Kelly’s Kitten of the Week


I volunteer at the local SPCA every Saturday and every week I fall in love with one (or more) of the animals.  So, I’ve decided to blog about one animal a week.  I’ve chosen “kitten” because I like alliteration, but I won’t guarantee it’s always going to be a feline.  This week it was nearly a rabbit, but I’ve been wanting to talk about Missy since last week, so…

This is Missy.  She’s a four month old kitten who is super playful and sweet.  I like her because she reminds me of Missy from Doctor WhoDoctor-Who-Michelle-gomez-600x337

They both wear a lot of eyeliner.  They are both also completely awesome.  Unlike Doctor Who Missy, kitten Missy isn’t evil.  She does however have an arch-nemesis.


This is Lefty.  Lefty is two months old and was just recently put out on the floor with is brothers and sisters.  They’ve all been adopted, leaving Lefty behind.  He’s very sweet (and tiny!) and Missy just won’t leave him alone.  Kind of like Missy and the Doctor.

Anyway, Missy caught my attention by climbing onto my shoulders and cuddling up behind my neck.  I love when kittens do that.  I won’t be back next week, so I hope that Missy finds her home before I get back.

ETA 12/21/14

I checked the SPCA website today and Missy is no longer listed, so I guess she found her home today!!!

Book Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry

waistcoats and weaponry

In Waistcoats and Weaponry, by Gail Carriger, Sophronia Temminick attends the most elite finishing school in England, one that instructs not only in etiquette and decorum, but also the complex world of espionage. Luckily, Sophronia is a natural in ferreting out secrets, gathering information, and learning to use everyday household items, such as a fan, as weapons.

In this book, Sophronia, now in her second year, finds herself swept up in a plot that will upend the lives of everyone in England. Along the way, she must navigate the treacherous waters involving matters of the heart, friendship, and loyalty.

I love this series, and very much enjoyed the book. Sophronia continues to grow as a person, learning when to put duty before friendship and vice versa, as well as when she needs to set aside her own interests for what’s best for those she cares about. Plot-wise, I feel this was sort of a bridge between the previous books and what will come. A lot of things that happened don’t get resolved, but it left me with a great desire to see how they will be resolved. I also enjoyed seeing events that I previously read about in the Parasol Protectorate books unfolding here.

Finally, I just really liked seeing a book filled with girls of all different characters without feeling that one “type” of girl was superior to another. All the girls interests and pursuits were equally valid, even that of Sophronia’s nemesis, Monique.

Book Review: The Silkworm

silkwormAfter her husband goes missing, Lenora Quine hires Cormoran Strike to find her husband and bring him back home.  Bored and frustrated by a string of highly profitable, but unsatisfying cases involving infidelity and other crimes of the heart, Strike takes on the case.  However, the more he investigates, the clearer it becomes that this case is more sinister than a writer getting away from it all.  As Strike digs deeper into the lurid world of Quine’s novel and the complexly intertwined publishing world he begins to uncover secrets that many wish to keep hidden.

The second novel in the Cormoran Strike series was just as engrossing as the first.  The mystery was really intricately plotted and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, although I began to suspect whodunit by the end.  The characters are colorfully drawn, but for some reason, I had some trouble keeping track of some of them.  I continue to like Cormoran and Robin, but I am very bored and disinterested in their respective love lives.  There’s not a whole lot, but what little there is was too much for me.  Overall, though, I really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down.  Rowling does a great job of leaving the reader wanting to read on at the end of each chapter.

Book Review: Young Elites by Marie Lu

young elites

After a fever sweeps through the land, children who survived find themselves left with unusual markings… and powers. Adelina Amouteru is one such child, but her powers don’t surface for years, until the night she tries to escape from her abusive father, an escape with disastrous consequences. She is rescued from her execution by the Young Elites, a group of malfettos who have banded together to stop the persecution of “malfettos”. But the darkness in Andelina may be to much even for the Young Elites.

While the story is well written and goes quickly, it ultimately left me cold. I didn’t like any of the characters and was annoyed by the ending. Although there obviously more coming, I won’t be reading it.

Book review: House of Hades

I just completed my second read through of House of Hades, and I loved it more than the first time through.  The first time, I was caught up in the story, wondering what would happen next, but this time I could concentrate more on the journey of each hero.  I love how each of them was facing the same basic feeling of alienation and self-doubt, but each in their own way.  And I love how each of them conquers their  personal demons through self-discovery.  That’s what a good heroes journey really is, right?  It’s more about the inner quest than outer

All that being said, the book needed about 90% more Nico.

Book review: Ash



Ash by Malinda Lo was a cute, quick read and a nice twist on the usual Cinderella story. Aisling has always been fascinated by fairy tales. When here mother dies, her fascination becomes something more when she has a brush with the fairy kingdom. Despite recognizing fairy tales as the cautionary tales and lessons they are, in her grief she cannot help venturing closer and closer to the fairy kingdom and one fairy in particular, Sidhean.

This is a novel about growing up, recovering from grief and depression, and how finding someone to love can help break through long held pain.

Book Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey


  Blackbird by Anna Carey was a surprising treat. The plot moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged, wondering what is going to happen and if the nameless heroine will discover who she is and what is going on.

To be honest, I almost didn’t read the book. I got an uncorrected proof at Comic Con,and when I opened it and saw it was written in second person, I closed it and put it back in my bag. However, the first few paragraphs were so intriguing that I had to read more. In this case, the second person works brilliantly. It’s not an attempt to put the reader into the action; it’s simply the best way to show the state of mind of this girl who has absolutely no idea who she is. After awhile, the “you” melted away into the character and it wasn’t unnatural to read.

I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy fast moving plots, intrigue, and female characters fighting to survive against impossible odds. Anna Carey has crafted a brilliant novel, and I hope people enjoy this book as much as I did.

Book to Film: One for the Money

One for the Money

One for the Money, written by Janet Evanovich, centers on down-on-her luck Stephanie Plum.  Stephanie is out of work and desperate, so she takes her mother’s advice to see her sleazy cousin Vinny about a filing job.  Instead of filing, she becomes a bounty hunter and her first fugitive is vice cop Joe Morelli, with whom Stephanie has a rather sordid past.

I read the book many years ago, sometime in college, and loved it.  It’s a light read, funny, and full of colorful characters.  Stephanie lives in the Burg, a blue-collared section of Trenton New Jersey.  Evanovich really paints a detailed picture of the Burg, so detailed that this California girl had no trouble picturing it.  I’d highly recommend the book to anyone who likes mystery books you don’t really need to think too hard about.  Suspension of disbelief is hugely critical to reading this series, but the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously helps.


The movie came out in 2012.  It starred Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum and Jason O’Mara as Morelli.  On Rotten tomatoes, it has a 2% fresh rating, so, obviously, take my opinion with a huge grain of salt.

I liked it.  It actually followed the book really well.  The ending was different, and I liked the book ending better, but it didn’t take anything away.  I don’t have any particular animosity towards Heigl, nor do I love her, but she was charming as Stephanie.  Would I have cast her?  No.  I’d have gone with Marisa Tomei and flipped the bird at the age mismatch, but no one asked me.  I don’t own the movie, but it was on the other day and it hit all the notes about the book I enjoyed.  I thought O’Mara and Heigl had good chemistry, Sherri Sheppard was amusing as Lula, and it was a good way to spend a couple hours.

Book: 4/5 stars

Movie: 3/5 stars


Book to Film: Tiger Eyes

This weekend, I watched the movie, then reread the book Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume.


Tiger Eyes was written by Judy Blume in 1981.  I don’t know when I first read it, but I’ll guess I was over ten or so.  I’ve always really liked this book, but unlike, say, Just As Long As We’re Together, which I read about once a week when I hit seventh grade and can probably talk hours about, my feeling for Tiger Eyes aren’t so articulated.

The story centers on Davey Wexler, whose father has just been killed in a convenience story hold up.  Unable to cope with life at home after the tragedy, Davey’s mother packs the family up and moves to New Mexico to live with her sister-in-law Bitsey and her husband, Walter.  There, Davey meets a boy who introduces himself as Wolf.  They form a connection while hiking a nearby canyon.  She later discovers that his father is dying, and he ends up being the person to whom she bares her soul, in letter form.

As a kid, I found the relationship between Davey and Wolf strangely romantic and  touching.  They never kissed, they never really talked (he leaves in the book and she leaves her letters for him to find), but there is a deep understanding between the two of them.

I was disappointed the film made their relationship more explicit.  Wolf stays around longer, there’s kissing and cuddling, and there’s no letters.  I understand that, from a movie standpoint, it was needed, but it took something away for me.

I also didn’t like how either the book or the movie (but especially the movie) treated Davey’s mother’s depression.  In the book, she gets migraines and is given medication that  renders her confined to the room.  Davey tells her to stop taking the medication and Gwen (the mom) never has trouble again.  In the movie, Gwen has a panic attack.  I assumed she was taking some kind of anti-anxiety medication.  It ended being the same deal, only you got to watch Gwen throw the pills away.  I really resent the idea that a) medication for depression/anxiety is a crutch and you just need to “try harder” to recover from it and, b) it’s in any way safe to take yourself off medication that affects your brain without consulting a doctor.  It’s a really outdated idea and it should have been altered for the movie.

I did really like that there was a kind of timeless quality to the setting.  It looks like it’s probably set today, based on costuming and hair, but there’s no cell phones or texting or computers.  It was jarring once during the film, which is why I noticed it, but, overall, it wasn’t needed and not having there let the story stand on its own.

The actors were all really good.  The movie belonged to Willa Holland, who played Davey.  She was strong in every scene and was engaging to watch.

Book: 4/5 stars

Movie: 3/5

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

plague town

I didn’t think I was going to like this book. The first few chapters hit a lot of my pet peeves: protagonist describing what she’s wearing and her make-up; a lot of lamenting about being too old for college; unnecessarily dickish TA; not being able to recall Spike’s name from Buffy the Vampire slayer while being a blatant rip-off of season 4.

And yet… I was won over. The cliches settled down, the characters became likable, there was a good mix of characters, and the response to the zombies was great. Once I got into it, it went really quickly in the best way. Despite my initial reservations, this book was a fun read and I look forward to the next.