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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Harry Potter Reading Challenge!

Yep, I'm joining another challenge. Good thing all these challenges give lots of time for me to complete them. I've been meaning to re-read all the Harry Potter books anyway. So this is perfect.

So I am joining Galley Smith's Harry Potter Reading Challenge. Woot!

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Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

At last, my first review as part of BethFishReads' Sookie Stackhouse Challenge.  This is actually a hard review for me to write.  I just finished watching Season 1 of True Blood.  So as I was re-reading this book, I kept comparing it to the series – what the series included, didn't include, how it was different …  In fact, when I started the book, my mental voice has a distinct Southern accent.  It was quite distracting!  Another problem is I know what is going to happen (with Bill, Eric, Bubba …) so my reading was shaded by what I know the future is going to hold for these characters.  But still, I enjoyed Book 1 and getting to know Sookie's world and all the characters in it. 

Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at Merlotte's bar in tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana.  She has a "disability" – she can read people's minds. Due to this disability, Sookie is uber-happy to meet vampire Bill, because she can't read the minds of vampires.   Vampires came out of the coffin recently, thanks to the Japanese's invention of synthetic blood.  Some vampires, like Bill, are trying to live amongst the humans.  Other are not fully on board.  Humans are also trying to deal with the now-legal vampires.  Some humans, like Sookie, are more accepting of vampires.  Others, not so much.  In fact, someone seems to be killing off women who have relationships with vampires.  Sookie has to evade a killer at the same time she tries to navigate her way through a newly discovered supernatural world.

This book is a great introduction into Sookie-verse.  What I love most about Sookie is that she's just a girl who happens to read minds.  She's practical and sensible, but she also has a temper, gets her feelings hurt, and tries her best to deal with work, family, love and romance. 

It's hard to review the book without mentioning the True Blood series, which follows the book pretty faithfully.  I do have a few comments though.  First, I never pictured Anna Paquin as Sookie, but she does a good job.  I think the Sookie character is pretty faithful to the book.  However, in the books, her brother, Jason, is more selfish and less of a loveable idiot.  I think Bill and Sam are well portrayed.  While there are some deviations from the book, it's mostly very well done.  Except for the Tara storyline … not so sure about that part. 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books before watching the series (I know it's only in Season 2). 

As for the book: B+.

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Sookie Stackhouse Challenge

Here is my progress tracker post for the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge:

  1. Dead Until Dark – TBRR
  2. Living Dead in Dallas – TBRR
  3. Club Dead – TBRR
  4. Dead to the World – TBRR
  5. Dead as a Doornail – TBRR
  6. Definitely Dead – TBRR
  7. All Together Dead – TBR
  8. From Dead to Worse – TBRR
  9. Dead and Gone

I am also entering GalleySmith's True Blood give away.  Will I win my second prize ever?  We shall see!  I can't wait to get to reading as soon as I receive the books!

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Update 0: [July 6, 2009] Yes, they are all TBR for now, but hopefully not for too long.

Update 1: [July 6, 2009] Found 2 previous reviews of the Sookie Stackhouse books (Definitely Dead and From Dead to Worse), which I linked above as well.  But I will probably do another mini-review after I re-read them.  And from my powers of deduction after reading my reviews, I think the book I missed is All Together Dead.  Maybe?  Gah, can't remember.  This is why I need to re-read them all!  And I don't think I've read Dead and Gone yet.  So I've changed some of the above to TBRR (To Be Re-Read).  *pats self for such a clever acronym*  haha.  

Update 2: [July 10, 2009] Received the Sookie Stackhouse books from Melsbookshelf.  Time to get to readin'!
Update 3: [July 14, 2009] Finished Dead Until Dark (book 1).  Review here.
Update 4: [October 14, 2009]  Finished Dead and Gone (book 9).  Review here.  

I can’t believe it!

I actually won Mel's Bookshelf's Sookie Stackhouse contest!  I've seriously never won anything before.  Not a single dollar from a single lottery ticket or any other contest.  Hmm… maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket now? haha. 

Well, I'm super excited.  I've been a Sookie Stackhouse fan for years.  But I guess I've always borrowed the books from the library so I don't actually own any of them.  And I'm pretty sure I missed a book somewhere in the middle.  Oh, and I've been Netflix-ing True Blood, which I LOVE so far.  So I'm definitely excited about having my own set of books and re-reading all of them. 

Thanks again, Melissa!  for an awesome contest.  And, since I no longer have the excuse of now owning any of the books, I am joining Beth Fish's Sookie Stackhouse Challenge

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Everything Austen Challenge

I've decided to join the Everything Austen Challenge.  Surely I can read/watch 6 Austen-related things by years end, right?  Here are my choices, which may change …

  1. Mansfiend Park - The movie starring Frances O'Connor and Jonny Lee Miller. I've seen this move before and it's one of my favorites.
  2. Becoming Jane – This movie is already in my instant queue on Netflix.  Plus, I love Anne Hathaway.  I'm looking forward to watching it.
  3. The Jane Austen Book Club – Again, already in my queue.  But too bad it's not on instant queue, which is an awesome feature!
  4. Jane Austen Ruined My Life – Sounds like an interesting book. Plus, my friend Janicu is reading this one too.
  5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Definitely want to check this book out.
  6. Pride and Prejudice – Need to re-read this book.

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Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn is one of my favorite authors, whom I just discovered last year.  I really enjoyed her series about the Bridgerton siblings.  I've also liked some of her non-Bridgerton books.  But I'm a bit unsure about this one.  I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say I loved it.  

Amelia has been engaged to Thomas, the Duke of Wyndham, since she was a baby.  Even though Amelia is getting to be a bit on the shelf, Thomas is still taking his time.  Thomas likes to be engaged and he does intend to marry Amelia … one day.  But just as he's starting to see Amelia as a person and finding out that he's attracted to her as a woman and a person, his long-lost cousin shows up.  His long-lost elder cousin.  If Thomas is not the Duke of Wyndham, who is he?  And is he still engaged to Amelia?

Overall, I liked Amelia and Thomas.  But I'm not sure I felt the chemistry between the two of them as much.  Plus, I knew this is one of a pair of books.  The other one, the Duke of Wyndham, is written from the cousin's point of view.  So the entire time, I was feeling like I'm missing something.  So I'm definitely going to read the other book and see if I can fill in some blanks, if there are any to be filled. 

[Slightly SPOILERISH]  I thought there would be more of a mystery about who is who, who is the real Duke of Wyndham.  But I guess the titles speak for themselves. Hah!  So in that sense, I was a little disappointed because it seemed too easy that Thomas just accepted that he's no longer the Duke and turned everything over to his cousin.  I guess I was expecting a bit more conflict, a bit more fight in him.  But he seemed to just accept that it's the right thing to do and seemed almost happy and relieved he's no longer the Duke with all of the ducal resposibilities.  I dunno, it just didn't feel authentic to me.

So, I'm going to pick up the other book and read it and see how I feel after that.  B-.

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