Alicia Alicia's Comments


Alicia's comments from the Novel Books & Reading Challenges group.

Note: Alicia is no longer a member of this group.

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35559 I don't have a problem with the number of books nominated, but I would sometimes like to see a bit more variety in genre and type of book. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like endless paranormal and YA (especially dystopians - with Inside Out, Outside In, XVI and Bumped that's 4 YA dystopians in a row!) that are all very similar to each other. Personally, I wasn't interested in the first series read for Vampire Academy, so it when it was announced that there would be another group series read I was a bit excited thinking it might be something I was interested in but lo and behold it turned out to just be another paranormal thing. I know you guys work super hard as moderators and I really appreciate it because this is an awesome group and the challenges are sooo fun! I also know that you don't have control over the voting and that it's impossible to please everyone when it comes to genre, but I still think a little more variety wouldn't hurt. What if there was some kind of clause saying that if a YA dystopian was read one month, then the next month couldn't also be a YA dystopian, or if a werewolve/shapeshifter book was read one month, then the next month had to be a different genre or at least about different magical creatures. Or maybe one single author shouldn't be selected more than 3 times in say 12 months (I'm looking at you Maria V. Snyder). Don't get me wrong, I've actually loved all of Snyder's books, but considering we only read three books each month when books by the same author (study series, glass series, inside out, outside in) are taking up those three spots month after month it seems like that author is getting a bit too much limelight... Just some thoughts. I'm not trying to complain but I do love participating in group reads so would love to see some different books.
Snacks (39 new)
Apr 10, 2011 07:46AM

35559 Niquae, almond butter tastes just like almonds and it's pretty rich. The texture is slightly different from peanut butter. It's a bit.. I'm not sure.. lighter or fluffier? If you like peanut butter though you will probably like almond butter too, overall they're quite similar. The other nut butter they make that I've seen at a few stores is cashew butter, but I haven't tried that one yet.

No one was really into pixie sticks when I was a kid (we were so innocent and didn't get the cocaine jokes - not! LOL). The popular candies at my school were nerds ropes, that bubblegum tape, warheads and the massive jawbreakers. The jawbreakers were so unhygenic and disgusting because the kids used to lick them at lunch, then leave them sitting on their desk in the open air all day until next day's lunch. Mmmmmm, like some chalk dust with your jawbreaker? It would take them like a whole month to get through the really big jawbreakers. And hell, those "healthy real-fruit-juice lunch snacks" like gushers and fruit rool up or fruit by the foot should really be classified as candy too.
Snacks (39 new)
Apr 09, 2011 08:57AM

35559 I LOVE snacks! I am definitely what is called a "grazer". I tend to prefer having a whole bunch of small snacks or nibbles throughout the day rather than 2 or 3 big meals.

On a regular basis I have:

-grapes, apple slices, mango chunks, pears, strawberries, oranges (whatever fruit is seasonal really)
-dried figs and dried dates for a sweet fix
-i am obsessed with hummus. I like just a plain, classic sesame hummus, but I also like to try other flavours like jalapeno, roasted red pepper, recently I even made a "lima bean peanut butter hummus", which was amazing. I eat it with pretty much any and every raw vegetable, usually depending on what's seasonal (carrots, celery, cauliflower, peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, etc)
-wasabi peas (addictive!)
-nuts, pistachioes and walnuts are my fav, sometimes i like to mix them in with some dried apricots and raisins for a simple handmade trail mix
-larabars, which are expensive but by far the best granola/energy bar on the market in my opinion
-"peanut butter roll up": you take a small whole-wheat tortilla, spread it with a tablespooon of peanut butter, unpeel a small banana and put the banana in the middle of the tortilla. Drizzle the banana lightly with honey (I think honey tastes best, but you can use whatever your preferred sweetner is - maple syrup, agave nectar, a sprinkle of brown sugar). Roll the tortilla up around the banana and zap the whole thing in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, until it's just a bit gooey. Eat! I also like peanut butter or almond butter on celery or crackers.
-dark chocolate
-popcorn (I have a popper to make my own plain popcorn, and then i sprinkle it with a bit of parmesan cheese)
-tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole (corn chips are the only kind of chips I like), sometimes i add cheese, tomato, onion, olives, lettuce to a plate of tortilla chips and broil for a few minutes for restaurant-style nachos
-you know bolthouse farms? The brand that makes all those weird but delicious smoothies and all the bagged carrots? Well they have yougrt-based salad dressings and the yougrt ranch dressing is honestly the most delicious salad dressing I have ever tasted in my life. I could eat bottles of it. I like a few spoonfuls of it with baby carrots, celery and cucumber.
-steamed broccoli sprinkled generously with parmesan or asiago cheese
-homemade coleslaw, i like it really really vinagery (i love sour things)
-fruit-bottom yogurt, sometimes i buy plain and mix in my own fruit but most of the time its more convenient to just grab the fruitbottom
-my one unhealthy snacking weakness is cheese. Cheese is my lover. I love a good quality extra sharp or extra old cheddar, some Wensleydale, or some good roquefort, or.. pretty much any cheese. I'll usually eat it with those organic, whole grain kashi crackers so that I can tell myself I'm being "healthier", but it's impossible for me to limit myself to just an ounce or two of cheese so I'm sure any healthiness gets canceled out lol.
-I don't really have a sweet-tooth and I'm not a candy person at all, but the one candy I do love once in a blue moon is the mini gourmet style jellybeans (like jellybelly or similar)

... and yeah, my list could go on forever too, but I'll stop before I bore everyone too much

Question: Did you eat any weird snacks when you were a kid that you find disgusting now?

At my elementary school, there were a lot of bizarre, popular "cool kids" snacks. One of my favourites was dry, raw ramen noodles. You would take a pack of ramen noodles, toss it around, step on it, all those sorts of childish antics until the pieces were broken up small. Then you'd open one side or corner of the pack, shake in the seasoning packet and shake the whole thing around so all the ramen pieces got coated in the seasoning. In retrospect, it was totally salty and weird tasting, but we all loved it.

Another really bad one was when people used to buy a tube of raw pillsbury cookie dough and then pass it around with a spoon, usually sharing a whole tube of dough between 2 or 3 people. I mean, I know it tastes amazing and all, but I tried it a few times and I always got stomach pangs afterwards (could be the raw eggs?). I remember when "cheese and bloody legs" were popular. You know those handisnack kits that had cheese wiz and mini breadsticks? The kids would take strawberry fruit roll up, wrap it around the breadsticks, and then dip in the cheese.. usually cliaming it was a bloody chopped off leg or other appendage.. I think this was around the time some gory new movie had been released, but I can't remember which one. Some of the guys also made gusher hot dog salads, which involved the hot dog lunchables kit and gushers, ugh. The 90s was totally the time of ceaselessly advvertised processed junk for kids, and I was often ticked at the time because my mom would never buy stuff like that for us, but in retrospect she was awesome, lol.
35559 Just because it's long or is it dull or something? I have it signed out from the library, but haven't started it yet...
Apr 07, 2011 08:53AM

35559 Happy birthday Kristina! Hope you have a great day.. go out and do something fun!! Overly-large cake :BDrink
35559 Yupp, I got them both out of the library so I'll be starting with the second one today!
Apr 06, 2011 10:59PM

35559 Thanks Lisa!! Yes, the discount is 30% and apparently goes up to 50% on a couple special "employee sale" days through the year (one of those days is right before christmas). If I get the job, I will definitely have to be careful not to filter all my earnings right back into the store by buying books...
Apr 06, 2011 05:18PM

35559 Don't jump for joy just yet, but I am extremely excited because I found out today that my local Chapters (largest Canadian bookstore chain, equivalent of B and N in the US) wants to hire a whole bunch of staff! My application is in and my fingers are crossed, but I just hate the waiting! I have a really good feeling about this one though..
35559 I really enjoyed it too! This was a nice change of pace for me after reading all six of Snyder's Study/Glass series. Like everyone else has said, I thought the world-building was excellent, detailed and atmospheric - I really did get a strong sense of claustrophobia while reading about Inside. I did not predict that (view spoiler)
Apr 06, 2011 02:39PM

35559 Start Date: Feb 14, 2011
End Date: ?
Level: Easy - 1 - 3 books for every type of heroine.

Outsider/Rebel/Bluestocking Heroine
1. Eileen in The Yellow House: A Novel by Patricia Falvey - read 14/02/11
2. Nina in XVI by Julia Karr - read 25/03/11
3. Amy in Across the Universe - read 05/04/11

Wallflower Heroine
1. Mor in Among Others by Jo Walton - read 21/03/11

Professional Heroine
1. Trella in Inside Out by Maria V Snyder - read 06/04/11

Rich Girl Heroine
1. Tamara in The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern - read 03/03/11

Brainiac Heroine
1. Sophie in The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson - read 01/03/11

Spinster Heroine
1. Emily in The Native Star by M.K. Hobson - read 22/02/11

Woman Warrior/Kick-Butt Heroine
1. Taylor in On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - read 23/03/11
2. Viola in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - read 29/03/11

Minx/She-Devil Heroine

Girl Next Door Heroine
1. Grace in Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - read 02/03/11

Paranormal Heroine
1. Meghan in The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - read 05/03/11
2. Opal in Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder - read 10/03/11

9/10

Now all I need it a minx/she-devil! Anyone have suggestions for that heroine type, preferably not romance or UF?
Apr 05, 2011 10:49AM

35559 Goal: Read 50 books from my TBR list or from my owned but unread list

1. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (was on TBR) - read 23/03/11
2. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (was on TBR) - read 29/03/11
3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis (was on TBR) - read 05/04/11

3/50 Complete

Books I removed from my TBR because I'm not longer interested:
Checkered Fences
Tracing Iris
Hex Hall
Bones of Faerie
Red
Jesus Potter Harry Christ
The Devil Inside
(7 so far and more to come)
Apr 02, 2011 02:14PM

35559 Rachel wrote: "I started the Mortal Instruments and got through the first chapter. That's all I could do. I keep telling myself to try again, but I haven't yet.

The same happened with [book:The Girl with the D..."


If you didn't like the Mortal Instruments in the first chapter, you probably wouldn't have thought that it got any better later on, because it continues on in that same angsty fan-fictiony tone. I did read the whole thing because I never leave a book unfinished, but I totally didn't get the hype, especially the hype surrounding the supposed hotness of Jace the jerk. I thought the book was badly-written, but keep in mind that's just my opinion, and I know there are plenty of people who loved it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, on the other hand, really does get sooooo much better after about the first 75 pages. I thought the beginning was rocky too, but I was really glad I persevered. The beginning of TGWTDT is kind of like a massive infodump, as they're explaining all the details about the Millineium magazine, the journalism scandals and Mikael's past. I know it gets kind of confusing with all the similar-sounding swedish names and the details of the financial scandal are kind of boring. Once it gets done with the infodump and focuses on the characters, its 100x time, in my opinion. However, even if you couldn't get into the book, if you don't mind subtitled movies I would strongly recommend that you check out the swedish film versions. All three of the swedish films have been released to dvd now and they are really well done and well-acted.
Apr 02, 2011 01:56PM

35559 Rachel wrote: "I am reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green . I love John Green so much. i really wish he would write more. His writing is edgy and completely real. I really wish I could teach a wh..."

I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson too. I even loved Tiny, which is the character that most people seem to hate. I would pay good money to go see a production of Tiny Dancer, lol!
Mar 31, 2011 09:30PM

35559 Niquae recommended Josh Lanyon's Adrien English series to me a while back, and having just finished the first one, Fatal Shadows, I can say that it was a really sweet, enjoyable mystery/mm romance. If you see this Niquae, thanks for the rec, it was much appreciated and I can't wait to read more of the series!
Mar 28, 2011 05:40PM

35559 I just removed a couple more books from my TBR that I don't really plan to read in order to "tidy it up": Bones of Faerie, Red and The Devil Inside. Also removed Jesus Potter Harry Christ, which I don't really remember adding to my list. I think it may have been slipped onto my TBR on a certain saturday night when I may or may not have been drinking and found the book funny enough to laugh about for a good 10 minutes. The cover is pure gold though, so I was a bit loathe to delete it, haha!

Jesus Potter Harry Christ by Derek  Murphy
35559 Ok, my reading comprehension sucks! I somehow read "option 6, books that have covers that are the color of your favorite flower" as books that have your favourite flower on the cover. This is why skimming isn't good, lol. Would it be ok though to use books that have actual flowers on the cover for that option, or should we just focus on the colour of the cover?
35559 I also found a bunch of listopias that should be helpful:

"Flowers in Titles"
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/60...

"flower covers"
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/61...

"Flowers In Title, Not On Cover"
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/60...

"Books With Flowers on The Cover!"
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/90...

"A Rose By Any Other Name.."
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/31...

"Flowers on Covers"
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/40...
35559 Awesome challenge! I'm going for option 7 probably with a combination of covers and titles and the difficult level, with a goal of 8 books. My first book will be Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys, and then I'll add others as I figure them out.

Start: April 1, 2011
End: May 31, 2011
Goal: 8 books

Option 7 - any combination of the above

Books that have covers that are the color of your favorite flower:
1. Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys

0/8

Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys
Mar 25, 2011 08:27PM

35559 Lisarenee wrote: "One was the fact the girls are told to be promiscuous and while given shots to prevent STDs there is no mention of birth control. I'm wondering if there is a reason for this like maybe low birth rates or something else? Anyone else wonder about this?"

You're right, there was no mention of birth control, which was a bit odd, but they did talk about abortion. It was stated that if a girl younger than sixteen got pregnant, the government would force her to have an abortion. If the girl was over sixteen, it was entirely up to guy who got her pregnant what he wanted her to do. Pretty shitty deal.
Mar 25, 2011 08:24PM

35559 I finished! My main conclusion was that this book was just... weird. Here's what I wrote in my review:

I consider myself well-versed in sex positivism, and also fairly well-read in the issues of rape culture, feminist perspectives on sexuality, the commodification of virginity and the madonna/whore complex, but I still don't really know what to make of this novel or have a clue what it was trying to say. Normally, I don't like it when a book is too preachy or tries too hard to unsubtly hammer a message into your head, but XVI was a rare instance in which I felt the book actually needed to be much, much more clear and direct about what its message was supposed to be.

For me, this book was just a horrific muddle of every possible issue concerning women's bodies - we've got severe domestic abuse, rape culture complete with extensive victim blaming and gang rape, near-eating disorders and body image issues, slut shaming, a lack of reproductive rights, child pornography, sex trafficking and sex slavery. I felt that XVI tried to throw way too many issues into a short YA book, and as a result, none of the issues received the sensitivity, depth, respect, and complexity that they deserve to be handled with in fiction. If you're going to write about things like rape and domestic abuse, I think that's fantastic, I think we need to talk about those things, but if you're going to write about them, you need to write about them well. XVI's handling of sexual issues came across as way too flippant for my tastes.

Obviously this book was trying hard to say something about female sexuality, the effect of media on women's bodies and gender equality, but it was just such a convoluted muck of stuff that there was no strong message. The one message I did get was that it's a perfectly reasonable choice for teen girls to remain abstinent, and that girls should know they have that choice, and not feel pressured otherwise. Ok, great, that would have been an awesome, positive message that I could have supported if it hadn't been countered by the undertones of slut shaming and condemnation of girls who do want to have sex throughout the whole novel. Virginity is awesome. Sex is equally awesome. Either choice is equally valid and neither one is better than the other. It should be about agency and healthy, informed choices, not about promoting abstinence at the expense of beating down girls who do choose to be sexually active or show an interest in sex. Abstinence is certainly a good choice, but it's only one among many other good choices. So I'm not if that message was Karr's conscious intent, or if was just an unintentional by-product of the fact that the two smartest girls in the novel were pro-abstinence while all of the stupid girls with negative personality traits happened to be the ones who wanted sex, but it was there and it ticked me off.

Also, even after finishing, I still don't get what exactly the XVI tattoos mean or do. I get that the tattoo is supposed to show that a girl is of legal age and sexually available, but how exactly does that work in terms of consent? Does sexual consent even exist for women in their society? Once a girl is tattooed, is she basically obligated to have sex with any man who wants her? Or does she have the right to say no, the right to withhold consent? I felt that it was never properly or clearly explained exactly how the tattoos work in practice and I was left still feeling rather confused about them at the end of the book. The reader kept being told through Nina's eyes what a threat and danger the tattoo was, but it needed to be stated clearly exactly what happens after you get the tattoo.

To finish off, I have a couple of random sidenotes. First of all, I am curious about the society's understanding of virginity and how they can "check" that a girl is a virgin. Are we talking strictly hymen-must-be-intact virginity? If they're going solely by hymens to determine virginity, I can't see that method working very well since many girls wont't still have a fully intact hymen at the age of sixteen, especially if they've ever worn a tampon, played sports, seen a doctor for a pap or other gyn exam, masturbated, been treated for a UTI, etc. If they're not going by hymens, do the girls just have to sweat that they're virgins? Does oral sex count as losing one's virginity? Again, another thing that wasn't too clear.

My second sidenote is about the tofu fries. Those damn tofu fries they were always eating! I'm a lifelong vegetarian, and have also gone through year-long periods of complete veganism, and even I think tofu-fries sound disgusting. I get that the society was supposed to be vegan, but why were they eating tofu fries? Regular french fries, made from potatoes and any kind of vegetable oil like canola are perfectly vegan, so there's no need to make fries out of tofu. It wasn't a big deal, but I just thought it was weird and funny that they were eating tofu fries and tempeh burgers, since the tempeh burgers are already a serving of soy on their own and would be enough vegan protein. It's like soy with a side of soy, rather than soy with a side of potatoes, with the latter obviously being the healthier choice since it includes a vegetable and a better balance of protein vs. carbs. And now I'll shut up and stop being a whiny I-know-so-much-about-health type vegan...
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