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Archive for November, 2011

The Orchard by Theresa Weir

Posted by Caitie F on November 29, 2011

Title: The Orchard
Author: Theresa Weir
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publisher (Hachette)
Publication Date: September 21, 2011
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

THE ORCHARD is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed.

Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband’s family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.


For some reason, I have read several memoirs this year and most of them seem to be pretty depressing. This may be the saddest I read all year.

First of all, Theresa did not have a happy childhood. She was moved from place to place with a mother who had many issues with men and taking care of her children. She is usually living in cities, so when she finally gets away from her mother and out to the country she is surprised, most of all by a young man she quickly falls in love with. Their love story was really beautiful and loving, at least until they were married.

Then she finds out that she has the worst in-laws. They reject her right away and don’t even try to get to know her. They even have him over for dinner while she is preparing them dinner at their own house! I cannot image feeling like that and I can’t imagine how she put up with it!

Of course, it isn’t all about their love, it is also about the horrors of farming at that time, especially at an orchard. I know pesticides are bad, but I never thought of how they would affect the farmers and families who live near those farms, especially before they were tightly regulated. Well, as you probably, guess it was not good. Cancer was more rampant, especially at a younger age.

Sadly, Theresa had to experience that first-hand with her husband. He tried organic farming, but by then it was too late. Their story broke my heart. Her strength through it all did bring hope. And the end is full of hope.

If you think this sounds like an interesting read, it is. But be prepared to be sad.

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Thankfully Reading Wrap-Up Post

Posted by Caitie F on November 27, 2011


I hope everyone had a great weekend! If you participated, i hope you reached all your goals! Let’s see how I did…

Hit the halfway point of A Clash of Kings

Did it! Loving the second book so far and needed that push to read

Finish Wolf Hall

Um…not so much. Read another 100 pages but it is a SLOW book. Not a bad one, I am enjoying it, but it is one of the slowest books i have read in a long time. Hoping to read another 50 pages or so tonight though!
Read at least one other book
Yeah…didn’t do that either. Sigh

But it was fun and I had fun following everyone on twitter!

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Legend by Marie Lu

Posted by Caitie F on November 26, 2011

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (Penguin)
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.


This book comes out in three days and if you like books like Matched and The Hunger Games, you really need to go buy it!

The characters are so well-developed and real. I felt like I knew June and Day from very early on, so it was fun to  watch them start to interact with each other and figure each other out. They are both incredibly intelligent, which made it more fun to read about them! Yeah, they make some decisions that are not always the smartest, but they think things through and it just makes the action scenes so much more exciting!

There is some romance in this book, but it was minimal and worked with the characterization and building relationships. It worked really well and makes this a great book that both genders can enjoy.

I really hope this book does well. Lu does a great job of making readers think in every chapter. Questioning leadership is a central theme and I really hope readers take those themes and really digest and ponder their own beliefs.

It is just a great book! I hope you all read and enjoy it! I cannot wait to read the next book!

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Thankfully Reading Kick off!

Posted by Caitie F on November 25, 2011


Thanksgiving is over, so it is time for reading to begin! WE had a great Thanksgiving. We hosted for the first time and, while it was hectic, it went really well. Good food and fun was had by all! Unfortunately, my allergies were bad from cleaning, so I wasn’t feeling great, but I am a little better now. slept 11 hours last night, so I guess I was tired.

Today we are shopping a little, then the reading begins!

Here are some goals:

Hit the halfway point of A Clash of Kings
Finish Wolf Hall
Read at least one other book

I am really looking forward to it!

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The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Posted by Caitie F on November 20, 2011

Title: The Demon King
Author: CInda Williams Chima
Hardcover: 506 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: September 2009
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

This novel marks the first giant step in a momentous fantasy journey orchestrated by Cinda Williams Chima, the author of the popular Warrior Heir series. Its two chief protagonists are ex-thief Han Alister, an impoverished commoner, and Raisa ana’Marianna, the headstrong Princess Heir of the Fells. The Demon King brings them together, creating part of a volatile mix of action, magic, and danger. Empathetic characters; wizardly attacks


I have been reading amazing book after amazing book lately! I have always loved fantasy, but one bad fantasy book can turn me off of the entire genre for months. One LONG one (Game of Thrones) can make me need a break. It has been over two months since I read a fantasy and luckily this one reminded me why I love the entire genre, and YA fantasy specifically.

The Demon King  has it all. THere are wizards, clans, princesses who are more than they seem, guards who are more than they seem, and a boy finding out there is much more to him than he could ever imagine. There is romance and actions and suspense. There are several times when it looks like someone may die (and people sometimes do in this dangerous place). I sped through the book because I just needed  to know what happened next.

There was also a lot of kindness and intelligence. People didn’t just jump into plans without thinking it through first. They worked together and faced obstacles. It felt like it was how real leaders act and think, which makes it easy to get lost in their scary and beautiful world.

The history of the realms is very complicated and has many different stories to why there are limitations on magic and royalty. The backstory of each character and their family is just as interesting as what is going on with them in the present. The rich history makes the grudges and alliances that more brutal and tight.

This series is like the Game of Thrones series, but for kids. I would not be surprised if they pushed for movies or a TV show from it. I would be so excited to see it.

If you are looking for an amazing fantasy story, no matter what your age is, be sure to check this book out! The second one is waiting for me at the library and I can’t wait to read it (well…as long as I read another 200 pages of Clash of Kings first!).

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Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011 Sign Up!

Posted by Caitie F on November 13, 2011


For the second year in a row, I am going to participate in the Thankfully Reading Weekend! It is an awesome weekend of reading hosted by  Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves , Candace from Beth FishReads and Jen from Devourer of Books ,

My weekend already looks a little busy. Cleaning and seeing Muppets!!!! on Wednesday, hosting Thanksgiving for the first time on Thursday, some shopping Friday, and a party Saturday. So that is a lot, but when I am not so busy, I will be reading!

But the best part – there are no rules. You can read as much (or as little) as you can. There will be tweeting with #thankfulreading, some mini challenges, and so much fun!

I am really excited about it and thank you to the lovely hosts!


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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by Caitie F on November 10, 2011

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Hardcover: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


When I read that summary, it gave me chills. The intensity of this story got to me before I ever read it. I knew I would love it or hate it.

I loved it. I didn’t just read this book passively. I was taken away into Juliette’s world. I felt like I could see, hear and touch everything there. Reading this book felt like an adventure.

The writing is just beautiful. Books in first person present can be very hit or miss, but Tahereh Mafi hit every word, every plot point perfectly. Juliette’s voice was clear and relatable, even if none of us can kill someone with our touch.

I won’t tell you more about the story or the characters other than the summary though. The book is full of twists and turns and if any had been ruined for me, I would have been very disappointed. So I won’t do that to you.

I say go out and get this book when it comes out in five days. It is worth it! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!


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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Posted by Caitie F on November 6, 2011

This is a SPOILER-FREE review

Title:  The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Hardcover: 370 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: Sept 29, 2011
Rating: +++++


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target?


As you know, I LOVE Maureen Johnson. I have adored every book she has written and am always excited when a new one comes out. I was a little nervous when I heard that it was a paranormal mystery. That isn’t exactly what Maureen Johnson is known for.  But I know she is a fantastic writer, so I still made sure I got it quickly!

I am a wuss, so this took me longer that usual (since I couldn’t read it at night), but that just let me savor the style, humor, and creepiness of the book which turns out to be one of her best. Know this book is creepy. Very creepy. The original Ripper was brutal and disgusting. Not only do you get to read about those, but you also get to read about the new Ripper’s crimes too! I shuddered. I tend to think that is a good thing though!

Rory was a really awesome character to have at the center of the book.  She is from Louisiana and is new to London, which always leads to some entertainment. She is open to new experiences, ready to make friends, and funny as anything. Like all of Johnson’s characters, Rory felt real and believable for a girl of her age. She acted like a senior in high school. She talked like one too (well, like a really smart one).

I went into the book knowing NOTHING about the Ripper going into it. I knew there was a paranormal element, but didn’t know what it was, so I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else who wants to go into the book fresh (I even took out a couple things from the summary). So I won’t spoil it. Just know that it is awesome and is why this will be a series. It was exciting, thrilling, and scary, everything that the paranormal should be.

If you haven’t gotten to this book yet, I highly recommend it. It is a fun and thrilling read with some romance (that, true to Johnson fashion, feels like a real relationship) and a lot of humor (Yay Doctor Who jokes!). Go read it!

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