Saturday, April 24, 2010

*Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Where I Got the Book: I actually own two editions of the book; after I heard about the movie, I got an older version (paperback) from Amazon, but much later(as you will read a little later), a friend got me the copy (also paperback) that you see to the left.

For the past fifteen years (going on sixteen, in May 2009) of my life, I have been a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan. So of course, when Oscar season rolled around back in 2006 and I heard that a new Miyazaki movie was nominated, I was dying to watch it. Without having seen it, I bought it almost immediately from Amazon. I don’t mean to segue into a whole topic about Amazon and its awesomeness, but thanks to that site, I’ve made some amazing discoveries. One of them was the book that Miyazaki made an adaptation of. The book sounded amazing, so obviously I stuck it in the cart along with the movie. Sadly, after the first two or three chapters, I abandoned the little gem until I decided to pick it up again when my pal from Wise Review left me a copy on my doorstep as a Christmas present (nota bene: Wisdom of Youth is a friend of mine whom I met when I was in the eighth grade). And then, reader, I began the most fascinating, the most intriguing, the most hilarious, and the most magical journey around Ingary in Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle.

“In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.” For Sophie Hatter, it is just her luck to be born the oldest child out of three daughters of a hat shop-owner. So with this common belief in mind, she is certain that between her and her sisters Lettie and Martha, she will have the most miserable fate. As if that didn’t hurt Sophie’s self-esteem enough, Sophie’s father dies, leaving Sophie to become an apprentice of the hat shop. While she stays home trimming hat after hat, her sisters go off to seek their fortunes in pastry shops and apprenticeships with witches. Sophie’s destiny seems to be sealed to be terrible after her father dies and she is forced to become an apprentice of the hat shop and do mind-numbing hat trimming while her sisters go off to seek their fortunes. As if Sophie’s destiny isn’t sealed to be miserable enough, the infamous Witch of the Waste, for reasons unknown to Sophie, turns her into an old woman. Having aged more than seventy years, Sophie heads off to better her life and stumbles upon the treacherous Wizard Howl’s moving castle, where she strikes a bargain to rid her curse with a fire demon named Calcifer, befriends Howl’s fifteen-year-old apprentice Michael, and stands up to the notorious wizard himself! So many questions pop up that you want answered, and these keep you on the edge of your seat turning page after page, just dying to find out what happens next.

First of all, if you are a Miyazaki fan and are thinking about reading this book, keep this in mind: someone wrote a Book-a-Minute version of the story, Miyazaki read it, and changed it in his own way. Alright, so maybe that’s not what really happened, but it sure feels like it; the only thing that is the same between the book and the movie are Sophie’s and Howl’s names (and even “Howell” was not mentioned in the movie), and Sophie’s curse. That’s about it, just keep the movie and book separate. As for my thoughts on the book itself? Read below.

Pros: Everything about it! The characters were amazingly real, including their many flaws; the plot is breath-taking; and the integration with John Donne’s “Song”? Definitely a work of a genius! It takes the poem to new heights and new meanings.

Cons: Sometimes the writing seemed too elementary for me, but perhaps it was because I had just finished Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl right before starting this one. Also, I feel like the book wrapped up a bit too fast—so fast, in fact, that the romance (hint hint) didn’t realistically develop (and yes, I know it is in the fantasy genre, but social and behavioral situations can still be realistic!).

Red Flags: Ehh…none that I really remember, though it’s been awhile. It seems that this book is all clear with Common Sense Media as well. :)


Plot: 10/10

Characters: 9.5/10

Writing: 8/10

Originality: 10/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 47.5/10


Genre: Fantasy, Juvenile Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Original Release Date:

Also Recommended:

  • The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Check It Out!

I have just recently found out that Diana Wynne Jones is currently suffering from cancer. Please pray for her, or if you are not religious, please keep her in your thoughts. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



I’m all like, “My WIP is a novel of social criticism.”

Other times, I’m like, “My novel is pure FLUFF.”

That is all.  For now.*
(And OMG, I have a first follower! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Andye of Reading Teen! :D )

*The inspiration for this post randomly came during #yalitchat. In case you wanted to know. ;P

Oh, and I feel really awkward saying "like" so many times in such a short post. :P

Monday, April 12, 2010

*Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Where I Got the Book From: Bought the hardcover version (seen left) from Barnes and Noble.

Ever since I was able to read (when I was about four years old, I believe), I always found something admirable about authors. Perhaps it was just so magical the way they picked out words, stuck them here and there, sewed them together, and, voilà! had their stories collected in nicely-bound books. It was as if they were a sort of literary witches and wizards. But now, they also strike me as chefs; some give you a tasty but calorie-packed hamburger with deep-fried French fries that fill you up but make you want something more (your everyday fluff fiction—which I’ve read none of), others cook up a plate filled with a perfect piece of filet mignon along a delectable side dish of vegetables (beautiful classics, e.g. Pride and Prejudice), and a few serve way a Thanksgiving dinner-type meal with too much to take in but are very good otherwise, like a Thanksgiving dinner (War and Peace, A Tale of Two Cities—not that I’ve actually read or finished either). If this was so—if those cheesy YA lit authors flipped burgers at McDonald’s and Jane Austen was the Julia Child of this world—then Shannon Hale would most likely be a sous-chef of the latter. Or perhaps I’ve just been watching a tad bit too much Food Network and cooking-related shows.

Everyone gets grounded by their parents for misbehaving once in awhile; sometimes a ten-year-old can’t watch his or her favorite TV show for a week, or a teen is forbidden from calling their friends every night for a month. What would you do if you had the option to stay with a friend who was to be grounded for seven years in a tower, and if you didn’t step up to stay with her, no one would? This is exactly the question that Dashti, a young mucker living in medieval Mongolian times, faces when given the chance to become the maidservant of Lady Saren, who is given this sentence for refusing to marry a man she has feared ever since she was a young girl. If Dashti said no, this story would be nonexistent; but she said yes, and thus, an adventure began. I really can’t say more than that, or I’ll give it away, but if you read the “recipe” above, that is exactly what this three hundred-odd paged book contains: an intriguing plot, marvelous lyrical writing, characters you feel like you’ve known all your life, and fantastic adventure fantasy with the right amount of romance that will keep female readers young and old swooning (here’s a secret: I totally LOVED the romance and swooned for days on end :D ).

I’ll be honest. I love fairy tales, especially Brothers Grimm ones. But never in my life had I heard of “Maid Maleen”, not until I heard about this novel. So after reading the synopsis of it on Wikipedia, you’d think Hale’s version of it would be exactly the same, just written and lengthened in typical Hale flair. In reality, it’s almost as if the author combined “Maid Maleen” with a trillion other classics: Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Jane Eyreto name a few; in addition, there is a scene towards the end that is easily comparable in artistry and intelligence to the famous pivotal trial in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Even if you don’t know me very well, you would—and should—be aware of my secret and unbearable obsession with this book, which I recommend to even the most reluctant readers. But allow me to put it this way: if you hate plots that are absolutely stunning, if you hate fantasy with a classic feel to it, if you hate heroines who have a little naïve goody two-shoes side to them, then you won’t like this book. But really, who doesn’t want at least one of those things?

Pros: Pretty much everything and anything about it, but see below for the one thing I didn’t like.

Cons: As much as I rave about this book, I may honestly say that there was one part near the ending that turned the story into complete YA (which is a little shocking, being that this is a Hale novel) and almost adult; it was a somewhat edgy scene (I don’t know if that’s the right word), and it totally came as a surprise for me. I wasn’t fond of it, and I think it could have been done without and changed.

Red Flags: As stated in the “cons” section, there is a tad bit of weird stuff that those desensitized to edgy stuff will totally ignore and those not desensitized (like me) won’t.


Plot: 10/10

Characters: 10/10

Writing: 10/10

Originality: 10/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 50/50


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Original Release Date: September 30, 2007

Also Recommended:
· The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
· Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
· Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Check It Out!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Look Who's Back!

Yes!  The prodigal daughter of blogging (and of Blogger/Blogspot) has returned!  Not to say that I don’t miss Wordpress; I kind of do, actually, but this is so much easier for some reason, and so much faster.

Anywho, it feels so good to blog again, and not just doing reviews and tweeting.

Why did I switch?  Various reasons.  Again, Blogger seems faster, snappier, and more streamlined than does Wordpress.  Plus, it comes with way cooler widgets, and I have this freedom to change my blog layout and mess with the header as much as I’d like without paying!  And I also love how I can see who is reading my blog—who my fans are so I can spread the love to them as well. :)

So yes, since I did switch over, that does mean some things will change.  Easter break, unfortunately, is at the cusp of ending, but hopefully even during school I will be able to blog as often as I’d wish.  I probably won’t be doing tons and tons of reviews as I had hoped for in my Wordpress blog, but I kind of like that.  I miss regular blogging, even though I’m still kind of having blogger’s block at the moment, though I think I’m healing from it.

This is basically it: I’m back, I’m still reviewing, I’m also regular blogging (which also means you should tag me for any fun memes!  I miss those a TON), I’ll be messing around with the layout and header every so often, the name most likely won’t be changing, there are a ton of new pages to check out, cool widgets to check out on the right, and a slightly different review format (the final score is based out of fifty points.  For books, ten points come from five categories: enjoyment, originality, writing, characters, plot; for movies: enjoyment, originality, screenwriting, acting, plot; for albums: enjoyment, lasting value, songwriting, instrumentals, vocals).

See y’all around!

With much squees and hellos,

~BB/Jacqueline, the “Nerdette”

Featuring…PRIYA OF “BOOK CRUMBS”!!!!

Priya rocks. I heart this chica (and I am jealous of her. This picture is of her in New York City!! So lucky!!!!). Frankly, this bibliophilic blogger is the epitome of awesomeness. Not only is she the first Featured Blogger/Reader of NftN, but she: (1) went out of her way to contact me to be featured, and (2) despite her busy schedule, she took the time to answer my interview questions. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, PRIYA!!!!!!!!! I got the chance to ask my pal about her fantastic blog, which you should all check out (it’s quite eclectic: it includes snippets from her life and well-written book reviews to boot!), and other random and fun questions about her. Readers, new and old, behold her words of wisdom:


Describe your blog in a couple sentences (or a few words).
My blog, Book Crumbs, consists of Middle Grade and YA book reviews (with a few classics and children’s books thrown in); poetry and other writing; information about recent book releases, internet giveaways/contests, etc.; movie reviews (and trailers); interviews with authors and bloggers; arbitrary musings on absolutely nothing at all; and more.

How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2006, but only started serious book blogging in 2008 (around fall).

How did you get started on blogging?
One of my friends, who was a published writer at age seven, told my sister and me all about blogging and showed us her blog. I thought it sounded interesting and so I started my own. At the beginning, I only posted my poems, but as time went on I started posting the weather forecast :) Then last year, I discovered some amazing book blogs and decided to focus my blog in that direction.

Do you prefer writing reviews or writing about your life/thoughts?
I like writing both! Reviews are really fun to write when I LOVE the book (or hate the book), but I also like posting pictures, poems, and random everyday stuff.

If you could see anyone in concert,who would it be and why?
Good question… I’d love to go to a Carrie Underwood concert because I enjoy her music, but I’ve heard that Taylor Swift concerts are amazing as well (all the costume changes and everything!). ButTaylor sounds horrible singing live from what I’ve seen…

What are some of your hobbies?
Other than blogging and reading, I play the piano, write poetry, play tennis, bike and swim occasionally, travel(usually every summer), and participate in math competitions… I think that’s most of them!

If you could meet anyone–real or fictional, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Hermione Granger! It would be really fun to talk about all her classes and everything! (This is coming from the person who immediately wrote out an algebraic equation for Golpalott’s Third Law (the potions law from the sixth book which stated “the antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components”) and researched Arithmancy to learn more about it. By the way, the Arithmancy website is REALLY cool and shockingly accurate!)
It would also be fun to meet the Gallagher Girls and see what their life is like.

If you were left alone on an island for five years, who and what would you bring with you?
If they wouldn’t mind, I would bring my friends and family. And I would bring LOTS of supplies. But assuming that all my essential needs would be automatically taken care of, I’d bring a TV, a laptop, and tons of books.

If you could have any magical power, what would it be?
Invisibility would be fun to have, and flying sounds great too. But I think I would choose reading minds. Not the kind where everyone’s thoughts are constantly plaguing me, but the kind where I could choose whose mind I want to read and zone in. I know that everyone has secrets, but there are a lot of times where I really want to know what someone is thinking!

If someone did a biopic about your life, who would you want playing you?
If possible, me. It would be weird to see someone else try to look and act like me.

If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
An eagle! I think it would be awesome to fly.


Favorite animal:
Any feline.

Favorite color:

Favorite movie:
Hmmm… I can’t decide on a favorite, but I love animation and 3D.

Favorite book:
Don’t ask me to choose! I love so many books, and my favorites keep changing based on my mood :) Here’s the link to all of my 5-star reviews on Goodreads:

Favorite song of the moment:
Unapologize by Carrie Underwood

Pet peeve:
People who say one thing and then contradict themselves the next day. And then, pretend like they never said the original thing in the first place.
Oh, and people who tease others about “being too nerdy.” Grrrrr.*

Favorite TV show:
I like watching American Idol (but only after the bad contestants have been eliminated). Sometimes, I also enjoy (shhhh!) Hannah Montana and Arthur. They can both be pretty funny and entertaining.

Favorite food:
Oh wow, where to start! I like Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, and lots more. And for desserts: cake, brownies, cookies, ice cream, muffins, donuts, etc. I live to eat :)

Dream vacation spot:
I’ve never been to Hawaii! So I’d enjoy going there during spring, when it isn’t too hot. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia as well. And I think that it would be fun to go up to the Arctic for a month or so.

Dream job:
This keeps changing! Right now, I have absolutely no idea.

*Nerdette says: It’s okay, Priya. *pats shoulder* Only cool people are nerds. Those idiots who tease us for being nerds will never be worthy enough to be a nerd. :)

I’m going to admit though, Priya…sometimes, you freak me out. Like seriously, reading these answers, I start thinking I wrote them. Great minds sure do think alike! :D

To everyone else: want to be the next awesome person to be featured on NftN? Everyone–that is, all book nerds and nerdesses!–are invited to be featured. You don’t have to be a blogger, or an author (though both are welcomed any day!). You’ll probably have a different batch of questions–possibly with some of the one’s used in Priya’s interview mixed in. So are you cool? Then contact (see sidebar for my e-mail)!

Thanks a TON again, Priya!

New Tunes #1: Feist and Vanessa Carlton

Hope you folks had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m hoping to post every two or three days when I’m free, but once the week is over (*cry*) I will be doing scheduled posts (I hope) so that this blog isn’t totally dead. Woohoo! Also, be sure to check out my contests page later today! :D

Anywho, I’m sure you noticed the new font. Like it? I’m simply loving it!

Another new thing! I’m adding a new feature. I think below it says it’s called something like “Unconscious Mutterings” or whatever, but just ignore it. For now, I’m calling it “New Tunes”. Basically, I list the songs that I recently downloaded (for me, it’s iTunes. For others, it may be Napster, Limewire, Amazon, whatever; it must be DOWNLOADED, not hardcopy albums you bought from Target or Wal-Mart or Costco), and I give mini reviews for them. If you’d like to participate in this meme, just make a post called “New Tunes” (with or without a schnazzy title; I’m just always going to put the artists’ names unless I encounter a stroke of genius for the title), write about your new songs (or podcasts, apps, iTunes games, whatever), post, and come back over here and go to Mr Linky below (after saying “hello” to him, of course. I think he’s going to be my new online BFF, seriously. It’s so AWESOME!!). Be sure that you link back to my blog in your post!! If you don’t, I will bother you about that for the rest of your life!!! (Kidding, kidding…sort of. No, but really. Do it.) Now, my turn!

“1234″ by Feist from The Reminder (2007). Written by Sally Seltmann and Leslie Feist. I first heard about this song thanks to my dear friends Summermoon and Jess (love you gals!) on Twitter. At first, when I listened to it on Project Playlist, I thought it was a little too odd and quirky for my taste. But for some random reason, months later, I wanted to listen to it again and decide what I thought of it again. I guess I started liking odd and quirky, because I loved it the second time around. I simply couldn’t get it out of my head for days on end, and finally decided to buy it. SO glad I did. Loved the songwriting–pure genius. And I simply adore the jazzy-twangy sound it has to it. It’s like KT Tunstall, Norah Jones, and Alison Krauss mixed in to one song. (P.S. I have yet to watch the video that the title links to.) Score: 10/10

“Nolita Fairytale” by Vanessa Carlton from Heroes and Thieves (2007). Written by Vanessa Carlton and Stephan Jenkins. I randomly found this song on Project Playlist when I was trying to look for more Vanessa Carlton songs. The name struck me as interesting (and you all know my penchant for fairytales), and I loved it from the start! If there is an award for “Best Use of Instruments”, this should win it. I love how the piano mixes in with the funky percussion beat of the drums. The piano totally reminds me of some Internet game I used to play…I forget what’s it called, but anyway, I love everything about this song! The uneven rhythm, the poetic lyrics (Vanessa is fab at this), you name it. Go! Listen to it! Score: 10/10

“White Houses” by Vanessa Carlton from White Houses – Single (2004). Written by Vanessa Carlton and Stephan Jenkins. I found this at the same time as “Nolita Fairytale”, and I was quite eager to listen to this one, as I think it was either Anilee or Erin who had this as their tweet or their gchat status update once. From the start, I loved it. I never knew Vanessa had such a wide range with her voice, and the lyrics pretty much sell, although if you find out what it’s about it’s not very clean. I love songs that I can relate to, and this one I definitely couldn’t until the very last verse, so I actually rewrote it so that it’s cleaner–and relatable! Anyway, I thought this song really exemplified what GOOD music is about, and the kind of talent that a REAL singer should show. If there is only one song Vanessa shines in, it’s this one. Score: 10/10

“Heroes and Thieves” by Vanessa Carlton from Heroes and Thieves (2007). Written by Vanessa Carlton. Okay, one last Vanessa song! I heard this also on Project Playlist at the same time as the other two, and thought, “Wait a sec–doesn’t this sound like ‘Ordinary Day’?” And it does. But it’s…different. It’s quite set apart from “Ordinary Day”. Sure, the melody is strangely similar, but it’s such a lovely waltz-y song that it’s easy to tell the two apart and still tell that it’s a Vanessa song. I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of this song–whether it’s a pure love song, or more like a diss-the-ex-lover song–but either way, it reminds me of Robin Hood in that the speaker is having trouble distinguishing heroes and thieves. I dunno about you, but this sounds like story material to me! Score: 10/10

Thursday, April 8, 2010

*The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Where I Got the Book From: I bought the paperback version with the Alison Jay illustrated cover (like the one left, except that one is a picture of the original hardcover, which I LOVE) from Barnes and Noble.
Imagine that you are a princess–you live in a luxurious palace that is filled with hundreds of servants, you can go on exciting rides on your very own horse, who is also your closest friend, any time you want. But think again: what if, even with all the riches surrounding you, you were lonely and constantly self-conscious of your actions? And, just what would you do if your own mother commanded you to marry a prince from a faraway land, a prince you’ve never even met? Or perhaps worse: what would happen if an acquaintance you trusted turned her back on you and forced you to face the troubles of lower class, the threat of death, and the possible outbreak of war?
Yikes. Talk about harsh. Well, that’s exactly what Ani, short for Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, goes through: unable to live up to her mother’s expectations of a proper Crown Princess, Ani is sent away from her home country of Kildenree to the country of Bayern, where she is to be wedded to the prince. However, her own lady-in-waiting, Selia, leads a mutiny, forcing Ani to run away from her escorts and try to stay in Bayern–but as a humble goose girl. Although her new path is tough, Ani learns valuable lessons and gains many things; for example, she learns the gift of friendship, story-telling, and communication with animals and the wind. However, when Ani discovers that Selia plots to start war with Kildenree and Bayern in order to hide her deceit, Ani knows it is about time that she takes back her rightful title and throne. But with even all her new talents, gifts, and loyal friends, will Ani succeed in bringing justice and fairness to all?
I really, really, really liked this book. I can’t say I absolutely loved it (that’s what I would say about my #1 favorite book), but it is definitely one of my favorites. Shannon Hale’s writing style shines more in this book than in any of her other works, and the simple Brothers Grimm tale was beautifully retold. Would I recommend it to someone seeking a good read? Absolutely. It is like no YA novel I have read before.
Pros: As I said before, the writing is stunning, and the lyrical style perfectly fit in with the nature-speaking concept; the character development is extremely realistic one oft forgets that this is fantasy and not historical fiction; in addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the humor inserted here and there (a few times I would recall a
hilarious scene while at school or somewhere else, and would have to really fight to stifle my giggles. In that case, I can’t even imagine how funny and comical Austenland is. :P).
Cons: Even though I love the writing, sometimes I wished there was a tad bit more dialogue in some parts
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10

Originality: 10/10

Enjoyment: 9/10
Overall: 49/50
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Original Release Date: August 8, 2003
Also Recommended:
  • Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
Check It Out!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

*Coco by Colbie Caillat

More than once, you’ve probably heard that song on the radio; you know, that one that goes “And it starts in my toes/And I crinkle my nose…” Well, one day, we were driving in the car, and that song came up–that song I’d heard a billion times but never knew the title of. “Don’t you have that song on your iPod?” my mom asks. “No,” I replied, but I guess she supposed so because (1) we’ve heard it so many times and (2) it sort of seemed like the kind of song I’d listen to. Well, a few weeks later, I heard that song again on TV, and just had to look it up. What do you know? It’s this little song called “Bubbly” (that word being mentioned only once in the whole song), and, not long after, I bought the album. It was a debut album of a new artist from my own state of California, Colbie Caillat, and boy, was I greatly impressed! Unlike most debut albums, it was a solid start for the rising guitar-playing star. Just take a look at my comments on each song below:

*1. Oxygen (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): such a beautiful song from start to finish. Much like when you read a really good book with a fantastic start, this song makes you want to listen to the other tracks. The tune actually sounds as light as oxygen. Love it. Score: 10/10

*2. The Little Things (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): after listening to a breezy tune, leans more towards R&B. I myself am not a big fan of that genre, but this song was so rhythmic and neat to listen to. Score: 10/10

3. One Fine Wire (Colbie Caillat/Mikal Blue/Jason Reeves): after two such strong songs, this one seemed a little too weak to me. Perhaps if this wasn’t sandwiched between two hits, I would have preferred it. What I did like about it was that it did have a sort of “lilt” that it seemed like you really were trying to balance on one fine wire (if that didn’t make sense, go listen to it).Score: 8/10

*4. Bubbly (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): obviously, this is the hit that I was talking about in my introduction. “Bubbly” has such a light, flowy, catchy, and sometimes even a bouncy tune. I absolutely love this song, period. Score:10/10

5. Feelings Show (Colbie Caillat/Mikal Blue/Jason Reeves): I wasn’t a huge fan of this song, perhaps because it, like “One Fine Wire”, was sandwiched between two really great songs. The tune was a bit too uneven to fit on this album; the verses are really slow, and then the chorus suddenly gets quite fast that it doesn’t really fit the song too well; however, Colbie’s vocals are still as solid as ever in this track as in any of the others. Score: 8/10

*6. Midnight Bottle (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): I loved this song! The beginning has a jazzy touch to it, and it did sound “night-ish” (that’s the best way I can explain it; just go listen to it!). Like “Bubbly”, it also has a light and flowy tune that’s enjoyable to listen to. Score: 9/10

*7. Realize (Colbie Caillat/Mikal Blue/Jason Reeves): The first time I listened to it was on the computer, and, well, maybe the computer sound wasn’t that great and I maybe I wasn’t really listening, but I didn’t care for it that much, especially right after listening to “Bubbly”. But when I listened to it on my CD player and iPod, I found how amazing this song is. It has a melancholy yet hopeful tune, and has such a pretty acoustic sound. The chorus is quite catchy as well. Score: 10/10

*8. Battle (Colbie Caillat/Mikal Blue): Sometimes background vocals are unnecessary and get too corny. Some might say the same for “Battle”. OK, before I explain, let’s back up a little. The introduction I loved. It reminded me of the soundtrack to the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Then the song shifts from classical to pop to classical and so one throughout the rest of the song. I enjoyed listening to this one, and, the background vocals (which are also Colbie, by the way) were still amazing. Even though they kept repeating until the end, they didn’t get overly annoying. Awesome, neat track. Score: 10/10

9. Tailor Made (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): At this track, the album’s sturdiness starts to slow. Yes, this track was peppy, but it didn’t sound very “Colbie-ish”. I like this song, but it’s just not my favorite from the CD. Score:9/10

10. Magic (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): Not sure if anyone else experienced this when listening to Coco, but this sounded like a repeat of “Bubbly”–a sort of slower, lighter, less pop and more acoustic remix of the hit. I kind of hoped for something a little fresher (but of course, still having the Colbie sound to it), but was slightly disappointed by this track. Don’t get me wrong, “Magic” is still a great song, but it wasn’t my favorite. Score: 8/10

11. Tied Down (Colbie Caillat/Jason Reeves): This was a pretty neat song; everytime I hear it, it reminds me of a lazy sunset on a Hawaiian beach (ok, maybe it’s because of the ukelele in the song). It was also a little uneven, with the slow verses and the a-tad-bit-too-peppy chorus. Not a Score-10 to get an asterisk, but still pretty good for a song that’s towards the end. Score:9/10

12. Capri (Colbie Caillat): This is such a sweet song about a mother expecting her child, and a sweet way to end Coco. “Capri” wasn’t my favorite, but it was still a very beautiful song. In fact, it reminds me of something I read that was written by a friend–a friend who actually was the first to recommend me Colbie’s music (thanks, Faith! :D ) Score: 9/10

Red Flags: As Common Sense Media can tell you, some song lyrics depict some romantic scenes.


Vocals: 10/10 (Colbie has such a unique voice and such an equally unique style with her music!)

Instrumentals: 10/10

Songwriting: 10/10 (Fantastic songwriting, and it’s even cooler that Colbie herself wrote or co-wrote most of them. What an amazing singer-songwriter!)

Lasting Value: 10/10 (It’s not easy to tire of this album. There was one point where I listened to Coco twice a day. Seriously.)

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 50/50 (One of my favorites from my CD collection, definitely.)


Producers: Mikal Blue, Ken Caillat, Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves

Genre: Pop, folk-pop, acoustic, surf pop, blue-eyed soul, adult contemporary

Record Label: Universal Republic

Release Date: July 17, 2007

Length: 48:10

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Check It Out!

·         Wikipedia