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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I am at Scene of the Blog Today!!

Throw your hands up!  You read correctly.  Cathy from Kittling: Books has featured me today on her weekly Wednesday Scene of the Blog.

And yes, my full is Jennifer.

Here is the direct link to the post so you can stop by.

So please pop on by and visit.  We would love to have you.  You may also discover a new blog to read, by checking out the index of past featured bloggers .  Lord knows I've visited quite a few.

So hope to see you at the Scene, and thanks so much to Cathy for asking me to be featured and for writing such a wonderful post.  I am truly honored.

© Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Ain't Scared of No Clowns! Bring IT on!

It's an IT Read-along hosted by Softdrink aka Jill from Fizzy Thoughts and Princess Clown Nose from Reading Thru The Night.  I'm thinking that's not her real name, even though I am not famailiar with her.
Here is the sign up page and the particulars:
What: We’re reading Stephen King’s IT. You can read it, or listen to it, or heck, even watch the film version. Whatever floats your boat. But please think about joining us…our goal is to make this fun! (Because rumor has it, it’s one scary-ass book.)
When: Now through October 14th. Like Trish’s Standalong (why mess with a good thing), we’ll be doing a mid-way check-in, as well as a final post.
(Basically, this whole adventure is because of The Standalong. We heart Trish so much, we decided to torture her and make her keep reading Stephen King. (Also, getting ahead of myself, but I want to mention this since I’ll most likely forget…I really think we should consider The Shining next. Only because I so want to use the hashtag #shineon.)
Suggested reading/posting schedule (don’t worry, we won’t kick you out of the clown car if you don’t stick to it):
  • Sunday, September 16th: read through Part 3, but not the Third Interlude,  and post your thoughts. In my copy, this is page 608 of 1098, making it slightly more than halfway.
  • Sunday, October 14th: finish, and post your final thoughts.
Where: Both here and on Princess Clown Nose’s blog, Reading Thru The Night. I will post here with Mr. Linkies on 9/16 and 10/14 so you can link up to your mid-way and final posts. If you’re on twitter, we’re using #italong for any IT-related tweets. And just like the past few weeks, we will continue with the occasionalclownish interlude (including encouraging you all to post your clown nose pics after the noses arrive!)
Why: Because clowns are fun! And there’s safety in numbers! And because you know you want a clown nose (but supplies are limited, so make sure you hurry on over to the Princess’s blog and email her). Also, because King’s is pretty entertaining, even if his books are ridiculously long.
And Why Am I Doing This: I have a few reasons:
  1. I am such a joiner!  Who doesn't know that.
  2. This is the other King book that I never read, that everyone says you must read.  I just remembered another one that I have to read (Salem's Lot) but I'll save that for 2013.
  3. Trish talked me into it, although I didn't need much pushing
  4. I would like to see just how scary this book is.  Granted clowns are creepy by themselves, so they don't need much to push them over the edge into evil territory.  But I want to see if I get freaked out and have trouble sleeping.  Or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
So, are you in?  Come along and join us.  I'll even let you hold my hand, cause I ain't scared of no clowns!

© Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Review: The Anatomy of Death by Felicity Young

My Rating: 95/100

From GoodReads: 

A woman. A doctor. A beastly science.

At the turn of the twentieth century, London's political climate is in turmoil, as women fight for the right to vote. Dody McCleland has her own battles to fight. As England's first female autopsy surgeon, she must prove herself as she also proves that murder treats everyone equally...

After a heated women's rights rally turns violent, an innocent suffragette is found murdered. When she examines the body, Dody is shocked to realise that the victim was a friend of her sister - fuelling her determination to uncover the cause of the protester's suspicious death.

For Dody, gathering clues from a body is often easier than handling the living - especially Chief Detective Inspector Matthew Pike. Pike is looking to get to the bottom of this case but has a hard time trusting anyone - including Dody. Determined to earn Pike's trust and to find the killer, Dody will have to sort through real and imagined secrets. But if she's not careful, she may end up on her own examination table.

First thoughts? 

There are two story lines entwined in this story: the murder mystery and the women's suffrage movement in England before WWI.  Dody McCleland recently finished medical school and the only position available to her is as a part-time Medical Examiner, utilizing the burgeoning forensic science methods that are starting to become popular.  Women were not granted staff priviledges at hospitals other than the women's hospital, so for Dody this is a grand opportunity.  Dody's sister Florence is prominent in the suffrage movement, so although Dody is some what sympathetic she doesn't condone some of the tactics used by both the women's groups and the government.

While trying to solve the murder of a prominent suffragette, the reader is granted access to the inner workings of the movement, along with it's scary moments.  In case you were not aware, women who imprisoned for marching would often go on hunger strikes.  So as not to lose face, the prison would institute force feeding, a scene of this nature is described in the book.  My goodness!  I don't even know what to say, except these were very brave souls.

While reading this story, at times I felt as those this book was more about the movement than it was about the mystery.  Also, there was not much medical examining going on either.  A lot of time was spent setting up this series, because we learn about Dody, her sister and their background, as well as Inspector Pike.  He is someone I want to learn more about.  All of the characters were interesting and I felt like I good a good baseline to work with.

Again this story didn't have much mystery or medical stuff, but I still enjoyed it.  I guess that speaks to the author's ability for creating a good story even if some of the elements are lacking.  I felt the London fog, and stench of the tenements.  I felt scared while the women walked the streets at night.  Maybe if the story was longer, the author would have added some more medical elements.


Yes, because it was an interesting, easy breezy read, and brought the suffrage movement back to mind.  Those women deserve to be remembered.  The story was quick and the pages flew by.  Just know the mystery is not much.  Hopefully this will be rectified in the next book, now that Dody has her Inspector to work with.  All Ladies need an Inspector, and vice versa!

Would I change anything? 

Yes, add more mystery and medical examining please!

This book was recommended by several bloggers, but I am sorry to say I can't find my notes on who exactly.  So thank you to those recommended this to me :)

Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Mystery, Historical fiction
Paperback, 320 pages
Book Source: borrowed from the library

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Final Review: The Stand by Stephen King

This is my final review post for The Stand...along hosted by Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity.  Please stop by this post to see what others thought, because seriously, I am sure no one will be as negative as me.  Also, you'll probably get better reviews and thoughts there.
Lets get to it, shall we?  

In Short:  The Stand is literally the stand between good and evil when only a handful of people are left in the world due to a catastrophe.  what choices will you make?

Why I read/listened:
I was super excited to read The Stand for several reasons.  Always wanted of those books you are just supposed to have read....give King another chance with me.  Also, I figured reading with friends would help me to get through the book, and the read along certainly did that.

Thoughts in General: I totally enjoyed the first half of the book.  Didn't want to put it down, was interested in what happened to most of the characters, enjoyed the journey they were taking to get to Mother Abigail.  Then they left Nebraska and headed to Boulder, Colorado, and that's when everything fell apart for me.  Once the Free Zone was started everyone started to bore me to tears.  My knitting sister, with whom I discuss books, asked me how The Stand was going and that's when I realized, I did not like any of these people any more.  The characters became two dimensional, were never going to grow (except for Larry), and I wished they were all dead.  If I lived in the Free Zone, I would have left.  I thought the plot came to a screaching halt and that's why I considered not finishing.  But...I pushed forward and skimmed my way to the end.

The book is long. Way too long.  I had the uncut version, but I'm not sure that would have mattered.  

Is The Stand scary? Today in 2012, not so much, but back when it was originally published, probably.  Makes you think though what would you do in this type of situation.  Better learn how to ride a motorcycle or at least a Vespa.  And have good walking shoes.  And know how to defend yourself.

Major Spoilers:  As much as I hated

The one quote I marked:  I have nothing for this.  I'm not usually a quote marker so it has to be really good and stand out for me to mark it.

Bottom Line: I am glad I finally read this book, and this read-along was the push I needed.  This is a classic good vs evil story and many people enjoy it, just not me.  I was surprised by how much religion was in this story.  Good vs evil, religion should be par for the course, I understand that, but I was surprised by King's religious side.  Captain Tripps was this century's version of the Great Flood, and after everything settled down, mankind started to go back to it's old ways, as discussed at the end of the book, with an armed police force being required, etc.  History always repeats itself people.

btw, Trish said something about taking us two-stepping.  I'm so there.  I even own a pair of cowboy boots so I'm set :)

Serious Bottom Line: Well I wanted almost everyone in the book to die, so there's that.  However, mostly everyone else really enjoyed the book.  Part of me doesn't think the narrative aged well, but since it's good vs evil, how can that be?  Some elements felt dated, like Frannie and her story.  Otherwise, people struggling and trying to come together to survive, that story will never get old.

 Have you ever read The Stand?  Thoughts?

My Rating: 79/100 (since the first half was riveting)
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: horror, dystopian
Paperback, 1141  pages
Book Source: Paperbackswap

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: fiction, YA, dystopian
Hardback 391pages
Book Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 100/100

From Goodreads:

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

My thoughts:

I freaking LOVED this book!  Why oh why did I wait so long to read it after Hunger Games?!  I did have trouble remembering some bits and pieces like the berries, but otherwise it was all good.  It came back to me after a few pages.

I won't go into any details in case you haven't read it yet, like me, but I will say there were events or things that made me say "NO!....(Gasp) oh my gods....ahhhh, they were right to do that."  Katniss is my favorite kind of heroine, because she strives to do what is right.  Even though she is afraid and she know she will probably die, she does what she must to save her friends and family.  In this way she reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Doing things no teenager should have to do, making unimaginable choices all with aplomb and some sass.  That's my kind of girl.

As for the overall plot, there were several events I didn't expect.  However, where else can this world or story go?  Shocked by the ending, and eager for more.  I hope the story wraps up nicely.

Here are the bits and pieces that interested me the most (highlight to read):

  • There is a spy or rat in District 12, reporting to President Snow
  • The victory tour with several Districts showing defiance, especially 11 with the whistle  
  • Quarter quell announcement of previous victors being the tributes
  • The wedding gown to Mockingjay dress conversion (my favorite)
  • The other tributes in the 75th Games standing together strong
  • Getting to know the real Haymitch.  New found respect for him.
  • Realizing there is this secret rebellion that's been growing and now is the time for action
  • Poor Cinna!!!!

My one complaint is the love "triangle" of Katniss, Peeta, and Gale.  I love all three characters but there is something about this triangle and Katniss' behavior towards Peeta that drives me crazy.  I understand Katniss is having a hard time deciding, but don't lead people on, and recognize these two boys have feelings for you whether you return them or not.  Be honest with them.  And if you're in love with them both for different reasons or in different ways, then fracking tell them.  They deserve the truth.  Is this the older, wiser, Jenny talking here?  Possibly, but seriously, in the world these three live in, some honesty will go a long way.

If you have read this book I would love to hear your thoughts!

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"