Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays - Seasonal Tales; Winter

Once Upon a Winter’s Night

Written by: Dennis L. McKiernan

Released: July 1, 2001 by Roc

Summary: From the bestselling author of the Mithgar novels comes a new version of a classic French fairy tale. A young woman marries a mysterious Prince, only to have magic steal him away-and, once upon a winter's night, her quest begins.

This was a book that I had bought at some random book booth at a small strip mall because the cover reminded me of the old fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon and I love the movie The Polar Bear King. Really, it’s as simple as that. I barely even read the back of the cover to see what it was really about.

Thankfully, it turned out to be some amazing money spent because not only is it a fantastic book – and a great adaptation of the fairy tale – but it opened the door to the rest of the series which was still being published.

I loved Camille as a heroine and as her journey took her from her home, into the summer kingdom, and then on an adventure to find her Prince, I really connected with both her and her quest, not to mention the story itself. This is one of those books that you get more and more into as it goes on until you’re on the edge of year seat at the very end. And even though I knew how the story ended, it was great to read how it unfolded – the events sometimes throwing me for a loop since I never expected them.

Sadly, there are a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads, and it makes me wonder if I missed something when I read it the first time since I was so enthralled with the fairy tale aspect of it. I definitely think that I’m going to have to re-read the book soon; which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while since it’s been well over 5 years since I read it the first time. However, from memory, this was a 9/10 book for me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Monday - Merry Grinchmas!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Written by: Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman based upon the book by Dr. Seuss

Directed by: Ron Howard

Released: November 17, 2000 by Universal Studios

Rating: PG
Summary: Based on the book by the famous Dr. Seuss. Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Who's, an almost mutated sort of munchkinlike people. All the Who's love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Whos which he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriend the Grinch.

I re-watched this the other night since I’ve had Christmas shoved down my throat since the first week of November. Seriously, I decorated the huge Christmas tree in the foyer where I work the first week of November, they started the Christmas music on the 12th, and my mother has been decorating since last week and there is now a wreath on my bathroom door. Oh, and a Christmas tree in the kitchen. And Santa on the front lawn. It’s almost enough to make me scream. But at least I’m almost done my Holiday shopping...

Anyways, I had a hankering to watch this movie and so I did. Sure, it took me two tries since I fell asleep the first time, but watch it I did.

I had forgotten how little Little J (of Gossip Girl fame) was when this movie was made. She’s tiny and not dressed as a hooch with raccoon eyes. And Jim Carey is hilarious.

It may just be me, but watching this after several years of not seeing it – it came out 10 years ago, I can’t believe it – but I never registered just how many sexual innuendos that there were in the movie. They weren’t obvious enough that younger kids would understand them, but watching it I did more than one double-take at what was said. But, this is something that most children’s movies do so that the adults dragged to see it aren’t ready to pluck their own eyeballs out by the end.

I had also forgotten how great this movie is. It can’t compare to the original, because, let’s face it, that’s a classic that will forever live on, but this is a fantastic adaptation of a book into a feature length movie. I can only imagine how hard it was to take a tiny book like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and stretching it to be over an hour and a half without destroying the entire thing. It’s almost like a Christmas miracle...

This movie, while it didn’t get me in the Holiday spirit, it did make me hate it slightly less for happening so soon. Right now, I’m just happy that no snow has stuck around for any length of time – fingers crossed. So, I’m going to give this movie an 8/10. It’s a great Christmas movie that’s good for the entire family.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cover Release

Ohhhh I can't wait to read this one! Granted, I have to make it through the rest of the series, but the point is I can't wait for this to be released.

Cruel Love

Written by: Kate Brian

Released: June 7, 2011

I swear, I was on Goodreads only a few days ago and this wasn't up yet, but now it is and it's listed as being the last in the series.

I'll admit, I've peeked at the Wikipedia outlines of the books in the series even though I’m only just finished the second, so I know that the fifth ends in a major cliff-hanger. I just wish that there was an actual summary released, but I’ll just have to keep tuned in.

In My Mailbox (29)

As always, the disclaimer relinquishing me from claiming that I had the amazing idea of IMM; that brilliance goes to Kristi of The Story Siren.

This past week I frequented Chapters once and buckled to purchase

Beautiful Disaster by Kate Brian
Perfect Mistake by Kate Brian
Sweet Deceit by Kate Brian
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
While I Live (The Ellie Chronicles 1) by John Marsden

To be fair, I needed to get books 2-4 of Kate Brian’s Privilege series to go with books one and five that I already had. And the John Marsden book goes with the Tomorrow series – speaking of, it’s so difficult to find book 6 in that series and I wonder how I’m going to locate books 2 and 3 for this trilogy.

Then, I’ve been wanting to read Eileen Cook’s book for a while now, so I grabbed it while I was there.

So this is what I got in my mailbox. Let me know what you got in yours!

And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fairy Heavy Metal 1.5

Winter’s Passage

Written by: Julie Kagawa

Released: June 1, 2010 by Harlequin

Summary: Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

An eBook exclusive story from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

So as soon as I remembered that there was this e-book (I blogged about it a few months ago), I downloaded the PDF and read it.

Where I really enjoyed the first book, and I’m enjoying the second, this filled in the gaps but left me with nothing. Honestly, the only thing going for this is that it does fill in a few questions that I had while reading the beginning of the second book, and it’s short. Oh, and the cover follows general Iron Feyness and is gorgeous. Whoever designs the artwork is amazing.

While I would recommend reading this between the first and second, it’s really not all that needed since any form of imagination could fill in the gaps. But, if you’re looking for an Iron Fey fix, this is a great, short, way to read about the characters that you like without it taking too long. I'm giving it a 4/10.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fairy Heavy Metal

The Iron King

Written by: Julie Kagawa

Released: February 1, 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

It took me long enough to get around to reading this, but I eventually did and all I can say is that it’s crazily similar to the movie Labyrinth. Seriously, the little brother is taken by evil creatures, the older sister must endure the journey to saving him, there’s major sexual tension between her and the “evil” fairy, and there’s a time limit thrown in randomly. However, all similarities aside, I really did enjoy reading this book and I can’t wait to read the second (and third and fourth).

Meghan is a likeable character, though rather nearsighted and a little drippy, but I like her spunk and independent nature. She was also written realistic enough that there were many parts in the book where I could picture the looks of disdain on her face, as well as other emotions.

Then there’s the great Puck vs. Ash debate. Personally, I’m rather on the fence over this one. I can see where Ash with all his brooding and star-crossed appeal would be a good match, but Puck has the whole friend thing going on along with his humour and protectiveness. I think that I’ll have to read the second book to cement any stance on it, so we’ll have to wait and see.

The plot, while eerily similar to Labyrinth, twines together the idea of fairy kingdoms rather well and I like how they take classic and well-known fairies and turn them into more relatable and moder characters. Oberon and Titania, along with Puck, are some of Shakespeare’s best characters and I really liked how A Midsummer Nights Dream was incorporated into it as well.

Also, this cover is gorgeous. Seriously, it's a work or art.

In all, this was a great debut in my mind and it definitely made me want to read more about the characters and their lives. I’m giving it an 8/10.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all bloggers and readers from the U.S.

Have a great meal and a fantastic holiday!

Happy Holiday Contest!

Well, since the pre-contest contest went so well, I officially have a book to feature in my Holiday contest! Thanks to everyone who voted for a book. From that pre-contest, six people get a leg up and automatically get one entry and are eligible for two so long as they enter this contest!

Those people are;

Cass (Words on Paper)

Jamie - I'm a guy, btw!

What's up for grabs is a copy of Lauren Oliver's Delirium which comes out on February 1, 2011! Also, since it will be Christmas, there may be a little something extra included! But that's going to be a surprise since I have no idea right now what it's even going to be.

And for the rules!

1. You must be a follower. You can be old or new, but follow you must.
2. You have to be eligible for The Book Depository's free shipping. You can check here to see if you are!
3. You must respond to this post with a comment stating your;
E-mail address (or a link to where you can be reached)
What you want most for the holidays this year - If you don't celebrate a winter holiday, than just whichever book you are most looking forward to in 2011.
4. You must respond to this post by December 24th.

So there you go! Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - Number Twenty-Eight

So I'm about half-way through reading the third Gail Carriger book, Blameless, and already I can't wait for the fourth book, Heartless, to come out next July and the fifth book, Timeless, in 2012.

I have fallen completely in love with this series of books. I find the characters both intelligent and witty and completely addictive.

Sadly neither book have a cover released yet, but I can't wait to see both!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays - Number One Guardian

You Slay Me

Writen by: Katie MacAlister

Released: September 7, 2004 by Onyx

Summary: The author of The Corset Diaries returns to the realm of the paranormal in this sexy, funny romance that pits Seattle-based Aisling Grey against Drake Vireo, a seriously handsome Parisian dragon in human form. In her job as courier, Aisling is to deliver a precious demonic artifact to a Mme. Deauxville in Paris, but she finds Madame freshly dead, surrounded by a circle of ash. The artifact is then stolen by the fast-talking Drake, who claims that Aisling is no mere courier but in fact a demon lord and his destined mate. Determined to play detective, Aisling summons up a demon only to find herself saddled with one, in the form of a slobbering Newfoundland who wants to go walkies. Drake wants to show her the way dragons mate, and then bodies seem to pile up all over Paris, making Aisling a corpse magnet and top suspect. It's going to take every screwy new ally she's got to solve this murder and adjust to her new life in a strange new world.

First of all, Katie MacAlister books are not ones which should be read in public because people will eventually think that you're completely insane from all the giggling they inspire. Trust me, I used to read every one of her books on the bus ride to and from school and it garnered some strange looks from the locals.

Anyways, this is the first in the Ashling Gray, Guardian series and it's an amazing start to a delightful set of books with characters who are bridged over into some other MacAlister books as well, which is nice. But honestly, how can a person not love a semi-trashy romance which is full of paranormal activity, a ditzy blonde main character and her demon-dog sidekick named Jim? One read and you're sure to fall in love. Plus, the man candy described is fantastic.

Now, if this short review of singing praises isn't enough to convince you that it's a book worth reading, there's a Google preview on the Goodreads page that you can check out before you make up your mind. But, really, this book offers not only romance, but mystery, paranormal creatures and comedy. That combination alone within a book should be enough to make you at least give it a try.

In all, I am giving this book a well-deserved 9/10. Plus as an added bonus, if you fall in love with it as you read, there are four other main books featuring the same characters!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Retired: Extremely Dangerous


Written by: Jon & Erich Hoeber (screenplay) Warren Ellis & Cully Hammer (comic)

Directed by: Robert Schwentke

Released: October 15, 2010

Rating: PG-13

Summary: When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive.

Yet another movie that I went to go see with my mum, but it was definitely a good one to see. I mean, with a stellar cast like this – Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren – it could have gone downhill very quickly like a lot of the recent star-studded movies recently have, but this movie was the perfect combination of amazingness from all corners.

The plot itself was cute (ok, not the right wording, but I’m sticking with it) and entertaining with the right amount of explosions and romance along with the suspense and kick-ass goodness. I mean, being one of the best CIA agents, forced into retirement, only to be hunted because you’re “too dangerous” and all the while having your love interest dragging along behind you in order to save her life; I wish my life was that exciting. As is, this was great to watch and there were times where I was on the edge of my seat.

The script was beautifully crafted and it didn’t have any jumpy moments like some action flicks can have. It flowed so well and incorporated flashbacks beautifully into the current action. Plus, the story itself was great and fresh while appealing to both guys and girls. I mean, my mum really enjoyed the movie and so did I, so there you go.

I’m giving this movie an 8/10 and I would highly suggest that if you’re older that you go and see it. Though it’s only a PG-13 rating, it is all older actors and actresses, so I know that not all younger people would appreciate that; there’s not any eye-candy at all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pre-Contest Contest Winners!

Well, Saturday has come and gone and the clear winner was clearly Delirium by Lauren Oliver, so stay tuned for the next contest featuring that novel.

I want to thank everyone for their amazing book ideas and for taking the time to enter into the contest. Hopefully if you weren't lucky with this giveaway the next one will be better! Now, as for the pre-contest contest, I've decided that everyone who voted for Delirium is going to get a second vote in the next giveaway so long as they enter! And so, the list of extra participants is;

Cass (Words on Paper)
Jamie - I'm a guy, btw!

Then, I did the diplomatic thing and asked my dad to choose a number to decide who won their book choice. And the winner is ...

Tina and her book choice of Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce. As soon as I can, I'll be e-mailing her with all the details.

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I am so excited to participate in the upcoming year of the debut author challenge. It;s a year-long contest that is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren and is a truly amazing  way to both find out and read about new authors and amazing books.

This year, I hope to be able to read;

Eilis O'Neal The False Princess

Beth Revis Across the Universe

Jeff Sampsen Vesper: A Deviants Novel

Lauren DeStefano Wither

Heather Dixon Entwined

Gwen Hayes Falling Under

Lisa and Laura Roecker Liar Society

Megan McCafferty Bumped

Alissa Grosso Popular

Michelle Ray Falling for Hamlet

Sarah J. Maas Queen of Glass

Queen of Glass is the book that I am most definitely looking forward to the most. I read it while it was still on fictionpress.com and it was fantastic then, so i can only imagine how much better it has become.
If you want to participate as well, head over to The Story Siren and sign up. You can reach the form here.

In My Mailbox (28)

Well, as always, props to Kristi over at The Story Siren for creating IMM.

This week in my mailbox (figuratively, of course) I received;

The Daughters Break the Rules by Joanna Philbin

The second cookbook that Jessica Seinfeld just came out with - Double Delicious

And two books in the Kate Brian Privilege series - Privlege and Pure Sin

Sorry for the uncertainty but I'm posting from my phone and the last three books are out in my car since I forgot to bring them inside. Hopefully once I gain computer access later today I can edit this post.

Let me know what's in your mailbox!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sell Your Soul

Another Faust

Written by: Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Released: August 25, 2009 by Candlewick Press

Summary: One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange andelegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”

But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their mostunforgivable sins.

At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

It took me forever to read this book in its entirety. Seriously. I started reading it some time this summer and then dropped it in favour of reading something more interesting. Not that this wasn’t an alright book, but it took over half the story for me to even really get into the plot and the characters.

However, I thought that the characters themselves were really well written in the way that they certainly made you emote feelings towards them while you’re reading. I felt sorry for Bice and Christian, I hated Victoria, Valentin was a jerk in epic proportions, and Belle was just so shallow and yet there was something that really made you feel for her as the book continued. I think that the real motivation for me to finish reading this book was to find out what happened to them and whether or not they got their just desserts. Then there was Madame Vileroy who I just wanted to see wither into a mass of green goo a-la Wicked Witch of the West. I really disliked her, which is what made her such a good character.

The premise of the story was one that you don’t usually find and it was written in a way that I’ve never read before. Normally I’m not one for multiple points of view, which this book did quite well. And though I think that was the initial deterrent for me to put down the book – and it wasn’t the last – it made the entire plot unfold that much better and it added to the entire mystery. The entire idea behind a Faustian agreement is that the person sells their soul to the devil. The way that this book went about displaying how it was done was brilliant, I thought, and very relatable to modern society. I don’t want to give anything away just in case you haven’t read it, but let’s just say that it definitely made me think about things.

But at the end of it all, I just didn’t care for this book. At least not until the last 100 pages or so (at that point I couldn’t read fast enough) and that wasn’t enough to redeem the first 300 pages. So I’m giving it a 4.5/10 though I do want to read Another Pan... when it comes out in paperback or if I can get it from the library. Then again, I’m a total sucker for Peter Pan, so hopefully it’s better than this one and I won’t be disappointed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Parasol's Kick Arse


Written by: Gail Carriger

Released: September 4, 2009 by Orbit

Summary: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

After all the hype and positive reviews that I’ve read about this book (and subsequently the series in general) I was a little hesitant to even pick up this book let alone purchase it. I am, however, extremely glad that I did. Sure, I’ve been on a real YA kick for a while now, but this book was amazing and it made me incredibly thankful that I grabbed a copy. I will admit, though, that it took me a chapter or two to really get into the story; before that I liked it, but just hadn’t found that groove for reading it.

I completely fell in love with Alexia and Lord Maccon, and of course Lord Akeldama, and the story that they were weaved into. The take on Victorian England in this steampunk novel was fantastic – it might have been my first steampunk too, I do believe – and it took the original history and altered it just so that it was completely plausible that it could have happened the way that it was written on these pages. It really just goes to show the amount of time that the author must have put into not only researching the history but the fashion and the language in order to pull this off so beautifully.

The mixing of genres was also amazing to read, but I think that steampunk just goes so well with romance and paranormal that worked without much alteration or loss of the story. Something that this also had in favour for it is that paranormal romances are so hot right now with series such as Twilight and House of Night. I think that the shift from how popular it I in YA novels to adult novels really benefitted this being noticed by more people. Not that it couldn’t have don’t it otherwise, but by “buying in” to the popular genre, it gave the book a little boost.

Personally, I loved this book so much that I ran out and bought the next two (only other two currently) in the series. I can’t wait to read them and I hope that they just get better as they go on. For this book, I’m giving it a 9/10.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Valedictorian Speech

I Love You Beth Cooper

Written by: Larry Doyle

Released: May 8, 2007 by HarperCollins Canada/Eco Press

Summary: Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced:

It could have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And Kevin, Beth's remarkably large boyfriend, is in town on furlough from the United States Army.

Ok, I had no idea that this was a book until after the movie was released and they released the movie tie-in book cover. And I didn’t really care for the movie since I’m not a huge Hayden Panettiere, but I figured that the book was always better, so when I saw it in a used book store for super cheap, I jumped at the chance.

One thing that they got right for the movie was that it was spot on as far as the book went. Seriously, I don’t think that I’ve ever witnessed a movie that was so completely synched with the book. Ever.

Now, the book was one that I greatly enjoyed purely because it was rather stupid (in a good way) and funny though at times it was rather insightful. I also really liked the pop culture references and the movie quotes used all throughout the book. Denis was that epitomized high school nerd who was destined for greater and better things outside of high school, if he only released his time there, who was hung up on the most unattainable girl ever. Then there was Beth who you first see through Denis’ eyes as perfection but you later learn that she’s more than human with plenty of faults. It really showed how you never know a person just by how you see them from a distance.

This book also addressed how trivial high school really is and how there’s more to life while showing just how stupid high schooler’s can be when they think that that time in their life is the everything. It also grasped at several of the main big points of life and how they affect a person whether it was drug use, alcoholism, low self esteem, or an eating disorder while also breaking the stereotype on stereotyped people (does that make sense to anyone but me?). Sure, it targeted the cliché problems, but the fact that it confronted so many is commendable.

Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was how at the beginning of every chapter the image of Denis reflected everything that had happened to him up until that point and how there was a movie quote which reflected what was to come. Those pictures are then translated to the cover and the entire cover art shows Denis' progression throughout the night. I thought that that was rather clever.

In short, I enjoyed this book. It was a good one to read while on break at work and it offered some insight into life in general. It also made me really want to date a Denis Cooverman of my own. I’m giving it a 7/10.

Cover Reveals for Chain Reaction & Awakened

Yeah. Wow. That is one steamy cover if I do say so myself. And personally I can't wait to read it.

Released: May 24, 2011 by Walker Books for Young Readers

Summary: Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

Ever since I read Perfect Chemistry in the summer, I've been wanting to read Rules of Attraction... but I'm also waiting for it to come out in paperback so that it matches the first book. Sadly, it's going to be a while before this comes out in paperback as well, so I'll just have to wait patiently.

Then there's the new reveal for Awakened, the eighth House of Night book.

Released: January 4, 2011 by ATOM

Summary: At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey - or her relationship with her super-hot Warrior, Stark - ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet - who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality - and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?
I didn't care for the last book at all and I'm fully for having the series wrapped up, but this cover is gorgeous and I do want to see what happens next.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Contest Update

As it stands at right this very minute, there’s a four way tie between Matched by Ally Condie, The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. All great books so I don't know how I'm supposed to choose.

So this means that more people need to vote so that there’s not a huge draw, because that would be kind of sad/would suck a little and defeat the purpose of this entire pre-contest contest.

Now, for a nice little twist, I’m seriously contemplating drawing two names from this lovely pot of participants. The first would be between whoever wants the most requested book I order to give them an extra entry to the main giveaway. But the second would be from all the names and would result in the person receiving the novel of their choice.

However, in order to do the second draw (which if it ends up happening I might just do that first and eliminate that person from the other draw so that they don’t wind up winning two books...) there needs to be more participation, thus more books to add to the pile and hopefully making it enough that there’s a clear winner. So tweet, facebook, or blog about this contest - ideally to benefit your book choice – and get some more voters over here!!!

And if you’re tuning in for the first time, head over here to enter!

Wish List Wednesday - Number Twenty-Seven

Lately, all that I've been wanting to discover is a book that is completely different from what has been on the shelves recently. While I know that there are some amazing selections out there that aren't all supernatural or good-girl wants bad-boy, I'm still finding it difficult to find them.

So, for this week's Wish List, I would like some suggestions for some great books to read because I'm getting a little tired of the same-old same-old and I want something fresh and new.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trailer Tuesday 1

I'm going to take a break from Vintage Tuesdays this week to bring you this trailer.

So, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (James Frey and Jobie Hughes) just recently was released in book format, but since this movie has a full-length trailer already made and a release date set for early next year, production started on it earlier this year - months before the book release.

I have to admit that I'm not too sure how I feel about books being optioned before they are actually released though I understand why it would be.

If a book is made into a movie before it's released, it's going to really start buzz not only in the book world but also with people who are more movie-orientated and don't necessarily read a lot. By having it in one medium, it translates to the other, thus upping sales which otherwise might not have been there in the first place. I haven't read the book yet since I just bought it this Sunday, but hopefully the book is worth both the paper that it's printed on and a future movie ticket.

Does that make sense to anyone other than me?

Something that I find rather ironic is that Alex Pettyfer filmed Beastly, also based on a book, well over a year ago and its release is going to be well after this movie.

Ok, so back to this movie. The trailer looks amazing and it definitely made me want to read the book all the more. Admittedly, I found the book on Goodreads before I knew that it was being made into a movie, and I wanted to read it then (I am a huge Roswell, the tv series, fan. Sigh... Michael...), but now I want to read it even more. Just from the trailer, it looks like there's going to be a lot action sequences and bated breath scenes.

I also can't wait for the new year so that I can go see the movie. As long as the trailer isn't boasting all of the good scenes, it looks like it will be fantastic. I just wonder how it will relate to the book.

On a different note, the second book in the series is up on Goodreads and here's the brief summary;

“I can feel it in my bones that he is one of us. And I know somehow, that I must find him.”

Well, it's more of a quote that seems to sum up the basis of the book... but still. Sounds great.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Monday - A Horrible High School Reunion

You Again

Written by: Moe Jelline

Directed by: Andy Fickman

Released: September 24, 2010 by Touchstone Pictures

Rating: PG

Summary: When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, she sets out to expose the fiancée's true colors.

I went with my mum to see this movie a few weeks ago and it was just as I thought it would be; a good mother-daughter movie outing. Because of that, and the actresses who are in this movie, I really wanted to see this movie period. I mean, come on, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver together in a movie is bound to be great, right? And I’ll admit that I’ve had a bit of a girl-crush on Kristen Bell ever since Veronica Mars was on television. That was one great show.

Anyways, the story is very simplistic and cute, but it never really goes beyond that. One thing that is does show, however, is that high school isn’t forever and you’ll get out of it eventually and actually have a real life. Because of that, there wasn’t really much to this movie. There were several laughs, a lot due to Betty White, but the laugh that they really tried too hard with, like in the scenes with Kristin Chenoweth fell flat. In fact, I thought that her character was incredibly annoying.

One definite plus were the cute guys who were in the movie. Though relatively unknown, their hotness made looking at the screen just that much more enjoyable.

This movie was an entertaining way to spend an afternoon, but it’s hardly praise worthy. Don’t get me wrong, it was sweet and funny, but nothing about it was all that special. I’m giving it a 6/10.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (27)

As always, the ever lovely Story Siren gets all credit for IMM and the phenomenon that it had become among the blogs.

Now, as for my IMM this week... as of right this minute it's very sparse (i.e. there's nothing).

BUT!!!!!!!!!!!! If you're Canadian and can get to a Chapters this weekend, there's a sale going on where you get 15% off everything in the store (I do believe) and since I'm so lucky, last weekend when I was there I got a flyer that lets me save 25%! So I'll be hitting that up later today and I'll post my findings after I get back home.

So stay tuned!

*** UPDATE!***

After an hour in Chapters - the lines were really long - I have come away with several books. So, this week in my mailbox I got;

Rampant by Diana Peterfreud
I am Number Four by Pittacue Lore
Virals by Kathy Reichs
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

And finally,
A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

All in all, it was a great week. Let me know what you got in your mailbox - leave a comment below!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flower Language


Written by: Amy Brecount White

Released: March 2, 2010 by Greenwillow Books

Summary: When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write and post this review. Honestly, I finished the book months ago and have just never gotten around to writing the review.

I thought that this would be a nice little book to read – the cover is gorgeous and I sort of went from that – and I wasn’t disappointed. Though slightly fluffy, I really liked the entire flower concept and how flowers have their meaning. I seriously wanted someone to send me flowers soon after I was done reading so that I could find out what all the meanings were.

The characters were your typical boarding school, slightly younger, characters. They were cute and realistic with all forms and cliques represented. The teenage angst was well written, I thought, with the completely pointless bits of life creating the biggest drama imaginable (and I mean that in a good way towards the writing).

Laurel was a likeable character; she was clueless and yet brilliant; basically your typical YA teenager, but her emotions were heartfelt and relatable. Through her the pitfalls of being popular were displayed really well and you could smell the desperation at times, it was that good. Plus, her character was a genuinely good person who wanted to help others even when they were horrible to her.

In all, I’m giving this book a 6.5/10. It was well executed and was amazingly original. I can’t wait to read more by Amy Brecount White; she is a fantastic debut author.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Time for Another Contest!

But, there's a problem. See, I feel as though I'm completely out of the blogger loop on which new releases are the hot-tickets, so here's what I'm going to do.

This post is going to signify a pre-contest contest where you, my lovely readers, will post a reply that states which book you would like to see featured in the giveaway. The book with the most votes will win and the people who suggested that book will all be pre-entered into the contest. Then, they also have to chance to enter again when the actual contest runs. The winners of this pre-contest will be the only ones who will have the possibility of two entries.

Anyways, here are the rules for this post;

The contest will be international, so even if you're not North American you're good to go!

The book that you choose for the response to this post has to be accessible on the Book Depository

You need to be listed as one of the countries that the Book Depository delivers to for free (click link here to check)

The book must be under $20 Canadian

The book can be a pre-order, though that does mean that you’ll have to wait until the release date

You can only enter with one book suggestion

You have until next Saturday to make your request entries

You have to be a follower purely because the real contest will be for followers only - new or old

So, an example of an entry would be as follows;

Hi, omg I love your blog!!!! (ok, maybe not that bit... ahem)

Name, country

Book that you are suggesting – one title only

Preferably you would also leave your blog address, if you have one, or at least something distinguishable about you just in case there are other people with the same name.

Ok, I think that covers it! Let the pre-contest contest begin!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kill or Be Killed - 3


Written by: Suzanne Collins

Released: August 24, 2010 by Scholastic Press

Summary: My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

So, it took me a while to finally read this book, but I did it. I think that I wasn’t wanting the series to end, but there can only be so many Hunger Games before the idea gets tired. Sadly, think that that was slightly the feeling behind this book.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I liked the book. Sure, the other two I enjoyed reading more, but this one was a nice ending to the entire universe. I was more than ecstatic that Katniss ended up with Peeta, (Gale was too much like her for it to ever work)and the whole epilogue didn’t bother me like it did other readers, but the entire book was a bit... dull in comparison.

I mean, come on, compared to the action-packed two previous books and the scariness of the Hunger Games and the arena, having more than half the book in 13 with the rest in the Capital where there were a few chapters of action it just didn’t live up to the others. It just wasn’t as gripping as I thought it would be.

I think that this book was more emotion based than the others since it deals more with the after-effects of years of Hunger Games and the rebellion that was inadvertently started by two teenage “lovers”. It also is focused on how Katniss feels and how she’s slightly insane at the beginning of the book. Ok, insane is too harsh a word, but she is incredibly emotionally and mentally unstable, just like her hospital issued wristband says. Plus there’s the complete heartache of losing Peeta – all the more reason why Gale could have never been the choice that Katniss made in the end. And, of course, at the end of the book there’s having to deal with Prim’s death, which almost had me in tears even though I already knew she wasn’t going to make it.

There were some parts that I really liked which threw me for a loop. The first was the twist with Coin and Snow and the children being bombed, which is where Prim gets killed as well. The second was Peeta and how they brainwashed him into hating Katniss and trying to kill her. So many uses those wasp-hybrids’ have.

Overall, the trilogy itself is a 10/10 but this book falls short with only being an 8/10. Still, I would completely read all three again and I will always have it as one set of books that I will recommend to people.

Oh, and if you live in Canada and have a Costco card (do they have Costco in the states?) the box set of the books is half the price of what it is at Chapters. So, if you want it for Christmas, either to give or get, it’s the ideal place to buy it if you can.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - Number Twenty-Six

So, though I haven't read Nightshade by Andrea Cremer yet - it is sitting on my bookshelf patiently waiting to be opened, so there's hope yet - I find myself desperately wanting to have in my posession the next books in the series.

Luckily, Wolfsbane is slated for a 2011 release with Bloodrose to follow the next year. So even though I'll have to wait just over a year (or so) to have all three, at least there are going to be following books. Also, there's the novella Shadow Days

It's hard to believe that with Nightshade being a debut, this author has already gained enough acclain to have two other books slated, plus a novella, plus a brand new series set for a 2011 release. That's just amazing if you ask me.

Plus, she has an amazing visual team behind her because her covers are gorgeous and original. At least, I haven't seen any similar. Let me know if I'm wrong on that.

Teaser Chapters from Over Seas!

If you head over here, you can read a sample chapter of Rosie by Mariam Maarouf which comes out this January. From the summary (which can be read below and found here on Goodreads) it looks as though it could have great potential. However, after reading the sample chapter... I don’t want to be mean but I really hope that this isn’t the edited version.
Don’t get me wrong; it does show potential to be good, but the ebb and flow is just so not where it could be. Of course, the author is also a very young debut – she’s only 16 according to her website – and English isn’t her first language, so allowances could be made on inexperience and translation. Those are, with time, things that come later with both practice, guidance, and practical use and are something that I can easily see happening in the near future.

I’m divided as to whether or not I’ll read this when it comes out in the new year. More than likely, I won’t buy it but hopefully my local library will get a copy or I’ll be able to find someone to borrow it from. For right now, though, after that teaser chapter, I’m leaning more towards not reading it. But, maybe there are still editing processes to do and that’s not the final copy.

One thing, though, that I did enjoy from the teaser was that is seems to be incredibly multicultural; something that’s a bit of an oddity with any literature.

Anyways, here’s the cover and the summary. Just by looking at the cover, it looks like it won’t relate to the story in any way so I’m curious as to whether or not it will.

Summary: In life, nothing is the same as it seems. People create masks –identities – to hide who they really are –some for noble reasons, or nefarious ones, but only a tiny fraction because they must.

Alessandra and Damien, or Rosalie and Daniel, were once the Princess and Prince of La Pacifica until they were forced out of the beautiful island. Eight months flew by, and they finally began to settle in Alexandria, Egypt, when they found out that they didn’t leave their past behind them, and that they were both wanted urgently.


What do you think? Would you read it?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays - Childhood Flashback

Sweet Valley Kids #10 – The Twins and the Wild West

Written by: Francine Pascal

Released: August 1990 by Bantam Skylark Books

Summary: The Wakefield twins Jessica and Elizabeth, along with their big brother Steven, visit Wild West Town with their grandparents where fun and adventure ensue.

I remember that this particular SVKs book was the one that they never had at the library and it was always one of the ones that I wanted to read. I don’t remember why, but this one as soon as I saw it at the used book store was a book that I knew that I had to buy. Granted, I bought the book for my cousin’s birthday (she turns 8 next week) and this was the major series that I read around that age.

I read this book in about 15 minutes flat. I don’t remember it taking such a small amount of time to read one of these when I was engrossed with them. I guess that just goes to show how much a reader develops as they age; being 23 never made me feel so old as it does at right this very minute and I’ve only been 23 for... oh, a few hours?

Still, this book boasted the adventures of the Wakefield twins that I loved and lovingly remembered and it was a great way to remember the book series that really got me heavily into reading. For memories and a childhood want fulfilled, I’m giving this book a 10/10 and I would highly recommend it (and the series) to anyone who has young female relatives who love to read.

Today, Several Years Ago...

Today marks my 23rd birthday. Thankfully, I was booked off work by my boss without even having to ask, so I'm going to spend a quiet birthday with family. And right now, my friends are passed out on my living room floor while Empire Records is playing on the DVD player.

So before I too head off to sleep, I'm posting this just in case I don't get around to my usual Vintage Tuesday.

Have a great day everyone! Hopefully mine will be memorable.

So far, so good.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie Monday - No-Fly Zone

Due Date

Written by: Alan R Cohen, Alan Freedland and Adam Sztykiel

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Released: November 5, 2010 by Lionsgate

Rating: R

Summary: High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time.

Well, this wasn’t the movie that I thought it was at first – I was thinking that it was the Katherine Heigl one – but I’m really glad that I went to go see it.

I have never watched The Hangover (though I really want to) but I knew who Zach whats-his-face whose name I cannot for the life of me pronounce and Robert Downey Jr. is a well-known actor, of course. And the trailer made the film seem like it would be hilarious, and it was, but there are some ‘buts’ in there.

This isn’t a movie that I would take younger children to. Hell, even younger teens are a bit too young due to some of the content, but it would make a fantastic movie for a date night or an outing with friends – like it was for me. I went with two of my girl friends and we laughed throughout the entire movie, showing that it’s not a “guy” film, but there were some parts that made me squeem in my seat.

The chemistry between the two main characters was great; there was that running tension between them that was required for the relationship that they have within the film. And through the situations were completely extreme and would never happen in that quantity to two people all within a couple of days, the acting made it seem as though it could be within the realm of possibility. And the dog was that ugl-cute that made me want to hug it.

What I really liked was the reality that was brought into the film while still having it rather outrageous. There was a part with Juliette Lewis where she was an “apothecary” selling weed out of her kitchen that was both horrifying and hilarious. Actually, that was a running theme throughout the entire movie now that I think about it.

So, while I greatly enjoyed the movie, it’s really not one that’s going to be for everyone. It’s also one of those movies that you really want to go into with an open mind because you’re going to see things that you might not like otherwise. Overall, though, I’m giving it a 7.5/10 - not quite an 8, but higher than a 7.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (26)

IMM, as always, has the credit shot over to The Story Siren. This week's posting over there can be found by clicking here.

Now, this week (meaning within the last few hours since I just got home) I got a few Sweet Valley Twins books that I was missing from my collection along with two Sweet Valley Kids books for my cousin's birthday which is coming up. I was in a used bookstore and you got the fourth book free, so I was able to grab more than I would have... i.e. I got five books.

Then I was at Chapters and grabbed the third Gail Carriger book Blameless - I'm reading the first and it's great - along with Secret Society by Tom Dolby (it was a bargain book and everything PLUS in hardcover!) and a paperback copy of House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones - it had to match the other two which were in paperback as well; I hated the look of the third books being in hardcover on my shelf. Plus I figure that it will make a good birthday gift to my cousin since Howl and Sophie aren't detrimental to the entire understanding of the story.

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week; let me know what you got in yours!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Zombie Nation

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Written by: Carrie Ryan

Released: March 10, 2009 by Gollancz

Summary: In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Well, I went into this with the high regards of other bloggers ringing in my ears from months of hearing about how amazing this book was. I’ll admit that I was a little sceptical (which is probably why it took me so long to get around to reading it after I had bought my own copy) but I’m really glad that I took the time to push aside all previous notions and just read it.

First and foremost, this is a weird collaboration between the movies Dawn of the Dead and The Village. The entire time that I was reading this book, it’s all that I could think of in the back of my mind. I don’t mean to give off any spoilers, but when it boils right down to it, it’s like M. Night Shyamalan wrote a young adult book.

That being said, I really enjoyed the book. Sure, there are plenty of questions left unanswered, but it always kept me wondering about things throughout the entire book. And I was enthralled with Mary and her battle with herself. Oh, and I wanted to punch her about every ten pages or so for being so stupid and not just seeing what she had right in front of her, but at the same time I couldn’t help but admire her fierce focus when it came right down to what she wanted.

One thing that I really loved about this book was Travis. Honestly, his character made me swoon more and more with every page I read of him. I wish that I could find a guy who loved me as much as he loved Mary... even though he did some stupid things in order to keep her safe.

A concept that this book was really able to capture and express was the idea that there are things that a no sane person would ever do but a person in love with gladly do them if it meant saving themselves and their loved ones. It also shows just how much a human life is worth when death comes knocking. The last scenes with Jed and Beth really show this and of course it happened within the first few pages with Mary’s mother and her need to see her husband and be with him. The raw emotion that was portrayed within these pages is what really made this book so amazing to read.

With Halloween being in less than a week (from when I’m typing this review... not so much now) this was really the perfect book to set the mood and I’m incredibly thankful that I have the second book to read in order to find out what happens next. I give it an 8/10.

Free At Last!!!

I finally have Internet access at home for my computer thanks to a handy dandy adapter which I was given. So it's back to scheduled posts.

Sadly I'm rather behind for this week due to being sick and not being able to get into town, but now I won't have that excuse!

Hurray for Internet!!!