Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bookanistas: THE NIGHT CIRCUS

It's been a while. Sorry. But I have to say our review for today is completely worth the wait.

What the back cover has to say:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

What LiLa has to say:

There are a few reasons I decided to read/listen to this book.

1. The Regulator and my dad RAVED about it which means one of us had to read it or else we'd never hear the end of it.
2. The Regulator had a copy of the book on CD that I could load onto my iPod with the understanding that I could "exercise" to it while at the gym.
3. I loved Water For Elephants way back when and craved another circus story.

The book is good. Like really, really good. Like stop pedaling on a stationary bike at the gym without regard to stares good. It's not particularly sad, but I teared up. I teared up at an extremely descriptive part of the story because I was literally transported into the crowd waiting to get into a circus and I was overwhelmed by the scene in front of me. I also cried at the beginning of The Lion King on broadway and the opening of Disney on Ice, but that's beside the point. The point is, Erin Morgenstern is a genius. This is her debut novel. DEBUT. It's almost hard for me to type that because it's so completely unfair that she was able to dream up all of the words in this book on her first try. (I honestly have no idea if she has any failed manuscripts out there, but it doesn't matter.)

What matters is the book is magic. The plot and characters and setting are so intricately woven, are so expertly intertwined, Erin seriously creates a bit of a symphony (as cheesy as that sounds). There is a lot going on and I was never confused. There are a lot of players and yet they are all unique and essential and vivid. There are twins born on opening night who don't sleep until the circus closes, a bonfire that glows every color of the rainbow, an illusionist whose dress transforms in front of your eyes, an exclusive dinner party with incredible food you can practically taste, a boat made of books on a sea of ink. It all honestly feels like the most bizarre, magical, colorful, surreal dream you've ever had. And I never wanted to wake up, never wanted the book to end because I knew the dream would stop and I couldn't ever get back into that world. So I have to say, I'm a bit depressed. And bitter. My alarm went off and it's back to reality. Sadly, my reality is discussing the state of the real estate market with my big sister until well past midnight and popping in a pacifier multiple times a night for a certain 3 month old.

So do yourself a favor and read this one. Trust me. It's a blah time of year. This book will give your world some color, even if it is only black and white.

If you still aren't convinced, check out the thousands of other, much more eloquent reviews. Unbelievable.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to!

Christine Fonseca interviews author L.K. Gardner-Griffie
Corinne Jackson announces Change Write Now: Round 2 signups are open
Carolina Valdez Miller adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY - with giveaway
Jen Hayley has a passion for PARTIALS
Debra Driza falls for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Jessica Love shares some TIME BETWEEN US cover talk
Tracy Banghart jumps for CATCHING JORDAN
Stasia Ward Kehoe contemplates middle grade series
 Shelli Johannes-Wells visits with author Elle Strauss

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Laura!

Dear Laura,

You're getting old. You know it and as your older sister, no one knows it better than me. I wish I could remember the day mom brought you home from the hospital, but I don't. Mom and Dad like to pretend that at 2-years-old, I was too young to remember, but we both know the truth.

I hated you.

I mean, let's face it. From day one you were a blonder, skinnier, higher maintenance version of ME. Talk about stealing a girl's thunder.

And don't even get me started about Stacey popping out a mere 3-years later.

The point is, I've never fully gotten over losing my prized position as an only child. Some might say that's reflected in my, *ahem*, strong personality. But something strange has happened over the years. I started to realize that other people are WAY more annoying than my blood relatives. Sure, you stuck your fat foot through my carefully constructed popsicle stick house on purpose, you ripped the ear off my Pound Puppy Coco, you stole my favorite pink sweatshirt with a large cartoon cat printed on the front, but you also worshiped the ground that I walked on.

In spite of the fact that you and Stacey thought I was the best thing since Debbie Gibson, I spent the bulk of my formative years feeling bitter that you two were so much more talented than me. Until finally I realized that as the God like oldest sister, I was wasting my time (and far lesser talents) on bitterness. Bitterness is for losers. Smart oldest sisters USE their more talented sisters to catapult them to greatness.

Remember how you supposedly had the idea to write young adult novels together? I spent years planting those seeds. YEARS. I knew I had to be a writer and I also knew there was no way I was ever going to be able to go it alone.

Sucker.

Anyway, being the benevolent older sister, I've gone and gotten you something AMAZING this year. That's right, I contacted the folks at Publisher's Weekly and graciously instructed them to put your name first when they mentioned The Lies That Bind in their Fall 2012 Sneak Previews.

Happy birthday, my slave.

XOXO,
Lisa

P.S.

If this picture had sound you would be able to hear me whisper, "I own you," into Laura's ear.

P.P.S.
At night when we were supposed to be sleeping in our bedroom I'd make Laura put on that exact outfit and I'd call her Patrick because I wanted a little brother. And then I'd force her to make a human bridge between our twin beds so I could literally walk all over her. Even from a young I age I understood that with great power comes great responsibility.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Consider My Ass Kicked

Stacey dragged me to a hot yoga class yesterday and I feel like I've been run over by Lindsay Lohan, only instead of a hefty lawsuit settlement I got a smoothie.

On top of that we're working on a synopsis for The Lies That Bind and synopisi (rhymes with octopi - both are vile) make me want to take my smoothie straw and slowly gouge my own eyes out.

So, yeah. That's my Friday.

Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend! Namaste, bitches.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wha? Wednesday

This week brought to you by condescending Francophiles and whoever had the good sense to photoshop the President shooting actual rainbows on a unicorn. Wha?zzup Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. My name is Lisa and I'm addicted to Zillow.

2. Also I'm feeling very crabby.

3. I'm taking a leave of absence from my housekeeping duties. Maybe permanently. Sadly, I haven't found a suitable replacement. My 6-year-old can't wash floors for crap.

4. The fact that it's Valentine's Day is only making me more crabby.

5. I haven't been able to breathe through my nose for over two weeks. I'm pretty sure I have a plague of some sort. Have I mentioned I'm feeling crabby?

6. I was thinking about making my husband's favorite dinner tonight, but instead I'm making MINE. Pasta with sun dried tomatoes, basil in a garlic white wine sauce. And yes, I will be finishing off the bottle of white wine all by myself after everyone is in bed in my filthy house while logged into Zillow. Suck on that February.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Celebstalking by LiLa

OK, so Madge totally rocked the Superbowl. Well, as long as you ignored the fact that the top half of her face was completely immobile. Bitch had some SERIOUS crazy eyes. She's remarkably lithe for a 60-year-old woman, but good lord, WHAT is going on with her arm pits? Is that where she injects the blood of virgins that gives her the bod of a tween on steroids?


 I'm nursing a mega girl crush on Zooey Deschanel. She's ADORABLE and she's pretty much the sole reason I have bangs. Also, The New Girl makes me laugh out loud every single week. Love that show.


I've had a soft spot for Lindsay Price ever since she played a hard nosed reporter for the Beverly Beat/Steve Sanders's baby's mama. And then she was in the Lipstick Jungle or that other Sex in the City knockoff, I can't keep them straight anymore and I honestly think I was the only person who religiously watched both of those shows, and she dated Andrew McCarthy. I mean, how do you not like someone who dated Andrew McCarthy? And then Curtis Stone had that show where he'd find random people in the grocery store and then take them home and whip up a gourmet meal. I'd be lying if I said I didn't look for him every single time I walked into Whole Foods in spite of the fact that I'm sure I'd be publically humiliated by the state of my kitchen. So, that's a lot of backstory to explain the fact that I'm super happy they procreated. 


Um, Miley, I know you were young when Britney had her break down, but you should know that before she went and shaved her head and was spotted driving around with her 6-month old child on her lap, she walked around wearing outfits almost EXACTLY like this one. Just an FYI.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wha? Wednesday

And we're back with another riveting round of pins gone very, VERY wrong. This week on Pinterest features baby Seals, an awesome early 90's pic of Laura in a tapestry vest and the most unfortunately positioned hot dogs you could ever imagine.

Happy Hump Day!

P.S.
Comment with your Pinterest username if you'd like to be allowed to Pin randomness to the Wha? Wednesday boards. We're officially open to submissions!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday

My eyes are burning because I'm exhausted. And no, I haven't been writing. I haven't been working. I haven't been awake with sick kids. Hell, I haven't even started another crazy home improvement project.

My truth this week is that I'm reading.

Oh, it's been too long since I've really lost myself in a book. It's so easy to get caught up in reading books that you're supposed to read. I've been having conversations like this with myself for months:

Lisa: You know, you really should pick up [INSERT BOOK TITLE HERE] that everyone's talking about.

Other Lisa: Or I could watch more Canadian house porn?

Lisa: The publisher sent you that book. They're expecting a review! Tick-tock!

Other Lisa: But did you see what the Property Brothers did to that dump? The one is a realtor and the other one works with his hands. He's got these highlights that shimmer in the Canadian sunlight.

Lisa: Everyone will hate you if you don't read THAT BOOK. Get off Pinterest and READ you stupid HGTV whore.

Other Lisa: I'm sorry, I can't hear you. There's a marathon of Love It Or List It starting. That poor British designer always gets screwed by wonky roofs. Can't miss it. *Cranks the Canadian accents up to full volume*

Lisa: *sobs*

But over the past couple of weeks I've turned off the HGTV and I've completely stopped feeling obligated to read anything. If I start a book and I'm not completely hooked by chapter 5, I'm done.

And just like that reading is my new guilty pleasure. I tore through Jonathan Tropper's THE BOOK OF JOE (absolutely freaking genius), I devoured Emma's final adventure (SURRENDER by the amazing Lee Nichols) and now I'm completely and utterly lost in Stephen King's 11/22/63.

I feel like a new person. I feel inspired. I feel like a writer. No, screw that, I feel like a reader. And you know what? It feels good.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Celebstalking by LiLa

 Presumably, Emma Roberts was paid to stand with this random smart phone for some type of product endorsement type deal. Sadly, she looks like she's holding proof of life in a terrorist camp. Guess you get what you pay for Expand.

This picture really makes me wonder if Selena Gomez has seen the cover of THE LIES THAT BIND....

Sweet fancy Moses, horizontal stripes while pregnant!?!? Really, Jess? REALLY?

Is it just me or are you all waiting for an episode of The Hills about how K. Cavs faked her pregnancy to land her man. Maybe that show wasn't scripted after all.

This picture of the Bieber with Michael Jackson's kids and it may or may not be the single most awkward photograph ever taken. Justin looks sort of like he's scared that Blanket is going to dangle him from a hotel balcony.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wha? Wednesday

We're going to assume that you're all on Pinterest. The reason we're going to assume this is because there was recently a THIS JUST IN! news story on one of the Cleveland news channels in regards to this groundbreaking community and if Cleveland news has gotten wind of Pinterest that's a pretty good indication that the website has officially jumped the shark.

It's no coincidence that immediately after this story ran, the 'everything' board has become a teensy, weensy bit saturated. We're talking LOL cats, creepy Jesus pics, questionable amateur photography, nasty recipe photos kind of saturated. Some of the pins we've been seeing make us laugh so hard we cry, so naturally we had to share them with all of you.

Buckle up for a few of our favorites from this week. Keep in mind that these are things actually pinned by actual members of the Pinterest community.

And without further ado we give you WHA? Wednesday.