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Helpful Votes: 69

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Hannah RSS Feed (EMERYVILLE, US, Canada)

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If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun
If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun
by Marie G. Lee
Edition: Paperback
54 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Struck a cord, August 3, 2012
I remember reading this book when I was about 12 years old. I don't know why 14+ years later, I suddenly thought about the book and looked it up, but here I am.

I read it right at that age when being cool is starting to become this monumental thing. I remember feeling such a kinship with this book. I was guilty of so many of the same things as Alice. Just terrified of everyone noticing that I was different. I distinctly remember the day when I asked my Mom to stop packing kimchi with my lunches. And in fact, no more rice either. I wanted LUNCHABLES. *sigh* Oh the insecurities of youth.

I'm glad I read this book when I did. It let me clearly see that what I was experiencing was fairly normal. I mean, a whole book was written about it! And also, as the character of Alice grew, so did I. And I'm grateful for it.

I can't remember at all if this book was particularly well written, but I did read this like 10 times over. So I must have really loved it. And to remember it now over a decade later, just proof that the message and the core of this book stuck with me.

The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.39
206 used & new from $0.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst cast of characters ever, March 22, 2012
I don't write many reviews for books. The good and the bad have usually already been pointed out in reviews and far more eloquently than I could have written.

But this book annoyed me SO much that even though nobody might read this, I still need to put it out there.

The main problem of the book isn't that Quentin and his friends are miserable awful human beings, with little redeeming qualities. It's the fact that those characters and their motivations, their situation, the plot, NONE of it makes a lick of sense.

There's no believability to any of it. The bits about school are simultaneously too brief and oddly, also tedious. You zip through years of schooling at a rapid clip, never getting a real sense of the place but also becoming bored to tears with the endless talk about Quentin's neverending whine-fest. Once you get to the actual meat of the story, the pseudo-Narnia bits, there's this feeling that nobody, none of the characters or the author himself really believes in any of it. Was it supposed to read like satire? How are you supposed to care about the fate of ANY of this when the characters are written as foolish interlopers who deserved to be killed, and then the main bad guy is also a whiny little ass.

All of it combined made it so that I did not care what happened to ANY of them. And the ending was such a joke as well.

Just terrible stuff.

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration
A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration
by Meg Keene
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.87
166 used & new from $1.44

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Island of sanity in the wide murky waters of wedding planning., December 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love weddings, I really do. I love wedding related movies and TV shows, I've been a professional wedding photographer for the last 5 years, I read wedding blogs and I just got engaged myself.

So you would think that in the midst of this wedding love fest, I would be having the easiest time ever planning my wedding. I mean, I should be an old pro at this, right? But I wasn't. I froze, I panicked, I started getting swept up in all the things I had to do, everything I needed my wedding to be, all the things that needed to be considered. The logistics, the budget, the invite list, and non-stop questions from family and friends about when, where, and for the love of god, WHAT ARE MY COLORS???

In trying to put together a totally chilled out, relaxed, non-traditional super fun party, I ended becoming bizarrely neurotic and ridiculously stressed out and I lost sight of the things that were most important.

A Practical Wedding brought me back to my senses. Step by step, the book aims to guide you through the process of becoming engaged, all the way through to after you are married. It covers everything from figuring out the important logistical things like booking vendors and choosing a venue as well as the trickier wedding related issues such as juggling different faiths, working with families, and managing expectations.

But that's not the real strength of this book. The real strength and heart of the book, is that throughout the book from beginning to end, A Practical Wedding zeroes in on the real core of a wedding. What that means for you, and the celebration you choose to have with your loved ones. What is a wedding? That's the questions that I really considered when reading the book. Just completely forgetting all the weddings I've been to, and the way weddings are presented in the media, I had to answer that question. What is a wedding to me and my fiance and how do I want it to manifest for us? And once I answered that question, you cannot believe the sense of relief that I felt.

The book asks you, what is important to YOU? How do you want to feel on your wedding day? What traditions do YOU want to honor and why? The book prompts you to listen to what your heart is saying is right for you. APW also acknowledges the incredible range of emotions associated with wedding planning, rather than glossing over the sad, frustrated bits.

Another reviewer quoted a bit in the book about the wedding industry trying to sell the idea of a perfect wedding and all the MUST DO things that comes along with that perfect wedding. And I do agree that many times, the wedding industry can be a behemoth like beast that's hard to fight against. But I sort of wish the book had touched a little bit more (it does to a small extent) about how there are many many wedding vendors who can provide amazing products, services, and even guidance to couples getting married, without trying to sell the idea of a mythical perfect wedding. But as a wedding vendor, I do admit this is my bias showing. ;) It's my only small criticism of the book.

A Practical Wedding, both the book and the blog, tackle things that are so rarely talked about within the wedding industry. As a future bride, I loved this book, but I'd also recommend it to those who may not be getting married themselves, but family members, grooms, best friends. Because it takes too long for me to be like, "Listen! Listen to this bit, this is EXACTLY how I felt! Oh! This part is so spot on, let me read it to you..." Might as well just gift the book to everyone I know!

It's insanely practical, but also deeply moving. When I started to really get into the meat of the book, I had tears in my eyes because of the heartfelt stories, and also because the advice given in the book triggered a strong emotional reaction. I'm getting married! It's a beautiful thing and the book honors that extraordinarily well.

Zevia All Natural Soda, Cola 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)
Zevia All Natural Soda, Cola 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)
Offered by Peters Select
Price: $38.79
7 used & new from $22.85

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tasteless, October 22, 2011
I'm utterly baffled by the positive reviews for this product.

Now I've been using Stevia for the past year to sweeten my coffee. I have no issue with the Stevia.

I used to drink a lot of soda, and then a few years back, a lot of diet soda. Since then, I've been able to give up soda altogether. But my Dad who is diabetic, is absolutely obsessed with diet coke. I've been trying to get him to lessen his diet coke intake (which is 1-2 a day) but he just waves me off. So I did some research, read the reviews, and bought 2 packs of the cola and lemon flavor each. I tried both to see how they tasted and was totally confused by this tasteless carbonated water. There was no taste! It literally just tasted like carbonated water with a vague hint of some flavor. I can't imagine anyone WANTING to drink this stuff, let alone rave about it.

Did I get a bad batch? My Dad will never be able to transition from diet coke to this stuff, cause this stuff is truly awful.

So disappointing. :(

Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic, Book 6)
Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic, Book 6)
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Hardcover
285 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars From cute to disturbing, March 18, 2011
Add me to the long list of reviewers who has been a fan of this series and was stunned by how what used to be a story about a charismatic, loving, if a bit thoughtless and irresponsible girl has turned into a story about a woman who is a pathological liar and an addict who is enabled by everyone around her.

It's one thing to lie to a bank manager because you're overwhelmed and scared by the amount of debt that you're in, it's a completely different thing to lie CONSTANTLY to your parents, your husband, your best friends, and even your child. This series has gone off the deep end in my opinion.

And the worst part about all this is that there is that a lot of it doesn't make sense, and there are no resolutions to these issues. In previous books, whenever Becky would get in over her head, at some point she would realize how much of a problem she had. In this book, we get maybe ONE resolution to an issue and everything else is completely swept under the rug. The crazy amount of money she spent when Brandon specifically told her to cut back during the recession? Not mentioned again. Her insane desire to have more children because she wants to buy more baby clothes? Not addressed either. And on and on. So much outlandish and disturbing behavior from Becky and so little consequences or resolutions.

If there is another book in this series, I really really hope its one where Becky finally grows up. Otherwise, I think any further books would be an insult to fans who have supported the series.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3) - Audio
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3) - Audio
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $28.79
85 used & new from $11.37

46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful ending to a great trilogy, August 29, 2010
I can't really describe how utterly disappointed I was in this final book in the Hunger Games series. After I finished the book, I tossed it aside, sighed, and just went to go lay down. It was a heartbreaking letdown.

There's multiple things to address here, so I'll lay it out as clearly as possible.

1) The butchering of characters. Katniss went from a feisty, if reluctant heroine, to a dimwitted, sullen child. And I understand that she's been through so much terror, and that how she reacted can be considered a realistic response. But it's truly difficult to like a book if you cannot like the main character. I loved Katniss in the first two books. Hated her in this one. And it was strange how inconsistent her character was. Sometimes she was reasonable and full of compassion, and on the flip side, she's willing to let Captiol children die at the hands of another hunger game. That cold brutality can do nothing but force readers to abandon her as a main character worth anything. Was that the point? Was the point to force you to dislike everyone who touched the war in any way? Did the anti-war message have to be that strong to the point where enjoyment of the book is obliterated? Gale was similarly butchered. I think what grated more with Gale's switch in characterization was that it seemed incredibly obvious that the only point in making Gale a harsh and unfeeling character was to make the decision in the romantic triangle that much easier to make. But I would have preferred Katniss choosing between two good guys, instead of one good guy who went crazy but was still good, and one good guy who turned into a brute.

2) The writing itself was so amateurish. How often did Katniss black out and end up in the hospital in this book? Two, three times? It became to the point where I rolled my eyes when it happened. And was seriously about to throw the book at the wall when it happened YET AGAIN at the very climax of the book. Such lazy writing. And the entire structuring of the book felt off. The whole sequence leading up to the President's mansion was the epitome of lackluster and unfulfilled.

3) The story was so bleak, the anti-war message so strong, that there was no enjoyment in the book. You couldn't root for the rebels. You couldn't root for Katniss. You couldn't root for Gale or Peeta. You couldn't root for the Capital. So what was the point? Just to read something and think, "my god, war is BAD BAD BAD!"

4) The unnecessary deaths. Really, did the author REALLY have to kill off so many people? Killing off well liked characters for shock value is trite and make me weary.

5) The epilogue was so lame. So tacked on. The entire ending of the book felt so rushed and half-hearted.

If this was the author's vision, then I guess I can't really argue against it. But I'm superbly disappointed in the direction she chose to take. It probably wouldn't have been so disappointing if I hadn't enjoyed the first two so much, and if I hadn't been so eagerly counting down the days until this book's release. Maybe lower expectations would have made the book easier to swallow, but I doubt it. There were just SO many problems in this book. Too many.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2012 6:20 PM PDT

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
by Aimee Bender
Edition: Hardcover
266 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good book, ruined by the ending, July 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was instantly interested in this book because I love magical realism and I love food related books. So this seemed right up my ally.

The whole concept of the book is intriguing and it started off well. But after the initial discovery, the horror, the experimenting, learning and accepting, the book just sort of trails off as far as Rose's talent goes. By the middle of the book, the book is already starting to be less about Rose's "gift" and more about the family dynamics. That wouldn't be so bad if this aspect of the book is well executed, but it never is. We never really get solid understandings of the family, despite the extra insight Rose should be able to give. Instead we get shells of characters, and even though the author attempts to give reasoning and motivations to these characters, all of it feels shallow and under developed.

And then there's the ending. Oh god, that ending. What the hell was that? So completely bizarre. If it hadn't been for that ending, I would have given this book a solid 3. But that ending was too random, too nonsensical, and too "makes no god damn sense."

I really enjoyed the first few chapters and before I got to the end, I was ready to recommend the book for my book club, and now I'd be embarrassed to recommend this book to anyone.

Cooler Master NotePal W1 Widescreen Notebook Cooling Pad (R9-NBC-AWAK)
Cooler Master NotePal W1 Widescreen Notebook Cooling Pad (R9-NBC-AWAK)
Offered by Buyvalue
Price: $59.60
2 used & new from $39.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not cool at all, June 20, 2008
I got this cooler for my Macbook pro 15 inch. The fans are definitely very very quiet, but I think the reason why they're so quiet is because they blow so little air out from the fans. The air that's being blown out is equivalent to someone gently blowing through their mouth. The made the air output absolutely negligible, and so the heat on my Macbook Pro is still very hot. I didn't notice a drop in temperature at all. The aluminum cooler actually started heating up as well.

This cooler did not work for me. So that's $30 down the drain.

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