quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Mini Reviews

by Alden R. Carter
5 Stars
A book written in short stories, Love, Football and Other Contact Sports follows the life and times of the Argyle High School student body. Featuring the football team to the social outcasts, each character interconnects in the way that only surviving high school can do. Be it a conflict between a pacifist and a hothead or a feminist and a Neanderthal tradition, each story shapes the experiences of the Argyle High students that teenagers will relate to immediately. 

The use of short stories makes this book very easy to read. As each connects to another they do not have to be read in order, allowing the reader to skip around as he/she likes. No prior knowledge of football is needed either; there is a handy guide to the positions within a team at the beginning of the book. Dealing with first love, bullying, racism, blended families, and growing up, each “clique” within high school is represented. Laughing one minute and gasping the next, this book is one for all readers. 
by Margo Rabb
4 Stars
Cures for Heartbreak follows the story of 15-year-old Mia Perlman as she deals with the repercussions from her mother’s death. Reeling from the sudden loss, Mia, her older sister Alex, and their father try to gather the pieces of their lives. Mia is stuck in place, trying to figure out who her mother was and what kind of life her parents shared together. From the ups and downs of puberty, to the constant meetings with death, Mia must pull her tattered life together in order to survive. 

This book focuses on the serious issues of a parent’s death and how that affects the entire scope of a child’s life. Based on Rabb’s own life, the book delves into the tangled emotional journey that takes place. The writing is raw, not holding anything back, allowing the reader to directly experience the journey with Mia. 
by Lisa Fiedler
4 Stars 
Romeo’s Ex: Rosaline’s Story tells the tale of the infamous Rosaline, the first girl to break Romeo’s heart. But the Rosaline the reader meets is very different from Shakespeare’s; focused on her future as a healer, she has no intention of settling into the role a “lady” should play. But that all changes when she meets Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio. Together they try to help bring peace to their families, but will they be successful in time to stop the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? 

This re-telling sheds new light on the classic of Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. Seeing the events through Rosaline’s eyes, the reader learns more about the subsidiary characters, rounding out the original tale. The actual plot both changed in some major ways, but also keeps important scenes intact. Overall, it stays true to the spirit of Shakespeare, but allows Rosaline to become a strong female protagonist that teen girls can identify with. The only difficulty with the book lies in the writing style as it mimics Shakespearean prose; this may turn reluctant readers off.


Eli to the nth is on Hiatus!

Until further notice, I will not be posting my regular features (of course you might have already noticed that).  I have to catch up on uni stuff so I don't fail out of grad school.  But this isn't concrete, so depending on my free time I may post some stuff (definitely some reviews are coming), but nothing regularly!  I hope you are all having a great day wherever you are, and don't forget to be awesome!


Top Ten Tuesday (10)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of their bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.
The topic this week is: Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

I feel like this week's Top Ten is especially hard because as a teacher I know a lot of that depends on the individual.  But I feel there are some books that many entice people to read.  I'm going to focus on teens, as YA is what I read the most, switching back and forth between boys and girls.
  1. Peak by Roland Smith - I feel like this is a great adventure story.  Overcoming a huge obstacle, both literally and figuratively, is something I think is relatable. 
  2. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs - This is a really funny book with the added awesome of mermaids.  And it's a quick read, which is perfect!
  3. Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer - This is such a fun vampire book.  Vlad is a great protagonist; as an outsider he can appeal to reluctant readers.
  4. Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman - Another hilarious, quick read.  I really think this would appeal to many girls.  Super cute. (REVIEW)
  5. I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore - Non-stop action will definitely attract the boys.  I feel like having a male protagonist is important to reel in reluctant readers, and Four is a great one.
  6. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - Who doesn't love a good witch story?  Sophie is a great mix of screw-up and heroine, really great for those "outsider" girls.
  7. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - What boy can't relate to a break-up?  The male voice is so real in all of John Green's books, but I love the broship within this book in particular.
  8. Heist Society by Ally Carter - Smart chicks stealing stuff? Awesome!  A really strong female protagonist with such a fun plot will pull readers into the story.
  9. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry - Zombies, Mercenaries, and teen angst, oh my!  I haven't met a boy yet who isn't obsessed with zombies, and when they're crafted this well, it's irresistible.  (REVIEW)
  10. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison - The epitome of teenage girl, this hilarious book discusses all those problems girls go through but with a delightful British spin!
I hope you enjoyed my picks, and of course my suggestions aren't gender specific, just what I think boys and girls would gravitate more towards!

Teaser Tuesday (31)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone can play along! Just do the following!

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share a few teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • MAKE SURE NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (you don't want to give too much away and ruin the book for other readers)
Share the title and author too, so that other readers can add your book to their TBR list if they like your teaser!
Publication Date: February 13, 2007

         When no one was around, Mrs. F;emsky liked to chant Yiddish in a vaguly musical tone.  "Oy gevalt oy gevalt oygevaltoygevalt.  Oy oy oy oyoyoyoyoyoyoy" ina constant refrain.  Alex had pinched me in the side and led me to the solarium.
         "I had to get out  of there," she said.  "It's like Intro to Yiddish.  Yiddish 101."
         "Like a  cappella klezmer music," I said.
         "Oyoyoy," my sister sang.
(Page 12)

Cures for Heartbreak is another book that I discovered while making my reading list for my Books & Related Materials for Young Adults class (there's going to be A LOT of those in the next couple weeks).  It is one of my picks for realistic fiction, and it is really great so far.  It is not a happy book, but it is funny in places, which alleviates the seriousness.  There is a big emphasis on survival that I found really poignant.  I'm really enjoying the book so far.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Review)

TitleIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Author(s)Mindy Kaling
Edition: Hardcover, 222 pages
PublisherCrown Archetype
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Bought from B&N

The Summary
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
My Opinion

As you all know I don't really review adult books on this blog. Mostly that's because I read so many more YA books, that I don't have a lot of time. But there does come along a few adult books that I feel are relative and that many teenagers would read, and Is Everyone Hanging Out with Out Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling is one of those books.

If you don't know who Mindy Kaling is, then you may know her as Kelly Kapoor from The Office.  If you don't know what The Office is, get off of my blog.  Anyway, the book is a collection of short stories, well essays really, on Mindy's (I feel like I can call her by her first name now that I've learned her secrets) life and career.  It is a riot, and I laughed so hard almost all the way through.

Mindy has a biting wit while recounting her life growing up (see photo below) up to her break through to NBC. She moves fluidly from hilarious to serious to hilarious, which makes the book so fantastic. The writing is very conversational and matter-of-fact. And because the essays are all over the place topic wise, the reader gets a real sense that ths is Mindy writing, not some ghost writer.

There are so many great essays, but my three favorites have to be "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities", "Married People Need to Step it Up", and "Chubby for Life". Each of the essays looks at friendship, marriage, and body image respectively, and in such a true to life, crap your pants, funny way, that you cannot walk away without feeling like you and Mindy are now BFFs (hence the whole first name basis).
Overall, this is an amazingly warm, funny read that would appeal to fans of The Office, fans of feminists, or just fans of life, male or female. I'd put this up there with Bossypants by Tina Fay and Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler because it is just that funny, and I can't get enough of funny smart women writers, can you?

Back Cover

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 47/50: A


Jekell Loves Hyde (Review)

TitleJekel Loves Hyde
Author(s)Beth Fantaskey
Edition: Hardcover, 282 pages
Publication Date: May 3, 2010
Source: Borrowed from library

The Summary
Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship. 

To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being . . . bad.
My Opinion

Jekel Loves Hyde was Beth Fantaskey's debut novel. I've previously read her sophomore book, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, which I loved. Because Jekel Loves Hyde was her first book, I was expecting to love it as much as Jessica's Guide, but I was wrong! It was a strong book with a fun premise, great writing, and interesting protagonists!

The premise of a modern day Jekyll and Hyde was enticing, especially done in a Young Adult context.  The original is probably one of my favorite stories from Robert Louis Stevenson due to it's dark tones and investigation of the duality of human nature (did I get a little too English Lit. major there? Sorry).  Fantaskey takes both of these elements and puts them into a context familiar to teens: high school.

As with most books that I love, the characters are really what seals the deal.  The struggle that Tristen goes through is well-crafted, and heart-breaking.  The mix between teenager and otherworldly being is great.  As you read you can feel the pain, and that is so important to the story.  He is the strongest personality-wise between the two, but Jill still stands out on her own.  Fantaskey did an excellent job crafting Jill and Tristen, allowing the reader right into their psyche, where much of the anguish takes place.

I felt there was something a little lacking in plot.  There was a lot of convenient happenstances, but the characterization was able to glass over the more obvious ones making the book enjoyable.  I think when dealing with something so popular within the literature world sometimes it's hard to create your own story, but that is one area which Fantaskey hit it perfectly.  The spot on characters and the attention to detail really bolstered the whole book and made it great.

Overall, I think Jekel Loves Hyde was a fantastic paranormal romance.  I really loved the re-interpretation of a classic story, especially one that hasn't been done a million times.  Tackling something like this for a debut book was brave, and it definitely paid off.  Beth Fantaskey was able to throw me into a world of sinister evil, moral questioning, and hopeful love, and it was a great journey!
Quote from Jekel Loves Hyde
“On the stage Tristen bent over the piano, his fingers swift and sure, his blond hair gleaming under the spotlight. I glanced around at the audience, watching their faces, gratified that they were as captivated as I was by the dark, thunderous song that Tristen conjured.” - Jill Jekel
Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50: B

In My Mailbox (36)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by one of her friends, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, where we get to post about the books we receive each week through publishers/authors, our own purchases, contests won, and libraries.

Top Ten Tuesday: Story Re-Mixes (http://youtu.be/tu6DoG12mTA)
Random Buzzers (http://www.randombuzzers.com)

Elisquared's Epic Birthday Giveaway!!!

Hello followers!  If you haven't heard already, IT IS MY BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

That's right, on January 20 I will be turning 24 years old!!  Which is very exciting!!

In order to celebrate I am hosting a HUGE, EPIC, CRAZY giveaway!
(This also commemorates my 1 year blogoversy from November which I wasn't able to celebrate)

So that means that there is going to be a prize each weekend of January, starting January 7th!
Each giveaway will be open a week, and a new giveaway will open up.
The whole giveaway will be running from January 7th thru February 4th (in order to give each giveaway a FULL week!)

Below you will find the links to all the giveaways!
You can also use the button below to advertise!!

Good luck, and I hope you win something awesome!!

January 7th-14th: Stephanie Perkins Pack OR Ransom Riggs Pack
January 14th-21st: A Box of ARCs
January 21st-28th: Finished Edition Packs
January 28th-February 4th: $25 from The Book Depository


TTMMS: Hunger Games Edition

On this episode of Things That Make Me Smile, we're talking The Hunger Games!

The Hunger Games movie is probably one of the most talked about movies happening right now after Harry Potter.  And it is well deserved!  This is one of the most intense series I've read and it looks like the adaptation is going to be just as intense.

I give you Example A:
This is the newest trailer out and it is even more fantastic then the first!

Example B:
This is such a KICK ASS poster; it inspires such energy!!!

But the ultimate example of awesome coming out with the arrival of the movie has to do with my other obsession: nail polish!

Example C: That's right, China Glaze is releasing a Hunger Games collection mid-March in anticipation for the movie!

It may be called Capitol Colours, but are obvious representations of the different Districts.

Luxe and Lush - District 1: Luxury
Stone Cold - District 2: Masonry
Riveting - District 3: Technology
Hook and Line - District 4: Fishing
Electrify - District 5: Power
Fast Track - District 6: Transportation
Mahogany Magic - District 7 - Lumber
Dress Me Up - District 8: Textiles
Harvest Moon - District 9: Grain
Foie Gras - District 10: Livestock
Argo - District 11: Agriculture
Smoke and Ashes - District 12: Mining

Aren't all the colors fantastic?  My favorites are Electrify, Luxe and Lush, and Riveting.  

But all the colors look so much better on the nails.  You can check out a review at All Lacquered Up, one of my favorite nail polish review/resource sites!

So what are your thoughts on the movie?  Are any of you excited about the polish collection?


Follow Friday (16)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read.  It is an awesome opportunity to network other book blogs.  
Welcome to Follow Friday! Let me tell you what is going on today.
  • First Parajunkee & Alison will be featuring one blogger from this great community each Friday along with having the Follow My Book Blog feature. 
  • Each week one blogger will be selected as a feature, so sign up for the Follow Feature. Future features are picked randomly.
This week's question is: Define what characteristics your favorite books share. Do they all have a kick ass heroine or is the hot love interest the Alpha Male?

This is actually a really good question.  The biggest characteristic is good writing.  Now that may sound really vague, but you know when something is well written.  The curse of being an English Lit and a Creative Writing major is that you study good writing.  You annotate good writing.  You live good writing.  So no matter how fun the plot is or how interesting the characters, if the writing is mediocre it affects everything.

Other characteristics stick out too.  A strong female character.  I like when my girls reflect the vision I have for females in my own head, and that is one of strength, independence, and intelligence  I dislike simpering females immensely.  I also appreciate fast-paced plots.  I like to get sucked in and it just keeps going.  But I do try to open my horizons when I read, and I think every one should do that as well!

What are some of your book characteristics?

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