May 19, 2014

Review: I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

Wilderness Survival Tip #1 Drinking your own sweat will not save your life. Somebody might have told you that, but they were trying to find out if you'd really do it.

Henry Lambert would rather play video games than spend time in the great outdoors--but that doesn't make him a wuss. Skinny nerd? Fine. But wuss is a little harsh. Sadly, his dad doesn't agree. Which is why Henry is being shipped off to Strongwoods Survival Camp.

Strongwoods isn't exactly as advertised. It looks like the victim of a zombie apocalypse, the "camp director" is a psycho drill sergeant, and Henry's sure he saw a sign written in blood...

Wilderness Survival Tip #2 In case of an avalanche, don't despair. You're doomed, but that's a wicked cool death.

Wilderness Survival Tip #3 If you're relying on this book for actual survival tips, you're dead already.

I read, and loved, Jeff Strand's book A Bad Day for Voodoo.  That book had me laughing and gasping throughout.  So when I was given the chance to read I Have a Bad Feeling About This I jumped at the chance.  While this book wasn't as funny as A Bad Day for Voodoo it was still fantastic.  What I really liked was the voice of Henry the main character.  I could hear his voice in my head the whole while I read.  He has a sarcastic buy yet dry sense of humor.  It reminded me of several students I've had, so I could completely hear it.  And this sense of humor had me laughing again.  I was reading it in the waiting area while my son was at gymnastics.  It started in with a scene where Henry's sarcasm is in full swing.  I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing.  I know I was getting strange looks from the other parents in the room!

The story itself is a bit (ok a lot) far fetched but because it is so, I could set aside any concerns of it and just go with it.  It's almost because it is far fetched that it works so well! Had Strand tried to make it seem more plausible, much of the fun would've been lost.  It needed to be crazy, and silly and impossible it order for it to work and work well!

As for the rest of the cast of characters - great bunch and all super unique.  Each definitely added to the story and kept the fun chaos moving! If one of them had been taken out of the story there would've been a hole.

Overall a fun read.  Pick it up if you want to laugh and just have fun.

May 14, 2014

Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

I'm going to keep this short - I LOVED it.  Super fun (and funny at points).  I've read the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins and really liked them, so I was excited to see she had a new book out.  Glad I picked it up and read it.  My favorite part - the main character Harper.  I just loved her.  From her precise dress and refusal to swear she was fantastic.  I loved how stubborn she was, and how through this all she was always smart and in charge.  She was just great!  But what I liked was that there was still a depth to her.  She could've come acrossed as this girl that did nothing but care about outward appearances and making sure everything was perfect.  Harper went beyond that especially when looking at what her family went through when her sister died.  And in a way that I could totally buy into, she completely accepts what happened and pushes forward in the way she thinks is best.

The pace of the book was great.  Not too slow or fast.  I never felt like the book was dragging or that it skipped steps.  I pretty much tore through the book in about 2 days!

Lastly David Stark - liked him a lot although I had trouble picturing some of the outfits he is supposed to be wearing.  That's just be tho - if I can't see that combination in real life I have troubling seeing it in my mind!  His reaction to the whole situation was great as well. 

Overall great book! Can't wait for the sequel.  Too bad it's not out until next April!!

May 3, 2014

Product Review: iProp

So a bit ago I was asked if I wanted to try a product called the iProp.  I have 7 inch tablet that I use a lot and anything that could make sitting with it easier I was open to!

Here's a description and picture

The iProp is the perfect solution for using your tablet while lounging around the house. While the iProp works wonderfully on hard flat surfaces, where this stand really shines is on the bed, the sofa, or any other uneven or soft surface. The microbead base easily contours to the shape of the resting surface, while the high-grip silicone shelf securely supports your tablet and keeps it in place. The unique design allows tablets to be used in landscape or portrait mode, and the stand can easily be adjusted to the most comfortable viewing angle. The iProp is simple and intuitive - no instruction manual required on this one. The convenient built-in carrying handle simply adds to the convenience of this incredibly useful product.

When it arrived I tried it out right away! Because it was an "i"prop I worried that it only fit Apple products.  My tablet is a Samsung.  I was happy to report it fit right in! Then I settled in to my normal spot on the couch and tested out how the iProp worked.  I will admit I had to adjust it a few times to get it to sit at the angle I wanted.  It tends to sit really upright.  But after I got the right angel it help it perfectly.  I spend the next 30 minutes easily flipping through apps on the tablet.  It worked great! Didn't move or shift around.  I was worried it would slid around and I would constant be re-positioning it, but I didn't find that at all!  To was surprised but how well it worked and very please!

Here are some pics of it in action.  The top is while I was charging it.  

Over-all I found the iProp to be a great little product.  It allowed me to get comfortable and use my tablet without having to sit in a way where I could hold it the whole time.  I know some people might think "why not just set it in your lap??" You could I guess but I like how this holds it in place better with less sliding around!

Added bonus - it has a zipper shell so you can clean it, but that also allows you to store something like a charging cord for carrying!

If you use a tablet a lot I say check it out!