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The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.29
593 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, April 29, 2012
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This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
A lot of people don't give this book a chance, which I think is a real shame. The way it's written, the main character, or outdated social norms seem to annoy many people to the point where they can no longer even attempt to enjoy or find meaning in the novel. People fail to see how original this book is, considering the fact that it was written at a time in which questioning the norm would be frowned upon. And this book questions everything about our society and culture that most just willingly accepted.

Catcher in the Rye is an odd recollection of a couple days in the life of the main character, Holden Caulfield. The story is an interwoven thread of Holden's account of this time and his past memories, thoughts, and feelings, that pull the story way off topic. It's jumbled, it's clumsy, it's amusingly random, and yet it's so real. Holden's voice stays true and consistent throughout, and it feels like he's talking right to you and explaining his world to you as best as he can. There are no frills, no exquisite detail or anything else added to the story. It's straightforward and direct.

The way the story is told definitely something a lot of readers will hate. The improper grammar also will cause some to cringe.

Readers also may not like the digressions, or the slow pace, or the long ramblings Holden sometimes falls into.

It all depends on what you think makes good writing. If you think of good writing in the sense of correct grammar, beautiful descriptions and a flowing plot that moves constantly forward, you will probably dislike this book.

But if you read it with the hope of getting into the mind of a troubled teenager and learning about the way he sees the world, I think you will enjoy this book. I think that a lot of people will be able to identify with Holden and his feelings and confusion and worries. And although things have changed a lot since the time the novel takes place in, I found that almost everything could be adapted to fit in today's world. The ideas behind everything are just as true today. However, the reader has to remember that people had different viewpoints at that time than today, and so a lot of viewpoints were different.

This book is wonderful. I was skeptical at first, but after reading this story, I found so much I could connect with and so much that is and will forever be true to humanity. It's not for everyone, but I think some will be able to really appreciate it for what it is.

The Sims 3 Pets Expansion [Mac Download]
The Sims 3 Pets Expansion [Mac Download]

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DOESN'T WORK ON LION!, October 23, 2011
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Please don't buy this. You will lose $31 dollars and end up being super annoyed at how long it takes to download. IT WON'T OPEN.

Montana 1948: A Novel
Montana 1948: A Novel
by Larry Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.94
247 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really different kind of story....but very thought provoking, October 1, 2011
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This review is from: Montana 1948: A Novel (Paperback)
I was required to read this book for 9th grade class reading. After and while reading it we analyzed each important thing that happened, and through this I was able to see the brilliance in this small and simple book; the understated themes and moral questions that this little book brought up.

Set in the tiny fictional town of Bentrock Montana, this story follows the life of David, a twelve year old boy, and his family living there. His father, Wesley, is the town's sherif, and his family, the Haydens', has held power in the town for a long time, almost like a clan. His Uncle is a respected war hero and doctor, well liked by everyone; charming, charismatic, and funny. Indians also live there, and one, a young woman named Marie, works for Wesley, his wife Gail, and their son David, who loves her. Everything seems good and simple and nice, with the worst crimes in the town being a couple of drunks occasionally getting into a bar fight.

But then, Marie gets sick. And she tells Gail something that will forever change the family - Frank has molested her and raped countless other Indian women. Wesley is forced to choose between his family and what's right.

This book is short and simply written, but conveys a lot of meaning within it. It's a different book than most - dark but bright, friendly but icy and cold. It plunges you headfirst into an intense storyline.

Tic Tac Freshmint, 1-Ounce Packages (Pack of 24)
Tic Tac Freshmint, 1-Ounce Packages (Pack of 24)
Offered by Efficient Distributor
Price: $26.74
15 used & new from $21.90

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tic Tacs and Great seller, September 14, 2011
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These Tic Tacs came six days before the estimated delivery date, and they were packaged nicely in a little tic tac box. The Tic Tacs themselves are wonderful -- I LOVE Tic Tacs! The fresh mint flavor is delicious, with the perfect balance of sweet and minty taste. Everything was packaged and sealed well, and very fresh. I highly recommend this item and seller.

by Scott Westerfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.59
257 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why everyone loves this book so much, September 1, 2011
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This review is from: Uglies (Paperback)
First of all, I didn't pick up this book to read myself. It was assigned for school. I had looked at the book previously, and thought it might be interesting, but the first chapter lost my interest. Although we have dissected this book and all its metaphors, I still see no brilliance in this book. In my opinion, it's a poorly written and boring Science fiction novel. I've read lots of great dystopian novels, and this came nowhere close to them.

So, why didn't I like it? Firstly, it was dull. The first third of the book was us getting to know Tally Youngblood, the main character in the novel. We met her and she spent a long time going on about how everyone who wasn't pretty was so ugly, and so on. She soon grew sickening to listen to. The book split the next part into Tally's journey, which was long, tedious, and EXTREMELY boring. Everything else was boring and predictable.

The characters. I did not like Tally, and I didn't like the other characters much, either. They were flat and one-dimensional, with cardboard personalities. Even Shay, who you were supposed to like didn't seem realistic or very well fleshed out.

If you don't know the plot of this book, here's a summary: Tally Youngblood lives in a world where on your 16th birthday, you get an operation to turn you "pretty." She befriends a girl named Shay, and when she rebels against the tradition, Tally is forced to either find her friend or never become pretty.

Don't waste your time on this book. There's many better books to read than this.

Before I Fall
Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.07
196 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Impossible to put down, June 23, 2011
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This review is from: Before I Fall (Hardcover)
Before I Fall is one of the very best books I've ever read. It is the perfect blend of suspense, drama, beauty and love. This book is riveting and puts you right there, in the eyes of Sam Kingston. The writing is beautiful, and Lauren Oliver knows how to write from the eyes of a teenager.

At the beginning, Sam and her friends are bratty and seem very superficial and shallow. When they die in a car crash, presumably because the driver, Lindsay, isn't paying attention, it doesn't really affect you, the reader. You think, oh well, they sort of deserved it, anyway. But at the end of the book, you know that every character really has more to them, and that the accident was their fault, but not in the way that you would think.

Sam dies in the accident, and she relives the day 7 times, but with each time she takes a different path. She gets to know people she had hardly even glanced at before, and gets a whole new perspective on life.

This is a beautiful, heart warming, and at points, sad novel. I highly recommend it.

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.59
695 used & new from $0.01

18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Dull Start to a new series that could have been great, February 6, 2011
Having loved the Percy Jackson books, I expected that the next books would also be exciting adventures filled with the same wit, humor and suspense as the rest of Rick Riordan's books. I really wanted to like this book, and gave it a lot of chances to catch my interest, reading about two thirds of it before finally giving up. This review is my hope to give an accurate description of why I didn't like this book.

Firstly, let me say that I am very interested in Ancient Egyptian history and mythology. I am not going to say that I think these books should only be about Greek mythology, because there are other as exciting cultures to explore. However, this book felt, to me, like a dull repeat of Percy Jackson with a couple of switches (new characters, new gods, new monsters). But a lot of similar (or basically the same) ideas are introduced.

Let's start with the characters and the basic plot. The story follows two kids, as always, who realize they are destined for greatness (or something along those lines). We have two main characters, who alternate their viewpoints during the chapters: Carter and Sadie Kane.

I never really felt that developing fully three dimensional characters was Riordan's forte, but in Percy Jackson, at least, characters had some funny characteristics or flaws that mostly made up for their simplistic natures. However, I did not find that this was the case with "The Red Pyramid." The two main characters are not very interesting, or unique, for that matter. One is Carter Kane, a rather modest and humble boy of fourteen, and his loudmouthed, obnoxious, "say-the-first thing-that-come- to-mind-without-considering-whether-its-rude" sister, Sadie. Carter lives with his father Julius, an Egyptologist, and travels around the world with him. Sadie was raised by her mother's grandparents in London. Apparently, the childrens' mothers died mysteriously (is that not very common?) and the children were split up. The story begins with Carter and his father going to visit Sadie for the two allowed visiting days. Then, of course, a mysterious event (no spoilers here) happens, and the children are confronted with the secret world there parents have tried sheltered them from.

Neither of the characters was interesting. Carter was very average (but not in a good way!). He was, flatly described, a bore. Sadie on the other hand, is worse. She does have a personality, but it is obnoxious, ignorant (we're talking about someone who thinks the Rosetta Stone is a computer program) and extremely annoying. Unfortunately, she does not have a personality except for the fact she is rude, childish, and has an English accent. Apart from that, she, like Carter, is a dull bore.

Characters, I think, are the most important part of the book. Even the plot, in my opinion, is not extremely important if the characters are real and interesting to read about. But I found myself simply not caring what happened to these two children, and so, finally, I put the book down.

The plot was also annoying. The story alternated between the two children, which sometimes has a nice effect, but in this case it was simple irritating. I could usually tell who was speaking, but it didn't really matter, and it didn't add to the story. Like the Percy Jackson series, the characters were constantly on the run, facing monsters and dilemmas at every turn, and this book followed that format precisely.

Overall, I found this book to be a boring disappointment, and do not recommend it.

Apple iMac MC511LL/A 27-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION)
Apple iMac MC511LL/A 27-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION)
11 used & new from $849.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful screen; blazing fast; perfect desktop computer!, January 23, 2011
I recently purchased a 27 inch i7 8GB RAM iMac through an eBay seller, and have been using it for about a month now. It has been amazing since I first took it out of the box - in both design and performance.

It's amazing that Apple managed to cram so much into such a sleek, elegant designed desktop. This all-in-one is blazing fast and the screen is simply amazing. The iMac is the perfect home computer for the internet, e-mail, movie watching, writing, photo-editing, film-making, and even a little bit of moderate gaming.

Let's begin with the screen. It's simply HUGE, at 27 inches, larger than almost all (if not all) all in one computers. And it's not bulky -- it actually has a very nice, slim profile, and the screen takes up almost all of it. It's a very stylish, elegant computer that makes almost any room come to life. (If it doesn't take up the entire desk). The screen itself very bright with plenty of pixels for great clarity when looking at photographs, watching movies, or just browsing the web. Everything really comes to life on this big screen.

The performance is stunning. This iMac is amazingly fast to boot up, and once it has, you're ready to go. Applications preform very well (I have not had any application crashes yet) and multitasking is a breeze. The huge screen allows many windows to be open at the same time, so you really can do a lot and make good use of your time. It also has some great tools for seeing every window you have open at once. Expose is perfect, as with just one click on the keyboard, you can see a little snapshot of every window, and easily navigate between them simply and quickly.

The iMac also comes with a wireless keyboard and the Magic Mouse.

I actually got the wired keyboard, so I cannot comment on the wireless one. However, both are basically the same (the wired just having more keys and being slightly bigger). It has very thin, low-profile keys. It might take a while to get used to if you are used to thick keys, but I find that the thin keys are much better. With a gentle tap, the keyboard is amazingly responsive, and also amazingly quiet. The keys also are spaced far enough apart that crud does not form between them, as often happens with other keyboards. It's also small, elegant, and looks great on a desk.

The Magic Mouse is an extremely intuitive, touch sensitive mouse. It's small, thin like all Apple products, and looks nice. My favorite feature of the mouse is scrolling; with a simple stroke, you can scroll easily through your email or long internet pages. However, there definitely are some flaws with it. It's pretty close to the desk, so it's not super comfortable to grip onto for a long period of time, as opposed to other mice that are more comfortable.

The iLife software is a great bonus. I especially love iPhoto, which is great for viewing and organizing your photos (plus you can see it in 27 inches!) and minor editing. iMovie is wonderful - super easy to use but it produces really professional looking videos. (This is far better than "Windows Movie Maker," the Windows alternative). There's also a lot of other great pre-loaded software I can't currently remember. ;) Overall, what it comes with allows you to get started creating as soon as you get your new computer. It also, thankfully, does not come with the "bloatware" that many PCs are loaded with, but only things you will most likely use.

This computer is -very- easy to use. If you're considering switching from a PC to a Mac, I would highly recommend you make the switch. It does take a little while to get used to, but I found it easier, faster, and far more pleasing to the eye.

As for gaming, it is true that Macs usually are not know to be gaming platforms, but the iMac does a reasonably good job playing graphic-easy games. Of course, it would be a waste of money to buy the computer simply for gaming, as there are not a wide variety of games for the Mac, but if you want to do a little light gaming, you will probably be impressed by the iMac's performance. However, some games will not run their full resolution, so you may need to tone them down a little in order to have good performance.

There are a few small things one should consider, though, before purchasing this computer. If you have impaired vision, or have a hard time seeing small text, this may not be the computer for you. The default settings make font appear small. You can, of course, change your screen resolution, but this compromises the screen clarity. However, this is only a pretty small issue, and will likely not affect you if you are comfortable reading small text Also, a 27 inch screen isn't for everyone. Many things are not made to run such a big screen, and you will likely notice that many applications look small on it. But once again, this isn't a huge issue.

If you are considering buying an iMac, I would highly recommend getting either the i5 or i7 processors, as you will get a significantly faster computer. Also, it might be a good idea to upgrade to 8GB RAM for better multitasking and performance. (You can, by the way, get this on eBay for competitive prices).

Overall, I really enjoy my iMac and think that it's a wonderful desktop computer. It will serve a wide variety of needs and is the perfect home-computing system that can handle a huge variety of uses.

When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery)
When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery)
by Rebecca Stead
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.00
225 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great, Realistic Story, January 23, 2011
When You Reach Me is a very clever, intriguing, and realistic book. It captures many things at once: life in the 1970's, growing up, New York City, the age of "latchkey" kids, time travel and mystery.

This book is not long, but well-written. The story told is creative and very unique, and a great retelling of a different era. The writing is simple enough for a young child to read and enjoy it, but complex enough for an older reader to enjoy it as well, at a different level.

The story follows Miranda, a young girl living in New York City in 1978 and 1979. The story follows her as she meets and loses friends, helps her mom prepare for a game show she's entering, works at a sandwich shop, and deals with being relatively poor. Along with these (mostly) normal occurrences, there is a mystery as well. Miranda's friend, Sal gets punched by a stranger for no reason whatsoever, and she begins to receive strange notes. The story holds a nice balance between normal things and the imaginative (time travel).

However, I found that the story centered a little bit too much around one particular book that the main character read, making it, at times, a little difficult to understand if you had not read that book (A Wrinkle in Time) first. Also, depending on your reading style and preferences, you may find the story too simply told, but this a matter of opinion.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed When You Reach Me, and did not put it down until I'd finished it.

Things Not Seen
Things Not Seen
by Andrew Clements
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.25
270 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story, November 24, 2010
This review is from: Things Not Seen (Paperback)
Things Not Seen is a compelling, interesting, and imaginative story about the idea of becoming invisible. The story is told from the eyes of a teenage boy, Bobby, who wakes up one day to find that he is invisible. The story follows his struggle of dealing with everyday life being invisible and trying to figure out the cause of his mysterious invisibility. Along the way he meets a blind girl, Alicia, who becomes a friend and is the only one understands Bobby.

Having read many Andrew Clements books, I must say this is a very different book than any others of his. It's not a "school story" in any sense. It's also not just a "kid story" but one that is interesting and exciting for all ages. The concept of becoming invisible is handled on multiple levels; exciting, mysterious, humorous and emotional. It's not simply some science fiction novel of a boy trying to discover the cause of his invisibility; its a journey of discovery of the meaning of being invisible and it's literal and figurative interpretations. Bobby learns many things during his adventure, and at the end of the story has a new look at people, and how they make choices and deal with other hard struggles (such as becoming blind).

Along with this emotional side, this book is cleverly written. There are many funny moments, and a bit of suspense, which is not scary, but intriguing. The simple, easy to read format of the book, encourages you to read and comprehend at nearly any level, taking in the simplicity of the novel, or the deeper aspects, at your choice. This is truly an amazing, well-written book for readers to enjoy.

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