelves.  And I was so excited when Shaun of the Dead hit the theaters.  I told my husband he didn't have a choice and had to come with me.  We even spent one Christmas Eve watching movies like Fido!  When I was considering graduate school, I seriously toyed with the idea of writing my master's thesis on the Romero flicks and throwing in a little psycho-analytic theory to sweeten the deal.

With all of this in mind, imagine my excitement when I started noticing zombie books on the shelves at our local Hastings!  I practically did a victory dance in the middle of the store.  My first zombie book was the Breathers by S.G. Browne.  It opened an amazing door!  And, even after some good zombie books, it is still my all time favorite!

Sadly, even though I love zombies, I am better versed in the movies than the books.  And I hope to remedy that!

Starting the beginning of February, I begin a new job as an emergency dispatcher.  In celebration of the soon to be zombie status, I decided to make this month ZOMBIE MONTH!  I plan on reading as many zombie books as I can while working the late shift and finding awesome authors who are willing to write guests posts!

As the opener of ZOMBIE MONTH, I picked First Days by Rhiannon Frater.  This book caught my attention a few years ago, but I failed to buy it.  So, as an apology for never getting around to reading it, it has found its way to the top of my zombie list!


Let's the festivities of ZOMBIE MONTH begin!


Sinn

Book Review -- The Isle of Blood

Title:  The Isle of Blood
Author:  Rick Yancey
Genre:  YA horror
Pages:  Hardback, 558
Published:  September 13, 2011
Opening Lines:  "Everyone has someone."

"On a quest to find the monster known as the 'Holy Grail of Monstrumology' with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, Dr. Warthrop leave Will Henry in New York.  There the boy finds himself living with a real family; not facing midnight vivisections, narrow escapes, or confrontations with monstrosities, human and inhuman.  After months go bu with no word from Warthrop, Arkwright returns with the devastating news that the doctor is dead.

"Will doesn't trust Arkwright, and he can't believe—won't accept—this information.  Determined to find Warthrop, he journeys to London in hopes of finding the doctor still alive, knowing that if he succeeds, he will face something worse than all the monstrosities he has seen in his young life.  They will go to Socorta, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests, where those who are consumed are the lucky ones, where blood rains from the sky."
~ Jacket copy 


Thoughts:  Reading these books, I honestly wonder whether they were truly meant for children.  They are wonderful and well written books; however, I sometimes wonder if the subject matter and writing style might be too advanced for young adults.  That being said, I was extremely excited to find that my local library had this book sitting on the shelves.  After reading The Curse of the Wendigo earlier last year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book!  I find them to be thoroughly engrossing and all consuming!

This book picks right up after the events of the previous book.  While there is mention of some of the previous characters, the incident in the monstrumarium, seeing von Helrung, and Lilly Bates again, this book appears to stand on its own.  As with the other books, this one starts out with a visitor on the doctor's door step.  However, this package brings something entirely different to Dr. Warthrop.  The contents of the package will cost Will his finger, find Warthrop in an asylum, and the doctor and his young apprentice across the world.  Honestly, this book is very hard to describe without giving too much detail away.

When this book opened up, I was surprised to find that Will Henry's voice had definitely aged from the previous book.  It was obvious that he grew up some between the two books.  I felt that the author did an amazing job expressing that while keeping Will's voice intact.  Further, I was also able to fully see that, while the story takes place in his childhood, Will is a man looking back on these experiences from a point of understanding and introspection.

Will's time with Lilly's family is another stark reminder of the life he is living with the doctor and his inability to fully be a child again.  I felt it was a bold move by the author.  While Warthrop is not physically abusive to Will, he can be seen as neglectful.  The contrast between the family life and life with the doctor was really apparent.  However, I also felt the author did a good job of showing that Warthrop, in his own right, loves and depends on Will Henry.

I rather enjoyed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a cameo in the book!  It was lovely and quite entertaining!

I find Yancey's writing style to be very dense.  These books remind me a lot of Victorian authors.  Since they are sent in the lately 1800s, I feel this is a very effective way to pull the reader into the period.  It also gives it a little more authority.  The dense writing, diction, and subject matter makes me wonder whether these are truly young adult books.  They all dig deeply into the basest parts of human nature.  This one more so than the others.  The author peals away the layers and challenges readers to find where the line is between humanity and monstrosity.  In a lot of ways, that seems like a hard thing to take on as a teenager.  It is hard to watch Will Henry go through many of the things he encounters in this book.  I cannot imagine how a young adult would feel reading this book.  As an adult, I also feel the "sick" nature of Warthrop and Will's relationship.  While I fully understand that Warthrop loves Will, there is a level at which it is completely wrong.

Even though I was wondering thinking through these things while reading the book, I loved every minute of it!  For some, the books might be a little too dense and slow getting started; however, they are amazing and well written.  I find myself forcing myself to stay awake and read one more page. I am eagerly awaiting the next book, and I hope my local library gets it soon!    

Rating:
Currently: First Days by Rhiannon Frater
Current Pages:
2546
Current Progress:

7/50 books




Sinn

Teaser Tuesday



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the follow:
  • Grab your current read
  • Opening toli a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Here's my teaser for this week:
The monstrumologist returned to the reason for our visit. He found philosophical discussions like this distasteful—not precisely beneath him, but useless in the sense that the unanswerable was a waste of his time."
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey, 116


Sinn

Follow Friday

Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read. The point is to follow as many book blog as you can and make new friends! As part of the adventure, she gives a weekly question.

Here's the questions for this week:

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get your hands on any particular book?



A:

Hmm, that is an interesting question.  The craziest thing?  Aside from waiting in line for a couple of hours to get The Deathly Hallows for my big brother, I haven't done anything that I would consider crazy.  HeeHee, that seems particularly unexciting and boring ^_^

I am really curious to see how everyone answers this question!!!


Sinn

Sinnful 2¢ — The Rising Trend of Abusive YA Characters

I have not added any new posts to this for awhile.  Frankly, I have been sick and concentrating on other things.  I haven't gotten my thoughts sorted out enough to even begin writing a post.  Honestly, life has just taken precedence and nothing has rattled me enough to dig out my well-worn soap box.  However, after Parajunkee's post about the Goodreads drama and what constitutes as a review (http://parajunkee.com/2012/01/book-blogging-101-what-is-a-review.html), I started thinking about things.  After finding a webpage which discusses the drama (http://cuddlebuggery.blogspot.com/2012/01/first-five-days-on-goodreads.html), as well as other issues on Goodreads, I felt this blog post ruminating. While I find Parajunkee's post quite interesting, I am not addressing the issues of bad reviews, what is a review, or how people handle said reviews/opinions.  There has been enough of that across the book blogging sphere, and you can read it at your leisure.  Even though I have opinions about it, that is neither here to there.  For me, however, something stood out even more and has been sitting in the back of my mind for quite some time.

After I read the Twilight Saga, I was very put off by the author's cavalier attitude towards stalking and abusive behavior (you can read my full rant here: http://sinnfulbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/sinnful-2-twilight-series.html).  I figured that it was something completely off kilter with the author.  However, as I started to read more young adult novels, I noticed that it is a startling trend!  In many—not all—young adult novels, the main love interest tends to be an overbearing, abusive stalker.  And, for the life of me, I cannot understand why.

In this (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/230059544) review on Goodreads, the reader confronts the issues and behavior of a severely unhinged character.  And, even though the behavior is disgusting, the author defends the behavior (http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz64/Kemisz86/McGuireBlogpost1.png)!  Honestly, I'm not sure what is worse, writing the behavior or defending it.

To me, the most sickening thing about this is how easily young girls accept this as normal.  They make doe eyes at characters like Edward Cullen and Patch (Hush, Hush love interest); however, these boys are abrasive, verbally and physically abusive, stalkers, and so on.  I cannot understand why authors are writing these characters.  Girls have a hard enough time dealing with self-esteem and self-worth issues on top of the normal teenage angst without adding this element.  These boys are written as these beautiful, dark, mysterious man any girl would want, so it is natural that teenage girls will flock after them.  However, teenagers are very impressionable.  They use young adult novels as a way to experience life and to show them life lessons.  What are we telling this new generation of women?  We are teaching them to be weak, that they are not worth a decent man, etc.  And, to take it further, it is showing boys that this is desirable behavior.

People, with the continuation of these books and male leads, we are creating and nurturing a generation of abusers, stalkers, and victims.  Girls—and, of course, boys—need good, strong role models.  They need to be taught to value themselves and others.  Relationships where one partner will mention that they have considered killing you (Hush, Hush) or sat outside your window watching you sleep (Twilight) is not cute or attractive.  I'm sorry, but it is wrong and not normal behavior.

I could go on and on about this.  I feel very, very strongly about the current trend in young adult books.  And I am seriously concerned at the attitude of acceptance by parents, readers, and authors.  Teenagers do not have enough life experience to understand the serious ramifications of these behaviors; however, the completely blase response of the authors and the rising trend of this character base is a serious concern.







Sinn

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursdays

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event hosted by Reading Between the Pages. It will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”
This week's theme is:

COME (came, arrive, coming etc)


What was unusual about this particular delivery was the man who brought it."
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey, pg. 9


My snippet this week is kind of a stretch and extremely short.  I just started the book this morning while waiting for the doctor. I remember this scene mentioning something about the man coming to the house, but it didn't say it outright.  Therefore, I extrapolated ^_~




Sinn

Book Review -- Flip This Zombie

Title:  Flip This Zombie
Author:  Jesse Petersen
Genre:  Post-apocalyptic with zombies
Pages:  Paperback, 247
Published:  2011
Opening Lines:  "When the zombie plague struck, I was just an office schlub.  You know the type."

"The zombie apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David.  Their marriage is better than ever.  They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business, ZombieBusters—for all your zombie extermination needs.

"There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers . . . Except one of them doesn't want the zombie dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation.  Mad scientists make for difficult clients, and this time Sarah and David might have bitten off for than they can chew."
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts:  After the first book, I was really looking forward to the next two in the series.  However, I wondered whether the author would be able to keep up with Sarah's snarky humor.  And, in that regard, the author does not disappoint.

This book picks up a few months after the ending of the last book.  The Government has bombed major cities in an attempted to control the zombie population. While getting rid of a few, it has left shells of buildings for zombies to hide in and killed survivors.  However, the remaining survivors are finding a way to make the best of a bad situation.  They have started making tent settlements, a trade system, and so on. After the adventures of the last book, Sarah and Dave decide to go into business as for-hire zombie killers.  And it seems as though business is booming.  That is until they get a rather strange client wanting them to capture "live" zombies for medical testing.  And, if that fiasco isn't enough, they are hearing rumors of a newer, faster, and smart zombie—bionic zombies.  As you can imagine, Sarah and Dave have differing opinions concerning both issues and are stretched to the limit.

I found it hilarious that Sarah and Dave started a zombie killing business.  Even though she was a little timid about picking up a gun, after the first book Sarah took to killing quite easily.  And that doesn't even take into account Dave's mad-Halo-skills!  So, to me, it seemed natural.  The concept of the bionic zombies was interesting.  It stands to reason that there might be a different mutation.  I really liked how it played into the book and the story line.  I wonder how this new mutation will play into the next book.

Dr. Barnes was an interesting character.  From the onset, I was distrustful of him.  He seemed too good to be true, and he gave me a weird vibe.  However, I found Sarah's blind faith to be a little too naive, especially considering everything they had already been through.

The ending was a little too campy for me.  Without giving anything away, The Kid's ability seemed a little Deus ex machina.  Granted, we are kind of led into it by the comment that he is a genius, but . . . It was just too neat and out of the blue for me to appreciate.

While this book is very much in the spirit of the other, I felt that it didn't live up to the awesomeness of the first book.  Even though they snarky humor was still present, I felt it was too pushed.  Further, the book relied too heavily on Sarah's little quips and asides.  It ended up just being too over the top and forced.  The first one had something special, and it felt as though the author wasn't willing to give this book something uniquely it's own. Even though it was a fast and fun read, I am a little concerned about the next book.


Rating:
Currently: The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey
Current Pages:
1988
Current Progress:

6/50 books



Sinn

SOPA & Internet Blackout

If you have taken a stroll around the internet today or just wandered over to Google's website, you may have noticed something different.  Many of the top websites—English Wikipedia, WordPress, and Tumblr to name a few—are blacking out their headers or the full webpage.  It has confused many people across cyberspace today; however, not many people know or understand the reason behind this.  Simply put, it is due to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is being pushed through Congress.

SOPA gives the Department of Justice the ability to stop online sites outside of the United States from infringing on copyright law.  Put simply, this means that all websites outside of the United States that allow peer-to-peer file sharing, steaming, etc. of material copyrighted in the U.S. will be blocked.  According to Wikipedia, ". . . the U.S. Attorney General could require US-directed Internet service providers, ad networks, and payment processors to suspend doing business with sites found to infringe on federal criminal intellectual property laws. The Attorney General could also bar search engines from displaying links to the sites."

According to the Government, SOPA is being put forth to protect intellectual property.  Many sites get away with piracy because they are not in the U.S.  And, as a way to address this issue, the Government is trying to make a stand.  From the outside, this seems as if it is a reasonable idea.  People have a right to what they create and should not fear that someone can or will steal it.  However, as seen with Napster and the copyright on music sharing, one has to wonder how far the Government will go in order to uphold SOPA.  Further, it could be argued that this is just one step in the direction of full Internet censorship on a Federal level.

As can be expected, this has caused a huge uproar.  Many people feel that SOPA is a direct violation of the First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech.  In an open letter, Laurence H. Tribe argues that there are many reasons—including the wording and the allowances it makes for complainants—that SOPA can be seen to be a violation.  (For a full copy of the letter, follow this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/75153093/Tribe-Legis-Memo-on-SOPA-12-6-11-1)

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided not to blackout my website.  Even though I completely and utterly fight against Government censorship, I feel that people need to read the facts and create their own opinions, which is why I am writing this post.  I feel that SOPA is just the tip of the iceberg.  The Government has been trying to control the Internet for a long time.  If they are able to pass this bill, what is to stop them from completely shutting down freedom of information?  In addition, the whole concept that someone can be shut down without a judicial hearing makes me enraged!  And, if that weren't enough, I am afraid that SOPA will give people too much freedom and license to complain about anything they feel is threatening.  However, to be fair, the bill does try to allow protections for people who have been falsely accused.

If you are interested in learning more and forming your own opinions on the matter, please take a look at Wikipedia's explanation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopa#Impact_on_online_freedom_of_speech).  I feel that they do a good job of explaining SOPA without having a bias either way.

If, after looking at the information, you feel as though the Government is infringing on your rights as an American citizen, I encourage you to write your Congressman, blog about it, and take part in the blackout.  It is up to us to stay active in our Government and be aware of the issues!



Sinn

Teaser Tuesday




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the follow:
  • Grab your current read
  • Opening toli a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

I have to admit that this teaser is not random and longer than two sentences . . . I loved this quote too much not to share.  So, with that, here's mine:

You know that move every girl lead makes in kung fu or horror movies?  The one where she is wearing head-to-toe black leather and she has a kicky haircut and she crouches down on one knee with her opposite foot sort of laid out and then she slices and dices . . . While looking super doable?

"Well, Kate Beckinsales and urban fantasy heroines of the world lied to us.  This does not work."
Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen, 18




sinn

Book Review -- Courtney Crumin and the Night Things

Title:  Courtney Crumin and the Night Things
Author:  Ted Naifeh
Genre:  Graphic novel
Pages:  Paperback, 128
Published:  June 2003
Opening Lines:  "Careful now.  Old Professor Crumrin don't take kindly youngsters gally-vantin' in 'is backyard."


"Courtney Crumrin is not a happy camper.  Her mom and dad, after years of living beyond their means, have at last found a solution to their financial difficulties.  Their moving to the burbs, into the house of their rich uncle, Aloysius Crumrin.  Old man Crumrin's huge Victorian mansion is par for the course in a well-to-do neighborhood of Hillsborough.  However, as Courtney soon discovers, Uncle Aloysius as a sinister reputation throughout the district, and he and his house are shrouded in dark rumor.  And while this arrangement allows her parents their much-desired boost in social status, Courtney feels as though she has landed in a nightmare.  One where she is the outcast among her new spoiled classmates.  And if that weren't bad enough, the moldering old mansion seems to house even stranger creatures than Mom and Dad or Uncle Aloysius.  

"They crawl about the dark corridors, just out of sight.  They crunch bones in the corner.  And sometimes they'll climb up on the bed and watch Courtney while she sleeps.  Mom and Dad don't notice them, but Uncle Aloysius knows all about them.  He calls them 'the Night Things.'"
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts:  A friend of mine sent me home with this graphic novel back in October.  Even though I don't usually won't when someone has lent me a book, he requested that I not read it in the bathtub.  That being the case, it has taken be this long to get to it.  While over at this house eating lasagne and watching horror movies, he brought it back to my attention.  He said that it was a quick read, which I already figured given the page numbers and the simple fact that it is a graphic novel.  After finishing Life As We Knew It and waiting to pick up a book on hold at the library, I took this book down.  It took me about an hour full of interruptions to finish it.

After using all of their credit cards, Courtney's parents move in with Great Uncle Aloysius on the pretense of taking care of him.  Seeing this as a wonderful way of elevating their social status and still living at elevated means, they move Courtney into the old mansion.  Given the neighborhood, Courtney is immediately put off.  Not only is she eccentric, dark, and brooding, it is obvious by her dress than she is not as well off as her other classmates.  However, after a strange encounter on her second night in the house, Courtney makes and unlikely friend in her reclusive Uncle Aloysius.

The book has four chapters.  It follows Courtney from her beginnings in the house, the town, and her school.  In the first chapter, she makes a new friend, develops some tormenters, and end up finding a way to keep them in her place.  After feeling isolated and lonely in her new home, she puts a glamour on herself and learns "to be careful what she wished for."  The third chapter takes her to the goblin market and the fourth heralds her doppelganger.

The artwork works well with the story.  It lends it a dark, gothic feel.  Even though it is black and white, I get the impression of Courtney being very pale while the rest of her world is colourful.  It could be the writing style of Naifeh.  The graphic novel is a combination of storytelling and Courtney's thoughts and experiences.  It is different from other young adult graphic novels I have read, but it makes a big impact.  Honestly, the story caught my attention when I read the note by the author at the beginning of the book.

If you're interested in more dark and sinister things, this is a good graphic novel.  I am curious to see how the series continues.  The art is a clever mix of manga and something else.  I could see more cynical children really enjoying this.  

Rating:
Currently: Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
Current Pages:
1741
Current Progress:

5/50 books



sinn

Book Review -- Life As We Knew It

Title:  Life As We Knew It
Author:  Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre:   YA post-apocalyptic
Pages:  Paperback, 337
Opening Lines: "Lisa is pregnant.  Dad called around 11 o'clock to let us know."


"Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove." 
~ Goodreads


Thoughts:  I heard about this book when I was taking an young adult fiction course.  I cannot remember what we discussed, but it looked like an interesting book.  Honestly, I had completely forgot about it until a friend sent it to me for Christmas.  Even though I have 30+ books on my TBR pile, this one got pushed to the top!

The book is written in a series of journal entries; therefore, it is told from the POV of the main character, Miranda.  At the start of the book, everyone is getting ready for finals, the end of school summer vacation, etc.  However, during this time, everyone is talking about a meteor that is head for the moon.  According to the astronomers at NASA, it is just supposed to connect with the moon and make another crater.  While standing on the street with her family, Miranda watches as the meteor not only collides with the moon but knocks it closer in its orbit to the earth.

Everything starts out rather slowly.  Aside from Miranda's mother's shopping spree shortly after the impact, Miranda's story seems similar to a normal teen with extra restrictions on her life.  However, after the volcanoes start going off, the book quickly progresses in a downward spiral mirroring the weather.  First the sky is grey due to the increase of ash in the air, then a sudden freeze hits them in August, etc.  It follows their struggle to survive with dwindling food supplies, water, warmth, and so on.  They are also surrounded by death on every front.


The book was extremely well written.  I felt having the story told from Miranda's journal was an awesome idea.  It really helped the reader take part in the girl's struggles and suffering.  Even though it was only from her perspective, I felt all of the characters were well written and developed.  The narration also showed how much Miranda matured and grew as a character.  It does a good job showing the unbelievable sense of courage and strength a teenager can exhibit.  Further, I think the author did a good explaining what would happen when a meteor knocked the moon out of its orbit.  She also did a good job trying to figure out what surviving would be like.  To me, it showed that the author put a lot of work and time into researching.


I tore through this book in a matter of days.  Even though the writing is somewhat simplistic because of the age of the narrator, it does not lack in substance or plot.  The author does not shy away from issues that come up with the disaster.  She shows the cult like mentality that can follow a disaster, people unwilling to trust each other, looting, and anything else imaginable.  Adding the armed guards at the hospital was a nice touch.  I never would have thought of it, but it fit perfectly.  The small amount of mail coming in reminded me of the Post Man. And, honestly, I don't think I will complain about gas prices when they were paying $12/gal!

All in all, I enjoyed this book.  It was well researched, thought out, and paced.  It also helped that a blizzard started up outside my window as soon as a blizzard hit the family!  I was thankful for a warm blanket and husky! 


Rating:
Currently: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
Current Pages:
1613
Current Progress:

4/50 books



sinn

Theme Song Saturday (16)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to this post to read the rules and get the code.

For possible adult situations in this week's book:







Book Review -- Comfort Food






Follow Friday

Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read. The point is to follow as many book blog as you can and make new friends! As part of the adventure, she gives a weekly question.

Here's the questions for this week:

Q: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.



A:

*bounce* I am so excited for this question!! However, I'm not even sure where to start! At the moment, I'm listening to Plush by Stone Temple Pilots because it was on the radio and got stuck in my head ^_^ My byline states that I have a heavy metal fetish. Before I graduated, I worked at our campus radio station hosting a 2hr. heavy metal show. It was awesome, and I miss it! My favorites are Seether, Marilyn Manson, Apocalyptica (hey, I play cello ^_^), Metallica, MegaDeth, Lacuna Coil, Disturbed, Godsmack, HorrorPops, Bullet for My Valentine, and Halestorm. However, my ALL TIME FAVORITE will always be Great Big Sea. If you haven't heard them, I suggest you bop on over to YouTube and take a listen ^___^

Hey, take a look at my Theme Song Saturday meme and play along ^_^

Here is my most-listened-to playlist (be careful, it's LONG):
  • Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy
  • If I Was Your Vampire - Marilyn Manson
  • the Kill - 30 Seconds to Mars
  • Walk Away From the Sun - Seether
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - cover by Emilie Autumn
  • Opheliac - Emilie Autumn
  • What's Left of the Flag - Flogging Molly
  • Tears Don't Fall - Bullet for My Valentine
  • It's Not You - Halestorm
  • Fallen - Seether
  • The Government Totally Sucks - Tenacious D
  • Dancing With Myself = cover by the Donnas
  • Rise Above This - Seether
  • Sugar, We're Going Down - Fall Out Boy
  • White Wedding - cover by Deathstars
  • Ace of Spades - Motorhead
  • This Is the New Shit - Marilyn Manson
  • Rememdy - Seether
  • Lips Like Morphine - Kill Hannah
  • My Immortal - Evanescence
  • Fmlyhm - Seether
  • I Am a Revenant - The Distillers
  • Tourniquet - Marilyn Manson
  • Love Hate - Betty Blowtorch
  • Walk Like a Zombie - HorrorPops
  • Fever- Bullet for My Valentine
  • Monster - Skillet
  • This Is Halloween - Marilyn Manson
  • Snuff - Slipknot
  • System - Chester Bennington
  • The Fight Song - Marilyn Manson
  • Brick By Boring Brick - Paramore
  • Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins
  • The Metal - Tenacious D
  • Fake It - Seether
  • Rebel Yell - cover by Drowning Pool
  • If I Ever Leave This World Alive - Flogging Molly
  • Familiar Taste of Poison - Halestorm
  • Down With the Sickness - Disturbed
  • Whatever - Godsmack
  • Today - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Highway to Hell - cover by Marilyn Manson
  • Voodoo - Godsmack
  • I Don't Care - Apocalyptica feat. Adam Gontier
  • S.O.S. - Apocalyptica feat. Cristina Scabbia
  • I'm Not Jesus - Apcocalyptica feat. Corey Taylor
  • Hit the Floor - Bullet for My Valentine
  • Broken - Seether
  • Disposible Teens - Marilyn Manson
  • Ashes in the Wind - Straight Line Stitch
  • The Animal - Disturbed
  • I Want it All/We Will Rock You - Sucker Punch soundtrack
  • Hero - Skillet
  • Cry Little Sister - cover by Seasons After
  • Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie
  • I Walked With a Zombie - Wednesday 13
  • Dude (I Totally Miss You) - Tenacious D
  • Ignorance - Paramore
  • 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Hurt - Nine Inch Nails
  • Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
  • Playing God - Paramore
  • Closer - NIne Inch Nails
  • A Tout le Monde - MegaDeth
  • Pass Slowly - Seether



sinn

Book Review -- Demon Hunts

Title: Demon Hunts
Author: C.E. Murphy
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Oversize paperback, 361
Published: 2010
Opening Lines: "Someone had been chewing on the body."

"Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she's ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. LITERALLY!

"She's proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That's more than even she bargained for. What's worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she'll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.

"Trouble is, Joanne's skills are no match for the dangers she's about to face—and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she's sworn to protect . . ."

~ Jacket copy


Thoughts: To be honest, it took me awhile to get into this series. After a failed attempt at reading the first book, Urban Shaman, I decided to give it another try when a friend suggested that I read it. And, like the Dresden Files, I liked the book the second time around! Even though Joanne was a little annoying and extremely predictable, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the book. After that, I ended up tearing through the series! However, this book just ended up sitting on my shelf for a year. I think I lost steam and found some other book I as interested in. However, in an attempt to start reading through my TBR pile, I decided to grab this one on a whim.

After Joanne's adventure in the previous book, she is still dealing with the aftermath. Letting everything loose and the imbalance of power, a cannibalistic killer is drawn to her for some unknown reason. To me, the nature of the killer was extremely predictable. I figured it out long before it was stated to the audience. For the sake of not spoiling it, I'm not saying it here.

Sheesh, I don't know how many times I have rewritten this section over and over again! Really, all I have to summarize the book is that someone who was thought lost returns; Corvallis continues to put her nose where it doesn't belong and they end up in a better place; Joanne being confronted with her true role; more angst between her and Morrison; a new spirit guide; and that's about it.

Unfortunately, even though this book is nearly 400 pages, it doesn't feel as though it had much substance. Granted, I wanted to know what happened and how things played out, but I found myself struggling to finish the book. It took all my effort to finish it this afternoon. It took me the greater part of the day to read less than a 100 pages!! Needless to say, I wasn't too impressed.

I felt the story just took too long. I enjoyed parts, I was curious to see how the book would end, etc. It just drug on and on and on . . . For example, the ending took a little too long. Yes, yes, I always complain that the ending is always too rushed, but this ending took too long! Also, bringing Sara into the story seemed rather pointless. Granted, it got her to open up to Gary about her past, but I didn't really see the point in adding her into the story. Aside from Sara confirming Joanne's dream training by Coyote and telling her to return to North Carolina, she didn't offer anything more than an obstacle and possible cannon fodder.

That being said, it wasn't a terrible book, but it didn't really hold my attention. Due to the fact that I wanted to see how it ended, I'm going to give the author a break. However, I'm not sure how badly I want to read the next book in the series.


Rating:
Currently: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Current Pages:
753
Current Progress:

2/50 books



sinn

Book Tour -- It Takes a Witch

Title: It Takes a Witch
Author: Heather Blake
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: ARC uncorrected proof, 299
Published: Jan. 3, 2012
Opening Lines: "Usually I'm not in the habit of tiptoeing through strange houses under the cover of darkness."

"Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They've come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business . . .

"Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: They're actually Wishcrafters -- witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt's magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills.

"But their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead -- strangled with Aunt Velma's scarf -- and Ve's sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming over the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Sylar wish that the victim would disappear --- forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it'll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery."

~Jacket copy


Thoughts: I was so excited to receive this book in the mail! The "Uncorrected Proofs" got me extremely excited! It made me feel like I was finally coming into my own as a book blogger! I really, really, really wanted to like this book, especially with the nice note left by the author. Unfortunately, I could not convince myself.

Where do I start? When I started reading this book, my husband asked what I thought of it. I told him that it was obvious it was the author's first book. It needed a lot of work. The author, while having an interesting story idea, needed to mature into her craft. After that, I found out the author has written several books. Oh wow . . .

First of all, I found Darcy and Harper's last name to be way too cliche. I could see it as a cute touch to a first time author, but it really annoyed me. Also, when a pickpocket was mentioned at the village meeting, Darcy was quick to jump to the conclusion that her sister was responsible. However, the audience is told that Harper only did crimes related to activism. That being the case, why does Darcy automatically assume her sister is stealing money from tourists? And that brings up the Enchanted Village . . . I cannot put my finger on it, but it felt too contrived.

The residents and business owners in the Enchanted Village are concerned about the pickpocket and the fact that it was driving tourists away. However, the murder had no effect on them. Does this seem weird? In addition, the residents didn't seem to be phased by the fact that someone was strangled behind the local bookstore. It was more of a novelty and something to titter about around the green. To a point I can see the gossip, but the author pushed it to an unbelievable point.

Multiple times Darcy and other people break into the victim's house/place of business. On the first occasion, it was to stop a thief. Unfortunately, the thief disappears into thin air, which leaves Darcy and her accomplice on the scene of a crime. Does this strike the cops as weird . . .? And, if this isn't enough, Darcy constantly tells the audience that she frowns upon breaking laws; however, since it was fine to break in once, she breaks in AGAIN!

Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. The following chapter picks up sometime after the cliffhanger and barely comes back to it. While I understand a few cliffhangers, constantly doing it is a sign of an immature writer. It felt as though she was doing it in an effort to keep the readers reading.

And, to add insult of injury, the characters in the book honestly believe that an allergic reaction is CONTAGIOUS!

There are many more issues I had with the book, but going into all of them would be overkill. To distill it down, I really did not enjoy this book. The idea was a creative one; however, it was not implemented properly. Normally, I would have given the author a lot of grace if this was her first book. It can take awhile for an author to mature into their craft. However, since she has many books out, there is no excuse. I'm sorry to give a low rating. The only thing that kept this book from getting one skull was the fact that I was curious who murdered Alex.


Rating:

Take a look at the other tour stops: http://crazybooktours.blogspot.com/2011/12/january-tour-it-takes-witch-by-heather.html


Sinn

Theme Song Saturday (15)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to this post to read the rules and get the code.

Here's my songs for the week:






Cherokee Nation by Paul Revere and the Raiders keeps circling in my head. When I remembered that Joanne is half Cherokee makes this song fit. However, I would argue that her biggest identity crisis centers on her mother's side, the Irish. One way or the other, Joanne doesn't fit either side of the family. She felt spurned by her father's people, and she had not contact with her mother's family. Since she is a shaman, I felt that this song seemed to fit.

Due to the way people view her and Billy, Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves by Cher came to mind.


What is your song -- or songs -- this week? Leave a link to your post in the comments!


sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.