Sunday, March 31, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

I won some ARCs by taking part in Epic Reads Tea Time. It was a surprise which ones I was getting and was thrilled to find Taken in there! Can't wait to start reading them.


Taken by Erin Bowman (Goodreads)
Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan (Goodreads)

I also was given access to an eARC of Of Triton. I am very much looking forward to this one!


Of Triton by Anna Banks (Goodreads)

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Female Characters Week....Ciara Guest Post


The last guest post for this week is from the awesome Ciara. I love that so many awesome female characters were given some praise. I have found some great TV shows, and books to check out, and hope you have to.

Be sure to check out Ciara's blog and follow her on Twitter.

A big thank you to all the participants in this week!
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When Kathy asked me to do a post all about female heroines I was ecstatic. I love fierce heroines, and there are so many of them out there. I knew very quickly who I wanted to talk about, because she is one of my favourite protagonists of all time. And who is that girl? Well, it’s none other than Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Rose is the definition of a badass. She is a tough girl with an attitude and has some hilarious one-liners. She fights evil vampires for a living, and fiercely protects the ones she loves. But, besides being a fighter, she’s also an amazing friend and a passionate person. We get to see her go through an emotional rollercoaster throughout the series but she braves it all with her head held high. I love her sarcasm, her wit, and just her personality in general. I would love to have as a friend because she simply rocks my socks. For me, she is one of the best female heroines in YA because she ecompasses everything I admire: strength, determination, and heart. No one has more heart than Rose Hathaway, and I love her for it.

And while I think Rose is fantastic, I also think you can’t count out the less kick-butt heroines. So, I want to also talk about the heroine that gets a lot of, in my opinion, undeserved hate. That heroine is Juliette from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

We all expected Juliette to be a bad-ass. We expected her to jump off the page, guns a-blazing, fighting the good fight, and destroying the bad guy. We expected her to be an undeniable hero because that's what we've come to expect from YA female protagonists. And that's okay. I think it's pretty cool that we've progressed so far as a society that girls who are strong and fierce are just accepted. I really think it's fantastic. And I love to read about it, I truely do. But, in saying that, we can't dismiss those heroes that aren't as proactive. Juliette is petrified. Juliette is overwhelmed. Juliette is exactly what most people in her situation would be like. She has the ability to kill people with her touch, making it literally impossible for her to be close to anyone. All she's ever been told is that she's a monster. That kind of mental abuse, which is truly what she faced is, has left permanent and damaging scars. It has led to such fear and self-hatred she’s terrified of herself. She's not just going to be able to jump up and say "Yeah! I'm a bad-ass killing machine! Let's go!". That's not who she is. Hell yeah, she's angsty. She has every right to be. She's been through complete and utter hell and it's going to take her awhile to overcome it. That's just natural. But she tries. She wants to live up to her potential, but she is so scared of it. Wouldn’t you be, if you could kill someone with your touch? It’s a power that comes with extreme emotional consequences. Who are we to fault her for them? Personally, I think Juliette is a superb heroine. She is realistic, fierce, and determined. She is a beautiful young girl who doesn’t have to be a bad-ass to be strong.

As a final thought, you should not dismiss any heroine because they don’t fit the “kick-butt” role. There are so many ways to be a strong female heroine, not just by being a badass. You can kick-butt with your intelligence, with your fierce will, with your caring heart, and with your quiet resistance. You can kick-butt with confidence, with strength, with love. Being a fierce heroine isn’t defined by being a bad-ass (although, that’s cool too). It’s defined by trying your best, by being yourself, and by doing what is right. And I am so so happy that there are so many books out there showing us what it truly means to be a heroine.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Female Characters Week.....Zareen Guest Post


Today I have Zareen stopping by with a list of her favourite female characters. Be sure to comment with some of your favourites.

You can follow Zareen on Twitter and of course her blog.

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Hi there! For those of you who don't know me, I'm Zareen, and as part of Kathy's effort to bring attention to female characters, I'm going to take some time to share five of my favorite fictional girls.

1. Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza ~ Fire And Thorns series by Rae Carson


In the simplest of terms, Elisa is a fighter. Described as overweight in the first book, she finds herself in the shadow of her attractive older sister, also the future queen of Elisa's home. She may be a princess, but Elisa's life is no fairytale. She doesn't stay out of the spotlight forever, though; Elisa is destined for greatness, and she accepts the challenge head on. Her character grows so much throughout the series, battling both internal and external conflicts that serve to strengthen her already tenacious personality.

2. Juliette Ferrars ~ Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi


Juliette is the epitome of characters with potential. Though initially extremely reserved after being alone for so long, once she comes to terms with who she is, there is no stopping her. In terms of character growth, Juliette moves slowly but steadily, and even though she can get on your last nerve, it's impossible to not feel sympathy after all she has been through.

3. Alexandria "Alex" Andros ~ Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Miss Andros here is, to put it bluntly, a badass. I love that she doesn't necessarily need a man to fight her battles because she's a skilled fighter herself. She's rash and reckless, makes stupid decisions, and can't keep her mouth shut, but who doesn't love a good troublemaker?

4. Mia Price ~ Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


Mia Price faces all sorts of difficulties. She's got a crumbling family situation, is supposed to save the world someday, and to top it off, happens to be a lightning addict. Despite the fact that she doesn't always make the right choices, Mia never backs down, and I continue to admire the strength of her resolve to do what's best for the people she cares about.

5. Gabriella "Gabi" Betarrini ~ River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren 


Gabriella is the only girl out of my five who isn't endowed with some sort of "gift", supernatural or otherwise, but she has the exact same spirit as the rest. She's bold, courageous, and selfless in the face of danger. She also has a big heart, and I adore that she is so invested in the happiness of her family aside from her own.

And there you have it! If you're not familiar with some or any of these books, I highly recommend all of them!

Last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to Kathy for letting me participate in this fabulous event. 





Friday, March 29, 2013

Female Characters in Entertainment Week....Kelly Guest Post


Today I have the awesome Kelly from KellyVision stopping by to talk about some of her favourite female characters.

This week has already opened me up to some amazing characters I didn't even know about, and I can't wait to dive into some of the books, TV shows, etc that I am learning about.

You can follow Kelly on Twitter, and of course visit her website.
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I've been a reader for pretty much my entire life.  According to family lore, I started reading when I was three, which means that (as of April), it's been my favorite hobby for 30 years.

My reading material of choice goes through cycles (including, but not limited to, a love of chick lit, a fondness for mystery/suspense and a near-obsession with YA novels) but the one thing that stays constant is that my favorite books have strong heroines.

Obviously I love Scout, Hermione, Katniss and Tris.  Everyone does, right?  So I'm not going to talk about them; they're the understood heroines.

Instead, I'm going to talk about the less celebrated ladies, the ones who can be overshadowed by those four I just mentioned.

Growing up, I read a lot of Roald Dahl and Judy Blume.  Matilda was probably the first character who gave me a shock of recognition, that moment of "Oh, wow, that's ME."  She's smart and a reader in a family of non-readers.  And honestly, I don't think "reader" even covers it.  Like me, she's happiest when she's in another world.  And then there's Margaret, who's probably my favorite Judy Blume character ever.  I think most women my age (or around my age) read this book multiple times.  While I think we all remember Margaret's dissatisfaction with her body, I also loved her relationships with her family and her desire to figure out where she fit in---both in the world in general and with religion in particular.

I think it's completely impossible to overestimate the effect that Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski had on me.  I credit her (both of them, actually, author and character) for helping inform my politics and for giving me incentive to keep fighting for what's right.  V.I. is always brave and willing to do what's right, even at the expense of her own safety.  And even when she's beaten down (sometimes...many times...literally), she never quits.  My love for V.I. led to the Kinsey Millhone and Tess Monaghan series (and I adore both of them, too!) but V.I. is my favorite.

I'm currently reading a lot of YA novels, and even though it's easy to dismiss the narrators as whiny or dumb, there are so many amazing girls if you look for them.
I mostly find them in contemporary fiction.  I can't imagine how much it helps teens who have lost a parent to read about Amy in Amy and Roger's Epic Detour (by Morgan Matson).  She's devastated but by the end of the book, she finds the strength to keep going.  Or Alex in The Mockingbirds (by Daisy Whitney), who, after being raped becomes a voice for girls who don't have one.  Or Jaycee from The Pull of Gravity (by Gae Polisner) who is a fierce and loyal friend (and also smart and awesome).

I don't have daughters, but if I did, I would want them to be like any of those girls.  Or, better, like all of them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you've ever read in a book - and how did you react?

I cry all the time during books. I tend to cry over everything. I don't know that I could pick on certain scene. I mean, the final part of The Fault In Our Stars had me ugly crying. The entire book of Sisterhood Everlasting  had me curled up sobbing in my bed. The epilogue of Clockwork Princess made me cry recently.

I guess it's obvious that I tend to become an emotional mess over books.

Happy Weekend!

Female Characters In Entertainment..... Katie Guest Post

Stopping by the blog for Female Characters week is the AWESOME Katie from Bookishly Yours. Her post talks about some female characters who receive criticism for their actions, and her take on it.

You can follow Katie on Twitter, and be sure to stop by her blog as well.

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Today I want to give some love to some awesome female characters. These women get more unwarranted hate and not enough love they deserve either because they’re misunderstood or maybe because they’re simply overshadowed by the boys.

I don’t quite understand the level of hate for Elena Gilbert (TV version) because, to me, she’s always been this strong force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to the people she cares about. She’s accepting and loving and goes to such lengths to protect people. She takes on much more than any seventeen-year-old ought to and I just can’t believe she holds up, I would have crumbled under that weight by now. Yet. YET! All fans seem to say about her is that she’s querulous and underserving of the Salvatore brothers (don’t even get me started on that) with no regard of all that she’s done for them and because of them. And what they've done to her in return. I mean, let’s not forget who killed Elena’s most precious family member: her brother.

Another character I've been seeing a lot of hate for is Juliet of the Shatter Me series. The week Unravel Me came out my Twitter timeline was chock full of unfair and unjust criticisms on Juliet. “Oh she’s so whiny!” “She puts herself down so much!” Her touch kills people. She cannot touch anyone. Or she will kill them. Her parents sent her away because they believed she was an abomination. I think I would be down on myself a tad, also. But I see a girl who tries, she’s trying to get over her insecurities – aren’t we all? – and all the things she’s been told she was since birth. She’s a fighter and she’s kind and I think she’s a really great, and yes: flawed, character.  But since when does a flawed female character equal a bad one?

Finally, Allison Argent from Teen Wolf. The girl is badass. She uses a bow and arrow! How awesome is that? She has one of the best lines of the series so far and that is when she tells her mother, “Can’t I be strong and go to prom?” because women can totally do, and be, both! Again, though, she’s constantly complained about for reasons I don’t understand.

Apparently every female character who talks about insecurities and is even the tiniest bit vulnerable is whiny and bratty and it’s a really sad thing to see fellow women giving endless understanding and excuses (many undeserving) to the male counterparts yet are so damn hard on our own sex – for qualities we ourselves most likely possess and situations we've probably all been in, at least in some way. I wish fans, especially of the female variety, could start to see female characters as portraits of ourselves and not tear them down for attributes that make them human. I know that won’t happen, at least anytime soon, so for now I will go on singing their praises.

Thanks so much for having me, Kathy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Female Characters in Entertainment - Kathleen Guest Post


Today the awesome Kathleen Peacock, author of the amazing novel Hemlock is stopping by with her guest post on the princess from The Paper Bag Princess. I love this post and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

If you want to check out The Paper Bag Princess, you can do so by visiting Goodreads.

Be sure to visit Kathleen on her website, Facebook, and on Twitter. Also be sure to add Hemlock to your own Goodreads shelf.

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Princess, Save Thyself

“Elizabeth was a beautiful princess. She lived in a castle and had expensive princess clothes. She was going to marry a prince named Ronald.” – The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch (illustrated by Michael Martchenko)

If damsels are supposed to be in distress, no one sent Elizabeth the memo. After a dragon destroys her castle and kidnaps her fiancé, Elizabeth does the only sensible thing: she dons a paper bag—the one thing the dragon didn't burn to a crisp—and heads off to rescue her betrothed.

She doesn't call someone stronger or bigger. She doesn't cry at the enormity of the task in front of her or wait to see if her handsome prince can escape the dragon on his own. Elizabeth, to borrow a phrase from Nike, decides to “just do it” and fix things herself.

She follows the dragon’s trail, finds its lair, and in a stroke of genius, tricks the dragon into exhausting both its fire and strength.

She does it without help or praise.

She does it in spite of the fact that her castle has been destroyed and her princess clothes have been burned to ashes and the dragon normally finds princesses quite tasty.

Elizabeth is, to put it bluntly, the kind of princess every little girl deserves. She’s smart, courageous, and resourceful, and the thought that she might not be able to best dragons never occurs to her.

Munsch could have stopped there. He could have fixed himself a turkey sandwich and sat back, content in the knowledge that he had done a great job.

But he didn't.

No, he went on to give us a princess who knew her own worth.

When Elizabeth finally frees her beloved, he doesn't thank her. He doesn't show a speck of gratitude or affection. Instead, he tears her appearance to shreds and tells her to come back when she looks like a real princess.

Elizabeth doesn't cry or lose her temper or wonder if he’s right. For the first time, she sees Prince Ronald as he truly is and realizes that she doesn't like him very much. Ronald looks like a prince but acts like a bum and Elizabeth doesn't hesitate to tell him so.

The very last line of The Paper Bag Princess is “They didn't get married after all” and it’s accompanied by a joyous illustration by Michael Martchenko of a jubilant Elizabeth skipping off into the sunset, happy and on her own. The image is so iconic that Canadian publisher Annick Press uses Elizabeth’s skipping silhouette as part of their logo.

That last line and its accompanying illustration is, to me, is what makes The Paper Bag Princess one of the most important books in children’s literature.

In Elizabeth, Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko gave us a princess who is smart enough to realize that sometimes happily ever after means being happy on your own—at least for awhile. It’s a lesson most people take years to learn, if they learn it at all, and it’s why, thirty-three years after she stepped into the limelight, Elizabeth is still my kind of princess.

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About Kathleen

Kathleen spent her childhood fighting imaginary dragons, commanding make-believe armies, and piloting invisible spaceships. She writes young adult urban fantasy, including the Hemlock Trilogy (available from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins). She once saw Robert Munsch but was too shy to talk to him.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Girls In Entertainment - Brodie Guest Post


Today I have the wonderfully delightful Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries stopping by the blog to discuss some of her favourite female characters from entertainment.

Be sure to check follow Brodie on Twitter, she's awesome!

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Hello wonderful readers of A Glass of Wine! I must applaud Kathy for this brilliant idea of celebrating the amazing females in entertainment. We ladies are quite an awesome species :D It was hard to narrow my list down to a few, given how wide and varied the selection of captivating woman there is to choose from; woman who shine for their brravery, their humour, their heart or their brains. I've chosen just a few random favourites below, and I'd love to hear if your agree with me!

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter): I think most of us instantly think of Hermione as one of the best females in literature. This strikingly intelligent girl was an inspiration to so many of us who grew up reading Harry Potter. She wasn't the most popular or commercially beautiful, and she struggled to accept what she could not define by rules and logic and books, but never did she give up on what was important, and she proved to be one of the most loyal friends you could ask for. Her heart was impossibly huge and she never stopped fighting for her beliefs, no matter how fruitful they seemed (S.P.E.W, anyone?).
Nastasya (Immortal Beloved trilogy): Nastasya is an immortal who's lived a very long, very colourful life. She's done bad things, hit the lowest of lows and given up on herself so many times over the centuries. For someone so old, she can still be immature (aren't we all?), but she's so easy to relate to because of how realistic she is. She masks her emotions with wit and sarcasm, and she constantly runs away when things get tough, but slowly she begins to change. She's not what we classify a typical hero, she doesn't suddenly lead a revolution, kill the big bad villain or overthrow a corrupt government - she does something that is perhaps far more challenging: walking the road to redemption, struggling to learn how to be a better person. It certainly doesn't happen overnight, but that's a good thing because her entertaining and often inappropriate thoughts are so fun to read!

Nikita/Alex/Amanda (Nikita): For those who have yet to catch an episode of one of the best shows on tv, Nikita is a spy-fi, action-packed assassin series that airs Friday on the CW. I am a HUGE fan. The male characters have their moments to shine, but it's really the females who own this show. Nikita is the leading lady, Alex started out as her protegee, and both can kick ass with the best of the men. They each come from dark pasts, with a combined mix of childhood trauma, drug addiction, sex slavery and plenty of betrayals. There's a lot of emotional damage, but I love that they never play the role of the victim. They're still battling their own demons, but never give up fighting the good fight, risking their own lives to take down the enemy and save innocent people. 

Amanda on the other hand, is a master at manipulation and messing with people psychologically. She's really an evil genius and I have to mention her because (especially in season 3) while you're screaming at her for all the awful things she does to your favourite characters, you can't help but admire how magnificent she is at pulling it off. She's complex and scary, with motives that are twisted yet understandable for her and hidden vulnerabilities that give balance to her downright psychotic nature. 

Mara Dyer (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer):   
She's one of the more fascinating characters in fiction because you never know what to believe with her. It's not that she deceives the reader on purpose - she knows as much as we do about her incredibly intriguing and frustratingly mysterious situation. There's both a frightening strength and fragile vulnerability to Mara that sucks you right into her story as both you and her try to decipher the cryptic and strange clues to uncovering her identity. We LOVE Noah Shaw, and he has his own mysterious persona, but it's Mara who is the most captivating enigma of the story.

Every girl in Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Regardless of first impressions, you find yourself rooting for each of the cliched and eclectic personalities from these stranded teen beauty queens. They are full of stereotypes (on purpose) and are at first seemingly defined by their labels of sexuality, disability, intelligence or race. I chose this entire cast of girls because a) they're exasperatingly hilarious and b) they show that underneath the labels we so often give to woman, every girl has their own hidden insecurities, dreams and passions. Girls who struggle with their identity, crave acceptance or battle with religion or sexuality. They each began to find their own potential on a downright CRAZY journey that is laugh-out-loud funny to read and they'll all have you cheering "GIRL POWER" by the end.

There are so many more incredible females in fiction who I love: impulsive, sarcastic and confident Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy), dreamy and free-spirited Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Aria (Under the Never Sky), Kira (Partials), Tris (Divergent), Karou and Zuzanna (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) or both Stephanie Perkins' leading ladies - Anna and Lola.... the list is endless. We tend to be more vocal about the swoony males, but it's high time we shone love on our own gender. Whether it's the girls who empower us, girls make a stand in the world and lead an army, or girls who are just deliciously exciting to watch/read about with their humour, twisted morals or vibrant personalities.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Female Characters In Entertainment Week


As announced awhile back I decided to dedicate a week to those female characters that we love. I had become quite disenchanted with all the hate being tossed towards these characters. I have a week full of guest posts from authors, and fellow bloggers talking about their favourite female characters and why they are important.

My post will kick off this week, and I decided to talk about some female characters that caused me to think, be proud, and are in general something I want to see more of media.

1. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
This character, and show in general opened my eyes to the fact that a female character could kick ass, be a cheerleader, fall in love, fall apart, and still be a force to be reckoned with. She's a perfect example of being feminine not meaning being weak. Buffy embraced the strength that she inherited because she was a women. She showed that you can be sexy, vulnerable, strong, and capable. It's not an either or situation. Joss Whedon once said in an interview that he wrote Buffy in response to the "defenseless female stereotype" that was so prevalent in the horror genre, and wanted to turn it on it's head. I say he fully accomplished that and provided not just a heroine but a true hero, because that is what Buffy symbolizes. 
2. Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door
Lola's ability to express herself, and just BE herself make her an excellent role model. Her unique fashion sense encapsulate who she is so wonderfully. She never compromises who she is for anyone, and is willing show herself to the world. Not a bad message to put out there. I love how comfortable with herself she is. To me that is something to strive for and look up to.
3. The Girls from Sex and the City
With 'slut shaming' be so rampant in media, it was refreshing to see characters embracing their sexuality. Women who enjoyed sex, and didn't apologize for it, or feel the need to hide it. It put forth a much more positive view point of female sexuality, and while we still have a LONG way to go, it's refreshing that people are willing to put characters like this out there. 
4. Hermoine Granger from the Harry Potter series
A character who isn't always saved by the male lead (Harry) and who even manages to save the day herself in some circumstances. Her quick intelligence, and loyalty made her admirable. She presented a studious, but brave and reliable friend to Harry and Ron. She shows that you don't have to downplay your assets and capabilities to be accepted. 
5. Emma Swan from Once Upon A Time
A character whose whole life gets sent in a tailspin after finding out the life she thought she had is much different than the reality. She takes the news of being the saviour for many people in a realistic and admirable way. She may stumble, but she doesn't give up. She's a reflection of being heroic doesn't mean that you have to be perfect. Flaws exist and things are complicated. I love that Emma shows someone who tries their best, and goes in with the best of intentions, even if they might fail.
6 Anne Boleyn from Tarnish
Ok, so she's a historical figure but she's been given the fictional treatment plenty so I am including her. She's normally portrayed as vindictive, and driven. I fell in love with Katherine Longshore's portrayal of her in Tarnish. An intelligent woman who spoke her mind, and wanted to be taken seriously. She had ideas, and felt they were just as worthy as any man's opinions. She felt her voice matted and wanted it to be heard. I  don't know about you but I can't think of a better message to instill upon young women today. Be heard, and don't be afraid of your voice. Thanks to Katherine Longshore, some may find that message in Anne's voice.
There are many more incredible female characters out there. Whether flawed, heroic, or simply amazing for being themselves each brings something to the discussion. I want this leave this post with another amazing Joss Whedon quote. Upon being asked why he writes strong female characters he replied "because you're still asking me that question". Here's hoping that there will come a time when we don't have to ask.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

Pretty sure that almost everyone's mailbox will feature the same book this week! Super excited to finally have my hands on it too. Clockwork Princess is finally out! It's cover is even prettier 'in person'. 


Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Goodreads)
Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer (Goodreads)


I won Natural Born Angel in a twitter contest, and was surprised to see that Scott Speer signed the copy that was sent to me! A huge thank you to him for hosting the contest.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

I immediately read this upon it's release. It was everything I hoped it would be. Humourous, heartbreaking, and bittersweet. As sad as I am to say goodbye, I can not think of a more perfect ending to this story.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl


I can't even express how excited I am for this. Now that the cover has been officially released, it's making me even more excited. The marketing aspect of using twitter hash tags has become popular and this novel's use of #WhoIsCordova has me intrigued. More details can be found on the official website.

TV

Bates Motel

Creepy. Intense. Gripping. The pilot episode was both not what I was expecting, and yet so much more. Freddie Highmore is perfectly cast as a young Norman Bates, and Vera Farmiga is delightfully unsettling as his mother. There are just a few little glimpses of the Norman Bates we know from Psycho, and with just one episode I am officially invested.

OTHER

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries DVD Release/Kickstarter campaign

If you haven't watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, please DO SO IMMEDIATELY. You can start from the beginning easily on the official website. The DVD release was announced and with it a Kickstarter campaign. The goal has already been met, and I am still deciding what amount to pledge myself, but I think it's a fun way for fans for get involved.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book? .

Maybe re-reading all my favourite books? It is something I don't have much time to do, but do enjoy. I don't really consider any books I read a "guilty pleasure". I love all types of books, and each type fits a certain mood I might be in at the time.

Happy Weekend!

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma



17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Release Date – March 26, 2013
Publisher Website - Penguin/Dutton
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  354 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**Received an ARC from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.
Nova Ren Suma weaves a story that is both unforgettable and haunting. Both a potential look a possible mental breakdown, or a spine chilling paranormal haunting, The thing is, this novel will leave you with goosebumps no matter which way you choose to view it.

The words in 17 and Gone are feather light, and wispy. You almost expect them to float away, or disappear like the girls who haunt it's pages. Nova Ren Suma manages to capture this whispy, ghost like quality through out the entire novel with the words she uses. It keeps the gripping, and eerie tone flowing through every page, even during the most innocuous of passages. It’s her prose that shines brightest against the bleak backdrop painted by the words. There is no denying the talent that this author posses.

Lauren is consumed by visions of these girls who have gone missing. The need to find out what happened to them eats at her. She sees herself in them, almost literally. It chips at her until she almost losses herself in the process. The question that haunts the reader is whether or not this is truly happening. Is this paranormal? Is Lauren experience some form of mental illness? The novel masterfully makes both scenarios seem plausible, and reads slightly different depending on your particular stance.

The tone of the novel is never more evident than when introducing the lost girls in the story. She describes their last moments before simply being gone in such a way that allows your imagination to run wild. Our imagination is almost scarier than anything that can be described so the overall result is chilling, and heartbreaking. The many ways someone can be lost are looked at, and it’s the horrific, nightmare inducing scenarios that plagued me after the novel was done. My mind replayed the last moments of some of the girls that haunt Lauren over and over.  Those  who wanted to go home, but never made it. Those who want to go home but don’t know how. Both are equally impacting and devastating.

Eerie, compelling, and achingly beautiful in it’s own way. 17 and Gone gives a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves, and is a reminder that the missing are often just searching for a way to come home.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday...Unbreakable


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Unbreakable by Kami Garcia


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.
Intriguing. It sound awesome, but also like it's been done before. I am hoping Kami Garcia can put her own spin on this genre, and that I end up loving this.

Expected release date October 1, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin


Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Release Date – May 21, 2013
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster/Atria
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**Received an ARC from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The Walker family is good at keeping secrets from the world.T hey are even better at keeping them from each other.Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is a highly successful criminal lawyer, determined to maintain the facade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years. Now that the boys are getting older, now that she won’t have as much control, she worries that the facade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Who is Max Walker really?

Written by twenty-five-year-old rising star Abigail Tarttelin, Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.
To anyone on the outside Max Walker is perfect. He’s good looking, athletic, smart, and charming. He even comes from a seemingly perfect family. Nobody would guess that Max, the typical golden boy, has a secret.

This novel crushed me within the first  20 pages. The betrayal Max experiences is so crushing, so excruciatingly devastating that I was left drained. I had to pause, and take a moment before continuing the story. Abigail Tarttelin’s exceptionally good writing is showcased at it’s finest in these early pages, and as a reader I felt everything Max experiences.

The novel is told from many view points, and with Abigail Tarttelin's writing each character feels unique enough to have their own voice. Each of them adds another layer to the story, and add dimensions to the other characters. It’s interesting to see things from different angles and perspctives, especially in a scenario like the one presented in the story. There is no easy answer, and each person’s own motivations are going to factor into their decisions. I felt that was superbly handled and helped make each of the characters feel real.

Out of all the voices we get to hear, Max is the one that will stay with me. Every single part of me ached for him. His confusion, his anger, his pain, his guilt. There are lighter moments, bright specks amongst the usual grey, and each of those was something I wanted for the character to hang on to. I wanted to shield this character from the bad things that did happen, and could happen. A teenager who is just trying to figure out the usual teen angst, except adding in something that makes everything that much more complicated. The desire to just be himself tugs at Max. The pressure to be perfect and not shatter his family builds. Getting to see Max unravel is dramatic, and sad. I was haunted with how young his character seemed.

Daniel, Max’s little brother, was adorably sweet. A ten year old with a fun sense of sarcastic humour, and early teenaged temper. His anger at everything that is happening is understandable, and sometimes he felt older than his years as a result of everything that was going on. He was someone who could reach Max, even when Max didn’t want to be reached.

The Walker family is filled with love.  It becomes apparent that this family is one that cares deeply about each other. Sadly, because nobody is perfect, they also hurt each other. The damage done by years of not communicating properly, and pretending finally catch up to them. Seeing them struggle to hold on is both heart breaking, and encouraging. I came to care about this family, and what happened to each of them.

The notion of sexuality and defining yourself is something that Max has to deal with throughout the entire novel. It’s not an easy question, and it’s one that is made even harder by the many secrets Max uncovers.

You may have noticed that I haven’t revealed what exactly happens to Max, or the events that happen in the aftermath. This is because the journey Max takes is best experienced with the character. Live the moments through the character, and enjoy the massive curves Abigail Tarttelin throws in. They’re shocking, and yet relate to the heart of the book.

The last bit of the novel felt a little off in terms of pacing compared to the rest of the novel. It’s slower, and, for me, didn’t flow with the rest of the novel. As I am reviewing an Advance Reader Copy, I am not sure if the same ending will be in the hardcover, but it felt rather abrupt.

A novel that I expect will have great cross over appeal with older YA readers. Both a coming of age story, and a look at what it means to define yourself, and who ultimately gets to make that decision. An emotionally draining, and yet insanely satisfying read.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington



Emblaze by Jessica Shrivington 
Release Date – March 5, 2013
Publisher Website - Sourcebooks/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  464 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**Received from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Once again Violet Eden faces an impossible choice ... and the consequences are unimaginable.

Violet has come to terms with the fact that being part angel, part human, means her life will never be as it was.

Now Violet has something Phoenix - the exiled angel who betrayed her - will do anything for, and she has no intention of letting it fall into his hands. The only problem is that he has something she needs too.

Not afraid to raise the stakes, Phoenix seemingly holds all the power, always one step ahead. And when he puts the final pieces of the prophecy together, it doesn't take him long to realize exactly who he needs in order to open the gates of Hell.

With the help of surprising new allies, ancient prophecies are deciphered, a destination set and, after a shattering confrontation with her father, Violet leaves for the islands of Greece without knowing if she will have a home to return to….
Angels. An epic battle. Steamy romance. One thing I’ve come to expect with this series, and Jessica Shirvington’s writing,  is that each book amps up the romance, and danger. Each book dives deeper into the mythology. Each book just gets better. This is a series that grabs you before you even know that you’re hooked. 

Romance is a huge part of Violet’s story. The forbidden variety seems to be what Violet specializes in. The other novels have shown the seductive side of Phoenix, but Emblaze let’s her connection with Linc shine. There is an especially electric scene between the two that left me a little breathless. It seems obvious, to me anyways, that what Violet and Linc have is undeniable. Their chemistry is palpable, and as torturous as it as for them (and for the reader) I enjoyed every delicious moment.

The characters continue to surprise me. It may not be unique, but I like that Jessica has allowed them to not fit into a specific category. Nobody is all good, or all bad. They ebb and flow, and continuously change. 

Phoenix continues to fascinate, and seduce me. His character is your typical bad boy with a good heart underneath it all. It’s his reasons for doing what he does that intrigue me. I am curious to see what his next move is after the events of this novel. A broken heart tempts even the strongest individuals to darkness, and I think Phoenix does care for Violet. He's dangerous, but controlled and that leaves him as being capable of anything.

Spence has quickly become one of my favourite characters. His snark, humour, and unwavering loyalty make him a fantastic addition to Violet's life. He’s a true friend to Violet, and I find myself becoming quite attached to him, and his outcome at the end of the series.

Jessica Shirvington takes real life locations and fuses them with her angel mythology so seamlessly that it feels organic and possible. Creating a mythology that is woven into something real creates this connection that allows disbelief to be suspended, which makes falling into the story that much easier. It makes Violet’s journey that much more vibrant, and our connection to it that make deeper.

Everything Violet has been avoiding dealing with kind of creeps up on her in this installment. Her feelings for Linc, the bond with Phoenix, her relationship with her father, her mother’s death, and bringing Steph into this dangerous world. It’s not surprising that Violet crumbles. I’ve always thought she was impulsive, and should let others in more, and this chapter of her story is no exception. Her guilt over many things is eating her inside, and it triggers the recklessness inside her. 

The ending, once again, provides a killer cliffhanger that this series is known for. It’s one that monumentally changes the series and assures that as intense as Violet’s life was, it’s about to get even more complicated.

The Violet Eden Chapters is a series that continues to delight, and thrill me with each new chapter. With characters that you care about, non stop action, and swoon worthy romance, it’s a series that is both captivating and addictive. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

My mailbox was quiet this week, but I did get 2 eARCs for review


Born of Illusion by Teri Brown (Goodreads)
Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads)

Hmm...I didn't even notice the theme. Both have magic, and magicians in them. I have always been fascinated by Las Vegas so I am hoping to fall in love with Levitating Las Vegas. Born of Illusion sounds amazing as well. A HUGE thank you to Harper Collins, Edelweiss, Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for these titles.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

Cover of Unbreakable by Kami Garcia


I am not sure if it's the cover, or the synopsis but I want this book IMMEDIATELY. I can't wait to read it. I hope it's everything I am expecting it to be.

Cover/Synopis for All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill


I am not even sure that it's the cover that has me excited for ths book. It's eye catching, but not something I normally love. I think it's that the synopsis sounds amazing. I am really looking forward to this one.

OTHER

Book Expo America

We are halfway done March. This means April is on it's way. This excites me! April means finding out autograph schedules for Book Expo America. It means finding out which authors will be at Teen Author Carnival, and a bunch of other stuff.

I am having fun making plans for drinks with bloggers, and am beyond excited for a bookish filled few days!

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: Activity! Hopefully warm weather for most of us is here soon…so tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot. Or take a picture.


I love reading along the Ottawa canal. They have some really pretty spots where you can sit, and enjoy the view.

Happy Weekend!

Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray



Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray
Release Date – March 15, 2013
Publisher Website - Luminis Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 200 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**Received from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It's not about sex.

It's about how one secret act of violence changes everything--how best friends can desert you when you need them most, how nobody understands. It's about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It's about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors--all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.

It's about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over... and all you can think is Maybe I Will.

Author Laurie Gray presents a compelling picture of the realities of sexual assault in Maybe I Will, drawing on her years of experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, dealing with crimes against children. The twist in the story is that we never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl, and we realize that it doesn't matter, because it's not about sex.
As the synopsis says rape isn’t about sex. This novel uses the unique twist of having the main character remain genderless to the reader as a means to express this. The main character could be either male or female, and this novel shows that ultimately gender doesn’t matter. It’s an unflinching in it’s honest portrayal   of sexual assault and it’s aftermath.

I do, sort of, wish Sandy would have been revealed as male. There are so few stories of sexual assaults on males that I think it would have made the story even more meaningful, and an important one to tell. As I mentioned, it doesn’t impact the story either way, but just a little observance I had.

I went back and forth between male and female for this character for most of the story. The important thing is that it reads the same either way. This young individual is hurt, ashamed, angry, and unsure. They lash out, act out, and crumble just the same, regardless of gender. I, for the record, felt myself thinking of Sandy as male by the end of the novel, but it’s in no way important to the story, which is the point.

Loosing a sense of security and control is often what haunts a rape victim long after the crime has happened. The sense of security, and control over yourself and surroundings are often long stand issues and everyone deals with them in different ways. Sandy depicts this perfectly. Sandy uses many coping mechanisms to deal, some healthy and others self destructive. The desire to regain the sense of security, and the desire to be numb and not feel anything are powerful and Sandy actively seeks out ways to feel both.

The worst friends ever award goes to Troy and Cassie. Sandy’s longtime friends represent the disconnect Sandy is going through. They are not supportive when it’s obvious something is going on. When Sandy does try to reach out they are uncomfortable and, worst still, act like the may not believe anything happened.

A jarring, realistic look at a sexual assault, and it’s devastating aftermath. I found Sandy to be a great character, and the trauma of going through an event like this is addressed honestly. A moving and impactful novel that could have offered even more by revealing Sandy as male.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday.... The Brokenhearted


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney


Here is the Goodreads synopsis

A wealthy ballerina living in a heightened, Gotham-like version of Chicago, has her heart broken - literally - and receives a dangerous bionic heart, transforming her into a superhero

Goham-like? Ballerina superhero? YES! YES! YES! I can't wait to read this one. It sounds different, and hopefully really fun.

Expected release date October 8, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn



Poison by Bridget Zinn
Release Date – March 12, 2013
Publisher Website - Disney Hyperion/Hachette Canada
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  288 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**Received from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
A fun, delightful fairytale that is both heartwarming and sweet. An epic quest, fantastical fantasy elements, a delightful main character and the cutest pig ever serve to make this a quick, cute read.

I must admit was skeptical about the inclusion of a pig in this story. Needless to say my worries were for naught. A sweet, endearing, adorable pig that immediately wins over your heart. She provided some fun, comical moments as well, fitting in with the light tone perfectly.

Kyra is an interesting character. She’s lethal, focused, and takes pride in what she can do. She also resists giving into the darker side of her gifts, and is often conflicted by what she does. Her love of her Kingdom is admirable. She’s funny, has a quick whit, and underneath her bravado is a young girl with a good heart.

Romance enters the picture with the introduction of Fred. A laid back, sweet and all around good guy that leaves Kyra a little weak kneed (when he’s not aggravating her that is).  Their banter is infectious and left me smiling. It’s easy to root for these two to get together, as even their pets are compatible.

Arianna, the Princess that Kyra tries to kill, is seen as fun loving. She is adventure seeking, and a true friend. Kyra is simply looking out for the good of the Kingdom when she attempts to assassinate the Princess. We learn the most about her threw memories Kyra has of them before the night that changed everything.

I think younger readers will especially be entranced by the spell this novel casts. It does feel like the lower end of the YA spectrum, or higher Middle Grade. I can see some of the older crowd perhaps finding it too juvenile. I found myself wanting to share it with people in the 10-12 age group, because I felt like they would really love it.

Poison is one of those books that left me feeling happy and light after reading it. It’s one I am going to happily share with my nieces when they get a little older. A wonderful, whimsy filled adventure story that will appeal to fans of fairytales.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza



Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Release Date –  March 12, 2013
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 480 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**Provided by publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
There is no other word to describe Mila 2.0 other than page turner. Once I had fallen into Mila’s world I couldn’t put the novel down. A compulsion to find out what would happen next made for a long night of reading. A fun, thrilling read that starts off a little predictable but quickly builds into a pulse pounding second half.

Mila is the heart of the novel. She’s rather endearing. Her character makes you question what it means to be human, and what it is that makes someone human. Is it emotions? Biology? The answer isn’t easy and Debra Driza makes the argument that Mila, an android, may have more humanity in her than the humans who helped create her. I sympathized with her immediately, and was a fan of her character development.

The other character I was intrigued by is Lucas. I hope that the secondary characters get more developed in the second novel. Most of the novel's time is spent on Mila, and I want to care about the other characters just as much as I care about her. The romance as a result felt a little lacking. It was tentative, and did not have the impact I had hoped. Hunter seems sweet enough, but I want more from his character, especially if he is to be involved with Mila.

The story has already been picked up for television adaptation and while reading I could easily picture what this will look like. It’s rich in characters, descriptions, and emotion. There are plot twists, enough is revealed to feel satisfying, and enough is held back to make you wan the sequel immediately. It’s a fine line, and Debra Driza lays it out wonderful with pitch perfect pacing.

The stakes for Mila in this novel felt authentic. The later half of the novel is filled with heart racing action sequences that left me gasping. This type of story demands an antagonist that make the stakes feel real. Concern for the characters needs to be warranted, or else the urgency is lost. This story has not only a chilling villain but other complicated secrets to keep the tension.

The later part of the novel propels the plot forward by doing something I never expected. It offers an intriguing direction for the sequel. A few stunning reveals, and I am desperate to get my hands on the second installment. A perfect blend of heart, romance, action, and a main character that I adore, this one is not to be missed.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

My mailbox has a theme this week. I have both an e-novella and ARC by Kiera Cass this week. I rather enjoyed The Selection, so I am hoping The Elite builds on the promising elements in the first novel. A huge thank you to Shannon at Harper for sending The Elite my way. Super excited to read both of these.


The Elite by Kiera Cass (goodreads)


The Prince by Kiera Cass (goodreads)

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

Icons by Margaret Stohl book trailer



Intense. Also one of the more well done book trailers I've seen. I get that these are often done under a strict budget, but this one looks polished. It really tells me the tone of the book, and I am eager to pick this one up. Luckily I have a copy taunting me from my book closet. I hope to be able to pick it up soon.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

(Copyright of Random House Canada via Instagram account)

While fangirling about Night Film by Marisha Pessl and how badly I want to read it I mentioned to Random House Canada via Twitter that I would love to see a cover. They sent me a link to their Instagram photo above. I can't wait to read it.

Cover for Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


I love that they used the same models, and that the covers match. Excited to see what happens, especially with Mary.

TV

Once Upon A Time Paleyfest panel



There is so much I LOVE about this entire panel. Each actor is delightful, and so funny. I have to say that Colin O'Donoghue's accent is incredibly sexy. Oh, and the titles of the last two episodes of the season? Totally made me freak out! I adore the Peter Pan story and can not wait to see what Once Upon A Time does with Neverland.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: What is a book you didn't like that all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn't popular?

Hmmm...books that I didn't love as much as other people. The Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I also did not enjoy the Matched series by Ally Condie as much as others. I think both had it's share of positive and not so positive reviews though.

Happy Weekend!

Mini Review - Mila 2.0 Origins: The Fire by Debra Driza



Mila 2.0 - Origins: The Fire By Debra Driza
Release Date – January 8, 2013
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 15 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**Free KoBo book**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Heart-stopping and electric, MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire contains a short prequel story and an excerpt to MILA 2.0, the first book in a riveting Bourne Identity–style trilogy by Debra Driza.

Mila can't remember anything before the fire that took her father's life. It's normal to have some memory loss after traumatic events, but Mila doesn't remember if she's ever learned to ride a bike, or if she's ever been in love. Nothing.

What she doesn't know is that she isn't supposed to remember—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to forget. Because if she remembers, she might discover her true identity.

The question is: If she relived the fire, what would she see?
Debra Driza uses only fifteen pages to hook me into her story. A tense, fast moving glimpse at a devastating fire that left me wanting to grab my copy of Mila 2.0 and read it immediately.

This novella really just sets up a captivating mystery. The fire, what or who caused it, and another delicious twist at the end that is potentially too good to ruin. Mila's very human reactions to getting out of the house, and desperation to find her parents set up her character. The synopsis mentions her very human characteristics and these short fifteen pages make it evident.

The novella runs rather short, and I do wish it had been a touch longer. I could not get a proper feel for the author's writing, but there is potential for Mila 2.0 to be really captivating. In the end, this novella intrigued me enough to bump Mila 2.0 up my reading list, which is kind of the entire point.

 A quick novella that teases and piqued my interest immensely. If you are planning on reading Mila 2.0 this is a quick, action packed read that will set the tone and feel perfectly before you dive in.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday... Tumble & Fall


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.
The idea of the pre (wether preapocalypse, predystopian, etc) is intriguing. We have had many novels deal with the during, or the post, but this is something unique. The urgency, the awareness, the stark realization that everything is going to change could provide some great moments.

Expected release date September 17, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Marissa Meyer Toronto Signing


In case yo missed the excitement - Marissa Meyer is coming to Toronto!! She'll be signing at the Yorkdale Indigo location on March 9 at 12 pm.

Raincoast Canada, a distributor for a group of USA publishing houses, is hosting a fun contest for bloggers to celebrate the event. One blogger will get a chance to interview Marissa, either in person or over the phone if unable to attend.


If I were selected, one of the questions I would ask Marissa is -

Fairytales are always being adapted, changed, and twisted. What do you think it is about them that continuously inspires people?

If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and meet Marissa (and get your copies of Cinder and Scarlet signed). It sounds like a fun bookish afternoon!

Unremembered by Jessica Brody



Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Release Date – March 5, 2013
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books Canada
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**Received from publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

The only thing worse than forgetting her past... is remembering it.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author, Jessica Brody comes a mesmerizing and suspenseful new series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
A story of lost memories, and transcendent love. Unremembered delivered a completely different book than I was expecting after having read the synopsis. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself with a fast paced, interesting nove that was different than expected.

The plot itself is incrediably fast paced. The need and drive to find out this girl's secrets and unravel the mystery with her is compelling. It's what kept my interest, and the pages turning.

While I thought the plot was a fun twist it was mainly because I wasn't expecting it from THIS novel. The plot is nothing overly unique, or different. It's been done before, but the reveals while not surprises are satisfying. It worked well because I went into this novel knowing almost nothing. I think it reads better if you allow it to unravel the story for you, rather than know too much or try to guess the outcome.
Our main character is introduced to us without a name, without any memories, and drifting in the ocean. Her memory loss doesn't just encompass her personal memories, but basic things as well. Words are lost to her, emotions, and even tangible goods are things she stumbles on.She is quickly nicknamed Violet and it's not until much later that we learn her true identity. Her learning, and making mistakes along the way lead to some fun lighter moments in an action filled plot. A character like this, however, is kept at arms length. This is both from the other characters, and the reader as well. It's hard to get attached when she's an empty page.

Zen, the boy who claims to know Violet, is rather sweet. He comes on a little strong when they first meet, but it works within the story. The romance aspect only worked for me because of the built in history. The unique thing in this type of story is that we get both the history and the rush of first love. Here is a character that is having to make someone fall back in love with them. The history made his declarations of love more believable because it was earned previously, even if Violet can't remember it. I didn't feel as strong of a connection between the two of them as I wished I did, and it's the backstory that saved the romance for me.

Cody, Violet's foster brother, was a character that felt authentic. He was a typical thirteen year old boy caught in this intense, crazy world that Violet finds herself occupying. His sarcasm provided humour, especially as Violet often misunderstood, or need clarification on things. He was sullen, bitter, and filled with teenage angst that can sometimes feel over dramatic, but this case it is perfectly balanced.
A action packed read that, while not unique, was certainly enjoyable enough. A well paced plot that was, for me, a little lacking in the character area. It will be a huge hit for some, but for me what started out promising, and offered a few surprises, ended a little flat.

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