Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ZAN-GAH and the Beautiful Country-Book Review

ZAN-GAH AND THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY
By Allan Richard Shickman
2009
151 pages

From Back Cover:
Well past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him. Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face. Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar.His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth. His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.
"It is time, Zan. Let us go!"
"Where? It's dark!"
"I want to find where the river comes from."
The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes. It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thought both destructive and self-destructive. But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.
My thoughts:
This book is the second in a trilogy by author Shickman. The first one being Zan-Gah A Prehistoric Adventure which introduces us to Zan and his troubled brother Dael. Twin brothers born in prehistoric times where life comes down to surviving the elements and finding food. Zan is raised with his tribe and becomes a like and well respected member. Dael on the other hand is kidnapped by a warring tribe and raised with abuse and hatred. At the end of Zan-Gah A Prehistoric Adventure Zan rescues Dael and brings him back to his family and tribe. And this is where Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country picks up.
Right away I was swept back into the tale of Zan and Dael. These characters are ones that stay with you long after you have finished the book.
Even though Dael is now back with his tribe and family all is not right with him. He finds love and marries but his wife dies in childbirth. More tragedy for Dael to deal with. The years of captivity have taken a toll on his heart and mind. He is unable to let go of the hatred he feels for the tribe that stole his life from him. He wants revenge more then anything and is determined that his brother Zan should go with him back to The Beautiful Country and that the lives of his tormentors and their land also.
Reluctantly Zan who is now the leader of the tribe agrees to move his people to the Beautiful Land in hopes of finding a better life for them and Dael.
Throughout the story Dael continues to wrestle the demons inside himself. As a reader you pity him but struggle to like him despite his hardships. Such a complicated, complex character!
Zan is a good man who puts his tribe and brothers needs ahead of his own. He wants Dael to find happiness but not at the cost of the tribe and their well being.
This story has adventure and heart.
I donated Zan Gah A Prehistorical Adventure to my local middle school library. I plan to do the same with this book. It's my hope that it finds its way into the hands of kids wanting a story that is action packed and memorable.
I can't wait to pick the next title in the series Dael and the Painted People.
Thank you to Bonnie at Earthshaker Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I needed this today.....
Glorious Song Of Old(Silent Night)
A Beautiful and Perfect Song for the Holidays!
 Glorious Song of Old by Katherine Nelson

INCARCERON-A Book Review

INCARCERON
By Catherine Fisher
442 pages
2007
From Inside Cover:
Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: It's inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities,and unbound wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.
Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can't remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He's going to escape, even though most inmates don't believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.
Claudia claims to live Outside-her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she's doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return.
But they don't realize there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.
Because Incarceron is alive.
My thoughts:
I admit it. I picked this book up totally based on the reviews of other book bloggers. They raved-so I had to check it out. If I had read the inside cover first I probably would have not given it a chance. The plot just sounds too weird for me- I struggle with Fantasy.
The "IT" Factor-The Characters
The characters captured my attention right away. Finn and Claudia both have strong personalities so different yet the same-desperate to escape their situations. He in on the Inside and she is on the Outside. Escape is their highest priority. His from the prison-hers from a loveless marriage.
Finn's relationship with his oath brother, Keiro is complex and at times confusing. As is Claudia's relationship to her father. Does he love Claudia or is she just a bargaining chip? Wow!
The "ICK" Factor-The Prison
Incarceron is alive. A society decides to lock away the bad guys. They lock em up and throw away the key. People forget about Incarceron. Centuries pass and life goes on. Eventually the prison come to life-becomes a living, breathing thing. WTF? I just couldn't get into it.
Would I recommend to other readers?
Yes!
Undoubtedly other readers have the imagination for the parts I struggled with and would very much enjoy the entire story.
The sequel to Incarceron is called Sapphique and I will definitely read it. Incarceron leaves the reader on a cliff hanger and I really want to know what happens to the characters that I've grown to know and love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

GIFT CARD Giveaway Hop!

TIME TO HOP!
Mug of Moxie is giving away a $15 gift card from iTunes! With this gift card you can purchase your favorite songs, a movie, an iBook or an audiobook. This giveaway is hosted by I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and Attack of the Book. There are over 120 blogs participating in this hop. There's sure to be lots of great gift card giveaways. The list is included at the bottom of this post.
To enter this giveaway you must be a follower of Mug of Moxie-please leave your GFC name and contact information in comment section. Just for kicks and giggles tell me what you want Santa to leave you under the tree this year. This giveaway is open to International followers as well. A winner will be chosen by random.org on December 14th. I will mail gift card directly to you.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

BLOGGER BEGS FOR HELP!!


Sending out an S.O.S.
This year I'm asking Santa for an ereader. But the choice between the Kindle Fire or Nook....
I can't decide!!
Opinions please....Pro and Cons.....Buyer's Regret.....No Regrets......
Which one do I put on my list??

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I HATE BALLS!!!

BALLS ARE THE PROBLEM – SPAY / NEUTER IS THE SOLUTION


I Hate Balls is an edgy campaign targeted to raise awareness about spay/neuter, a simple and extremely effective means of stopping the killing of animals in shelters.
Nancy and Katherine Heigl, founders of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation developed the I Hate Balls campaign to reach into all pet friendly hearts and homes with one surgically direct mission - fight the good fight against balls!
Since its inception, the Jason Heigl Foundation has taken the bull by the...well, balls. Funding spay/neuter programs has long been a passionate focus for the Foundation alongside the provision of financial support for rescue organizations that save pets from over-crowded shelters on a daily basis.

Visit us at  http://jasonheiglfoundation.org/  or ihateballs.com to read more about our mission, success stories, a myriad of programs, and our very special rescued pets in need of a home - the Heigl Hounds Of Hope.

Do your part and join the I Hate Balls campaign today!
•Donate to the campaign - and "fix" the problem
•Adopt a pet - and save a life
•Spay/neuter your pet - and save a litter

CONTEST WINNER!


WE HAVE A WINNER!!
Gabby @ What's Beyond Forks?
Her wish is for a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth.
A giant thank you to all my old and new followers. And thank you to the hosts I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and All Consuming Books.
Look for the next Giveaway Hop that Mug of Moxie is participating in- Gift Card Giveaway Hop where I'll be giving away a $15 gift card from iTunes to purchase your favorite songs, a movie, an iBook or an audiobook.
Happy Reading!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Movie Preview-Snow White and the Huntsman

Coming to a theater near you....
Snow White and the Huntsman
2012
Charlize Theron scares the hell out of me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interview with Patricia McCormick for Purple Heart

Book Review-Purple Heart

PURPLE HEART
By Patricia McCormick
199 Pages
2009

From Inside Cover:
When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.
There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.
Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad-Justin, Wolf and Charlene-the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.
My Thoughts:
A Middle School Librarian asked me to preview this book before putting it on the shelf for her students. Purple Heart is a book I would have totally judged by it's cover and passed it over. I don't normally seek out books about war. I'm so very glad I had the opportunity to read Purple Heart and experience Patricia McCormick's amazing story.
Purple Heart gives you a chance to experience the War in Iraq from a soldier's point of view. It's not pretty. Matt is laying in a hospital bed with a traumatic brain injury. As Matt lays there recovering he tries to piece together the moments he and a fellow soldier were caught in cross fire and a young boy was killed. We are with Matt as certain truths are revealed and the chain of events leading up to the explosion start to become more clear to him. Soon he is back in the field with his squad-but can he still trust them and can he still protect them. Everything is different and he is changed. He still needs to know what happened to this little boy and if he was the cause of his death. He can't move forward until he finds answers.
Matt is a very likable character and very soon you find yourself rooting for him and his quest for truth.
I loved having a first hand look into the Iraqi War, The soldiers and The civilians. It gave me better understanding into the relationships that have been built between the Iraqi people and soldiers and the politics that rule both their worlds.
My 16 yr old saw me reading this book and became interested in reading it for his English class. Hopefully he enjoys it as mush as I did.
I added this blurb from Patricia McCormick that I found on Amazon.com.
From the Author:
Patricia McCormick(taken from Amazon.com)
Sometimes a book begins with a single, unforgettable image.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of working on an unusual peace demonstration─one that united Vietnam vets with recent veterans from the war in Iraq and old-fashioned peaceniks. These unlikely groups were brought together by the American Friends Service Committee, the Quakers.
As a group, we arranged more than 3,600 pairs of combat boots, each one tagged with the name of a soldier who'd died in Iraq or Afghanistan, in a display that was meant to symbolize the real human cost of the war. Nearby, we laid out a pile of civilian shoes to symbolize the uncounted men, women and children who'd died in Iraq.
One pair of shoes caught my eye. It was a pair of sneakers, just the right size for a ten-year-old boy. I instantly saw that boy being shot in the chest, his small body flung into the air from the force of the blast. As much as I tried to forget such a horrific image, I couldn't. And so I spent the next few years imagining how such a thing could happen.
Purple Heart is a fictionalized look at that death, and how two young American soldiers may or may not have been involved in it. It isn't an anti-war book. It isn't a pro-war book. It's an attempt to portray how three children─two eighteen-year-old Americans and a ten-year-old Iraqi boy─have been affected by war.
It's estimated that more than 650,000 civilians have died in Iraq. Because this war has been fought in cities, in and amongst families, civilian fatalities have become the "signature" of this conflict─causing profound moral conflicts for soldiers and profound losses for those families.
I finished this book with as many questions as I had when I started. I came away with a deepened respect for our soldiers, a better appreciation of life in a war zone, and a strengthened commitment to peace. My hope is that readers will, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GRATITUDE GIVEAWAY!

WELCOME!
This is my chance to thank all of the awesome followers of Mug of Moxie. I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and the comments you have left.
My ultimate goal is to share my love of reading. I love it when someone tells me about a good book they have recently read and I hope that I'm doing that here with all of you. In the process of blogging I have found other people that feel as passionate about books and reading as I do. It's been an amazing journey so far!
This giveaway is hosted by I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and All Consuming Books. There are over 300 blogs partipating in this hop. I'm sure there will be lots of great giveaways. The list is included at the bottom of this post.
To show my gratitude I would like you to tell me the name of the book that is at the top of your wish list. A winner will be chosen randomly on November 28th. I will purchase that book for the winner through Amazon.com or the Book Depository depending on your location and have the book shipped directly to you.
To enter this giveaway you must be a follower of Mug of Moxie-please leave your GFC name in comment section along with the book that you "wish" for. This giveaway is open to International followers as well.
Thanks again and good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Prophecy of the Sisters-Book Trailer

Take a look at this book trailer for Prophecy of the Sisters!

Prophecy of the Sisters-Book Review

PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS
By Michelle Zink
343 pages
2009
From Inside Cover:
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.
They just know they can't trust each other.
My thoughts:
Prophecy of the Sisters is a dark fantasy filled with magic and mystery. It's the first book in a planned trilogy. The book opens with the Milthrope children standing in the rain at their father's funeral. All the more tragic because their mother died a few years earlier which now leaves them orphans and in the care of an aunt.
Shortly after her father's death Lia develops a strange mark on her wrist. In addition to strange and terrifying dreams she also notices that her twin is acting cold and distant. Soon an old book is discovered and it's revealed that Lia and Alice are part of an ancient battle that puts the sisters on opposing sides. One sister shall be the guardian of the gate-a protector while the other shall be the gateway to the Apocalypse-which will bring death and destruction.
A few twists and turns keep the reader on their toes as the story reveals more secrets.
I look forward to more character development with Lia's friends' Sophia and Luisa. I'm also interested in seeing where the relationship with Jame and Lia go. But what I'm really hoping for is a deeper look into Alice and her mind. Hopefully that will happen in the next book-Guardian of the Gate.
I enjoyed this story. The plot was engrossing and the characters were interesting. I will buy the next book in the trilogy to see where this tale takes me.
I purchased this book used from Amazon.com and I will be donating it to my local Middle School Library.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Spooktacular WINNER!

And the winner of Mug of Moxie's Fantastic Spooktacular Giveaway Hop......
Dani' (contestd@hotmail.com)
As part of the entry to my giveaway I asked the question-What are you afraid of? A shocking amount of you are also scared of clowns!! Yet they continue to be invited to entertain in circuses and children's birthday party...truly puzzling! Not surprising-a lot of people are scared of spiders and snakes. The best answers that made me laugh included politics, compressed air, the IRS, strobe lights, mascots, lawn gnomes and opening tubes of dough. Thanks for your honest and entertaining answers!
DANI'-the winner of this Spooktacular Hop will receive a box of awesome books that include:
It by Stephen King
Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber
Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
A giant thank you to the hosts of this hop I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm.
The next hop I will be participating in is the Gratitude Giveaways starting November 17th-27th. See you then!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SPOOKTACULAR Giveawy Hop Starts Now!

IT'S HERE!!
SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP!
I LOVE Halloween!
The costumes, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and all the scary movies on cable TV! I can't think of a better way to celebrate the good times than be a part of the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop  in a big way.  Mug of Moxie will be offering not one book BUT five books in the giveaway!
FIVE BOOKS!






To enter is simple-
1. Follow Mug of Moxie(I crave approval and love)
2.Please leave your follower name and email address in the comment section.
3.In the spirit of Halloween the sick and twisted side of me wants to know what scares you. (Clowns and Saran Wrap scare the hell out of me-your turn)
So that's it-the three things I need from you in order to enter the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop for FIVE awesome books!
You must be 13 or older to enter and this contest is open to the international peeps too.
There are 400 Fabulous Blogs each signed up to host a giveaway as part of this Spooktacular Blog Hop. This hop runs from Monday, October 24th until Halloween Night at midnight. That gives you 8 days to Hop to all the blogs and enter their giveaways. Have Fun!!
I will draw the winner on Tuesday November 1st. Good Luck!





SPEAK-Book Review

SPEAK


By Laura Halse Anderson
240 pages
Ages 12 and up
From Inside Cover:
The ninth graders are herded into the auditorium. We fall into clans: Jock, Country Clubbers, Idiot Savants, Cheerleaders, Human Waste, Eurotrash, Future Fascists of America, Big Hair Chix, the Marthas, Suffering Artists, Goths, Shredders. I am clanless. I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone.I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with.
From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she an outcast. She busted an end of the summer party by calling the cops-a major infraction in high school society-so her old friends won't talk to her, and the people she doesn't know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence,making her all the more mute. But it's not so comfortable in her head, either-there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. Try as she might to avoid it, it won't go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can't be silent-she must speak the truth.
My thoughts:
I really wanted to read a challenged book for Banned Book Week but was having a hard time deciding which one. I was subbing at our middle school library and much to my surprise saw this book on the shelf. So I guess you could say the book choose me.
Melinda is a 9th grader going into high school. A scary event without drama. But during the summer while Melinda was at a party she was involved in a situation and called the cops. We the reader are left in the dark for most of the story as to exactly what transpired but we know the Melinda has been emotionally damaged and lost all of her friends. Her depression and isolation is heart breaking. What I found most frustrating was her parents and their lack of reaction to her drastic mood and personality change.  Thank goodness Melinda finds a way to deal with her hurt and grief through an art class and a perceptive teacher.
This book belongs in school libraries and public libraries. Parents should be reading this book with their daughters. It's true to life and could prove to be helpful in social situations.
I am overjoyed that it's in our middle school library and I hope many girls check it out and take something away from Melinda's story.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Ready For SPOOKTACULAR Hop!





I LOVE Halloween!
The costumes,  pumpkin carving, trick or treating and all the scary movies on cable TV! I can't think of a better way to celebrate the good times than be a part of a hop in a big way. For the upcoming Spooktacular Hop Mug of Moxie will be offering not one book BUT four books in the giveaway!
FOUR BOOKS!
The hop will go on for a week so please drop back by on October 24-31 Monday and enter. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

R.I.P. VI Challenge-Movie Review


R.I.P. VI Challenge-Movie
The Last Exorcism was watched as part of the R.I.P. VI Challenge-hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. This is my review. Southern minister Reverend Cotton Marcus recruits a documentary film crew to help him set the record straight. For years he's been conning people and he's ready to come clean.
He recently received a letter from a desperate man who is convinced the devil as taken possession of his daughter, Nell. Reverend Marcus prepares to shoot the final exorcism of his career revealing the tricks of the trade that he has used on faithful and desperate people during his career.
The reverend performs the fake exorcism, all while sharing his secrets with the camera and the crew. The whole act includes wires that shock, recorded sounds and smoking crosses.
But as Marcus and the film crew prepare to leave not all seems right-Is it possible that this possession is real and that Satan is not ready to let go of Nell or Marcus?
I really enjoyed the mockumentary style of this film. The shaky, slow to focus camera shots remind me of The Blair Witch Project and in my opinion amp of the suspense of the film. The Reverend is a snake oil salesman in a white linen suit. You don't want to like Cotton Marcus but yet he sells you on his charm-he's regretful, yet arrogant. You are buying what he is selling even though you know he's a phony!
The film is creepy with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer on their toes. PG-13 means that it could be fun for the whole family.
Of course there are going to be comparisons to The Exorcist-UNFAIR! There will never be or can be another Exorcist....let it go!
That completes my review of The Last Exorcism.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WINNER Of Banned Books Giveaway

And the winner of a copy of the book Fallout by Ellen Hopkins is:
She has 48 hours to respond to the email I sent her to claim her prize.
Thank you to all who participated in the hop. Who took the time to leave comments and opinions.
70 people entered this giveaway!
I loved participating in this hop because it gave me the opportunity to read other bloggers thoughts and experiences. I didn't get to visit as many blogs as I wanted because I would get caught up in the stories  
 posted at every site.
I think that we are all in agreement that the choice to read a book should be a freedom not tampered with. I believe that parents should be aware of what their children are reading, watching and playing. It's the responsibility of a parent to be involved-books can open the door to communication and education. If my daughter brings home a book that is too mature to read as a parent I have the right to take that book away from her-BUT I do not have the right to take that book out of the hands of YOUR child. That is your job. 
I LOVE Banned Book Week and I love that we have a place to celebrate our freedom to read.
A big thank you to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books who hosted this event. I look forward to the next one.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BANNED AND CHALLENGED CLASSICS


Banned and Challenged Classics
Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms. See Frequently Challenged Books for more details.
According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.
The titles below represent banned or challenged books on that list ( see the entire list here). For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.
The titles not included may have been banned or challenged, but we have not received any reports on them. If you have information about the banning or challenging of these (or any) titles, please contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
For more information please visit the ALA Website. Get educated!



Friday, September 23, 2011

BANNED BOOK WEEK HOP



IT'S FINALLY HERE!
BANNED BOOK WEEK
AND TO CELEBRATE
WE ARE GOING TO HOP!
A GIANT thank you to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books for hosting this AWESOME Giveaway and Hop. Take this opportunity to visit the other blogs participating. Everyone has something very interesting to say about Banned Books Week.
Mug of Moxie is giving away a copy of Fallout by Ellen Hopkins. She is an author that I admire and support. Her books have been banned in school and public libraries across America.  The subjects she writes about: drug abuse, prostitution and incest are not easy topics. Her stories are honest, raw and emotional. I believe that her stories can educate, inspire and have the power to change someone's life.
Do I want my 8 year old daughter to read this book? No, not yet. But in a few years-YES! I would encourage her to read it and then we can talk about it. This is what books are meant to do-educate so we can communicate.
If this book will help her see the ugly reality of drugs and the effect that it has on lives....if it stops her from experimenting with meth...if it keeps her safe... I will personally put it on her night stand and NO ONE better mess with our choice to make that decision. I support and celebrate the freedom to read.
To enter this giveaway simply leave your name and email address in the comment section. You are not required to follow-but would be happy if you decided to. This giveaway is open to US residents only.  A name will be drawn on October 2. You must be 13 years or older to enter. Good Luck!



DYSTOPIA CHALLENGE 2011

dys/to/pi/a
(dis-toh-pee-uh)
dystopia-noun. a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease and overcrowding
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of              being utopian.
Challenge Update!
Dystopian Challenge 2011-Read 30 Books
These are the books I have read and reviewed so far-
1. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
2. Tomorrow When the War Begans by James Marsden
3. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
4. Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
5. House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
6. Gone by Michael Grant
7. XVI by Julia Karr
8. Rot & Ruin by Johnathan Maberry
9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
10. The Line by Teri Hall
I need to read 20 more books by the end of the year to complete the challenge.
Let me know if you have some dystopian book recommendations!
If you would like to join the challenge click on the link at the right of the page.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review- The House of the Scorpion


The House of the Scorpion
By Nancy Farmer
2002
380 Pages
From Inside Cover:
At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacran asks El Patron's bodyguard, "How old am I?...I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."
"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."
To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patron, lord of a country called Opium-a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico-Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.
As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister, grasping cast of characters, including El Patron's power-hungry family. He is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards and by the mindless slaves of Opium, brain-deadened eejits who toil in the poppy fields.
And escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. 
My thoughts:
Main character Matt is the clone of a powerful drug lord, El Patron. Matt is born into a time when rich and wealthy men harvest organs of clones to prolong their lives. El Patron has lived to be 140 years old with the help of transplants. It's perfectly legal and clones are considered no better than cattle. Usually clones have their intelligence destroyed at birth but El Patron decides to give Matt a normal upbringing and entrusts his care to a loyal servant named Celia. Matt submerges himself in music, excels in math and learns everything about the business he believes that he will eventually run. As Matt grows up he faces the hatred and prejudices people have of clones and eejits.Truths of why he exists are slowly revealed and the horror of his situation comes to light. Escape becomes his only option.
Matt is a character full of hope and courage as he tries to figure out who he is in spite of why he was created. A fast paced story that takes the reader on a journey with Matt from the moment of his conception and up into his teen years.
Because so much has happened with stem cell research, immigration and cloning in the last few years I think that this book would be an excellent one for a class discussion or a great book club choice. There are many moral choices the characters in the story face.
I chose this book as the kick off to the R.I.P. Challenge. It came highly recommended to me by teens when I worked at the public library. After finishing the book I struggled to categorize this novel- Is it science fiction or dystopian? Maybe it's a mystery? It also had the elements of suspense and horror throughout. I'm not really sure which category The House of the Scorpion falls into is my point. Maybe it's just one of those books that can't be put into one genre and should be enjoyed for what it is-a really good read.
I borrowed this book from the Salmon Public Library. I would recommend this to readers 12 and up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review-RESTORING HARMONY

RESTORING HARMONY
By Joelle Anthony
2010
Pages:306
From Inside Cover:
Sixteen year old Molly McClure has only ever known a life where she grow her own food, depends on solar panels for electricity, and relies on horse drawn wagons and bicycles for transportation. Since the Collapse of 2031, her family has fared better than most, thriving on their isolated farming island in Canada-but Molly knows worldwide devastation lurks just beyond the shores of her home. And when calamities strike all at once, Molly is forced to leave the comfort of the island for the very first time, embarking on an impossible rescue mission in the U.S.
The year is 2041. The oil as almost run out, poverty and crime are rampant, and food is in short supply. Armed with only her ingenuity and sheer farming know how, Molly braves a chaotic world where people are hungry and desperate, and no one is as they seem. But if she ever hopes to get home alive she'll have to make some tough, fast choices about whom to trust, especially after a crime organization sets their sights on Molly. Her only way out may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there's a handsome stranger who's willing to help. 

My Thoughts:
Author Joelle Anthony has created a different dystopian novel. Main character, Molly is not from a dark, bleak, and hopeless world. In fact, she lives a pretty good life on a tiny Canadian Island with her family that has created an independent, thriving community. The year is 2041 and unfortunately the rest of the world hasn't fared as well. Oil is almost a thing of the past and crime rules the streets. People have to fight for food, fuel and medicine.
Molly is forced to leave the security of the island and her family and travel to the United States to rescue her grandparents. Due to circumstances the responsibility falls on her young shoulders. This desolate, crime ridden world is new and frightening to Molly who to this point has lived a very sheltered life. Luckily she is a strong, determined girl set on finding her grandparents and returning home to the place she loves.
This book is part dystopian and adventure with a pinch of romance thrown in. Restoring Harmony is a great story that will have you rooting for Molly from start to finish. A very enjoyable read.
I will be donating this book to my local Middle School Library. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

R.I.P. Challenge-Peril the First

The annual R.I.P. Challenge is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. If you are up for a challenge he has a little something for everyone. You can choose anything from one book to four to read from now until the end of October. There will be group readings, or watch a movie to be part of the challenge. The point is too have fun! No stress! Head on over to get more info on the R.I.P. Challenge at Stainless Steel Droppings.
I-Mugs have decided to challenge myself and try to read four books by the end of October(Peril The First).
 My selections are:
1. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
2. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
3. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
4. Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
All of the books are on my TBR shelf so the picks are easy.
Good luck to all participates and happy reading!

It's Time!! THE R.I.P. CHALLENGE

Every September 1st through October 31st for the last 5 years Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings has hosted the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge, affectionately known as the R.I.P. Challenge.
The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
There are two simple goals for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VI Challenge:
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.
There are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. VI without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives.
R.I.P. VI officially runs from September 1st through October 31st.
Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.
To find out more information and join the fun head over to Stainless Steel Droppings-close to 200 people are participating in this awesome event!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

WINNER-Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

WINNER WINNER! CHICKEN DINNER!
KATHARYN
Okay, so there's not really a chicken dinner-it's too messy to mail!
But there is an awesome book that I will be sending out in tomorrow's mail to the winner of the
Back To The Books Giveaway hop. KATHARYN choose The Dust of 100 Dogs which I'm sure she will enjoy. Thanks to all who participated in the hop, entered my giveaway, and followed Mug of Moxie. A giant thank you to I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and Buried In Books for hosting the event. Be sure to check back for the next giveaway I'll be participating in-Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop.

Book Review- ROT and RUIN

ROT and RUIN
By Jonathan Maberry
2010
458 pages
From Inside Cover:
In the zombie-infested world Benny has grown up in, teenagers must work once they turn fifteen-or they'll lose their food rations. Benny isn't interested in taking on the family business, but he reluctantly agrees to train as a zombie killer with his boring big brother, Tom. He expects a dull job, whacking zombies for cash. What he discovers is a vocation that will teach him what it really means to be human.
As his worldview is challenged again and again by the lessons he learns from Tom, Benny is forced to confront another horrifying reality: Sometimes the most terrible monsters are human.
My thoughts:
I'm not going to lie. I'm a sucker for a good zombie book. I love them! Jonathan Maberry has created something new and fresh-a zombie tale with emotion. After a series of failed jobs Benny has no choice but to work as his brother's apprentice in the family business as a bounty hunter-killing zoms or lose his food rations. Brother relationships are never easy but throw an unforgotten First Night(the night the world changed and 6 billion people died and came back from the dead) memory- In which Benny remembers being pulled from his screaming mother's arms by his older brother Tom. He remembers Tom running away and leaving his mother to die at the hands of a zombie. Benny resents Tom and thinks him a coward.
From the beginning-it's a complex relationship. Tom is both older brother and main caregiver, he's also very aware of Benny's feelings toward him. Benny is a typical teenager, trying to figure out who and what he wants to be-growing up in a untypical situation. Both are stubborn and hard headed which keeps them alive while hunting zoms in The Rot and Ruin. Through main characters Benny and Tom we are given a completely new look at zombies and the people they once were.
I never thought that I would read a story that would make me boo hoo over a mindless, wandering, flesh eater but there I was. Unbelievable! There are so many layers to this story. Maberry tells a coming of age story with action, horror, violence and love.
I can hardly wait to get my hands on the sequel Dust and Decay. I need to know what happens to Benny and Tom-where does there story go from here? I know I won't be bored!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: The Dust of 100 Dogs

THE DUST OF 100 DOGS
By A.S. King
2009
320 Pages
From Back Cover:
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

My thoughts:
I LOVE the cover!! It draws you in and begs to be picked up. It's absolutely perfect for the story.
The Dust of 100 Dogs was such an unusual tale to say the least. I admit that I struggled to write a review for lack of the right words. I love stories about pirates-Bloody Jack comes to mind. As well as stories about reincarnation-remember Audrey anyone?  A.S. King has put the two together and created an amazing story.
Main character Emer Morrisey is born during the 1600s in Ireland and lives an eventful life. After being reunited with her one and only true love she dies tragically, but not before burying a treasure chest full of jewels and gold in a secret location. Don't worry-I haven't disclosed details to ruin the story for you, this all happens in the first chapter of the book! As Emer is dying another pirate hell bent on revenge curses her to a life of 100 dogs. So A.S.King includes little snippets of Emer's different dog lives sprinkled through out the story. Genius! It helps the reader remember the curse. Eventually Emer completes the curse and lives the life of the 100th dog. She now is reincarnated as Saffron Adams during the 1970s in Pennsylvania. Saffron/Emer is born with all of her memories. She remembers her previous life as a pirate and her precious treasure buried along the coast of Jamaica. She is determined to get there and claim her riches. What she doesn't count on is the dysfunctional family she is born into and the trials of being an American teenager.
I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on something else that A.S.King has written. Reader be warned there are parts of this book that are violent-after all Emer/Saffron is a pirate. Some scenes may affect a weak stomach.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!



Welcome to Mug of Moxie where I'm celebrating Back to the Books Giveaway Hop. This awesome hop is hosted by the amazing I Am A Reader, Not  Writer and the incredible Buried in Books! This hop will last an entire seven days. That's plenty of time to hop around and visit all the blogs participating and see what goodies and giveaways they are offering. Mug of Moxie offering you the chance to select the book you want to read.
In the comment section please leave your name with contact info and the name of the book that you would like me to send to your house if your name is choosen . How easy is that? You don't even have to be a follower to enter my giveaway. Although making new friends is always nice and my mama always said that you can never have too many friends. You decide-I'll totally leave it up to you-I won't beg-I'll see you later ok-hey do you maybe wanna get a icey cold beverage later-no pressure.....





Six awesome books to choose from! Now go check out those other blogs-I know there's some great stuff out there! Have fun!

Book Review: COLD CASE



COLD CASE
By Julia Platt Leonard
2011
281 Pages


From Inside Cover:
Thirteen-year -old Oz Keiller think he has a pretty normal life.
Until he discovers a dead body in his family's Santa Fe restaurant.
His older brother is the prime suspect in the murder, and Oz is shocked to learn the crime is tied to his dead father-a man Oz now finds out was accused of stealing nuclear secrets.
Desperate to clear his brother's name, Oz and his best friend, Rusty, embark on a perilous mission to uncover the real killer. It's a quest that will put his life in danger and challenge everything he thought he knew about his family.
And the answers he unearths may be much closer to home than he could have imagined.
My thoughts:
Finding a dead body in a walk in freezer is not a good way to start the day. But things go from bad to worse when Oz's big brother and head chef is accused of murder and thrown in jail. Suddenly it's up to Oz to get to the bottom of the crime and fast because police are starting to look at him as a possible accomplice.
Cold Case is a sharp, engaging, detective mystery perfect for middle school readers, as well as older readers. Main character Oz feels like the real deal as he struggles with a complicated family history, frustrations with his older brother and fear that his mom may lose their family business. He was easy to root for as the story took some unexpected twists and turns as the plot thickened and the list of suspects grew.
I enjoyed that the story was from Oz's point of view but the other characters were also interesting-his best friend Rusty added a touch of humor and excitement to the story.
I would definitely follow Oz on another adventure if he ever stumbles upon a dead body again!
For some fun facts about Cold Case and Oz visit Julia Platt Leonard's blog. I also discovered a fun interview Julia did with Hope's Bookshelf. Go check it out.
I would like to thank author Julia Platt Leonard for giving me the opportunity to read and review Cold Case. I will be donating this book to my local Middle School Library where I have no doubt kids will enjoy it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review-STORK

STORK
By Wendy Delsol
Candlewick Press
2010
Pages: 357

From Inside Cover:
Moving from L.A. to nowhere Minnesota, sixteen-year-old Katla Leblanc expected the local fashion scene to be frozen in time. What she didn't expect was induction into the Icelandic Stork Society, an ancient order of women charged with unique mystical duty. Not only is Katla the youngest member, but Hulda, the society's omen-guided leader immediately bestows the coveted Second Chair on her-a decision that ruffles a few feathers.
As if that weren't enough, Katla also has to deal with her parents' divorce and the social aftermath of a bad date with popular but creepy Wade. Katla, however, isn't one to sit on her designer-jean-clad behind, and soon she's assigned the fashion column for the school paper and making new friends.
Things would be looking up if it weren't for editor in chief Jack. Even though they argue every time they meet, Katla is inexplicably drawn to him. Juggling home life, school, and Stork duties will Katla be able to unravel the mystery surrounding Jack? More importantly, will she find a dress in time for Homecoming?
My thoughts:
What might have been a typical new girl moves to town and feels like an outsider story turns out to be anything but. Author Wendy Delsol weaves an engaging tale of magic, mystery and romance.
Katla's honesty and sense of humor make her immediately likable and her strong character traits carry her through the story. Instead of sitting in a heap of "poor me" she tries to make the best of a hard situation. Moving to a new town, making new friends, and trying to be supportive to her mom who is divorcing her dad.
When it is revealed that Katla's destiny includes membership to the Icelandic Stork Society with a bunch of older strange women, Katla, once again steps up with humor intact.
I loved that Katla was so strong through out the story-she is thrown into many new and unfamilar things but makes the best of it. She never becomes a blubbering, crying, "why me" mess.
I thought that Stork was a good, solid read. A interesting, fresh plot that includes Norse Mythology and a little Hans Christan Anderson. I was excited to see that the sequel Frost will be released October 11th. I can't wait! I'm hoping there will be some more information and history on the Icelandic Stork Society. And I can't wait to see if Katla's role in the society will develop, not to mention the other things she has going on in her life.
A big thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me this book to read and review. I'll be donating this book to my local Salmon Middle School Library.

Book Review-IMAGINARY GIRLS



IMAGINARY GIRLS
By Nova Ren Suma
2011
346 Pages

From the back cover:
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friend's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns home two years later, a precarious and deadly balance waits....and watches. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
My thoughts:
The cover and the tag line captured me. The photo of the girl is just breathtaking. White dress and red ribbon. It stopped me in my tracks and I want to read more. Then in the corner, just a simple line: Secrets never stay below the surface. DONE! Goosebumps! I'm buying the book-I NEED to know more. Genius!
Now the story-Two words come to mind. Complicated and intriguing. The relationship between Chloe and Ruby is complex. Ruby is a free spirit who has raised Chloe with no help from their drunken mother. Chloe is the little sister who adores who older sister. Ruby can do no wrong in her eyes. Sister relationships are never easy. Now throw in a dead body, a creepy reservoir and a secretive town.
I went into this story with no expectations. Later I discovered the divided reviews on Amazon. Some people loved the story and some didn't.
Nova Ren Suma has built a beautiful tale that twists the loyalty of sisters in with suspense and mystery. Page by page the layers of the mystery are peeled back and the truth of that fateful night and Ruby are slowly revealed. Chloe and the reader are kept in suspense until Ruby is ready to reveal truths. By the end of the story I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I needed to know what happened that night and if it was fixable.
I think that Imaginary Girls is a beautiful ghost story. It leaves the reader with a few unanswered questions and haunting characters-as good ghost stories should.
I received this ARC as part of Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours. I'll be sending it on to the next reader in line. Thanks to Holly for giving me the chance to read and review this fantastic book.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What is more horrifying than clowns in closets?


First Hilary Duff writes a novel and now we are treated to this.......
Amazon Book Description:
No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.
But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.
Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.
Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.
Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .
*A giant thank you to Leila at Bookshelves of Doom for this heads up....I'm not sure how I'll sleep tonight now with the giddy anticipation of the release date and the adventures of Tookie...*



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Winner!



THE WINNER HAS BEEN DRAWN!

And the crown goes to......

"Bookaholic"

She has been notified and has 48 hours to claim her prize. Or another name will be drawn.

A giant thank you to all who participated in the AWESOME ARC GIVEAWAY! I love giveaways! Don't forget to come visit during the upcoming Back to the Books Giveaway later this month.

Banned Book Week Giveaway!!!!

Welcome to the BANNED BOOK WEEK GIVEAWAY HOP! This hop starts on September 15th and ends on September  30th This hop is hos...