Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Secret

Title:  The Secret
Author: Rhonda Byrne
Ideal Age Range: Any
Mass Market Paperback: 198 pages
Copyright Date:  November 2006
Blurb: Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.
In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life -- money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers -- men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
My Rating: (★★★)  I borrowed The Secret by Rhonda Byrne from the library, even though I own a copy of it …somewhere.  I’ve owned it for years and had never read it.  Now that I have read it, I feel reminded that positive thoughts attract more positive thoughts and vice versa with negative thoughts.  The thing is..  is that I’ve always thought this.

The Secret did not really teach me anything new; the lesson is the same that I learned in high school when I went to a Unity church.  Only there it was in the form of Affirm It, Believe It, Be It.  Instead of The Secret’s Ask, Believe, Receive.  In any case it was a good refresher and a positive influence because it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative.

The Secret gets a little repetitive in it’s rhetoric, but at least it drills home it’s point.  It’s definitely a positive book and mostly an easy and short read.  I’m glad I finally read it.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games (2012)

Title:  The Hunger Games (2012)
Director:  Gary Ross
Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens 
Length:  142 minutes.
Tagline: The Games Will Change Everyone, The World Will Be Watching, May the Odds be Ever in your Favor
Synopsis:  In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
My Rating:(★★★★★)  
Quotes: Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!

My thoughts:  I was super excited to see The Hunger Games today, my husband and I had my parents watch our son while we went to the noon-thirty screening.  I've been waiting to see it since I first heard that they were making it into a movie.  Really, really excited.  So excited that even the teaser trailer had me jumping up and down in my seat and clapping.
I am always reserved at my expectations when a movie is made based on a book that I love.  I was disappointed before when I saw Eragon, but I wasn't disappointed this time for The Hunger Games, and I am even more excited to see the subsequent future films.  I thought it was incredibly true to the book, with only a few slight changes and those made sense and weren't integral to the story anyway, so I don't think I would complain too much about it.
The only thing that makes me go "hmm" is that Haymitch wasn't exactly how I thought of him as being when I read the book.  Even though I'm not complaining about it because I actually thought that Woody Harrelson did a pretty good job, he just wasn't how I imagined Haymitch.  I guess it was because he didn't seem "drunk enough" to me.
I thought that the set up to the games and the games themselves were both exciting and scary, it was completely believable and palpable- the fear that Katniss feels as she is about to be raised into the arena.  
So, I'm happy that I was not disappointed, even more happy that I have no huge gripes about the movie.  Can't wait to see Catching Fire!
In the mean time, go out and see The Hunger Games, and as always, Happy Reading!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mastiff {Beka Cooper Book Three}

Title:  Mastiff
Author: Tamora Pierce
Ideal Age Range: Middle School/ Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 593 pages
Copyright Date:  2011
Blurb: The Hunt is on!  Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost’s Guard.  But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiancĂ© is killed on a slave raid.  Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.
It is as Beka is facing these feelings that Lord Gershom appears at her door.  Within hours, Beka; her partner, Tunstall; her scent hound, Achoo; and an unusual but powerful mage are working on an extremely secretive case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family, and therefore the entire Tortallan government.  As Beka delves deeper into the motivations of the criminals she now Hunts, she learns of deep-seated political dissatisfaction, betrayal, and corruption.  These are people with power, money, and influence.  They are able to hire the most skilled of mages, well versed in the darkest forms of magic.  And they are nearly impossible to identify.
The case-a Hunt that will take her to places she’s never been-will challenge Beka’s tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly whom she can rust with her life and her country’s future.
My Rating: (★★★★★)  My mother bought me Mastiff for my birthday in November.  I just got to reading it, and let me tell you, surprisingly, that it was a little difficult to get into the groove of at first.  I was a little daunted by the sheer length of the novel at a whopping 593 pages, which is a lot longer than I am used to by Tammy standards.  The first half didn’t exactly grab and hold my attention until the action started getting a little bit more fast paced, I’d say (if you’ve read it), right after they traverse the marsh is where it started to get good.
For example, the first part of the book too me about ten days to read as I read before bed most of the time, and after it started getting good?  I finished it in about 3 days, because I stayed up way past my usual bed time to read it and read it during my son’s nap time as well.  That’s the signal of a good story, eh?
I enjoyed all of the characters’ development, and Beka’s growing maturity and focus while out on the Hunt.  I liked the new character in Farmer Cape, the mage.  I loved the mystery, and I was blown away by the ending.  My only gripe would be the length, but it turned out to be a-okay at the end and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything, I don’t think.
In short, I think if you enjoyed the other two books in the series, Terrier and Bloodhound, there’s a definite possibility that you will love Mastiff.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lioness Rampant { Song of the Lioness #4 } [Audiobook]

Title: Lioness Rampant {Book 4t of the Song of the Lioness Quartet}
Author: Tamora Pierce
Ideal Age Range: Ages 11 and up
Audiobook: 7 hours 9 Min (6 CDS)
Narrated by: Trini Alvarado
Synopsis: At last, Alanna of Trebond has become the first female knight errant in Tortall. She sets out on an impossible quest to find the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem that, in the right hands, has limitless power for good. But while she searches for the one thing that can save her war-torn country, her nemesis returns from the dead and begins to wreak havoc. Only Alanna has the power to prevent Tortall's utter destruction.

My Rating:(★★★★★)  I have absolutely no complaints about the audiobook of Lioness Rampant, okay, I lied, maybe two, the narrator started making Faithful sound like a girl cat (to me) in this last book.  And, I never really noticed when I read the books before what a kind of messed up relationship Liam and Alanna had, but other than that.  Nothing.  I loved it.  I cried.  I laughed.  I am sure I will never get sick of these books whether in paperback format or audiobook.

Happy reading!