Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Review

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if Florida, Rhode Island, parts of California, and more were suddenly washed away by giant tsunamis? What if the sky was constantly ash barren for months straight, without a glimmer of sunlight due to new volcanoes erupting? What if all you could eat was 1/4 of a can of green beans as your entire meal for the day, while knowing you wouldn't eat again for two days? What if I told you this was all caused because of a miscalculation? A miscalculation dealing with the moon. In Life As We Knew It bu Susan Beth Pfeffer, scientists worldwide miscalculate the impact of a meteor hitting the moon. The night of the event, the moon was pushed closer to Earth, drastically changing the gravitational pull and everything with it. Almost instantly, the tides change causing giant tsunamis, wiping out parts of the country. Life changes dramatically for everyone on Earth.

Pfeffer's story follows one family in particular. Miranda and her family have the struggles of everyone else, but to hear it from through the eyes of one high school girl makes it all the more interesting. There are highs (surprisingly) and lows (obviously) but a strong sense of familial effort is felt throughout this book.

I, personally, was touched when reading this. It made me think about what would happen to me if suddenly we were skyrocketing towards the coveted 'end of the world'. How would my life be impacted? What would I be feeling? What are regrets I'd have? Things I wished I'd done, things I'd wished I'd done better, things I wished I'd never done to begin with. It was scary. It was in your face, I don't care how much it hurts to think about it scary lol. It honestly freaked me out a little. Once I got past the initial stages and calmly and rationally realized this is just a book, the world is not ending, I really thought about these things. I felt for Miranda's character so much at times and other times I was smacking my forehead for her! I thought that Pfeffer did a remarkable job penning this character. Perfect of that of a teenage girl going through a crisis.

It was my pleasure to be able to read this first book in Mrs. Pfeffer's trilogy. I am so pleased to say my library is ordering the next two for me to read, so I will read them soon and have those reviews up after doing so! May I finish with thanking Susan Beth Pfeffer. Thank you for closing this Book One by giving us a glimmer of hope.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Books, books, and yep, you guessed it! More books!

So with everything going on lately, I've acquired quite a few new books or so it seems! Lol! And quite a wide range in topics too. Everything from Horrow/Thriller to Young Adult, Christian Fiction to General Fiction. I love to read obviously, the same as many or most of you who are going to be reading this. So I thought I would give you a stroll through my most recent bookshelf full of books today!

">Strangers by Dean Koontz

THEY WERE STRANGERS A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common—except fear.
THEY WERE VICTIMS Cold and stark, an unknown terror gripped their dreams and turned their days into living nightmares.
THEY WERE CHOSEN And they could not escape. Deep in the heart of a sprawling desert, a dark memory called out to them, drawing them to the Tranquility Motel—where the terrifying truth was waiting…
(All descriptions were taken from the author's website.)

">Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz

They’re out there.
Waiting. Watching. Unseen by normal eyes, but all too visible to Slim MacKenzie, a young man blessed – or cursed – by Twilight Eyes…
They’re out there Lurking in the darkest shadows of an eerie, moonlit carnival. Feeding their twisted needs with human suffering. And fiendishly plotting the downfall of the human race…
They’re out there But don’t scream.
They’ll hear you.

Phantoms by Dean Koontz

CLOSER… They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.
AND CLOSER… At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.
AND CLOSER… But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…

Young Adult:
The Locker by Richie Tankersley Cusick

After the nightmarish death of her parents, Marlee Fleming was starting over - a new school, a "happy life." But her new friends Tyler and Noreen acted strangely when they saw the locker she'd been assigned. They said it had belonged to Suellen, who had mysteriously disappeared. The moment Marlee opened the locker and saw the horrifying vision, she was afraid. Afraid of the future. Afraid of her own premonitions, of powers she tried to deny. With a thrill of terror, Marlee knew she'd been chosen to find Suellen - even at the cost of her own life!

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (recommended by Miss Ariel!)

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.
Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless.

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson (Recommended by my friend, Brittany!)

The grim political problems of Europe before and during World War II set in motion the plot of this upbeat, gently humorous romance, but such grave matters are soon left behind so the author of Madensky Square can spin a predictable but engaging story of love denied, then finally triumphant. As the Nazis march into Vienna, British paleontologist Quinton Somerville decides to save 20-year-old Ruth Berger, daughter of his Jewish-Austrian colleague, by marrying her and whisking her off to England, where the couple plan to obtain a quick annulment. Naturally, complications delay the dissolution of their marriage, so Ruth enrolls in London's Thameside College, where Quin is a highly sought-after professor. Indeed, wealthy, aristocratic Verena Plackett has set her cap for him. Ibbotson's spirited novel features atmospheric locales--Budapest, Vienna and the Somerville estate in Northumbria among them--and a colorful supporting cast of European refugees whose eccentric behavior mystifies their upper-class British sponsors.

Christian Fiction:
A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

The elegance of Madam Fortier's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston.
Each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream - and their chance for love.
Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer (Recommended by Amber and Casey!)

When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!
Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.
Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?
When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to consequences neither could have foreseen--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin

In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.
But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love... even when He is silent.

Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

CAUGHT in a nation splitting apart.
ANGERED by those who would enslave others.
EMBOLDENED by a passion to make a difference.
TORN between the one she loves and a truth she can't deny.
Here is Caroline Fletcher's story.
Candle in the Darkness, Book One in the Refiner's Fire series, tells the story of a timid southern girl who finds her voice as she begins to tell the truth about the atrocities around her. A short stay in the North confirms her abolitionist feelings, but when she returns to the South she finds herself torn between her home, a beloved suitor who doesn't share her feelings, and the principles she knows are true. Standing for right may mean standing alone. Does she have the courage?

Love Finds You in Maiden, North Carolina by Tamela Hancock Murray

The Roaring Twenties comes to a very small town… At a time when most American girls are dreaming of bobbed hair and flapper dresses, Hestia Myatt dreams only of becoming a doctor. On a visit to Maiden, North Carolina, to care for an ailing aunt, Hestia becomes reacquainted with a handsome former classmate, Booth Barrington.
Things are going well for Hestia until her glamorous cousin, Selene, mysteriously arrives from New
York. Selene turns the heads of every bachelor in town and she seems to have set her sights on Booth. Will Hestia become resentful of her cousin, who can talk of nothing but speakeasies and wild soirées? Or can Hestia’s maidenly influence convince Selene to change her world-weary ways?

General Fiction:
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire…but who was this woman and how did she become one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous story comes to life as only Michelle Moran could tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin…
Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American Ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, and when word arrives that the royals themselves are coming to see their likenesses, Marie never dreams that the king’s sister will request her presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. Yet when a letter with a gold seal is delivered to her home, Marie knows she cannot refuse—even if it means time away from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles.
As Marie becomes acquainted with her pupil, Princess Élisabeth, she is taken to meet both Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she’s ever seen, to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into to a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table.
Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and cafés across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there’s whispered talk of revolution…Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more importantly, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?
Spanning five years from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.

Power and Tender by Margret Russell (I am reviewing this book, the author is a woman from our church! How cool is that!? Review and interview soon to follow.)

I do not have a book description available at this time.

Current Library Books:
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid 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. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource—hope.

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson

Paris is stunning in the summer
NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.
The killing is simply marvelous
Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.
Wish you were here
Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

Now, don't get me wrong, I did not buy all of these, but acquired some of them! Lol! This is my collection of about the past month and a half, maybe two months. Apparently when I'm stressed, I seek out books. Who knew? Lol I guess it could be worse, eh? Anyway, I hope you all might take a chance to check some of these out. I realize that a lot of the horror/thriller you all probably won't be into. However, some of you might've read some of the Christian Fiction! If so, let me know which one(s) and how you liked it!

What are you focusing on reading right now? Have you gotten any new books recently!?

Love and happy reading!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Questioning and Grieving

Why do people feel so hopeless they need to die? When does that become the only option in their mind? What events occur to make a person feel so small? Why can't they open up and just talk to someone? Why do they put their lives in so much danger and eventually the ultimate danger for their self, their personal reasons? Why, why, why, why, why!?

Questions are just pouring through my mind. All day, well since 1pm, when I recieved the news. One of my friends that I have known for quite a few years, since elementary school actually, committed suicide. It came as a complete shock to everybody I know. She did it this weekend sometime, but it became "public" so to speak today.

I don't really know how to feel. I'm sad, confused, upset. I just don't really know what to do. She was literally one of the sweetest girls you'd ever meet. She was ALWAYS smiling. I know you can put up a mask, but she really did seem genuinely happy. I just talked to her at work. She told me she was transferring to my school in the fall. She was excited. She knew me and another girl, but I told her I could introduce her to some people until she got her footing. We were going to go down a day this summer so I could show her around. Just knowing all this eats me up even more.

I have a headache, a dread sitting in the pit of my stomach, unshed tears behind my eyes, a constant worry in my mind.
I want to just wake up and this have been a nightmare. We weren't terribly close, but we were close enough that it affects me and I truly care about what has happened. She was not stranger to me and my family. It is so weird to think about the fact that the first person in our class to die has died. I know that's morbid, but it's true. Just can't believe it was her.

I am trying not to dwell, but I think that there is a very fine line. We need time to grieve when a loved one dies. She is gone forever, no more moments will be made. A song that we actually analyzed in AP English last year, so I think it's kind of appropriate, has been helping me. I keep listening to it tonight lol and would love to share it with you. It's called I Grieve by Peter Gabriel:

If it doesn't work: I Grieve by Peter Gabriel

Yes, it is terribly sad and we're all allowed to be sad for awhile. We've lost a dear friend afterall. However, she wouldn't have wanted us to always mourn her loss. Instead to prosper in her abscense and remember her for all her good. She will be very dearly missed and no, I haven't completely come to terms with it yet, but I know I'll get there eventually. Until then, I am trying to remember her positively in my mind. I will miss her, as I know so many others will. Prayers are going out for her family, her closest friends, the ones who knew her most.

I was at my sister's concert tonight and they sang a song that made me think of this whole situation. It seems that Ashley would've agreed with this and made me smile some thinking about it.

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

Thanks for letting me vent. This is a tricky time for us here. Love to you all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yuuuuuuuuum! Your Taste Buds Will Thank You If You Check This Post Out!!!

Hello again!
Wow! Twice in one week?! ; ) This is a special post that is dedicated to a special lady! Lol I wanted to do this post for Miss Ariel. Ariel, you've been such a crazy amazing addition to my circle of friends! We're soulmates, sisters, best friends, all sorts of things :P In all seriousness though, you've been here for me in the past few months when no one else has. We became fast friends and I will always be grateful for how open minded you have been towards me. We have a lot of memories even though they may not be in person yet, but one day we know it'll happen : ) Speaking of things we need to do together, this is for you, girl!

Hannah's Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

These are so yummy, easy to make, big, but sooooo worth it ; )
1) Melt some chocolate chips. I know this is vague but it really depends on how big you actually want to make your cup. I usually melt a couple handfuls to make sure I have enough.

I would suggest about 30 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds and they should be completely melted!

2) This is what your counter should look like:

You need your melted chocolate chips, favorite peanut butter, cupcake paper (YES mine is Christmas! Lol!), and a clean spoon. Now you will begin building your cup! Place a thin layer on the bottom, keep it about 1/2 inch thick or a little less.

Next put about a teaspoon of peanut butter in the center, as you can tell it does not need to be in any specific shape or size!

Lastly, use the remaining chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter. With this step you can round out the peanut butter if you want to. Whatever happens though, make sure the peanut butter is covered!

Now into the freezer in a FLAT spot your peanut butter cup goes!! I recommend putting it on a plate, which helps too.

And now the wait begins! Tonight while I waited I watched some TV and painted my nails BUT so you have some entertainment, here's some friend related things since this is for one of my besties : )

Now, are you ready for the big reveal?? Go ahead, open up your freezer, pull out that peanut butter cup! Wait a minute before pulling off the wrapper or it'll stick to it! Lol : )

Now dig in!! I know I enjoyed mine ^_^

Now to close this long post lol I just want to repeat Mr. Andrew Gold. Ariel, thank you for being a friend to me. You've opened up and really let me in, even though I know that can be difficult for you. Thank you for letting me be a friend in return, that's all I ever ask. I cannot wait for the years to come: trips, weddings, shoe shopping, even peanut butter cups!! Good times are coming for us, together and apart. I cannot wait to celebrate with you, but remember I'm always here to help pick up the pieces too if need be. I know we're a whole country apart, but distance? Meh. Who cares, we can beat the miles. I love you, Ariel and am so proud to call you my friend : )

Enjoy the peanut butter cups, everyone! But more importantly, go enjoy some time with your bestie!
Love you all,