Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox

This is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives us a chance to showcase the books we got during the week.

Here is what I got this week -

I only got one book this week, but it's insanely awesome.

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (goodreads)

Thank you Random House for the nice surprise! I wasn't expecting this at all.

What books did you get this week? Leave me a comment and I will check it out.

Happy reading everyone!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday/Blog Hops

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

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

Being 5'0 makes this t-shirt really apply to me. I actually love being short though, except when I have to get something from the top shelf. haha

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books. It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q “Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”

Random House recently sent me Dearly Departed by Lia Habel. I am so excited to start this one!

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why I Love Books..

I recently finished reading a book for my book club. My club had selected ‘The Other Wes Moore’ by Wes Moore. It was one of those books that for some people could be life changing. I saw the potential for this book to really make a huge difference in some people’s lives. It got me thinking about novels, and the impact they have on people. As I talked to other people about this book I realize that everyone has one, and everyone has a story that goes with it. I am talking about that one book….the book that changed you.

There are many different ways that books change us. They can change the way we think, they can teach us things we never knew, and can even make us fall in love with reading again. The amazing this is that one book can mean so many things to different readers.

My “changed me” book is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I had been in a reading slump and had even stopped reading for awhile. I decided to pick up JK Rowling’s book on the suggestion of a friend. She knew how much I used to love reading, and that I was upset to not really feel the same way about it anymore. She convinced me to give it a try, and I am so glad she did. I devoured it in one sitting and immediately went to get book 2. It made me remember what exactly I loved about reading - the ability books have to take you and completely immerse you into a different world. I fell in love with reading again and have happily immersed myself into my love affair with books ever since. I will be forever thankful for this series and the fact that I started to read it when I did.

I love that novels have the power to make you feel, make you care and maybe even speak to you in a way that you never expected. The fact that they can touch you in anyway speaks to the power of words.

I want to thank authors everywhere. Somewhere out there is a reader that was changed because of YOUR words so for that you deserve a round of applause.

So what is your book? What book made a difference in your life?

Waiting on Wednesday - Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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 Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

I believe the reason for my DYING to read this is self explanatory. Cassandra Clare is an amazing author, and I love both The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices series. Can December hurry up please? Also, how hot is Jem??!!

Expected release date - December 6, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
Release Date – March 29, 2011
Publisher – St Martin’s Press
Pages - 293
My Rating- 6/10
Nostalgia rating - 8/10
Obtained - from the library

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood.

Flashback to when I was 14 years old. I went to yard sale with my mother and saw a large box of books that had pretty blonde twins on the cover. Curious, I picked one up, read the back and turned to my mother to beg for the ENTIRE box. Luckily my mother was a big fan of me reading and forked over the money to purchase the entire box of books. I had just purchased the entire Sweet Valley High series (up until that point anyways, this was when they were still be published). I devoured them. I purchased the new ones as they came out and in fact still own this large box of books until this day (it’s in storage at my mother’s house). The point I am trying to make is that I have a HISTORY with these characters. I grew up with them in other words.

I found out that Francine Pascal was releasing a more “adult” book with Jessica and Elizabeth as almost 30 somethings. I was BEYOND excited. I always wondered what happened to some of my favourite characters. It would be like meeting up with an old friend to catch up.

I wish I could say this book as well written…it wasn’t. There were parts that were good, but if I didn’t have the history with these characters that I did I might have not finished. The positive side is that it’s a short novel, and you can easily polish it off in an afternoon.

We start the book with Elizabeth and Jessica not speaking to each other. We find out that something happened that caused Elizabeth to move to NYC and stop talking to Jessica. These Wakefield girls are not the Liz and Jess we remember. Liz drinks, swears, has casual sex. It was a little jarring to see them as adults and not the teenage girls I remember. Jessica was similar to her high school self. She has been married TWICE and is pretty much what I expected an adult Jessica to be.

Slight spoiler - Jessica is with Todd now. I was always more attached to Elizabeth than Jessica. I am more of an Elizabeth, so that might be the reason. I adored Elizabeth and Todd together so that part of the novel was not a big hit with me. I also have to admit that I would not have been able to forgive as easily as Elizabeth seems to. It just seemed that she didn’t really care at the end.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes. Was it because of my previous history? Totally. Would people who haven’t read the other books, or had no connection to the characters enjoy it? Probably not. If you loved Sweet Valley High though it’s nice to return to Sweet Valley and catch up…..just make sure you have a drink on hand.

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Release Date – March 9, 2010
Publisher – Delacorte Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 407
My Rating- 8/10
Obtained - from the library

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

This companion novel to Forest of Hands and Teeth could be looked at as a sequel. We are introduced to Mary’s daughter Gabry. They still live in the city by the ocean that Mary reaches at the end of Forest of Hands and Teeth.

I really do like Carrie Ryan’s writing style. Her words are so descriptive that you can easily picture what this world would be like. It’s part of what makes it so terrifying. She is also skilled at making you feel the emotions of the characters, and having them be very realistic. I must admit that I find the beginning of these books a little slower than the last half. As I get closer to the end I can’t get through the pages fast enough, but at the beginning it merely holds my interest.

Gabry is quite different than Mary. She has no desire to leave her village (named Vista). She is a rule follower and terrified of anything outside of what she knows. One thing she has in common with Mary, however, is the ability to drive me crazy. I am not sure what it is with the women in these novels. Gabry can not make a decision if her life dependant on it (and it often does). I get that she is young, and that Mary basically tried to protect her from everything but each decision seemed to be excruciating for her. Gabry, like her mother, has two wonderful men interested in her, and she spends most of the novel jumping back and forth in her decision on who to be with. I am not sure about you guys, but if zombies are chasing me the last thing I am concerned with is which cute boy I should be kissing. I did like Gabry more than Mary, if only because I could see how innocent and protected she really was. She did do some brave things and I hope she continues to grow in the next novel. I just would have liked her a little less self centered.

Carrie Ryan’s boys are amazing though. I adore both Catcher and Elias. Catcher won me over and I TOTALLY adore him. Elias is swoon worthy as well, but something about Catcher just floored me. I really hope he find a version of “happily ever after” when all is said and done.

There are so many questions I was hoping to have answered in this book, and I did get some of them. I still would love to know what exactly happened to Mary’s brother. It was nice to see some of the characters from The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

I really do love the world that Carrie Ryan created. I think that is what keeps me coming back. It’s complex, and very descriptive. It’s a world that is horrific in that you can see where it could be possible. If you like your zombies with some romance, and hope tossed in these are the novels for you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My First Ever In My Mailbox....

This is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives us a chance to showcase the books we got during the week.

So I am new to In My Mailbox, and this is my very first one.. I do enjoy checking out all the posts, but have never done one myself. I, sadly, don't often have much to share.

Here is what I got this week -

An e-galley of The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. (Goodreads)

So beyond excited to dive into this one.

Thanks NetGalley/HarlequinTeen

From my local library -

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal (Goodreads)

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (Goodreads)

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan (Goodreads)

What books did you get this week? Leave me a comment and I will check it out.

Happy reading everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Follow Friday/ Blog Hops

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

Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

Cassandra Clare, JK Rowling, and Michelle Hodkin.

Cassandra I met at a signing here in Ottawa. It was so quick and we got to chat a little about Magnus (and how much I love him) but I could ask her a ton more questions. She's also hilarious so it would be a lot of fun.

Michelle I met at Book Expo and talked to her for a few seconds. She's so sweet, and after reading MARA I would love to ask her a bunch of questions.

JK Rowling would be epic. I have a ton of wizarding world questions to ask her, and just to get to meet her would be fantastic.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books. It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q. What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?

Um, I read a bit of everything actually. I am not a huge fan of science fiction though. I am not sure what it is, but I have a harder time getting into those books.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman
Release Date – June 8, 2011
Publisher – Flux
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 264
My Rating- 7.5/10
*obtained at BEA*

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when they find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes—with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades—the god of the underworld—himself. To make them atone for what they’ve done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld any individual whose unholy contract is up.
But just because they have an otherworldly part-time job now doesn’t mean Meg and Shar can ignore life’s drudgeries (work) or pleasures (fashion!). Finding that delicate balance between their old and new responsibilities turns out to be harder than they expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there’s the matter of the fine print in their contracts . . .

Meg and Shar are total opposites. They end up having to be roommates at their school dorm and end up frenemies as a result. Shar is the more girly one who loves the colour pink, well Meg prefers black and wouldn’t wear sparkles if you forced her to. The girls end up fighting over a pair of shoes that results in an accident that leaves a bystander dead. Enter Hades - he makes a deal with the girls and hilarity ensues.

This type of novel is exactly what you would expect. There is very little in way of surprises or twists. You can easily see what the ending will be, however it has a lot of quirky charm. It delivers what the synopsis promises you which is a funny, light read. It’s great for when you’ve read a really heavy book and need some fluff.

The chapters rotates perspective between the two girls. It is a technique that works sometimes and not others. This is case where I found it a little distracting at first. I got used to it as I kept reading, but it did take some getting used to.

I did enjoy Meg and Shar and thought they both had some nice qualities. I liked that they supported each other, and worked together when things got tough. The romance for each girl that is sprinkled in is infused with humour and sweetness. Hades is also a fun “villain“. He’s good looking, charming and quite the lady killer. I wish he was in the novel more. I really liked the other god and goddess that were introduced as well.

The girls face quite a few obstacles in getting their task for Hades done. Hades, his jealous wife Persephone, his over the top mother in law Demeter and their real job all provide things the girls must overcome. The obstacles provide some really funny moments.

This book is a quick, funny beach type read that you can easily polish off in an afternoon. If you’re looking for that type of book give it a try.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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 Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

This sounds awesome. I love Greek mythology so this should be a total "me" book. I am loving the cover. It's really stunning.

Expected release date - January 3, 2012

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Want This Book Giveaway - The Goddess Test

If you read my review you'll know that I love The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter. I am very happy to be able to (thanks to Aimee) give one of you a SIGNED copy.

I also did an interview with the swoon worthy Henry. Take a moment to read his replies to the questions I asked him - Interview with Henry

Isn't this cover gorgeous??! I love it. My photo does not even begin to do the cover justice.

And it comes autographed by the awesome Aimée

I bet you're wondering how to enter right? Well, to win all you have to do is fill out this form. It is open INTERNATIONALLY so everyone can enter. Contest closes August 1st.

Thanks for entering and good luck everyone.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Release Date – April 5, 2011
Publisher – Dutton Juvenile (Penguin)
Publisher Social Media - Penguin
Pages - 264
My Rating- 9.5/10

****Spoilers for If I Stay*****

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance

I will be spoiling some of If I Stay in this review so you may want to go read that and than come back and read this review.

I loved If I Stay. LOVED. Mia and Adam were characters I was excited to get back to. I waited because I was a little leery of this book not being what I had pictured it as. I was so wrong. I feel it actually surpasses If I Stay.

I fell for Adam. We meet him as he is about to tour with his band. They are insanely popular right now, and Adam’s celebrity status is heightened by his actress girlfriend. It seems like Adam’s life is going pretty good, and he should be happy right? Well Adam is a broken, pill dependant mess that is always one minute from a panic attack. I wanted to protect and hug him. It doesn’t hurt that he so freaking adorable. I love when an author can give such an amazing voice to a character. I love it even more when it’s a novel told from the male perspective that is done so amazing well (the fact that it’s done by a female author is icing on the already awesome cake).

We don’t really get much from Mia as this is Adam’s story. When she does enter she’s a little different from what we remember. The accident and events in If I Stay have changed her. I would be angry and upset if I had lost my entire family as well. As Adam starts to get answers to what happened between them, we can relate and understand Mia’s reasons.

One of my favourite things is how real, and relateable Gayle’s characters are. She really takes the time to develop them and give each one a personality that jumps off the page.

I love that Adam is so lyrical that the words in this book reflect that. There are so many great quotes and the words to the songs by Shooting Star are amazing themselves. My favourite quote has to be this one -

Mia’s smile is melting chocolate. It’s a kick-ass guitar solo. It’s everything good in this world.
This leads me to talk about the romance in this novel. I loved the fact that Adam’s never really gotten over Mia and that they have this one night together to see what happened. The tour around New York provides some cute moments and there is some serious sexiness later on in the book. The book is filled with sigh inducing quotes like the one above.

I think that while Gayle Forman deals with a devastating situation in this novel (and the one pervious) it is ultimately about hope and second chances. It was a book that I truly loved reading and it’s a fast read as well. If you loved If I Stay make sure to pick this one up. If you haven’t read either…what are you waiting for??!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop

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

Q. What do I do when I are not reading?

Well I have blogging that needs to be done (haha). Otherwise I have 3 amazing little munchkins (aka my nieces) that I try to visit often. I do enjoy going to the movies, writing letters to my penpals or just sitting in a pretty park.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q. How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

I get a lot of my books from the library. I also tend to buy A LOT Of books.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Harry.... It All Ends

Tonight at midnight I will be watching the final Harry Potter movie. It's been over a decade since the first Harry Potter movie was released in theatres. It's hard to believe that we will be saying goodbye. It feels more like a goodbye than when the books ended as there were still movies to look forward to.

I am posting this before the movie as I have a feeling I will be in no shape to tackle this after I've watched it.

This video is a a brief gimpse at some of the last days on the Harry Potter set....

Daniel Radcliffe standing on the chair giving his speech - *DIES*. I was a bawling mess after. The whole thing is bittersweet for us and you can tell it is for the cast as well. The shot of Daniel, Emma and Rupert hugging after Dan's speech is my favourite thing about the video. You can tell they became really close.

Here is an amazing video with a lot of the cast offering a one word description of their Harry Potter experience....

Rupert Grint kills me. He's adorable and hilarious. Emma Watson's "it's got to be magical doesn't it?" makes me tear up. I chuckled at Matthew Lewis' "it's alright" comment. This whole video made me weepy. I can't believe we are saying goodbye to so many beloved characters.

The books were such a huge thing to me. I would go to midnight release parties, drive all my friends (and co-workers) crazy with theories, and devour them so quickly that I didn't have anyone to talk about them with.

Thank you JK Rowling for providing us with an exquisite literary experience that will continue to encourge everyone to read for years to come. Thank you Harry for always being there to save the day. Thank you Daniel, Rupert and Emma for bringing to life the trio, and thank you to the entire cast and crew for some of my favourite movie magic moments.

Excuse me while I go cry.... haha

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

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 Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

This cover is gorgeous. I think this series has some of the best covers. I really love the colour scheme. I loved the other books in this series and can't wait to get my hands on some more Patch!

Expected release date - October 4, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Release Date – October 18, 2007 (released again in 2011)
Publisher – Razorbill (Penguin)
Publisher Social Media - Penguin (Razorbill)
Pages - 304
My Rating- 9.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

I picked up this book not really sure what I was getting into. I am so glad I read it. I wish it would have been around when I was in high school.

The format of having Hannah’s tapes and Clay’s reactions together so that we are getting them right away really worked for me. I am not sure that having rotating chapters would have had the same outcome so I am glad that it was done this way.

I feel that this is more Clay’s story than anyone else in the novel. I felt for Clay throughout the whole book. Listening to these tapes and waiting to hear his name, almost waiting to be even more devastated than he already is. It would have put me on edge. We definitely get to see how this impacts Clay.

I admit I found Hannah to be a puzzle. She was sad, and I genuinely felt for her. Some of the things she went through are terrible. These tapes though, they almost seem like she just wanted payback. They didn’t really seem to be about closure and explaining things. I guess maybe she just wanted the people that hurt her to hurt as well. It was a lot of little things that seemed to build up for Hannah and not everyone would have reacted the same way to what happened to her, but they were her reasons. I will say that there is one event while it doesn’t directly happen to her would have devastated me as well. She sits through something and is unable to help and you can tell she feels awful about it. She feels just as responsible for what happened as the person who commits the act.

This book really makes you realize how the littlest thing can impact someone else. You don’t know what that person already has going on in their life, and your actions/comments/etc could really make the difference in someone’s life (or even not acting). It’s a great message that I think a lot of people should realize.

I ended up listening to some of the tapes (you can do that here)and it is even more heartbreaking to hear them.

This is the book that I think should be on a lot of high school reading lists, even read as a required book for English classes. It creates the opportunity to get conversation going, and hopefully helps people see that kindness, and basic decency to others isn’t a lot to ask for.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

**slight spoilers**
Room by Emma Donoghue
Release Date – September 14, 2010
Publisher – HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher Social Media info- Twitter and Facebook
Pages - 321
My Rating- 8/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

I will start this by saying that this is not a YA book. I am going to review the occasional adult novel as I pretty much review every book I read.

The story is told from Jack’s point of view, and it captures the voice of a 5 year old perfectly. I have nieces that are around that age, and they do talk like him. The language is so well done that Jack really comes alive. I can see it maybe turning some people off if they don’t enjoy this perspective (a lot of the sentences are not what you would call “proper sentences”). It is wonderfully written and I found it a unique voice.

I couldn’t help but feel for Ma. She is in the most horrific situation imaginable and yet she tries to make things the best she can for Jack. Her goal is to get herself and Jack out of the room they are captive in. She is actually really strong and while we do see the toll that this has taken on her, she holds it together much better than I would have.

Jack is a typical 5 year old - he loves Dora, has his favourite games, and is endlessly inquisitive. He had me chuckling one minute and was breaking my heart the next.

The aftermath of Ma’s plan showcases how society views and sensationalizes these types of situations. It is heartbreaking to see them readjust after they are free. Jack is confused, scared and at one point even asks to go back to “room” (as he calls it) as he feels safer there. Seeing them start to slowly adjust and having Ma going through her own recovery really makes you feel for Jack.

I couldn’t help but think as I was reading it about the future of these characters. If Ma and Jack had stayed locked away in the room what would have happened. What type of relationship would they have had when he was teenager? What would Old Nick have done as Jack got older? Would he have been too much of a threat to Old Nick? How would Jack and Ma’s relationship have developed and changed?

This novel really is about the love between a mother and child, and what lengths we will go through for those bonds. It is one of those books that will stay with you for a long time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Blog Hops

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

Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

Hmm...I don't know actually. Maybe the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I know a lot of people went crazy over it, but I just didn't get into it at all. It was hard for me to finish.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

This week didn't have a question. Instead we were to promote a giveaway that another blogger was having. I decided to select Christy @ The Reader Bee's giveaway. She is currently giving away one of my favourite books - Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test. You can view (and enter) the giveaway here. The book is fantastic and Christy is awesome, so hop on by!

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti

Stay by Deb Caletti
Release Date – April 5, 2011
Publisher – Simon Pulse
Pages - 313
My Rating- 6.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Clara's relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it's almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he's willing to do to make her stay.
Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won't let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

I really liked the premise of this novel. It sounded a little different from other books I had read and I was curious to see how this would unfold.

I thought it was interesting to see how love could be consuming and intense. It also showed a serious issue that should be talked about. It was realistic and nothing that happens between Christian and Clara seemed “over the top” or unlikely.

I thought Clara was good character. She seemed pretty realistic and acted like I would expect someone in that position to. She made mistake, and sometimes they had consequences, but she realized them and tried to learn from them. She was frank and honest in her part in what happened as well. It did feel a little like she was trying to take the blame, at some points.

Her relationship with her father was something that really shined in the book. I really liked her father, and how close they were. He tries really hard to keep her safe, and to help her deal with Christian when things go bad. They had a friendship, but it never felt like the father-daughter relationship wasn’t there as well.

As it is told from Clara’s point of view we don’t really get to know much of what Christian is thinking. He, to me, seemed very typical of a “villain’. I think I wanted more out of him than was there. He was just a creepy guy, who cared way too intensely and couldn’t let go. He was almost obsessed with Clara.

I did like that the other love interest in the show was the complete opposite of Christian. It showed that love can be good, and how tender it can be. However, I thought her moving on as quickly as she did and with little pause didn’t feel genuine to the situation. I would have been scared to be involved with anyone, especially that soon.

I liked the little “footnotes” throughout the book that gave us more insight into things, or just clarified things. It was a nice unique touch.

While I did enjoy parts of it, I had a harder time getting into this one than I expected to. It did provide some great examples of warning signs that people should look for when dating someone, and I did love that her father was not missing from the story like so many are in other novels.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday... The Iron Knight

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 Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Here is the Goodreads link. Sadly there is no synopsis up there yet. It is being released later. However, this is from Ash's point of view, and that is enough to have me dying to read it. That cover is also AWESOME!

Expected release date - October 25, 2011.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Best of 2011 so far....

We are officially half way done 2011. I thought I would share a list of my ten favourite reads so far. I am going to do the same at the end of the year, and in early 2012 do a favourite reads of'll be interesting to see how many of these make that final list.

These are are in no particular order. The release date wasn't looked at for this. I simply looked at the 50 books on my read list and selected from there.

1. City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

This is one of my favourit series. I love Cassandra Clare's writing style and this novel set up the next 2 in the series perfectly. Read my review here.

2. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

This is Aimee's debut novel. I was sucked into this world she has created. Henry made me fall in love, and Kate has earned a place on my awesome female protaganist list. See the review here.

3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

An eerie dystopian future that seemed scarily possible. The dynamic between the characters, and the writing itself are all stand outs. Read the review here.

4. Die For Me by Amy Plum

A unique paranormal aspect, a swoon worthy guy, and one of the more smart heroines in YA made this a favourite of mine. Read the review here.

5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

So much of this plot is super secret. It really would spoil it to give anything away. Simply put - Mara is awesome, Noah Shaw is the ultimate book crush, and the end twist floored me. I am so glad Mara's story is just getting started. Review to come in I said, it's super secret!

6. Forbidden by Tabithia Suzuma

This story grabbed my heart, held on and didn't let go. It left me in tears, and is one of the most beautifully written novels I've read. Read my review here.

7. Divergent by Veronia Roth

The action, the romance, and the world Veronica has created all suck you in. I am so glad that this is just the beginning for Tris and the sexy and dangerous Four. Read my full review here.

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The cutest, most sigh inducing novel I've read so far this year. Stephanie captures that "Does he like me?" deliema perfectly. Plus it has Etienne St Clair. Read the review here.

9. Stolen by Lucy Christopher

My first review. I still haven't shaken this book. It stays with you and haunts you. It's beautifully written and the landscape is so perfectly described that it almost becomes a character itself. Read the review here.

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I never thought I would be greateful to the guys who broke my heart...until I read this book. It made me so happy I could experience love in all it's forms..a message I still haven't forgotten. Read the review here.

The Iron Fey series came close to making the list but I couldn't just pick ONE of them to put on here.

I have read some amazing books so far this year and am looking forward to the ones to come. I can't believe this year is half over already!

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey # 3) by Julie Kagawa
Release Date – January 25, 2011
Publisher – Harlequin Teen
Pages - 358
My Rating- 9/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

I couldn’t wait to dig into this one after I finished Iron Daughter. I was so happy I had it waiting for me and didn’t have to get it from the library or anything. I honestly think this is the best one of the series so far. I have fallen in love with this series.

The writing is so descriptive and has a great pace. I was constantly wanting to know what came next. The world that Julie created is one that you want to return to again and again because it is so well developed and built.

I found Meghan very likeable in this novel. She has grown so much since the first book. She’s capable, strong and very brave. She accepts her destiny and isn’t afraid to sacrifice herself for her friends, and the good of NeverNever in general. She steps up and comes into her own. I like that she still has a soft side and isn’t the best fighter, as it fits the character we have to come know and love.

Puck grew on me in this book. I would still rather have him a friend and laugh with him than be with him romantically though. Ash on the other hand…the Ice Prince still has my heart. I love how romantic, and sweet his relationship with Meghan is. The Winter Court is definitely my favourite. He is a different Ash from the one in previous books. Less cold, and icy. He really does care for Meghan and his devotion is swoon worthy.

Grim is still adorable. I really do love this cat. His dry sense of humour and knowledge continues to impress me. Razor is a new character that we are introduced to that gives Grim some competition for cutest sidekick.

I ended up almost crying during some of the scenes in the book. It shows how much I’ve come to care about these characters and am invested in what happens to them. The ending left me a sobbing mess and wishing I could grab the next book right away.

I really love this series, and can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up. I am now breathlessly awaiting The Iron Knight to continue this amazing saga.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Follow Friday/Blog Hop

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

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

I have so many that I would like to see. Um, let's go with Jason Stackhouse played by Ryan Kwanten in the True Blood TV series (Jason is from the Southern Vampire Mysteries serires by Charlaine Harris). He is adorable,and I would get him to speak in his hot Australian accent...after I was capable of speech of course.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q-“What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?“

For me it's kind of the same thing that causes it. The characters.If I care about them and what is happening to them I will want to keep reading. If I can't even bother to dislike them I am pretty sure I won't finish the book. I am a very character driven reader so it's a pretty big deal breaker for me.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

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