Saturday, March 31, 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 am going to start with my Netgalley/ebooks

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (goodreads)
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock (goodreads)
Velveteen by Daniel Marks (goodreads)
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen (goodreads)

Library Haul -

Fault in Our Stars by John Green (goodreads)
All the giftcards are birthday presents from my friends as I celebrated my birthday this past weekend.

The lovely Bethany Griffin sent me some fantastic Masque of the Red Death swag for a giveaway that will be coming up as part of my Masque of the Red Death event. Super excited. The bracelets are amazing.

My delicious birthday cake decorated with the cover of Masque of the Red Death. Such an amazing cake!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, March 30, 2012

My 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:


trailer for Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This looks amazing. I am so pining for this book, I can't wait until May 1! The trailer gives the perfect vibe and I am looking forward to the next chapter in Tris and Four's story.

Book Expo America YA Buzz Panel

The panel for this year's YA Buzz panel was announced. I am super excited for this part of BEA because last year one of the books selected was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer which I ended up LOVING. I am looking forward to hearing what the publishers have to say about the selections this year.

The books selected are

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Skinny by Donna Cooner

I am already very excited about What's Left of Me. Looking forward to learning more about each of these books.


Titanic 3D release

I already have tickets to go see this. I, like every other girl in the world, adored Leonardo DiCaprio when Titanic and Romeo and Juliet came out. He was crazy beautiful in both of these movies. I am thrilled to be able to go see it again. With the 100 year anniversary of this tragic event upon us, it's nice to be able to experience it again. Also, Kate Winslet is stunning in this movie!


Once Upon A Time - Sebastian Stan returns

If you watched Once Upon A Time last Sunday you would have seen the fantastic Sebastian Stan portray the Mad Hatter wonderfully. I was thrilled to find out that we will see him again in Storybrooke and SOON!


My birthday party

I have a birthday coming up soon. April 3 to be exact. However, I will be having a small party tonight to celebrate. I am having cake that will be decorated with the cover for Bethany Griffin's MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. I am super excited to see how it turns out! Pictures to come in a blog post soon!

Weekly Obsessions will be going away for the next 2 weeks. Mainly because I am hosting an awesome Angel event that will be kicking off Monday, so expect my obsessions to be back towards the end of April.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Follow 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: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

I only read one book at a time. I like to focus on the book I am reading. I have had 2 on the go at once before, but it's rare.

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

This weeks question is

Book Blogger Retreat: If you could gather up a handful of book blogger friends to spend a weekend away talking books, where would you go? Tell us about it.

Well, since I am currently in the middle of a colder snap of weather I want to go somewhere warm. Somewhere I could lay on the beach, read all day and drink some Pina Coladas. Talking with my blogger friends over dinner on the beach would be nice as well. Totally need to do this one winter.

Happy Weekend!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Release Date –  April 3, 2012
Publisher Website –  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  549 pages
My Rating- 9/10
**obtained from Netgalley and publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart.
Secrets, royal court intrigue, a steamy romance, and intricate and detailed mythology are just some of the things you have to look forward to in Grave Mercy.

The writing is well paced. The novel, at almost 600 pages, reads much quicker than expected. Robin LeFevers spins a delectable historical tale that will leave you turning the pages late into the night. The historical element is truly fascinating, but the story will speak to anyone. It's a tale of believing in yourself, doing what feels true to yourself, and taking a chance to find your own happiness.

The mythology is very detailed and kept me interested. The convent of assassins, and Death in all his forms play a huge role in the story, and in shaping our heroine along with her future. I loved the mystery and history that came with the convent. It’s true purpose lingered shrouded in secrecy and rituals. I feel like we've just scratched the surface when it comes to this mysterious convent.

Ismae is a character you will enjoy getting to know. Her life starts out quite rough - her father marries her off to a much older man who treats her horrifically on their wedding night. Her father is glad to be rid of her as he never treated her kindly either. She is rescued and brought to the convent where she quickly embraces her training and new life. She wishes nothing more than to serve her saint, and the duchess she is to protect.

I love that Ismae questions things, and acts for herself. It showed her strength of character. She was thankful for the life given to her by the sister of the convent, but she wasn't blindly loyal. She was loyal to her saint and her own intuition. She grows and changes throughout the novel, and we see her become a much more confident and assured young woman.

Duval is the man with whom Ismae enters court with under the guise of being his mistress. Ismae is quickly thrown into a high stakes chess game of court politics and quickly realizes she might be in over her head. The delicate nature of court life, and how things can turn in an instant has always fascinated me. The crosses, double crosses, promises, secrets, lies of courtly life are all found within this story.
The romance in this novel is fully believable. It starts out as a reluctant alliance, and turns into a friendship built on trust and mutual respect. It grows into something more, and the chemistry between Ismae and Duval is swoon worthy. I love that Duval doesn’t look at her as some damaged damsel, and that he trusts her to take care of things. She has training and he knows she can handle it.

Death is such a large part of this story. Ismae's saint is Mortain, the saint of death. Death is looked at in many forms during the novel. We see it being sometimes merciful, sometimes vengeful. It can snatch away someone's chance at redemption, or leave enough time to be give forgiveness. Ismae realizes that perhaps there is more than one way to serve him. It is a huge part of character growth.
This wonderfully written novel has left me excited to read the companion novels that are expected next. With a touch of romance, a lot of action and courtly scandal Robin LeFevers has created a wonderful starting part for other novels. Her secondary characters that are capable of becoming larger parts to the story and I look forward to getting to experience their stories.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Venom

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 Venom by Fiona Paul

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, access to the best balls, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. 
But when Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? 
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself
The cover for this is STUNNING! I love it. I was hooked with the mention of secret societies, a murder mystery and a guy so seductive he'd make Cassandra forget her fiancé. The fact that it takes place in Venice just adds to the mystery and makes me want to read it even more. I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Expected release date - October 30, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tudor Tuesday Event Annoucement

You may have noticed I've been teasing events on the blog and on my Twitter account. I am extremely happy to finally announce Tudor Tuesdays.

This event will lead up to the release of Katherine Longshore's amazing debut novel GILT. We will have giveaways, and fun posts planned each Tuesday starting April 10th.

Each blog will play host to one of King Henry's Queens. You'll get to know a little about them, and get to read an advance teaser from GILT as well!
The blog schedule is as follows

April 10 - Nicole @ Nicole About Town
April 17 - Kathy @ A Glass of Wine
April 24 - Rebecca @ Reading Wishes
May 1 - Harmony @ Radiant Reads
May 8 - Christy @ The Reader Bee
May 15 - Angel @ Mermaid Vision Books
May 22 - Wrap Up on Katherine Longshore's Blog

I hope you're just as excited as we for this awesome event. Stay tuned for more details!

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Release Date –  March 27, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harlequin Teen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating- 9/10
**obtained from Netgalley and publisher for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry's first wife, Persephone.

Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test series is quickly becoming one of my favourites. The first novel set up a wonderful twist on the mythology and some wonderful characters. I was eager to continue Kate’s story and was not disappointed. I enjoyed Goddess Interrupted just as much as the Goddess Test.

Kate and Henry are reunited at the beginning of the book after her summer spent travelling. Kate is hoping for a reunion that will quell some of her fears about what Henry wants from her, and her own feelings of being inadequate to rule the Underworld. However, when they meet it is less than her imagined romantic reunion. They are awkward, shy and have some issues communicating with each other. They are still getting to know each other, and their relationship is going to need work. When they both work at it they are wonderful together. There are times where you want to lock them in a room together and force them to TALK to each other.

I loved Kate’s progression in this novel. She starts off very timid, and wondering how things will be with Henry. She spends a lot of time wondering what the best choice for her is, and what exactly Henry wants from her. Throughout she is aware of what she won’t put up with and what she is willing (or not willing) to sacrifice for others. Once she’s made up her mind she is very determined, and doesn’t back down. We see that she is capable of being Queen of the Underworld, even if she may not quite believe it herself yet. She proves herself to be quite brave, and capable.

This novel introduces us to Persephone, Henry’s first wife. She wasn’t at all what I was expecting. She is complex, and she is still dealing with the mistakes she made. I am intrigued by her and hope she’s in the next book.

The action and pacing is much more intense than the previous novel. I feel that with book one Aimee introduced to her characters and world and with this one she was able to jump right into the story. We get a lot of back story, information, and even more character development.

The stakes for the characters felt real. The King of Titans is a real threat, and there are times you fear for some of our beloved characters. The consequences of what happens in this novel will be felt in The Goddess Inheritance and the battle is just beginning.

Everything I loved about the first story - the characters, romance, pacing, the twist on mythology is all here, but even more prevalent. I love what Aimee has done with the Greek mythology in this installment especially.

Prepare for an ending that packs a punch and will leave you gasping. You’ll be looking for more because you will not want THAT to be the ending. It’s going to be a long wait for the next installment and I can’t wait to see where Aimee takes the story next.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Bethany Fantaskey

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Bethany Fantaskey
Release Date –  February 1, 2009
Publisher Website –  Harcourt
Pages - 351 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**purchased **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The undead can really screw up your senior year ... 
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.
After reading the synopsis of this book I was expecting something a little lighter, maybe a little fluffy and cute. I got something much more complex than I was expecting and ended up enjoying Jessica’s journey.

Bethany Fantaskey’s writing stands out in the novel. The pacing is a little slow at first but the ending more than makes up for the slower start. Her character development is great, and not usual for this type of story. Even the minor characters are developed and it makes the story feel more detailed.

Jessica is really the heart of the story. She reacted the way anyone would to someone showing up and claiming to be your fiancé, never mind vampire. She wanted nothing to do with him, and thought he was crazy. I loved that she didn’t just fall into Lucius arms. Once she accpted Lucius' story she took the time to look at her options before making any decisions, and even tried to do what was best for her (even if she might of secretly wanted something else). She was caring, determined, smart, and quite logical.

Lucius caused me concern. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to enjoy the romance aspect of this novel as a result. If Bethany had not provided insight into Lucius with letters he wrote to his Uncle I would have not enjoyed this novel as much as I did. The letters showed a humorous, more likeable side to him that needed to be there. I often asked myself what Jessica would see in him because while it was obvious what he would see in Jessica, I had a harder time liking him. These letters helped show a side that Jessica would like, and as a result I started to warm up to him. I enjoyed his humorous insights to the students at Jessica’s school most of all. I usually ended up giggling at parts of his letters. They were some of my favourite parts of the novel.

The vampires in this novel are cruel. They do not hesitate to torture, and punish what they consider wrongdoings. Lucius has been raised in this environment and it reflects in his behaviour. He and Jessica are very different, and yet bring out good qualities in each other. Jessica's confidence is brought to the surface by Lucius, and she sees herself in a new way thanks to him. She is gentle and caring with Lucius, something he is not used to. He starts to look at his upbringing and how it made what he is. The American lifestyle, and Jessica's kindness affect him in ways he did not expect.

As we get to the end of the novel it takes a darker turn, and Jessica must stand up and become the princess she was born to be, her clan of vampires, and Lucius himself depend on it. While the novel ends on a satisfying ending, I am happy to continue Jessica’s tale and see her continue to grow.

Saturday, March 24, 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.

Starting my IMM with the eGalley copies I got for review this week

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (goodreads)
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini (goodreads)

Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen, and Harper Collins for the chance to review. I am a huge fan of Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, so I am so excited to dive into this one. Starcrossed left me wanting more, so I am excited to get to read Dreamless.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (goodreads)
Scarlet by A C Gaughen (goodreads)

Of Poseidon was provided for review by Raincoast Books. Huge thanks to them. I obtained Scarlet from my library. I am very excited for both of these I have heard nothing but amazing things about both. Of Poseidon especially.

Happy reading everyone.

What I Love This Week...

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:


Cassandra Clare book news

You may have heard that Cassandra Clare sold a new trilogy of books. These will take place AFTER her Mortal Instruments series and in LA. While the Mortal Instruments series takes place in the 1990's these will be current date. I am excited to see what happens to everyone who is still alive at the end of Mortal Instruments as they will have brief cameos, mentions, etc. As always I hope Magnus Bane is in them. LOVE him. The title of this series is The Dark Artifices with the first book being released in 2015.


The Hunger Games

The only word that comes to mind is AMAZING. I thought the entire cast did a fantastic job. Jennifer Lawrence was PERFECT as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson  was wonderfully sweet as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth was great as Gale. I loved Lenny Kravitz as Cinna SO MUCH. Donald Sutherland is going to make a chilling President Snow for the later books, and Stanley Tucci was amazing as Ceaser Flickman.Obviously, the books are better (they always are) but as far as adaptations go - they got it right. The little changes they made were not a big deal (to me anyways). I cried, I gasped, and was fully entertained the entire time. I can't wait to see this movie again. My only question is - Who is going to be playing that hottie Finnick Odair in Catching Fire?!

Snow White and the Huntsmen Trailer # 2

I want to see this movie NOW!!!!! This looks amazing, and visually stunning.

Charlize Theron is perfect as the Evil Queen. The way she says "Let them come" at the end gives me shivers. I was sceptical of the casting of Kristen Stewart, but Charlize has won me over and I will see this.

I also love how Charlize delivers these killer lines -
"Lips red as blood, hair black as night. Bring me your heart, my dear, dear Snow White.”
Seriously chilling, and I have a feeling this is going to be one of the top movies of the summer.


Once Upon A Time - Alice in Wonderland episode

This promo looks amazing. I have a feeling Sebastian Stan's Mad Hatter is going to impress. He looks creepy and definitely unbalanced. I love this show so much, if you're not watching it you should be!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Follow 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:

What is the longest book you’ve read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

Wow! I haven't read a lot of books that are that long. I can think of the Harry Potter series (the later books) and I LOVE that series. The books tend to not feel long.

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

This weeks question is

Bookish Trends: What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you'd like to see more of?

I have noticed some trends. Insta-love is one of them. I don't mind insta-lust and even the whole insta-love thing can work if done well, but usually it's just very unrealistic.

Genres are trends. There are a whole bunch dystopian novels coming out and that seems to be a trend that isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The trend I hope continues is the stronger female characters that have been starting to happen. We could always use more strong female examples in all forms of entertainment.

Happy Weekend!

Spring Release Advance Buzz!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and flowers will soon be in bloom. I love nothing more than preparing for the summer and reading indoors on the rainy spring days.

This spring there are some amazing titles to assist you with those rainy afternoons, or maybe those days at the beach if you read them later this summer!

I have read a couple of books that really impressed me so I am going to highlight them here (because you know I haven't told everyone to read them already).

Here are my Buzz Worthy selections for the Spring/Summer 2012 season -

1. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

What’s it about?

A plague, a crumbling society, a debauchery club, a girl looking to forget, some seriously hot guys, and it's all based on the tale by Edgar Allen Poe.

Why I found it Buzz Worthy

The writing is amazing. Bethany is insanely talented. Her story pulled me in immediately. The world she has created, the characters, and feeling you are left with all add up to a book you'll be dying to get your hands on.

It also doesn't hurt that I adored Will. He's my current book boyfriend. LOVE him!

Release date April 24, 2011

2. Gilt by Katherine Longshore

What’s it about?

This novel is filled with Tudor court intrigue. You may know how Catherine Howard's story ends, but this novel provides a unique point of view - her friend Kitty Tylney. It deals with friendship, loyalty, trust, and betrayal.

Why I found it Buzz Worthy

As someone with a huge interest in Tudor history, especially King Henry and his wives, I was drawn into the story right away. It's all in the way Katherine Longshore gets you to that inevitable ending Catherine Howard meets and she does it brilliantly. The novel focuses a lot on friendship and will be intriguing for anyone regardless of historical element.

Release date May 15, 2012

Two titles that I think worthy of adding to your reading list. I also happen to have special events coming up for both of these titles closer to the release date!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday......Velveteen

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 Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days.It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.
But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. 
Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.
The cover for this is amazing. So chilling and Gothic, and so eye catching. The synopsis? AMAZING! Velveteen sounds like a flawed, but awesome character and I am looking forward to meeting her. Also that whole hot co-worker thing...can not wait to meet him either!

Expected release date - October 9, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Release Date – February 21, 2012
Publisher Website – Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**purchased **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?
Reading this novel took me longer than I was expecting it to. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it (I totally did) or that it was not engrossing (totally was). It took me longer because I kept stopping to listen to music. Each of the chapter titles is the name of a song. Listening to the song prior to reading the chapter provided a unique reading experience, and so many of them are fantastic songs. It's a lovely touch as it provides a soundtrack for the book.

Brie, just 16 years old and dead. Cause of death? Heartbreak…literally. Her boyfriend Jacob tells her that he doesn’t love her and Brie’s poor heart snaps in two. This could have been awkward if not handled properly but Jess Rothenberg makes this seem plausible and realistic.

Jess Rothenberg’s writing style is perfect for this time of story. She mixes humour, and touching moments so wonderfully. She manages to make you relate to the characters, even when they are not at their best. She mixes the 80s with current times flawlessly and manages to make this novel seem nostalgic and fresh at the same time.

Brie’s voice immediately resonates with you. She’s this adorable, full of life teenager that loves her family, her dog and her best friends. She starts out a little young, and naïve but grows throughout the book. There are times when you want to scream at her and make her see reason but ultimately you’ll forgive her because she learns from her mistakes and takes responsibility.

Taking the journey with Brie through the different stages of grief allowed the reader to really understand her. It also helped to know she was working through something that would eventually end at acceptance. There are some stages (this means you anger) that Brie was not the like likeable person. She was vengeful, single focused and wanted to lash out. The old say of "no fury like a woman scorned" rings true in Brie's case. It makes her eventual progression feel earned.
Patrick, tour guide and 80s hottie is there to help Brie reach acceptance. He’s full of charisma, funny one liners, and seriously reminds me of someone from a John Hughes movie. He rides a motorcycle! Basically, he’s hot. The chemistry between him and Brie is fun. It’s filled with banter, genuine friendship with a tease of the romance that could be.

What I loved most about this book were the twists and surprises that you experienced along the way. Patrick has his own mysterious past that we unravel along with Brie that provides some shocking moments.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is one of those books that will make you laugh, cry, and even have you doing both at the same time. It’s about the power of love, forgiving yourself and others, and taking responsibility for your actions.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Dead to You by Lisa McMann
Release Date –  February 7, 2012
Publisher Website –  Simon Pulse
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 243 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**obtained from blogger meet up **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...
I had only read one Lisa McMann book previous to this, which is Cryer’s Cross. If you read my review you’ll know it wasn’t really the book for me. Dead To You, however, was simply enthralling from the very first page.

The story premise may sound simple - a young boy is kidnapped and years later is returned to his family. The complexity comes from the emotions each of the family members face while adjusting to Ethan’s presence, while trying to bring back some form of  normalcy to their lives. The feelings range from relief, guilt, resentment, and everyone is just overwhelmed.  Media crews, family fights, and accusations put everyone on edge. It’s an all too realistic portrait of what a family might face in this type of situation.

Ethan will pull at your heart strings. He has had a tough life, and feels conflicted about not remembering his family. He still cares about the woman who essentially raised him and he is just doing his best to fit back into his life.

Blake his younger brother still feels bitter about the fact that Ethan got into the car that fateful day. He wants to know why Ethan did it and feels that Ethan is responsible for tearing the family apart. He is also suspicious of Ethan’s memory loss and even voices his opinion that he doesn’t believe that the real Ethan has returned to them.

Gracie the sweet younger sister is met with a little resentment on Ethan’s part. He feels she is a “replacement child” for him after he went missing. Once Ethan bonds with her they end up having very sweet relationship. She’s the one person in the family that accepts Ethan and didn’t know him from before. She was cute, and I really liked her and she brought out another side to Ethan that was refreshing to see.

The ending packs a punch and will leave you heartbroken. Lisa manages to convey the utter devastation the ending brings with just a few paragraphs. While the ending was one I thought of while reading the book, the twist Lisa puts on it keeps it fresh and surprising.

This book made me want to reach out and hug my young nieces and hold them tight. A missing child is pretty much the worst nightmare a family can go through, and as Lisa shows in this haunting novel, the devastation and heartache caused from something like this will impact a family forever, no matter what the outcome.

Saturday, March 17, 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 IMM this week is two books and both ebook copies so I have no physical books to take a picture of.

First from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction I received -

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore (goodreads)

I also borrowed from the library -

Little Bee by Chris Cleave (goodreads)

Angel Eyes will be part of the angel event I am planning that will be starting in April. Little Bee is a bookclub selection that I am pretty excited to read.

Happy reading everyone!

What I Love This Week...

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 Velveteen by Daniel Marks

GASP! Have you seen this yet? I love this cover. It's gothic, creepy and it fits the synopsis perfectly. Seriously LOVE it. It's one of my DYING to get my hands on books and this cover has made me want to have it even more. I love that splash of pink against the dark image. It makes it stand out and will certainly be eye catching on shelves at book stores.

2013 Books That I am excited for

There are two titles that keep catching my eye.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

This is being described as a Bonnie and Clyde type story. The Goodreads synopsis mentions Las Vegas and two desperate teenagers. Love the sound of this and I expect it'll be a little heartbreaking as well have some great action.
Two teenagers who, in search of a better life, run away to Vegas, but realize they can't run fast enough when they end up wanted by the police, out of money, and out of options, pitched as a YA Bonnie and Clyde
Sweet Nothings by Sarah Beth Durst

Just read this Goodreads synopsis
About a teen in the paranormal witness protection program, who, haunted by dreams of carnival tents and tarot cards, must remember her past and why she has strange abilities before a magic-wielding serial killer hunts her down.
Paranormal witness protection? Carnival tents? Magic wielding serial killer? AWESOME! It sound like it could be creepy and I am so curious about this carnival she keeps dreaming about.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

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:

What is the best book you've read in the last month? What is the worst book you've read in the last month?

Ok, I am going to consider the last month the last 30 days and say Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. I loved it and seriously wish I could give it more than 5 stars. If I have to select one that I read in March....that would be Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

I don't think any of the books I've read are the worst. However, the book I've read in March that I did not like as much was House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

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

This weeks question is

Q Social Networking: Do you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog? How has it benefited your book blogging experience? If not, how do you promote your blog? Share your twitter handle and/or Facebook link!

I use Twitter to promote my blog. I use it as a tool to help get my reviews out there in the hopes someone might be motivated to take a look at the book. It's benefited me by allowing me to let authors know how much I enjoyed their book. It's also provided me with a way to get my reviews to the publisher, and talk to fellow book bloggers. My Twitter handle is @kathycoe.

Happy Weekend!

Emotional Reactions to Books

Have you ever done the following while reading

Cried ?
Thrown the book across the room?
Laughed out loud ?
Screamed out loud?
Hugged the book?

I am pretty sure some of those are familiar if you’re a book lover. The physical reactions we have to books have always fascinated me. Why someone reacts one way and someone else reacts different to the same book. The fact that a series of words can invoke different things in different people is pretty amazing. There are some people who react all the time (totally ME) and others who don’t react at all. Our connection to the characters, the story and the words the author uses can be incredibly powerful. These reactions are why I read. When an author can make it feel real, and make you connect so strongly it’s simply magic.

I decide to highlight some of the books I’ve read that have caused the biggest reactions out of me while reading them.

I have to say that the books that made me cry the most are Forbidden by Tabitha Sazuma and Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares. Tabitha’s novel is compelling, devastating and you wish for a different ending for these characters. Ann’s novel made me cry because the death in this novel was of my favourite character, I am around the same age as the character, and after 4 books I had become attached to these characters.

I have only ever thrown one book across the room. One Day by David Nicholls. The ending jarred me, made me so angry I had to get my emotions out so I took it out on the book. If you’ve read this book I am curious to see if anyone else had this reaction. At least one other girl in my book club did the same thing once finishing.

I also remember have a pretty violent reaction to Calla Tora after reading Bloodrose (the ending to the Nightshade series). This was simply a case of a character angering me enough that I wished I could shake her.

Moving on to much happier emotions….those books that made me laugh, smile, or otherwise left me in fun happy place.

Stephanie Perkins, without a doubt, writes books that make me want to hug them. Seriously, I hugged both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door while reading them. I also tend to have a huge grin on my face while reading them. If I need cheering up I know I can count on either book to do that.

There are plenty other books I could talk about and I hope to discover plenty more. Thank you to all the authors out there whose words created a little magic and caused me to feel; not matter what my reaction.

What about you? What books have made you laugh, made you cry, made you want to throw them across the room? What is it about the written word that causes such strong emotions in so many of us?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday...Black City

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 Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
This has a slight Romeo and Juliet sound to it. I love the idea of humans and "Darklings" and the whole war between the two sides. It sounds like the Darklings might be sort of like vampires which is awesome. I am super excited for this one and I can't wait for November.

Expected release date - November 13, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Release Date –  July 5, 2007 (first released)
Publisher Website –  David Fickling Books/Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**purchased **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.
Sometimes a story will grab hold of you and not let go. Sometimes a character will touch you and cause you to care about them so completely because the author has made them all too real. Before I Die is such a story.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Jenny Downham and was immediately drawn in by her writing. It’s emotional, causes you to feel, and she does it with the simplest phrases. I am very much looking forward to reading something else by her.

Tessa is a wonderfully complicated character. Your feelings for her are complicated. Yes, she is a bit preoccupied with herself (maybe stemming on selfish) but at the same time you understand. She’s dying, why shouldn’t she be a little selfish? You do get to care about her, simply because of the way she tackles her illness, the way she embraces what little bit of life she has left, and the way she realizes what is really important in the end. Each time she gets to experience something on her list you silently cheer inside. Each feeling, each emotion, each touch is cause for celebration even as the novel nears it’s unavoidable ending.

I loved that Tessa wasn’t like the main characters you usually find in books like this. Tessa does not go quietly. She is not afraid to scream, yell and admit how much what is happening to her sucks. She doesn’t try to hide it, or lessen the burden for others. She embraces the idea of living her life to the fullest while she can, no matter what. She doesn’t let anything stop her from completing her list of tasks. It shows you that cancer can be filled with such devastating heartbreak, but there are moments in between that shine the brightest light and Tessa chooses to live for those.

Adam is such a wonderful guy. Literally the boy next door. He is there for Tessa in so many ways even as she pushes him away.  My favourite scene has to be when Tessa sees that Adam has written her name EVERYWHERE as she is driving home from the hospital.  He knew one of the items on the list was to become famous so he made sure her name was everywhere. It was romantic, sweet, and shows exactly what Adam is like. The last few weeks/days/hours of Tessa’s life are ones where Adam sits by her side and I love that he doesn’t run from the pain. He knew it was coming and he loved Tessa anyways, even knowing he would be the one left to pick up the pieces of himself after.

The last few pages, when Tessa’s illness has her hovering between reality and a medicated state is wonderfully written and heartbreaking. You will be reaching for the tissues as she leaves her hopes and wishes for her family. You will want her and Adam to have just one more minute together, one last touch because of the all together too brief time they got to share.

Before I Die will cause you to cry, think about your own “To Do Before I Die list” and leave you wanting to tell everyone you care about that you love them…simply because you don’t know when it’ll be the last time. It’s a book that will touch you and leaves a lasting impression. If anything it teaches you to live, love and laugh as loud as you can each and every day. It’s a message I want to carry with me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Release Date –  March 2, 2010
Publisher Website –  Atria /Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 532 pages
My Rating- 6/10
**borrowed from a friend**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
This novel was a book club selection. I have read previous Jodi Picoult books and enjoyed them. Plain Truth, Salem Falls and The Pact come to mind. However, for me, House Rules was not one I would recommend to someone just discovering Jodi Picoult. As mentioned, I feel she has novels that better showcase her talent, and ones that have a more developed plot

Jodi Picoult’s writing tends to deliver you a premise that requires you to think. There is no right or wrong, everything is shades of grey. You are supposed to feel conflicted about what is going on. Her writing follows a similar pattern in most of her books. I find that this pattern is something I am expecting and was able to guess the “twist” of the story at the end pretty early on in the novel. It just felt very predictable, and I wonder if that is because I already know her style.

The characters in House Rules are all flawed, but relatable. You can mostly understand why each one does what they do, even when they are infuriating you for doing it.  The novel is told from different perspectives and I did find that some of them sounded the same at times. It made it harder to distinguish one character from another and I didn’t really feel connected to them as a result.

I once wanted to study criminology. Might be a little strange, but I have always been interested in shows like CSI, American Justice, etc. Jacob’s obsession with crime scenes, Dr Henry Lee, and Crimebusters (the novel’s version of CSI) was interesting. Jacob’s entire character was the most interesting and developed in the story.

I felt the novel really shined with Jacob, and the impact on the family. I could have read more about that part of the plot and been quite happy. Theo, Jacob’s brother, was someone I felt for. He truly was just trying to get a sense of everything and is not very happy about basically being ignored by his stretched thin already mother.

I did learn quite a bit about Aspergers during the coarse of the novel. However rather than feeling like Ms Picoult had done her research and incorporated it into the story, I sometimes felt like I was reading a textbook. It was more technical than applied to the story.

The ending was a little infuriating for me. It was very open and didn’t really resolve what I wanted resolved. You are left with some pretty big questions. I literally turned the last page and expected to see more. I wanted some form of closure, especially since this is a stand alone novel.

While there are some things I found ok in the story, I would personally recommend others if you are interested in this particular author. House Rules was lacking something I found in her other novels that prevented me from connecting with it the way I wanted to.

Saturday, March 10, 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 only have one new book this week to show you. I had to run out and purchase it after Audrey from Holes in my Brain posted the trailer for the movie made from this book.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham (goodreads)

Since it's only one book I am going to just put a picture of the cover from Goodreads up here. I have read it already and it left me a bawling mess. I can't wait to see the movie...hopefully they don't screw up this book.

I leave you with the trailer. Thanks again Audrey for making me want to rush out and get it.

Happy Reading everyone!

Friday, March 9, 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:


cover for Venom by Fiona Paul

Ahhhh! WANTS NOW! I love this cover. The synopsis (check it out on Goodreads) also sounds amazing. Venice? Murder? Secret Societies? Delicious Boys? SIGN ME UP! I am pining over this one bad and can't wait to read it.

cover for Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

I love London. I especially love guys from London...that sexy. I also happen to love this cover. I love the synopsis - she starts receiving romantic texts that leads to a chase through London to find out who is sending them. I love novels that have the city as a character and London can pull that off. I am really curious to read this one. Visit Goodreads to add it to your to be read list.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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: Have you ever looked at book's cover and thought, This is going to horrible? But, was instead pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.

Hmmm....I try to not judge a book by it's cover. Sure, I drool over pretty cover and they have made me want to find out more about a book, but it's the synopsis that hooks me.

The only covers I can recall having a reaction to that was severely negative recently are the new covers for the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. I don't think they fit the story at all. The books are so wonderful that I would hate for the covers to prevent someone from reading them.

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

This weeks question is

Q Is there a particular author you wish got more recognition? Pick one author & tell us why we should read their work.

Tabitha Suzuma. Her novel Forbidden is especially one I wish people would read. The subject matter may be a little off putting for some, but it's so wonderfully written. I love that her words make you feel and stay with you long after you've finished the book.

Happy Weekend!

Harper Collins Canda March Madness!

64 Books! 1 Champion!

The Canadian division of Harper Collins hosts a fun event in March called March Madness. It lasts 6 weeks and at the end one book will be crowned champion.

Sounds fun right? What if I told you Harper Collins was also giving away prizes? Bookish prizes at that. You might even be lucky and win all 64 books.

In order to be entered all you have to do is VOTE! Pick your favourite and spread the word. Gain support for your choice by using the Twitter hashtag #HCCMarchMadness, do a blog post in defence of you your favourite, and just spread the word anyway you can.

To vote visit the official website and be sure to follow Savvy Reader for updates and more information.

If you want more details about taking part and the event itself you can find those at the Savvy Reader website.

My choice for the champion this year? Veronica Roth's Divergent! An action packed, thought provoking dystopian that happens to have one of the hottest YA guys. Veronica's writing will have you turning the pages as you follow Tris on her journey. #DivergentNation

Get out there, spread the word and most of all VOTE!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Girl of Nightmares

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 Girl of Night mares by Kendare Blake

 ******************Spoilers for Anna Dressed in Blood**********************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.
I am so excited for this one. Anna Dressed in Blood really surprised me and I enjoyed it immensely. I can't wait to see what is next with Cas and Anna.

Expected release date - August 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Release Date – March 6, 2012
Publisher Website – Sourcebook Fire/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 367 pages
My Rating- 9/10
**obtained from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…” 
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her. 
A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…
You may have read angel books before. This however is not your typical angel novel. Pulse pounding action, steamy scenes and great characters had me turning the pages late into the night.

Violet is a character that has to grow on you. You may not love her at first, but she will win you over by the end of the novel. She makes mistakes, is a little reckless, and you may want to shake her sometimes but she is also strong, determined, and willing to sacrifice herself for others.

There is romance, and somewhat of a triangle emerges. The two guys in Violet's life are Phoenix and Linc. Linc is the guy that has been there for her. Sweet, caring, and Violet feels she can share anything with him. I adored him right from the moment he says this line "'Did you ever think we would be anything other than unbelievable?". Seriously - SWOON!

Phoenix is temptation personified. He pushes Violet’s buttons in all the right ways. I felt him to be a little too aggressive, and was not a fan of certain things he did. However, there is no denying that his chemistry with Violet is sizzling and many will love him. What I love about both of these guys is that they are on pretty equal footing. Each has done sweet things for Violet and each has lied to her for their own reasons.

The strongest aspect of this novel is the story itself. The mythology is detailed and interesting. I am still not 100% sure I fully understand the angel hierarchy and what it means in the story. I am especially curious to learn more about the whole angel of light vs. angel of dark aspect of the story. I hope it’ll be explored more in the next books. The foundation for a rich back story is there and there are many questions still to be answered in Violet’s story. Jessica Shirvington writes in such a way that you immediately want to read more. Her writing has an addictive quality to it that makes you want to continue reading.

Jessica Shirvington has done what I didn’t think possible. She’s turned angels into sexy, seductive, and deadly beings. My heart pounded with the action. I found myself blushing with the steamy scenes and Violet is a heroine you will grow to like. I am very much looking forward to continuing this adventure in the next installments.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Release Date – February 14, 2012
Publisher Website –  HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**Obtained from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Bewitching can be a beast. . . . 
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t. 
I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age. 
You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out. 
I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it. 
Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. 
Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.
I really enjoyed Kendra in Beastly and picked up Bewitching hoping to find out more about the mysterious witch. While we do find out how Kendra first realized she was a witch (there is a fun twist on Hansel and Gretel involved) she is not the main character. This novel really belongs to Emma. In a way, the synopsis is a little misleading.

The narration does switch view points. Parts are told from the point of view of Kendra, Emma, Prince Louis of France, and Doria.  The switch up of the point of views work in this story. It could have been confusing and jarring but they are woven together wonderfully with Kendra’s narration being the bridge.

I find Alex Flinn’s strong point is the re-imaging of fairytales. The Prince Louis story was the weakest in my opinion. There wasn’t enough history for you to learn anything, and the link to the fairytale felt a little off. I enjoyed the pure fairytales much more. The Little Mermaid re-telling (Doria’s story) was my favourite. It meshed the Titanic with The Little Mermaid tale wonderfully.

I loved that not all the fairytales in this story had a happy ending. A vast majority of the original tales did not. They have been adapted and changed  and often made to include a happily ever after outcome.  It felt more true to the original tales this way.

Emma’s tale is a fun and interesting twist on the classic Cinderella. Told from the point of view of Cinderella’s step-sister. I like that the story made you think about the other side. It showed that not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have grey areas. The notion of believing in yourself, standing up for yourself and that you can make your own happiness are great themes that are explored in Emma story. Emma truly grows and comes to love herself for herself which is so important, especially for teenagers.

I enjoyed the fairytale aspect and the rather fun twists on the tales, but would have loved to have learned more about Kendra, the bewitching witch.

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