Friday, March 28, 2014

Roadside Assistance Book Review


Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston is about a sixteen year old girl, but she turns seventeen during the course of the book, named Emily Curtis.  Emily Curtis and her father, Bradley, have a series of loses.  First Emily's Mom dies, next her Dad's business goes bankrupt, then they lose their house.  The book starts out with them on their way to move in with her Dad's Sister and family (including her Uncle, and two cousins).

Emily's Aunt wants her to be more feminine.  We get a flashback to Emily's Mom's funeral, where her Aunt seems more concerned with straightening Emily's hair, getting her a manicure, and a new dress, than helping her cope with the loss of her mother.  When Emily and her Dad move into the rich family's house, not much seems to have changed.  Aunt Darlene still wants to fix her hair and nails, and get her to dress "better".

Emily and her cousin, Whitney, are the same age.  They were good friends as children, but have grown apart as they grew up.  Whitney is a cheerleader, in all honors classes, she has "perfect" hair, "perfect" clothes, the "perfect" boyfriend, and their Grandma thinks Whitney is sooo perfect.  Emily, on the other hand, has wild, curly hair, prefers jeans to dresses, and is always getting grease under her fingernails, because she LOVES cars, and working on cars.

Emily is a Chevy Girl, actually the next door neighbor, Zander, nicknames her Chevy Girl.  Zander is the love interest, but there is not much romance in the this book, we're talking the last few chapters.  Zander's Father is a doctor, Zander's older brother is studying to be a doctor, but Zander wants to work on cars and race cars, just like Emily's father did.  Since Zander has cars, tools, and a garage next door, he and Emily become friends. They even make a deal to help each other work on each other's cars.

If you are a Ford person, you might not like this book.  If you don't like car talk at all, you will probably not enjoy this book.  I am not very knowledgeable about cars, but I like them and enjoyed reading about them.  Actually, the book made me want to learn more about cars.  The book has a lot about Chevy's, but Zander has a Dodge Charger (Hello, Duke Boys... except, his is green, but green is my favorite color!).

I really like the family's church in this book.  In the beginning is the church service, where everyone is together for singing and a message.  After the service, there is always a potluck.  Then, after the meal, there are classes for different age groups.  Where is this church?  I want to go!  I even like their youth group, where they watch Christian movies, have discussions about the movies and Bible verses.  The group is run by a female, and she keeps things nice.  I have been to youth group where the leader running things was both rough and crude (it was a man, of course).

A lot of the book is about Emily dealing with the loss of her Mother, and feelings of separation from God.  Some of the book is reading Emily's journal entries, which made for fast reading.  Zander is a really strong Christian, and tries to help Emily get with her feelings and her relationship with God.

The book sounds cliche, but it's not, I promise!  I didn't think I was going to like the book very much, but the book was recommended on Goodreads, and I was able to find it at my local library (but I want to buy this book, so I can keep it and re-read it forever), so I thought I would give it a try.  Amy Clipston paints word pictures!  I can see everything she writes about.  She thinks about the tiniest details to describe her vision for this story.  While the ending wrapped the story up, I want more.  This is one book I would be excited to find out there was a sequel to.  Which is kind of crazy, because I like stand alone books.  I don't have to wait for the next book in the series that way. There are discussion questions for this book, in case you want to use the book for a book club.  I enjoyed reading the acknowledgements, which I usually only skim.  I gave this book 5 Stars.  I recommend this book for age 11 through adult.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Instagram

If you enjoy book cover pics, and other fun bookish pics, I have a marklessgirl Instagram account.  I have pictures of some of my favorite books.  I also have pictures of books that I am planning to read.  I'll be posting pictures of books I will be reviewing soon.  Check my Instagram by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ella Enchanted Book VS. Movie

Dunt, Dunt, Dum....  Book review.  Movie review.  Ella Enchanted is a really great book.  Movie is nothing like the book, but it's still really good, cuz it's funny. YOLO  (Laughing hysterically)  How funny is that?  Are you laughing. Let's get down to business to defeat the book review vs. movie review (sung to the tune in the Mulan movie).



I saw the movie before I read the book, but don't say "shame, shame, shame, shame" yet, because the first time I saw the movie I was only like five.  I did not know Ella Enchanted was a book; I just thought it was a very good, fun movie.

I finally read the book, after loaning it to my cousin.  I got the book back on Valentine's Day.  My cousin told me that she read the book THREE times before she returned it to me!  I was like, "This must be good! Now I have to read it."  I read the book in three days.  Now Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books (in the top 5!).

Ella Enchanted is a Cinderella re-telling, but this book is not much like Cinderella at all.  Similarities to the Cinderealla story:  glass slippers, Prince Charming, castle, Evil Step-mom, two step-sisters, forced to serve her step-family, dead mother, Fairy God-mother, medieval setting, and the Prince throws a ball (actually three in Ella Enchanted).  So, when Ella is born, she gets a gift/curse from a fairy named Lucinda.  The gift is obedience.  Ella has to do what anybody tells her, even if they tell her to kill herself!  The book is about the fantastical kingdom in which Ella lives, where ogres, fairies, giants, and elves live, along with humans.  When Ella's Moms dies, that's when the real trouble starts. She gets sent off to Finishing School, along with Hattie and Olive (who eventually become her step-sisters).  Hattie figures out Ella's secret on the way to school, and uses the knowledge to torment her.  The Prince falls in love with Ella at first site, at her mother's funeral. He does not profess his undying love for her until about 2/3 of the way through the book.  Ella is afraid to marry the Prince, because she is afraid of someone learning her secret, and using that to control her to kill the Prince, or ruin the kingdom.


And NOW for Book VERSUS Movie!


Okay, the movie characters have the same names and personalities as the book characters, BUT that is almost where the comparison ends.  Ella doesn't go to Finishing School in the movie, she's in college.  She meets Hattie and Olive when her Dad marries their Mom (they don't get married in the book until WAY later in the story).  In the movie there is a whole gaining the throne conspiracy that doesn't exist in the book.  There is no Uncle to Prince Charming mentioned in the book.  They make the orges too nice in the movie.  The elves are not portrayed correctly.  The giants appear a little too giant in the movie, but otherwise they are okay.  Ella never gets thrown into prison for trying to kill the Prince in the book.  There is no singing in the book, but that is one of the fun things about the movie. I really enjoy the music in the movie.  Her Fairy God-mother in the movie is young, hip, and not very good a magic; in the book, she is old and gray and AWESOME at magic.  The elves aren't forced to perform in the book, nor is Slannen the elf in the book at all.  In the movie, the Prince has to keep rescuing her from disaster; in the book, she rescues herself.

All that said, if you can enjoy book and movie as separate entities, I recommend them both.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Goodreads

If you are not familiar with Goodreads, it is this fabulous website where you can create virtual shelves to keep track of what you are reading, what you want to read, and any other name of shelf that you would like to create.  You can rate books, review books, follow other Goodreads Users to see what they are reading and how they like those books.  You can keep track of when you read books, and how far along you are in them.  If you have the app, you can scan the bar-code on the back of your book to enter the book into your shelf.  If you don't have the app, you can still look up the book by title, or author.  You can also compare your shelves to other users and authors.  You can "like" and "follow" authors on the site.  You can start, or participate in, discussions about books.  Goodreads will also recommend books for you by shelf, or by genre.  I discovered my new favorite author and book (to be revealed later...mmmwwhh, ha, ha, ha) due to the recommendations on Goodreads! Some recommendations I did not like, but they were library books, so I just stopped reading and returned them.  Goodreads has a challenge spot for each year, so that you can keep track of how many books you want to read (kind of like my Mom's weight loss goal app, but for books), and it shows up the percentage of your goal that you have created.

Check out my good reads by clicking HERE.

P.S.- Sorry,  did not keep my schedule last month.  I had parties to attend, or throw, every Friday for three weeks in a row!  Blogging earlier would have been a good idea, but... I didn't.