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Showing posts from November, 2011

Random Cat Videos

This is a photograph of my cat Jasmine, who passed away earlier this year. She was 17 years old and I adopted her when she was 5, so that's 12 years I'm very grateful I got to spend with her.

Because it's Thanksgiving weekend and we've all got places to be, things to do, and leftovers to eat, this week I've collected a series of random cat videos for your entertainment and in honor of Jasmine.

Pepper, An Actor's Life:



Ninja Cat:



I'm a Kitty Cat:



An Engineer's Guide to Cats:







5 Teen Movies You Probably Haven't Seen (and why you should)

I recently saw Hanna, an action movie that came out earlier this year about a 16-year-old assassin. I thought it did a great job of using YA tropes (friendship, boys, identity), plus it's a pretty kick-ass movie.

Hanna wasn't a mega-budget film and wasn't a mega-blockbuster, but there are good performances by Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett (if you can get past her Southern accent). And Saoirse Ronan as Hanna is amazing. (Oh, there's a pretty kick-ass soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, too.) It's definitely worth renting, streaming, or putting on your Netflix queue if you missed it in theaters.

Here's the trailer for Hanna:



Hanna also got me thinking about some teen-centric movies you may have missed entirely, because I almost did. These are indie movies that didn't have wide distribution and that I stumbled upon, either through recommendations or dumb luck.

The Chumscrubber stars Jamie Bell as a teen in suburbia whose drug-dealing friend commits suicide. The …

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Book Review

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1442421769

446 pp.

Reading copy via local library


This book had a lot of buzz pre-publication and I can see why. Way cool cover. Intriguing premise of is-she/isn't-she crazy. And it almost delivers.  It kind of bums me that I didn't L-O-V-E it like I thought I would, but it's still a good read.

Mara Dyer (not her real name as we learn in a prologue) wakes up in the hospital after an accident has killed her best friend Rachel, frenemy Claire, and boyfriend Jude. Mara has no memory of the accident and starts seeing Claire and Jude. Mara tries to convince herself that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and these sightings are merely hallucinations.

Mara also convinces her family that what she really needs is to get away from places that remind her of her friends, so the whole family moves to Florida. There she enters a prep school and mee…

Debut Author Challenge - October Update

It rained this morning, I'm wearing my favorite red sweater, and I'm drinking a bigass cup of coffee. Fall is very much in the air.

The year has zoomed by, but I've managed to keep on track with the Debut Author Challenge. Last month, I read and reviewed Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (and guys, seriously, read this book). And I'm almost done with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (review forthcoming).

Alas, I haven't had time to go back and finish any of the other books I'm reading. So I'm going to choose one of them to complete for my December read. One thing I've learned during the year is that unless I can get an egalley before the publication date, I just don't have the time to read a book during the month it's published. Fetching by Kiera Stewart, which was my December read choice so very long ago, ended up being published in November, and I missed the egalley boat.

But I'm halfway through How Lamar's Bad Pran…