Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday...Arise

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 Arise by Tara Hudson

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
I loved the first book. I especially enjoyed Amelia and can't wait to jump back into her story and see what happens next.

Expected release date - June 5, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Release Date – January 28, 2012
Publisher Website –  HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating- 9.5/10
**Obtained from the awesome Christy**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.  
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite. 
Lauren Oliver’s writing is beautiful. It has the ability to break you, make you cry and fall apart. It also has the ability to lift you, make your heart swell and fill you a thankfulness for being able to experience love. As humans the ability to experience love, and everything (including heartbreak) that comes with it is pretty amazing.

This novel was filled with action. Even more so than the first one. You will be on edge while reading this. The revolution is heating up, and you can feel the pressure on both sides. We’ve just scratched the surface of this conflict and I can’t wait to see what happens in book three.

Oh Julian, how I wanted to hate you. I did. I love Alex so much and wanted nothing to do with you. Lauren Oliver had to go and give him a heartbreaking story, and make him kind, sweet and likeable. The circumstances of his and Lena’s bond are rather sweet. I did feel it was kind of quick for Lena to move on after Alex, but this may be a result of my earlier resolve to dislike Julian.

The new characters we meet are all imperative to the story. The each add to Lena's story. Raven and Blue are two of my favourite characters from the new batch. You'll come to care about these characters as much as Lena does.
Reveals, more shocks and a stronger, even more determined Lena are all things that stood out in this novel. The novel jumps from "then" and "now" in alternate chapters. The "then" is Lena's beginnings in the Wilds, and it is interesting to see how the "then" impacts Lena's "now". I really felt it added to the story and provided a clearer picture of how Lena got to where she currently is.

The ending of Pandemonium will leave you stunned. With one word Lauren Oliver has managed to both devastate and heal you at the same time. So many emotions attached to one word and that is the beauty of Ms Oliver’s writing.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Release Date – January 3, 2012
Publisher Website –  HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 374 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**Obtained from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse. 
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive. 
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
A million ways to die. One way to live.The tag line for Under The Never Sky lets you know exactly what you're in for. Veronica Rossi’s world is simply stunning. She’s created a place so full of danger, and yet has a kind of beauty to it as well. The sky itself, cannibals, warring tribes, and even the people in Reverie are just some of the ways you could die. While Rossi’s pace is a little slower, this enables her to really focus on the characters and build real bonds between them.

At first I thought Aria was going to be character I wouldn’t be able to like. I thought she was going to be weak, complain all the time, and be a little annoying. I have never been more happy to be wrong. She was tenacious, feisty, and determined. She was curious and once her mind was set on something she did it. I ended liking her a lot.

It was a similar story with Perry. I thought he would have been too rough, to closed off and was worried about connecting with him. He, while capable and rough, also has a more tender side. He is the type of person that would aide someone, no matter if he liked them or not. His family history, and the blame Perry puts on himself is heartbreaking.

The insight to both Aria and Perry really helped the story. I liked that we got parts of it from each of their point of views. I found myself laughing at some of the thoughts Perry had of Aria in the beginning.

The romance being built slowly, and being based on mutual trust and genuine feelings was a nice change of pace. You could follow the progression and it felt really natural.

The secondary characters of Roar and Cinder ended up being my favourites. Confident, self assured and loyal is what comes to mind when I think of Roar. His easy going manner and willingness to assist Perry won me over. Cinder is a young boy who is broken, disgusted with himself, and my heart went out to him. So young, and so troubled. These secondary characters really shine, and brighten any scene they are in.

Veronica’s dangerously beautiful world, a slow building relationship and characters that surprised me all make Under The Never Sky a fantastic read.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

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 this week was a little slower but due to the craziness of last week this was probably a good thing

I only have two books from the library this week

Bewitching by Alex Flinn (goodreads)
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell (goodreads)

And I have some stunning bookmarks for Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Seriously, they are gorgeous and this picture barely does them justice. Thank you so much Wendy for sending them.

The bookmarks and Fallen Angel are for the angel event that will be happening on my blog in April. Super excited.

Happy reading everyone!

Friday, February 24, 2012

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:


J.K. Rowling to publish new book

My twitter feed pretty much exploded when the news was released. I may have let out a squeal while at work. I love that we know pretty much nothing other than a few basics and the world pretty much went crazy. I am excited to see how J.K. Rowling tackles an adult novel. I am thrilled it's coming out later THIS year.

the cover of Ten by Gretchen McNeil

How creepy is this cover? How awesome is it at the same time? I love the little tag line as well - Ten teens. Three days. One killer. Chills right?! The Goodreads synopsis sounds excellent as well!

cover of Glass Heart by Amy Garvey 

I really enjoyed Cold Kiss. This is the stunning cover for the sequel. Seriously...LOVE! I bet the hardcover is going to be shiny and quite pretty. No synopsis is released yet, but you can add it on Goodreads.

Ann Aguirre new book trilogy

If you read Enclave (or read my review) perhaps you'll be as excited as I am. This trilogy is described as Doctor Faustus meets Mean Girls in this edgy paranormal revenge trilogy set in a dark world of secret societies, twisted bargains, and forbidden love.

The three books are called Mortal Beauty, Dire Charm and Dead Lovely. Super excited as it sounds amazing. The only downside? Waiting until 2014 when Mortal Beauty is released.


Once Upon A Time

Alice in Wonderland is coming to Storybrooke! We are going to meet the Mad Hatter! They've also teased that we will find out who the Big Bad Wolf is, and that Belle will be back. This show really is amazing, and I am thrilled that we are getting the Alice in Wonderland characters. Still on my wishlist are the Peter Pan characters, and a certain mermaid!


The Hunger Games movie tickets

I have mine! Do you have yours? They are apparently selling out quickly. Super excited to watch this with one of my best friends, and my sister.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday Blog Hops!

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!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...

I love to read on my couch. It's quite comfy and I can relax and stretch out. I wish I had a comfy chair and it's totally something I am going to invest in.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Q Required Reading: Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?

Um, Lord of the Flies I guess. It always sort of stuck with me. I remember also really liking Shakespeare's Macbeth. As for a book that needs to be read today...13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It could make a huge difference in someone's life.

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Release Date –  Jan 3, 2012
Publisher Website –  Penguin/Philomel
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 406 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**obtained from  trading with fellow bloggers**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Calla has always welcomed war. 
But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnameable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is
To say that I had mixed feelings at the end of this book would be an understatement. There are things I am happy with and things I have very strong feelings about. Sadly, I can’t discuss much of them without giving MAJOR spoilers so I will try to give a semi coherent review while my tears are still drying.

One of my favourite aspects of this series is how intricate and developed the world is. Andrea’s details and mythology is stunning. It makes the story rich and is much better as a result. In this novel all that world building and detail pays off, but she’s also kept some surprises that leave you reeling.

I can’t comment on Calla’s choice without giving it away, but suffice to say it was pretty obvious who held her heart, and I am not surprised it ended this way. Calla slightly annoyed me in this book though. She strung both guys along, even after she had basically made her choice. She did it because both Ren and Shay were needed to fight the war, but I think she was a little callous with their feelings. Shay and Ren fighting did provide some humorous moments, but mostly it was a sad situation for all of them.

There is a death in this book that I didn’t really feel adequate for the character. If this character was going to die I wanted it to be BIG. I wanted a blaze of glory, maybe taking out a certain other character with them, and have it mean something. Instead, it felt like a easy out to a bigger problem in the story.

Sabine ended up being one of my favourite characters in this book, whereas I wasn’t overly invested previously. She was much stronger than I thought. She was quite capable and her and Ethan provided a sweetness that I needed.

The ending of the novel was very bittersweet for me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I am very impressed that the ending surprised me as much as it did. The last couple of chapters are filled with reveals and shocks  being hurled at you. The final chapter was especially bittersweet but quite fitting for the end of this series.

Andrea Cremer’s world building, wonderful descriptions and characters make this trilogy one I recommend. This last book would not be my favourite of the three, but is a fitting ending to Calla’s story.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Tiger Lily

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 Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
15 year old Tiger Lily, proud and fierce, wild and misunderstood, doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, big-hearted but hard to reach, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything - her family, her future - to be with the haunted, hunted, courageous boy who loves her. When - as a punishment for her rebellious ways - she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of PEACHES comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
Does this not sound amazing?! I love Peter Pan and this sound like a fresh and unique twist on that story. I have heard it's told from the perspective of Tinkerbell...which is AWESOME!! I love Tinkerbell.

Expected release date - July 3rd, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date – February 21, 2012
Publisher Website – Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - pages
My Rating- 8.5/10
**Obtained from swapping with another bloggers**

********************Spoilers for Wither************************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.
Wither ended with Rhine and Gabriel escaping the mansion and setting off to Manhattan to find her brother. Fever picks up when they’ve come ashore and we quickly learn it’s not going to be an easy or peril free journey for them.

In many ways Fever scared me more than Wither. The world outside the mansion is just as (if not more so) dangerous than the one Rhine left behind. There are some pretty horrible fates that can await young women in Rhine’s position and we get a taste of what happens to those who don’t become brides. It’s easy to imagine a world like this and that is where Lauren manages to capture your attention. It also brings to mind one of the main plot points of the second novel - Rhine coming to terms with leaving the mansion and if it was the right choice. She spends a lot of time thinking about Cecily, Linden and the comforts of the mansion. There are cases where it almost seems like Rhine has been freed from one prison just to be locked into another one.

I liked Rhine in this novel. She didn’t just sit back and let things happen. She fights and is very focused. Sadly, she spends much of the novel in situations that are really beyond her control.

Vaughn is horrible.He is such a chilling bad guy. Mostly because he is driven by something we can all understand. He wants to find a cure. His means of doing it are awful, but it is something everyone wants. Also, just when you think the chills and creep factor could not get higher Rhine has something done to her eyes that will give me nightmares.

Fever ends with Rhine once again on the edge and trapped in a precarious situation. She’s dropped an explosion on someone and we are going to have to wait for book three to see the fallout.

Lauren’s dark, scary, and all to realistic world combined with a wonderful writing style has me anxiously awaiting the next instalment in the series.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Team Linden!

The awesome Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries and I are fighting about book boys again. This time, however, there is no boxing ring involved because we not fighting over the same boy. Instead, we are fighting over who is best for the lovely heroine Rhine - Linden or Gabriel.

I am firmly Team Linden. Yes, I know, his father is horrible. I am not Team Vaughn or even Team Linden’s family. I simply love Linden. I am going to lay out my reasons for thinking he is the best match for Rhine. Not all of them are going to be popular reasons, but ultimately I think he’s the one that is best capable of being what Rhine needs.

I might as well get the less than wonderful aspects of Linden out of the way. He is certainly not perfect. In order to see my points you have to remember the world Rhine lives in. She will die when she reaches 20. This is not something she can ignore or not deal with. It might be selfish of her, but Linden can provide comfort during her agonizing illness when it happens. I am not only referring to his presence. He has the ability to make her illness a little easier on her. She will be kept comfortable, given what medication she can to ease the pain and be surrounded by her sister wives and a loving husband.

There is always Vaughn to contend with and I agree that Linden would be much more appealing without him around. I think that Linden would protect Rhine from him. A position as the favoured wife would afford that.  One of Linden’s flaws is that he has been kept in the dark about his father’s true nature for too long, and it would be beneficial for Rhine to tell him. It would make her life with Linden much easier.

Not only is Linden kind to her, he is patient as well. He doesn’t push or really expect anything from her. He lets her go at her own pace. Rhine could have ended up in much worse circumstances than with someone like Linden. It may seem like a weak reason, but in Rhine’s world it is a real possibility that she could have ended up with someone much less gentle towards her.

Linden is this kind hearted, broken young man who has loved and lost. While Rhine can’t relate to losing a significant other the way Linden lost Rose, she can relate to losing someone she loves. Her parents (and even her brother.)They both understand loss and could comfort each other and hopefully help each other heal.

Linden is broken, very much so. He seems to come alive, and even takes steps forward with Rhine. She holds him and lets him cry with her. She is used to taking care of people, and it’s this type of relationship Linden needs. I think Rhine needs to feel needed and Linden would give that to her.

Linden himself isn’t happy with how they became married. He is as much driven by the circumstances of the world they live in, and quite sheltered by his father as well.

We see that Rhine is coming to care for Linden while at the mansion. She even gets jealous when he is dancing with another girl at a party. She was almost running from her feelings because she wanted so desperately to find her brother. I think if there was a way for her to know her brother was ok, and see him regularly she would have been happy where she was.

In Wither we see that Rhine is softening towards Linden. She could truly be happy with him if she could let herself.  Neither Gabriel nor Linden are perfect but I think she could be safer, and happier with Linden.

Have I convinced you to give Linden a shot? Want to learn all about Rhine’s other love interest Gabriel? Head on over to Brodie’s blog and read her persuasive Team Gabriel post.

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Fever, and let me know in the comments if you are Team Linden or Team Gabriel!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

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.

I have a lot of books to show you this week. I had to split it up into 2 pictures for it to work. It's a little heavier due to the amazing blogger meet up I went to this week.

First I will mention the books I got from the library this week -

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (goodreads)
The Alchemy of Forever by (goodreads)

So excited to read both of these!

As mentioned I went to a fantastic blogger meet up with some fantastic Ottawa bloggers. We were fortunate enough to have the publishers provide us with some review copies for the meeting.

I want to thank Meaghan from Feeling A Little Bookish, Emilie from Emilie’s Book World, Katherine from The Lady Critic’s Library and Katie from Bookishly Yours for the wonderful afternoon. We have to do it again soon ladies!

I received from Hachette Group Canada for review -

Belles by Jen Calonita (goodreads)
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney (goodreads)
All For You by Sheila O' Flanagan (goodreads)
A Private Affair by Lesley Lokko (goodreads)

I received from Harper Collins Canada

Until I Die from Amy Plum (goodreads)
Arcadia by Lauren Groff (goodreads)

I can't thank the publishers enough for being so amazing and helpful. Really, they are the best.

We also decided to swap books while there and I obtained

Fever by Lauren DeStefano (goodreads)
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (goodreads)
Dead To You by Lisa McMann (goodreads)
Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (goodreads)

I had gotten Bloodrose out of the library as my hold came in, but I just haven't talked myself into reading it yet, because I know it's going to break my heart. I am going to start it tonight....wish me luck.

As you can see I also have my third Vampire Diaries EW cover. So happy I have the set, and I love the Stefan and Elena one the best!

Happy reading everyone!


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:


Cover of TigerLily By Jodi Lynn Anderson

Doesn't this look amazing? I love it. I am not 100% sure this is the final cover, but it seems pretty likely. It's one of the books I can't wait to get my hands on. If you don't know what it's about you can read all about it over at Goodreads.

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

This book.....I still don't have words to describe how beyond epic and awesome it is. Will....*swooon*! I <3 Will, and sexy hot air balloons. I think everyone should pre-order this IMMEDIATELY because you won't be sorry. Bethany's writing is so wonderful, and engrossing. I am going to stop gushing before I write my entire review here. Just know it's perfect, and I give it all the stars.

Cover for What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Is it not so pretty? I love the cover. Harper Collins truly has some of the most amazing covers. Again if you want to know more go check out the Goodreads synopsis because it sounds amazing.



This has been on my list before, but it's soo good. They had an amazing episode this week, an episode I've been waiting for and it did not disappoint. It just keeps getting better and it doesn't hurt that Joshua Bowman (Daniel Greyson on the show) is a total cutie.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Follow Friday/ Blogger Hops!

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: BeefcakeandBabes Asks: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What’s the most unique character name you’ve come across?

Hmmm....I can't really think of any. A less common name that I really liked was Araby Worth from Masque of the Red Death. It's the only one I can think of. Not exactly the best answer....haha.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Q Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?

I take pride in so much. The work I put into my blog is something I am pretty proud of. Whenever I talk about book blogging I always end up gushing about the community. I really am in awe of the community and how welcoming almost everyone is. I also like that we support each other. If something bad happens we are there to help, and we celebrate when the good stuff comes around. There may be some ups and downs when it comes to being a blogger, but this community provides the support you need to make it through.

Ottawa Book Blogger Meet Up!

A group of Ottawa bloggers recently had our first meet up. We had nice lunch at KS on the Keys and ended our meet up in Chapters shopping for books (where else!)

This is the kind of thing that made me want to get involved in book blogging in the first place. It was so much fun to talk with people who are as into reading and book as I am. It's sometimes hard to find people who understand when I talk about books and my blog so it was especially nice to have this afternoon.We flew through so many books and topics. The time literally flew by as a result. We had a huge book swap as well. My IMM this week is going to be slightly crazy.

We had some very sweet publishers provide some goodies for our meeting! A big thank you to Harper Collins Canada, Hachette Group Canada, and Raincoast Books for making our first meeting extra special.

I also want to thank the fantastic ladies who provided me with a super fun afternoon

Meaghan from Feeling A Little Bookish
Emilie from Emilie’s Book World
Katherine from The Lady Critic’s Library
Katie from Bookishly Yours

Stop by and visit their amazing blogs.

I am hoping to make this a yearly event, with us meeting for other bookish fun whenever we can find the time.

Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to a Blogger Meet Up and if so what's your favourite part? Anything you recommend doing? Games, activities, etc? Looking forward to making the next one just as amazing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday...Insurgent

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 Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. 
Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Divergent was amazing. I have seriously high hopes for Insurgent and can't wait to get my hands on it. Tris and Four's story is one I am dying to jump back into.

Expected release date - May 1, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Favourite Literary Couples!

Happy Valentine's Day! On this day of romance and love I thought I would share my favourite literary couples. Those couples that seemed destined to be together and made us all swoon. There are tons of couples I adore but since their story is just beginning they will get an honourable mention at the bottom.

1. Mr Darcy and Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice)

A classic choice that never ceases to make me happy. I love how the relationship grows and they each learn about themselves and each other along the way.

2. Hermoine and Ron (Harry Potter series)

My favourite part of this couple is the fact that they were such good friends first. They grew into the young adults they would become together. They saw each other through some terrifying and amazing times.

3. Anna and Etienne (Anna and the French Kiss)

The pace in which this relationship evolves is perfect. It's neither too fast nor too slow. I like that they are there for each other, and really had a strong friendship first.

4. Lola and Cricket (Lola and the Boy Next Door)

Nothing like the boy next door and romance. Cricket and Lola were friends prior to getting together which is what great relationships start out as. I really like they are willing to forgive each other, and allow the other person to be exactly who they are.

5. Clare  and Henry (The Time Traveler’s Wife)

Their relationship is complicated, tragic and filled with passion. It's the kind of relationship that you would be willing to wait for. It's clear how much they love each other, even against incredible circumstances.

6. Katniss and Peeta (The Hunger Games series)

Right from the moment I heard the story of the burnt bread and Peeta's love for Katniss I knew I wanted them to be together. He balances Katniss in ways that make them stronger together as a couple. Everything they go through together strengthens their bond.

7. Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare's play)

There is something timeless about this love. They have managed to become linked with star-crossed lovers for all of history. I admit it's less than romantic that they die for their love, however the whole "love at first sight" thing is pretty romantic.


These couples have lots of spark, passion and are just getting started. Will they last for the long haul? Who knows (except the author of course), but it'll be delicious and fun reading about them.

1 Mara and Noah (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer)
2. Finn and Cate (Born Wicked)
3 Tris and Four (Divergent)
4 Will and Tessa (Infernal Devices series)
5 Alec and Magnus (Mortal Instruments series)

So there you have it, some of my favourite couples. Who would make your list? Let me know in the comments.

This is the end of the Valentine's event. Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win any novel mentioned in this event.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Release Date – May 3, 2011
Publisher Website – Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 232 pages
My Rating- 7.5/10
**Obtained from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead. 
I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both. 
Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface. 
While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.
I picked up Moonglass expecting a more romantic story but instead got an emotional, well written read.

The descriptions of the beach, and the surrounding area was so well done. I could almost feel the sand under my feet and hear the ocean. I had never heard of sea glass before (don’t laugh) but was fascinated by it. The mixing of this with the mermaid stories Anna mother told her when she was younger was a sweet touch.

The romance in this book while sweet, was almost secondary. Not at all what I was expecting. The description of putting yourself out there, and hoping the other person meets you halfway was very realistic. I felt like Anna and Tyler’s relationship was growing at a perfect pace - not too fast, nor slow. It just felt very authentic.

Anna herself was refreshing. She seemed so typical of a teenaged girl who has been through something very traumatic. The friendships she makes, and the journey her character takes all felt true to the character.

Anna dealing with her mother’s death and finally learning things about her mother was pretty heartbreaking. The grief, guilt, and self blame both Anna and her father were dealing with was understandable. I wish they would have talked to each other about it more though. It could have helped heal them both.

I enjoyed the relationship between Anna and her dad. He was protective, a little flawed himself, but you never doubted that he loved and cared for her. He was doing his best while falling apart himself. It’s too often that we don’t see a decent portrayal of parents in young adult books, so this was a welcome change.

If you are looking for an emotional read that feels very authentic this is one you’ll want to read.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Top Five Romantic Cities

What cities make you think of love and romance? Here are my top 5 choices of cities that can provide you with endless opportunity for special memories with your significant other.

1. Paris

Paris is synonymous with love. It is quite romantic. I've been there and you can't help but fall in love with the city. Strolling near the Seine, picnicking near the Eiffel Tower, and visiting some amazing works of art is one of my perfect afternoons.

2. Venice

Venice brings to mind romantic gonadal rides, kisses on bridges, and amazing views. It seems like a very romantic city that anyone can fall in love with it.  

3. Verona

In fair Verona where we lay our scene..... Verona is known for the tale of Romeo and Juliet. They even have a Juliet's balcony that you can stop by and call down to your Romeo. You can leave a Letter for Juliet on her wall (she'll even write back). It seems like a quaint little town where you can relax with good food, and wine.

4 Bora Bora

I picture lazy afternoons lounging on a beach, romantic dinners, and an over the water bungalow. The tropical vibe, and the gorgeous scenery help with the romance factor.

5 New York City

Read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares or Where She Went and you will see strolling around New York can be romantic (and sexy). Strolling though Central Park, a romantic wagon ride, theatre and some amazing restaurants make for an exciting city to explore together.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

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.

My mailbox was pretty awesome this week...ok so pretty awesome is an understatement. SO many amazing books.

These are books I was gifted or received for review

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (goodreads)
A Million Suns by Beth Revis (goodreads)

The amazing Kristina from LadyBug Storytime got me a copy of Masque. I literally squealed when it came in the mail. It's been really high on my wish list and I can't wait to finish it (already started and LOVING it). The cover is so stunning, even in ARC form.

The amazing and lovely Christy from The Reader Bee sent me a belated Christmas gift and it was A Million Suns. I have heard nothing but amazing things about it.

Thank you so much to both Christy and Kristina. You ladies are amazing!

I helped Marissa Meyer celebrate the release of her fantastic novel Cinder. She was sweet and offered swag to people who helped her and it is awesome! Thank you so much Marissa.

Here are some books I purchased this week

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (goodreads)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (goodreads)
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (goodreads)

I also have two copies of Entertainment Weekly with the cast of the Vampire Diaries on them. I have the Paul Wesley/Nina Dobrev cover as well, but my friend has it as she had to pick it up for me (none of the stores near me had it). They are even hotter than this picture shows. Scorching!!

Happy reading everyone!

My Favourite Romantic movies

This Valentine's Day may mean curling up with your significant other to watch a romantic movie. Here are my top picks for movies that make me swoon!

1. Pride and Prejudice

Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett always come to mind when you think of literary couples. This remake staring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen is one of my all time favourites. I get goosebumps when Mr Darcy proclaims "'You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you".

2. Romeo and Juliet

I quite love this remake. How insanely good looking is Leonardo DiCapriro in this movie?! Totally swoon worthy. He looks exactly like what I think a hot angel would look like. My favourite scene? The squeal inducing scene where Juliet (Claire Danes) and Romeo (Leonardo) first meet. Look at the way they look at each other? And the little nose thing? TOO CUTE!

3. The Notebook

Ali and Noah (Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) were so easy to fall in love with. It didn't hurt that the two actors ended up falling for each other off screen as well and were one of the cutest couples EVER. This movie is romantic, and shows the power of love. My favourite scene is, of course, the one where he tells her "it still isn't over". Prepare to SWOON! Rain makes everything hotter, no?

4 Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise (and it's sequel Before Sunset) is one of those movies that you WISH would happen to you. Simple premise - a guy and a girl meet on a train and decide to take a chance, get off the train and explore a city together while waiting for the next one. It's romantic, cute, and realistic. Jesse and Celine are sweet. Celine happens to be one of my favourite female characters in a movie...ever. My favourite scene - where Jesse convinces her to take the chance and explore Vienna with him. He's so cute, how could you say no?!

5. The Crow

Ok, so probably not the first movie that comes to mind when you think romantic movies. However, the relationship between Eric and Shelly is certainly romantic. You can tell how much he loves her. It's heartbreaking and sweet at the same time. My favourite scene? A newly returned from the dead Eric remembers Shelly and the love they shared, prompting him to avenge what happened to them. I love when she says "I love you" and he replies "Say that again" with a little smile.

*Bonus Choice*

The Cure

My last choice isn't what you'd call a love story, but I wanted to showcase that love can mean many things. This love is the love of friendship. A friendship between two young boys that develops and betters each. This is one of my favourite movies, and (fair warning) you will need tissues if you intend to watch it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Event Giveaway!

It's time for a Valentine's Giveaway!

The prize? ANY book mentioned during this Valentine's event. It could be one I reviewed, one that shows up on a list. Pre orders are fine (if you wanted Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock for instance).

The only rules are that it has to be available on Book Depository and it has to be able to shipped via them to you.

I also have a bunch of awesome swag to include for the winner including this awesome necklace for Sarah Tregay's Love and Leftovers

So just fill out the Rafflecopter entry below and good luck!

Valentine's themed interview with Sarah Tregay

Another author interview...Valentine's style. The awesome Sarah Tregay, whose novel Love and Leftovers can be found in stores now, agreed to answer my questions.

Sadly, I was to review this as well, however, I haven't been successful in locating it and my ordered copy has not arrived. A review will eventually be posted...just not in time for this event. Enjoy the interview, and check out the book!

1 Top 5 Couples from Literature

Jim and Della (Gift of the Magi)
Noah and Allie (The Notebook)
Penelope and Odysseus
Beatrice and Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing)
Lancelot and Guinevere

2. Top 5 Couples from other media (TV, movies, etc).

Westley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride)
Joey and Pacey (Dawson’s Creek)
Edward and Kim (Edward Scissorhands)
Delilah and The Plain White T’s (Hey There Delilah)
Popeye and Olive Oyl

3. Top 5 romantic movies

Sleepless in Seattle
A Walk to Remember
P.S. I Love you
Moulin Rouge

4 Top 5 romantic cities

Mont St. Michel
San Diego

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Release Date – June 1, 2004
Publisher Website – St Martin’s Press/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 322 pages
My Rating- 8/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
“Something Borrowed" tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiance. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. "Something Borrowed" is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.
Something Borrowed is one of those books that I read awhile ago, and recently fell in love with all over again while reading it again.

Emily Griffin manages to capture a sweet love story out of an action - cheating - that should feel you with loathing and dislike for Rachel and Dex. The thing is that you do have those feelings, however, you also feel sympathetic, understanding and actually root for them to be together. You can’t help but feel like if Dex and Rachel had not made assumptions and actually took the chance and spoke up it would have turned out differently for all involved.

The writing is prefect for this genre. A touch of humour, some interesting twists that take a simplistic plot and add something more to it. Emily Griffin’s talent is creating characters that you both love and hate equally and creating a situation that is horrible for all involved and making it neither black or white. She, basically, makes it real. All her characters are flawed and that is what makes them interesting.

Rachel, always the good girl, has never really said no to her best friend. She’s passive, doesn’t go for what she wants, and in the process ends up hurting herself to benefit others. Darcy is the type of person that is capable of going after what she wants, she assumes people will speak up for things they want, and often doesn’t take others feelings or wants into consideration. She’s bold, gutsy and vivacious. The are basically the last two people you would expect to be best friends. They are, and you can see that underneath there was a real, caring friendship there.

I enjoyed Ethan so much. Sweet, adorable, kind Ethan! I am sure many girls rooted for him to win Rachel’s heart, but I never felt that connection there for Rachel. I was happy to see more of him in the sequel Something Blue.

Friendship is looked it, and especially Rachel’s guilt over what her and Dex have done to Darcy. She realizes she is being a bad friend, and also realizes that maybe Darcy hasn’t always been a good friend to her. It made me think of how much you can go through with a friend and not want to lose that friendship no matter what.

This is one of those “chicklit” books that I’ve gotten really engrossed in, and couldn’t put down. It’s perfect for a night in with some wine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's themed interview with Kathleen Peacock

I have asked some authors to answer my Valentine's themed questionnaire. The lovely Kathleen Peacock, whose novel Hemlock will be released May 8, was kind enough to answer.

She's told me some of her selections are not appropriate for younger audiences, so please use your discretion if you chose to look them up!

You can learn more about her and her book by visiting her website. Her novel Hemlock can be added on Goodreads and it sounds amazing!

1 Top 5 Couples from Literature

Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables
Westley and Buttercup, The Princess Bride
Cameron and Dulcie, Going Bovine
Cordelia and Pocket, Fool

2. Top 5 Couples from other media (TV, movies, etc)

Alice and Hatter, Alice(SyFy miniseries)
Keith and Watts, Some Kind of Wonderful(movie)
Jim and Selena, 28 Days Later(movie)
The Doctor (9 or 10) and Rose, Doctor Who(television series)
Han and Leia, Star Wars(movie)

3. Top 5 romantic movies

When Harry Met Sally
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(well, I find it romantic)
Say Anything
The Goodbye Girl(1977 original)
The Holiday

4 Top 5 love triangles (literature/movies/TV/other media)

Victor, Elizabeth, and Konrad, This Dark Endeavour (book)
Peta, Katniss, Gale, The Hunger Games (book)
Keith, Amanda, Watts, Some Kind of Wonderful (movie)
Yuki, Tohru, Kyo, Fruits Basket (anime, not manga)
Mark, Bridget, Daniel, Bridget Jones (first movie only)

6 Top 5 romantic cities

I haven’t travelled farther than Maine, so will take a pass on this one.

7 Top 5 romantic book

The Princess Bride
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate
Release Date –  January 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers/RandomHouse
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  201 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.
I have read all the other novels in the Fallen series and was quite excited about getting to read more about Roland and Arriane as I like both of them and feel they are not developed enough.

I went into this novel expecting some quick, cute short stories. The good thing with this novel is that it is pretty much what you expect. The stories were more interconnected than I was expecting as well which was nice to see.

The “novel” is really short, clocking in at only 201 pages, so it’s a fast read.

This the kind of book I wish I could rate each story on it’s own. I felt some were stronger than the others. I will, however, break down the review by story.

Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles

This story was cute. It follows Shelby and Miles while they try to help Luce and Daniel on Valentine’s Day. It’s the one story I would consider an actual love story as it’s happier, fluff and pretty sweet.

Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love

I would call this a heartbreak story rather than a love one. Roland spends his tale remembering a lost love. He decides to go see her years later and realizes that sometimes the best thing you can do for the one you love is let them be happy without you.

Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane

The most heartbreaking of all the stories. Arriane’s love is one she can never be with due to circumstances. The ghastly end to the story results in Arriane literally burning for her love.

Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.

This  felt like the weakest story out of the 4 stories. It didn’t really feel like much happened in this one, other than Luce and Daniel spending a Valentine’s Day together.

This novel really doesn’t advance the plot of the series much. It does give some nice backstory to characters like Roland and Arriane. It will be cute to see Shelby and Miles continue their tentative relationship in Rapture (I hope it happens anyways), but otherwise this mostly felt like a cute fluffy read that will be a good fit for Valentine’s Day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Blog Event

This year, together with Evie from Bookish, we are hosting a Valentine's Day Book Blog Event! It will run February 7th-14th and there will be reviews, guest posts, interviews, as well as many exciting giveaways!

My blog event kicks off tomorrow with a review of Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate!

Here is the full schedule for what is coming up on my blog 

Feb 7 - Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate review
Feb 8 - Valentine's Day themed interview with Kathleen Peacock
Feb 9 - Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin review
Feb 10 - Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay review and interview
Feb 11- My Favourite Romantic Movies
Feb 12 - My Favourite Romantic Cities
Feb 13- Moonglass by Jessi Kirby review
Feb 14 - My Favourite Couples in Literature.

And Evie's insanely awesome schedule as well

Feb 7th: Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (Review)
Guest Post by Ann Redisch Stampler
Giveaway of signed copy of Where it Began (US/Canada)

Feb 8th: Barking Mad by Jamieson Ridenhour (Review)
Shift by MR Merrick (Review)
Giveaway of Shift

Feb 9th: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (Review)
Interview with Sara Flower, author of By The Sword

Feb 10th: Promising Light (Review) by Emily Ann Ward
Interview with Emily Ann Ward

Feb 11th: Guest Post and interview with Krista Holle, author of The Lure of Shapinsay
Book and T-Shirt giveaway with Krista Holle

Feb 12th: Born Wicked (Review)
Guest Post and Giveaway with Rusty Fischer, author of Vamplayers

Feb 13th: Guest Post with Harper Jayne, author of Knave

Feb 14th: Author's TOP 5 Romantic Reads
Interview with Karen A. Wyle, author of Twin-Bred

Stop by and comment, enter the giveaways and find some new books to make you swoon.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Release Date –  Feb 8, 2012
Publisher Website –  Grand Central Publishing/Hachette
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**Obtained from Book Expo America for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . . 
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run. 
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .  
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. 
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
Pure is the sort of book that is hard to review. There were things I loved about it, and there are things I didn’t.

Julianna Baggott’s writing is certainly impressive. She has a unique style and it fits this type of story.  Her writing was one of the stronger aspects of the story.

The description of the post detonation landscape and the people who inhabit it are chilling, horrific and wonderfully vivid. I could imagine this world, and the horrors the people faced and what they had to do in order to survive. The fusions between people and the items around them at the time of the detonations were hard to read, but quite realistic. In contrast the people of the Dome are pure, unblemished and live a much different life. The Dome holds it’s own sinister secrets under the veil of helping humanity.

The characters of Pressia and Partridge tell the story for the most part. I felt I was able to connect to Partridge more than Pressia. Pressia almost keeps the reader at a distance. She has to in order to survive but Partridge provides a view point that is needed. I also enjoyed Bradwell, a young man who helps Pressia. He’s one of those characters whose tough exterior is due to circumstances and he has a softer underneath. He was wonderfully written.

The biggest issue for me with the book was the pacing. It felt like it read very slowly. The only other issue was the occasional  coincidences of the plot. Characters lucked out being in the right place at the right time, or had things/people appear in the nick of time. It seemed like they were able to find things from “before” a little too easily.

This being part of a series there are a lot of questions left unanswered. I feel like the history of the Dome and how the detonations came to be are just beginning to be flushed out. The secrets revealed in book one will have a huge impact on the characters and I am curious to see what happens in book two. I also think the second book may move a little faster as the world has already been so fully developed.

Julianna’s writing, the amazing world building and some fantastic characters make this an intriguing read. However, be prepared for a slower moving story. It’s a story that won’t be for everyone, but it’s a story that will certainly stay with you long after you’ve finished.

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