Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah

I loved reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore. So, I thought that I would also love reading Fire, the pre-quel-ish book by Cashore, but I just could not get into it!

I mean, I checked it out from the library twice, renewed it once, and even after I got a few chapters in I just couldn't get into it at all. I didn't care about Fire (stupid name and all) and I didn't care that there was trouble-a-brewing in her country, and I really didn't care that there were monsters. Although, the little kitten ones that are all colourful sounded really, really cute and I want one for myself.

Has anyone else read this book after they read Graceling? What did you think about it? I'm thinking that I might have liked it more had I of read it first.

Still, I'm really looking forward to Bitterblue when it comes out next year. And, on a side note, the cover of this book is gorgeous.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bishop's Eight... I think... Maybe it was Seven... Or Nine

Heist Society

Written by: Ally Carter

Released: February 9, 2010 by Hyperion Book CH

Summary: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.

I was a little worried about this since I had seen so many good things written about it, and about her other series, but I was not disappointed with this book at all. In fact, I was absorbed in the action and adventure right from the very beginning and I wanted to see Hale kiss Kat sooo bad throughout the entire book.

I feel as though this could be the beginning of a new series of Carter, or there could at least be a sequel, but it was a nice stand-alone book as well, aside from the fact that you never find out who Visily Romani is.

I loved the characters from this book and how they all mingled and worked together. And I loved Hale and how obvious it was that he was doing everything just so that he could be closer to Kat. Gabrielle never ceased to make me laugh either with her haughty antics.

All in all, this was great and I could highly recommend it to anyone who wanted a good, fun read. I’m giving it an 8/10.

So Excited!

Oooooh now I can't wait until December when they reveal the cover for this.

And, of course, I am beyond excited to see what happens with Jace and Clary after everything that went down in City of Glass - which I still have yet to read... BUT I know what happens because I like to spoil books like that, so it's all good. I'm still going to read it before City of Fallen Angels comes out.

Am I the only one who's excited about this? I can't be, so let me know if you're as anticipating as I am!

And check out the teaser cover. I'm swooning, really I am.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2011 Cannot Come Fast Enough!

I know that I'm not the only book worm out there who's incredibly excited about this news.

Yes, you hears it right, Sweet Valley is getting a brand new series and it looks like it's not going to be your typical SV story.

If you go here, you can sign-up and be sent the first chapter where Elizabeth is living in NYC and not speaking with Jessica! Right then and there, you have to wonder what happened between them, what happened to Todd, and since when is Elizabeth best friends with Bruce Patman?

Basically, I can't wait to read this new installment since I grew up reading the SV books. What about you?

Southern Belles Prepare

The Debutante

Written by: Kathryn Williams

Released: May 20, 2008 by Hyperion

Summary: Annie MacRae’s senior year just went south. Specifically, to Beaufort . . . Alabama. Mere weeks before the start of what’s supposed to be the best year of her high school career, Annie’s parents inform her they are moving to the land of deep fryers, “debs,” and worst of all, her grandmother.

But before she can say “No way, y’all,” Annie finds herself living among the “others” and biding her time till she can head to college and get back on the right side of the Mason-Dixon. The only problem? To get that ticket to college, Annie will have to trade in her jeans for a white debutante dress and learn the true meaning of being a lady.

So, this wasn’t a book that I would have gone out and bought had it of not been only a few dollars at a store that I stumbled across. In fact, I was still a little tentative about buying it, but I figured “what the heck, I need a pool-side read”, so here I am.

That being said, I went into reading this with no expectations at all, which was probably a good thing. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did, but only because it was a nice fluffy read for the summer by the water.

Annie was an alright character but she was incredibly forgettable. In fact, I liked her grandmother so much more; that lady had a set of steel ones, let me tell you. Then there were the rest of the characters.

Ok, what I don’t understand is why people do the whole drinking and driving thing. Sure, I can understand that being in the middle of nowhere can prompt strange activities like meeting in the church parking lot to party (I did grow up in the country after all), but, really, did it need to be in there that they get drunk and drive around? Really? Maybe it’s just me, but I just find that deplorable.

That aside, it was interesting to see into the lives of debs while they’re preparing for their debut. I imagine that I would have had the same reaction to it all that Annie did – meaning I wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with it and I would have been snarky about everything. I also really enjoyed the Southern charm of it all; it made me want to move to Alabama and find a nice Southern Gentleman.

Overall, this was a 5/10 book. It was alright, a nice read, but nothing special.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - Number Thirteen

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Wish List Wednesday, so I decided that it was about time to post another one.


Written by: Jennifer Laurens

Released: February 2011 by Grove Creek Publishing

Summary: About a girl who falls in love with her bodyguard- and childhood enemy.

This one sounds really interesting, but may be a little too much like that Katie Holmes movie First Daughter. Time will tell.


Written by: Lauren Oliver

Released: February 1, 2011 by HarperTeen

Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I loved Before I Fall, and I can’t wait to see what Oliver brings with her second novel.

Biology Matters Too

Perfect Chemistry

Written by: Simone Elkeles

Released: January 1, 2008 by Walker Books for Young Readers

Summary: A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

I went into this book with high expectations purely because it seems to be so loved throughout the blogisphere. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. In fact, once I started I didn’t want to put it down at all… sadly I had to in order to sleep since I worked the next morning.

I seriously fell in love with Alex Fuentes. He is the type of guy that I want; minus the gang aspect. He’s so loving and loyal and sweet. Ok, so the bet thing was mean, but it’s not as if he did it for any reason other than an in to getting to know Brittany. He’s definitely near the top of my literary crush now.

Then there’s Brittany… I’m not sure what to think of her. I liked her character, but at times I wanted to slap her for her selfishness and idiocy. She had her redeeming qualities, though, like her love for her sister.

The plot was very Romeo and Juliet, which I liked, and it reminded me greatly of the Leonardo DiCaprio – Claire Danes version that came out a while ago. And I love that movie, so that’s a good thing. There was a bit of a different twist on it too, which made it not nearly as predictable as it could have been.

Overall, I loved this book and I completely fell in love with the characters. I’m giving it a solid 9/10.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays - Windows to the Soul

Violet Eyes

Written by: Nicole Luiken

Released: January 2, 2001 by Simon Pulse

Summary: “I’m the Idea Girl, the one who can always think of something to do.”

Angel Eastland knows she’s different. It's not just her violet eyes that set her apart. She’s smarter than her classmates and more athletically gifted. Her only real competition is Michael Vallant, who also has violet eyes -- eyes that tell her they're connected, in a way she can’t figure out.

Michael understands Angel. He knows her dreams, her nightmares, and her most secret fears. Together they begin to realize that nothing around them is what it seems. Someone is watching them, night and day. They have just one desperate chance to escape, one chance to find their true destiny, but their enemies are powerful -- and will do anything to stop them.

I LOVE this book and I have ever since I first read it when it was first released. In fact, I love it so much that I hunted around forever to find it at a used book store – now if I can only find the companion novel in one too…

Anyways, I fell in love with Michael way before Angel did and I loved the twist that the book provided, which I’m not going to spoil.

Always a classic book from the past, I’m giving this one an 8/10.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Movie Monday - The Nerd's Fantasy


Written by: Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg, based on the story by Ernest Cline and Dan Pulick

Directed by: Kevin Newman

Released: July 31, 2008 (San Diego Comic-Con International)

Rated: PG-13

Summary: Star Wars fans travel to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

I’ve been wanting to see this movie for a while; it was one that I would occasionally stumble across online and I would then think “I still need to watch this” only to promptly forget within a few minutes. Thankfully, I was off work early today and looking for something to watch after dinner and there it was on the movie channel.

Now, I’m not a huge Star Wars fan but I do enjoy the movies – the classic, original ones and not the trash that came out in the last decade. Lucas should be shot for those… Point is, I’m not one of those die-hard fans who fantasizes about Han Solo (*sigh* gorgeous Harrison Ford in his younger days) but I was roped into the thrill of the entire journey to seeing the first episode before it hit theatres.

All in all, this was a nice way to wind down from a day of work and just get lost in the hilarious and completely impossible situations that are portrayed in this movie. I’m giving is a 7/10.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a meme run over at The Story Siren by Kristi and it's a great way to find out about new books each week.

Well, I did good this week and I got only one book from the library! That is, it's on loan, not that I bought it.

I got Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

Anyways, I'm reading it now and it's pretty good. But I was looking at the cover and look what I noticed about one of the sorority girls:

She's completely giving the finger! I laughed once I realized it.Of course, I sometimes have a very juvenile sense of humour...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Unlucky Number Seven

Where the Heart Is

Written by: Billie Letts

Released: June 20, 1995

Summary: Abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma, Novalee Nation, 17 years old and seven months pregnant, soon discovers the treasures hiding in this small Southwest town.

I first saw this movie on TV during a matinee special and once the credits rolled I noticed that it was based on a book. Well, since I enjoyed the movie so much, I knew that I had to read said book so I scoured the used book stores for a copy. After I read it, I made sure that I recommended it to everyone that was looking for a good read. Even now, I’ve just loaned it to a co-worker when she mentioned that she was looking for something new to read during her time off.

I don’t know what it was exactly about this book that grabbed me so much, but it was so heart-warming and tear-jerking at the same time. I really started to feel for the characters as you went through several years of their lives with them.

This is the type of book that I would recommend to any mother, or anyone who wants a good life-read, who wants to read a book that is cemented in the love between a mother and child and definition of what makes a family a family. I give it a loving 8/10.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So I went to the library today to return some books and check out a new one, and since I was going I thought that I would take some of the books that I have that I collected for whatever reason and never read. Most of these were meant for classes and were only read once (if at all) or they were left behind at my house by someone or other.

Anyways, I was greatly surprised when they said that they didn’t accept book donations.

I was always under the impression that libraries took gently to barely used books to add to their collection, especially if they didn’t have copies or they wanted a copy of a highly in demand book. I mean, it’s not a big deal, I can sell them at a used book store or online, but I thought that it would be nice to give back to my local library.

Tell me, is this normal or is it just something that they do with this particular branch?

Summer Reading Break Challenge Activity #10

Thankfully, I was able to patch my internet and it's currently working... though the questions remains for how long. Anyways, in celebration of the return of my Internet and Gustav (my computer) deciding to work, I give to you another edition of the Summer Break Reading Challenge!

And was this one was really fun to complete. Here's what you had to do.

1. Make a fake name
2. Get a random verb for your title
3. Find the first photo with a person in it using that verb
4. Use an online photo editor to put everything together
5. Write a short synopsis

In short, you create your own fictional book cover. I've seen some of the ones that are already created and they're fantastic! In fact, most of them I would want to read the actual book; they're just so professional.

So, here's mine.


Written by: Yasmin Brown
Summary: I died the morning that I turned 18… and then I woke up a few hours later.

Death is part of life that can sometimes come quickly and unannounced. Addison Mackenzie found that out when she suddenly died one morning while walking to class.

Death is also supposed to be final; you’re not supposed to wake up from death, but that’s exactly what Addison Mackenzie did.

Branching from a society so secret that no one knows of its existence unless they’re a member, Addison has become its latest recruit.

Chosen since birth, Addison wakes from her death breathing and fully aware of her past life. But she knows that she’s not herself. That is, she’s herself, only better. And now she has to pay the price for being selected.

Here lies a life of luxury, a life where you want for nothing, and Addison has no idea what to anticipate from it all.

Admittedly, I'm not completely satisfied with it, but it'll have to do. At least is conveys the mysteriousness that I wanted it to. Still, I think that it could have turned out better. Oh well. Maybe I'll work more on it later and see what else turns out. I also got the photo from here, just to state the source material.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We Are Now Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

So, I think that my computer may have bit the dust... Although I really hope not since I love my computer and I really don't want to get another one.

Thankfully, I have my new BlackBerry, so hopefully this post will work.

Anyways, until I can sort out my computer and its want to not connect to the internet (I'm hopeing that it's the internet that has the problem and not my beloved computer Gustav) chances are that I won't be posting as much if at all.

Case and point; this is taking forever to type on my BB.

But where there's a will there's a way and I am hoping to steal my Dad's computer when he's not using it.

Wish me luck...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Movie Monday - Adults will be Kids

Grown Ups

Written by: Adam Sandler & Fred Wolf

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Released: June 25, 2010

Rating: PG-13

Summary: After their high school basketball coach passes away, five good friends and former teammates reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend.

I saw this movie last week and I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt and I almost peed myself. Basically, it was a classic Adam Sandler movie with just the right amount of seriousness to set off the hilarity that encompasses the majority of the movie.

The plot was simple, friends reunite over the death of an influential person from their childhood and they spend a correlating holiday weekend together at their childhood haunts. Thus, in their reliving their childhood, they give one to their own children who have been sucked into the video game, MTV sort of life that keeps today’s kids firmly seated in front of the TV and surrounded by technology.

The casting couldn’t have been better, either. I mean, you get Kevin James, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Rob Schneider all together on the big screen acting like their childhood selves and you can be sure that it’s going to be funny. Sometimes these ensemble casts don’t work, but with this movie I can’t see it working any other way.

I thought that it was a sweet, endearing, and absolutely hilarious way to spend a Wednesday night and I highly recommend going and watching this movie. It’s a definite 9/10.

Have I Read This Before?

Right now I’m about two thirds of the way through The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, and I can’t help but compare it to Robin Wasserman’s Skinned trilogy.

Without giving away too much of the book, here are the basic similarities:

“Nearly” fatal automobile accident

A question of scientific ethics

The length that parents will go to

A futuristic (though obviously in the near future) world

The question of what makes a person human

The list goes on and on, and it’s kind of starting to bug me while reading because I’m truly enjoying this book, and I did like Wasserman’s as well, but I want to also be able to read this book without a formation of what is going to happen based on something completely different.

Actually, this is something that I’ve noticed a few times lately with books, movies, or television shows; it seems to me that it’s hard for a completely original idea. Now, would this be because it’s so much easier now than ever before to get an idea published, thus making it so that there’s more out there to be influenced by?

Sure, the idea of revamping an old story isn’t a new concept; Romeo and Juliet has been done to death, so has Dracula, and all the fairy tales that a person can think of have been redone. And those never bother me. In fact, I usually am surprised with the different takes on the original.

Maybe it’s just because The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Skinned are both relatively recent releases and it’s coming across to me that The Adoration of Jenna Fox is what Skinned could have been had it of first taken a different route.

Of course, maybe these ideas are my brain telling me that I’m over-thinking things and it’s time for some sleep. What do you think?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In My Mailbox (11)

Ok, ok, I know that I shouldn't be even thinking of posting this, but I fell off the wagon this week and bought two books. Now, to be completely fair, I've been looking for these two book for MONTHS in hardcover, so when I spotted them in Costco, all shiny and hardcovered, I caved. Come on, though, aren't the Cassandra Clare books so much better in hardcover anyways? Plus, I got City of Glass for Christmas and didn't have the other two, City of Bones and City of Ashes, and they all have to be complete and match...

Then, the absolutely phenomenal Nina de Gramont sent me a copy of Every Little Thing in the World after she saw that it was on my wish list. I am still SOOOOOOOOOO thankful towards her and was so excited to read it. It was amazing, let me tell you. You can read my review here, or just click on the next (older) post

Now it's back on the wagon and the book ban starts again.

I'm really bad at this ban, aren't I?

And, as always, props for IMM goes to Kristi from The Story Siren, which is an absolutely amazing YA book blog. Check itout if you haven't already!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

All The Small Things

Every Little Thing in the World

Written by: Nina de Gramont

Released: March 23, 2010 by Atheneum

Summary: When sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs’s pregnancy test shows the tell tale plus sign, she confides in only her best friend Natalia, and Natalia promptly “borrows” her mother’s car so Sydney can confront the baby’s father. But after the car is reported stolen and police bring the girls home, their parents send them away to wilderness camp as punishment. With six weeks to spend in the wilds of Canada, time is ticking for Sydney, who isn’t sure what she wants to do about the pregnancy. As she befriends her fellow adventuremates and contends with Natalia’s adamant opinions on the choices available, Sydney realizes that making the right choice can mean very different things.

Ok, I loved this book and I’m not just saying that because it was sent to me. No, it was just so completely raw and real; I can completely see this happening in real life. But at the same time I hated it with a passion because of some of the things that happen. Really, this book pissed me off to no end.

First, I’m completely pro-choice – it’s your body, do with it as you will – and I would never even think of counselling someone on this since I’ve never experienced it, which is why Natalia annoyed me so much, but I am completely against getting drunk while knowingly pregnant. Still, that’s where part of the realness comes into play as well, I suppose.

Second was the idiocy that Natalia portrayed at times. I mean, come on, wanting to take care of your best friend’s baby and raise it with your boyfriend who your parents hate? At 16? What the hell? It’s idiocy like that that ran rampant through my high school; luckily no one acted on it… I don’t think. Then there was her trying to influence Sidney on the big decision. I wanted her to just but out and stay out. However, without her character the book would have been vastly different, I will admit that. She had a strong hand in how amazing the entire story turned out to be.

de Gramont’s writing is absolutely amazing in the way that she depicts this entire story, she takes the “oh no, girl gets knocked up and doesn’t know what to do” to an entirely new and amazing level that had me reading this book in one sitting while waiting for Big Brother to load on YouTube. It’s her fantastic way of writing the insight into Sidney’s character that was able to bring about such strong responses from me as I was reading. This is something that I think shows the skill of a truly phenomenal writer.

I was pulled into the realness of how Sidney was coping with her pregnancy and how there was a certain flavour of denial thrown in along with complete disregard for the entity that was growing inside of her. I was pulled into Sidney’s head and how her thought patterns sometimes turned slightly morbid, but at the same time I could picture this happening and it just felt so true and real.

If you’re easily offended or are pro-life, this book probably isn’t for you. From the Goodreads page, the more negative reviews have come from fairly devout Christians, so if you’re loving the JC (he is a pretty cool guy), you might want to pass this one by. However, if you’re able to see a situation from different viewpoints, then go for it. This is honestly one of the most fantastic books that I’ve read in a while from the writing right down to the storyline. In fact, I think that this would be a great book for young girls to read period, whether they're preggers or not, just because it does take the reader through so many emotions regarding the entire situation. I’m giving it a 9/10. It would be higher, but I just can’t get the image of Sidney drinking out of my head.

Summer Break Reading Challenge #9

I just finished reading Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont and it was fantastic (review to come), so I decided to use that book for this challenge.

Here’s what we had to do:

1. Think about the book you are reading right now (or one you just finished) and choose key scenes, settings, and characters that would give people a good idea what the story is about.

2. Using the Internet, find pictures to represent those scenes, settings, and characters.

3. Create a blog post using the pictures. Incorporate a little text to help out the reader, but remember, the pictures are the most important aspect of this activity.

4. Come back here and use Mr. Linky to attach your post to be eligible to win and so everyone else can "see" what you are reading.

So here goes...

Sidney Briggs is pregnant and no one knows but her best friend, Natalia.

Not even Sidney’s parents, which is why when she’s sent to canoe in the Canadian wilderness for half her summer, she doesn’t know what she’s going to do.

Luckily, Natalia comes along for the ride and lets Sidney know what she should do at every opportunity.

With a month of canoeing in Canada, Sidney figures that she has plenty of time to make her final decision and get everything taken care of before summer is over.

But what will Sidney’s final decision be? Will this trip change her entire outlook on things or will she stick with her initial plan?

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Book for All Seasons?

In this heat there are two options: Stay inside where there's air-conditioning, or search out somewhere where there is air-conditioning. Unfortunately, both end in you eventually melting into a puddle from the humidity.

Fortunately, I work in an office where it's kept so nice and cold that long pants and a winter sweater are required unless you want to freeze. It's so nice to come in out of the heat and into that freezer, let me tell you. But the rest of the time I'm left sweltering and longing for Autumn if not Winter. Although I hate snow more than I hate the humidity (though not by much) so Autumn is preferable.

But in this heat, no matter where you are, it seems to me as though it's too hot to really read unless you're parked right in front of blasts of cold air with a bottle of ice water beside you. It's gotten to the point, now, that I don't want to read even though I really, really want to, nay, have to since my TBR pile is almost taking on a life of its own.

So this dilemma has gotten me wondering; is reading more of a non-summer sport (aside from pool-side and beach reading) where it's more comfortable to curl up and immerse oneself in a completely different life, or am I just crazy and the heat has officially fried my brain?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Full of Hot Air 2

Being Nikki

Written by: Meg Cabot

Released: May 1, 2009 by Point

Summary: Things aren't pretty for Emerson Watts.

Em was sure there couldn't be anything worse than being a brainiac the body of a teenaged supermodel.

But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who's gone mysteriously missing, a brother who's shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who's intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who's written a song about her that's topping the charts.

How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns — especially when she's got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side...

Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren't really airheads after all...especially one model in particular.

But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.

Well, I devoured the first book, I was equally taken with this one, and now I can't wait for the final one to come out in paperback (because all three need to match).

I love the characters in these books, and it seems as though they get better as the books progress - of course, this is coming from only reading two of them... But still. I love how Em is dealing with becoming Nikki and how Lulu is so dumb (yet strangely intuitive) that she knows the truth but can pass it off as something else completely. And can I just mention that Nikki's brother Steven is super amazing? He's the brother that I would want if I ever wanted to not be an only child anymore. He is just the epitome of Big Brother, it's perfect.

Also, the villains in this book are so slick that you're not sure who's what. I mean, while reading you have this clear idea in your head of what's black and what's white but then comes along a situation or characters that's firmly in the grey area and the entire set-up is thrown for a loop.

Then there's the ending in this book! I cried inside at the same time that I was completely shocked. I truly cannot wait to read the next book... maybe I'll be able to find it at the library and then just buy the paperback when it comes out... next year maybe? I hope that it comes out sooner than I'm thinking.

I'm giving this book am 8/10 for it being such a great second novel in a series.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - Number Twelve

There are some movies of which I will forever be grateful because they introduced me to the amazing books that they were based off of. How’s Moving Castle was one, Memoirs of a Geisha was another, but this is the book that I am most excited for now that I’ve seen the movie trailer.

Tomorrow, When the War Began

Written by: John Marsden

Released: 1994 by Pan Australia

Summary: When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they’re leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

The trailer and then the amazing reviews on Goodreads have made me want to read this series SO much. Plus, I think that this will be one of those great books that I can find in the used books stores and get for practically nothing (hopefully).

Has anyone already read it? Was it as amazing as I've heard? Would you recommend it?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays - The Swan's Sister

Daughter of the Forest

Written by: Juliet Marillier

Released: January 1, 1999 by Pan Macmillan

Summary: At the heart of this surprisingly accomplished first novel, first book of the Sevenwaters trilogy, is a retelling of an ancient Celtic legend. Marillier’s story, however, is much more than a slightly disguised fairy tale.

Young Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Irish Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, a domain well protected from invading Saxons and Britons by dense forest where, legend says, fey Deirdre, the Lady of the Forest, walks the woodland paths at night.

Colum is first and foremost a warrior, bent on maintaining his lands against all outsiders. Not all of his sons are so bound to the old ways, and that family friction leads to outright disobedience when Sorcha and her brother Finbar help a Briton captive escape from Colum’s dungeon. Soon after, Colum brings home a new wife who ensorcels everyone she can't otherwise manipulate. By her spell, Sorcha’s brothers are cursed to become swans. Only Sorcha, hiding deep in the forest, can break the spell by painfully weaving shirts of starwort nettle--but then Sorcha is captured by Britons and taken away across the sea. Determined to break the curse despite her captivity, Sorcha continues to work, little expecting that ultimately she will have to chose between saving her brothers and protecting the Briton lord who has defended her throughout her trials. Marillier’s writing is deft and heartfelt, bypassing the usual bombast of fantasy fireworks for a rich, magical story of loyalty and love.

This book was one that I read after I saw a friend of mine reading it and asked how it was. Am I ever glad that I did.
Though this isn't my favourite of the series (I LOVED the second book a little more), this was still such an amazing read. Marillier is truly amazing when it comes to weaving together her fairy tales and making them something different. Her YA books are good, but this series is fantastic. This book has just about everything too, from adventure, to romance, to magic, to evil. Honestly, it's hard to summarize how amazing it is until you've experienced it. No, wait, that doesn't work. Ok, basically you have to read this novel to truly find out how utterly thrilling and gorgeous it is.
Either way, this is a definite 9/10 book for me and I highly recommend it.


Here's the link to the first chapter of Alpha by Rachel Vincent. I cannot wait until this book comes out in stores!!!

Of course, I still have to replace my copy of Rogue, the second book in the series, since I have yet to get it back from an acquaintance of mine. I should really message her about that. Still, this last book is going to be awesome!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Movie Monday – Welcome to the Small Screen

The Gates

Written by: Grant Scharbo and Richard Hatem

Directed by: Terry McDonough

First Aired: June 20, 2010

Summary: Nick Monohan and his family move from Chicago to a quiet, upscale planned community called The Gates, where he will be chief of police. They soon realize that their neighbors are not who they seem to be.

So, I thought that I might change it up a little this week and review a new summer television show that’s on ABC – not to be confused with ABC Family – that’s completely taken me by surprise and I’m completely addicted. It’s all the thrill and mystery of the first season of Desperate Housewives mixed with supernatural bits of Supernatural. In fewer words, it’s phenomenal. In fact, I’m watching episode three as I’m typing this.

Three episodes in and I’m still left wondering what’s going on completely, a fact that I’m thoroughly enjoying, and everything that is happening is throwing me for a loop. Already there have been vampires, werewolves, witches, healers, murders, and succubi, and I'm guessing that there's a lot more to come.

If you’re looking for a good summer show to counter-balance Big Brother (love), and you’re into mystery, romance, intrigue, and the paranormal, this might be for you.

If you need further convincing, check out the YouTube channel here that’s dedicated completely to this new show!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at The Story Siren – a blog that you should check out if you haven’t already.

Ok, that’s it, I am officially banned from buying any more books for the rest of the summer! Well, until Mockingjay comes out anyways, which is pretty much the end of the summer, so that works out.

Anyways, I knew that I was going to buy books while I was on my mini-holiday at the lake, but I cracked and bought more than I should have. Although, to be fair, I did need to complete some series’ that I have and I needed to replace a book that someone lost on me.

So, without further ado, here’s what’s in my mailbox.

From this great little used book store I got the third Silver Dragons novel, Me and My Shadow, by Katie MacAlister and Agatha Christie’s 4.50 from Paddington. Now, this is the ONLY book that I would EVER want the movie cover of because Margaret Rutherford is my old-age idol and she was also the most amazing Miss. Marple ever. Seriously, she’s one cool woman. Seriously, thought, look at that cover! It’s amazing.

Then there was this weird store that sold yarn and books. No, not yarn book but yarn AND books. So, of course, I had to check out what it was all about and evidently bought The Debutante by Kathryn Williams. It was at rock bottom pricing, though, so it was well worth it in my books… Of course, that’s the addiction talking, that is.

Then from this great independent book store I got Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. This is a debut novel that’s been featured by a lot of people and I finally caved.

Then, here’s where things got too hairy. I went to the mall on the way home and wasn’t able to stay away from the bookstore. To be fair, though, I did need to replace the last Harry Potter book because a friend of mine lost my copy – which I had YET to read and got in the mail the day that it was first released – so I figured that I might as well pick that one up. Then the paperbacks of Splendor by Anna Godbersen and Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke came out… and I needed to complete my collections. Then, because I just couldn’t help myself, I bought Heist Society by Ally Carter; which I am reading now and loving.

So, that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. And this is going to be all that I’m getting for the next several weeks… unless I fall off the wagon again and succumb to my book addiction.

What did you get in yours?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Read-A-Like Books

So, for the latest Summer Reading Challenge (this makes number eight) you have to list your read-a-like books and I've chosen to go with my latest reads, which almost all seem to be those amazing summer pool-side/beach reads. Ironically, the last challenge was to post an updated current reads list and almost all these books are on it.

In no particular order here are my read-a-like summer reads;

The Pretty Little Liars series - Oh My God this is an amazing set of eight books.
Heist Society - I'm reading it right now and it's SO good so far.
The Airhead series - I've only read the first two since the last one isn't out in paperback, but they were amazing.
The Debutante - A great, easy, quick read to have with you in a beach tote.
Sea Change - The epitome of summer with its beaches and mermaids and summer romance.

The ones that I've already read and reviewed can be found here. So if you're looking for a good summer read, check these ones out. Also, if I've missed some good ones, let me know because I'll definitely want to check them out!

**On a side-note, it took me forever to grasp the concept of read-a-like books... I think that I worked too hard today and fried my brain though, so that would explain it. : )

Liars Liars Eight - The Finale


Written by: Sara Shepard

Released: June 8, 2010 by HarperTeen

Summary: In Rosewood, majestic estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl’s wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing. . . .
Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets. Now, three years later, all their questions about Ali have finally been answered and they can put this awful chapter of their lives behind them. Or so they think.  
Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard’s bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store.

This was possibly the most amazing book that I have read this summer. Seriously, it was the most phenomenal ending to a series that I have come across because it was just so not what I expected. I mean, the entire book I was in a constant state of WTF as I read it right until the very last page, which was amazing.

I wish that I could say more, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. There were some unanswered questions, though, like what the entire point of Wilden being Amish was. Really, that could have been left out completely and nothing would have changed.

Anyways, the amazingness of this book, nay, the entire series, cannot be summed up substantially enough with only words. If you haven’t picked up these books, hurry up because they’re amazing. This one, especially, it well worth reading the other seven and is a high 10/10 for me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thank You 20th Century Fox and Regency Films.

Enough said...

New Cover Art... Hmmmmmmm

So, it's just been posted over at the Personal Demon's website that the final cover image is finally completed and ready for the world to see. Well, here it is;

I have to admit that I like the ARC cover better, which is this one;

I don't know why, but I would definitely choose the ARC cover over the actual cover if I was looking at this book in the store. The ARC is just more... mature? I can't really describe it, but I find it a cleaner and crisper cover than the final one.

I mean, is it just me or do the characters on the final cover look like they're 30+ years old? With maybe the exception if Gabe, the angel, Luc and Frannie look like their biological clocks are about to give up. And, I'm just going to say it, Frannie looks like she could be a MILF to a teenager, which means that she looks like she could be her own mother. Plus, this is a totally eighties looking cover... to me anyways.

There are some great things about the final cover, but it's mostly the non-character parts. The anger wings are gorgeous, and I love the font choices. Also, the light and dark composition is pretty, but the ARC is still a million times better in my opinion and the final cover is a major fail. I think that if they had left off those awful characters and just went with the background angel wings (minus the fine print), then had the title and other information over it, this would have been an amazing, gorgeous cover all around.

But this is just my opinion. What do you think?

Vintage Tuesdays - Mage Training the First

Sandry's Book

Written by Tamora Pierce

Released: September 1, 1997 by Scholastic Press

Summary: When four strange, and strangely talented, youngsters are brought to Winding Circle by master mage Niko they find themselves drawn together in a Circle of Magic—a circle that binds them despite their differences.

This was the first ever Tamora Pierce book that I read and I fell in love with her stuff from that moment on. However, because this was the gateway book, it has always held that higher regard in my mind. Don't get me wrong, I love all of her books (the ones that I've read anyways), but the characters in this book (and series) are just so inviting that I find myself re-reading it more than the other ones.

But I digress...

Sandry's story had be captivated from the very first page and as soon as all the characters were introduced I was completely hooked. This, of course, meant that I devoured the remaining books in the series from the library as soon as I was able to. Then I moved on the anything else Pierce.

Sandry's Book is still my favourite though, even after all the other books that I've read by Tamora Pierce. The entire setting was just so magical - I mean, it is at a mage school - but you grow with the characters as they grow into their abilities.

Anyways, go read this book if you're looking for a fantastic MG-YA book that's full of fantasy, magic, and fun. I give it a rating of 9/10.

*On a side note, I know that this is Friday but I missed several regular posts from this week due to not having wifi where I was, so I'm catching up on my reviews that I missed.
The beach was well worth it, though... I wish that I was there now instead of having to get ready to go to work. Oh well.

Summer Break Reading Challenge #7 - Reading Update

I’ve been away on a mini-holiday the last few days, with no wifi access, which is why there have been no updates since Tuesday. And even though I have a few catch-up reviews to come, I decided that my first post back was going to be for the Summer Break Reading Challenge.

So here it is.

I have honestly lost track of the book that I’ve read this summer – whether that’s because I’ve read so many or my brain is just too overworked to try and remember what I have read I have no idea – but luckily I’ve reviewed all that I’ve read so it was easy to track down.

Now, defining summer is a completely different matter, so I’m going to just take them from the 21st of June to make this easier.

In reverse order they are;

The Debutante – Kathryn Williams (review to come)
Being Nikki – Meg Cabot (review to come)
Wanted – Sara Shepard
Heartless – Sara Shepard
Airhead – Meg Cabot
Killer – Sara Shepard
Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea – Chelsea Handler
The Power of Makeup – Trish McEvoy
Sea Change – Aimee Friedman
Wicked – Sara Shapard
Zombie Blondes – Brian James
Teens Cook – Megan & Jill Carle

Wow, that’s 12 books in only a few weeks. That’s rather insane. Click here to see all the available review links.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Break Reading Challenge #6

Over the years I have had many literary hearthrobs but only three have really stayed with me after I read the books and went on to different ones.

The first would be Jacob Black from some time in New Moon when he gets all "older than Bella". After that I couldn't wait to read more about him as the books progressed. I still think that Bella is an idiot for choosing Edward and Jacob's cop-out ending still makes me mad.

Then, before Jacob there were the twins. Fred and George Weasley to be exact. Who wouldn't love two mischevious British boys who could make you turn purple and lose your hair just as easily as they could make you laugh? Ok, that purple bit wouldn't be that fun, but they are so loyal and smart and funny - all qualities that I look for in a guy. And since I have yet to read the last book, in my mind they're both still alive.

Snickering at Twilight

So I came across this video on YouTube and it really made me laugh so I decided to share it with the world.

Ok, maybe not the world, but my amazing readers. So, if you're into Twilight or you aren't into Twilight, still check it out. I'm not a hater of the book (though Kristin Stewart is a horrible actress with a bad wig), but I'm not a lover either and this perspective is hilarious.

Well, at least I think so...

Liars Liars Seven


Written by: Sara Shepard

Released: January 7, 2010 by HarperTeen

Summary: The newest instalment in Sara Shepard’s bestselling Pretty Little Liars series is packed with juicy drama and delicious surprises that will keep readers guessing to the very end.

Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer have been telling some outrageous tales; only, the proof always seems to go missing. The friends insist they’re telling the truth, but all of Rosewood thinks they’re just out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after them, will anyone believe the girls. . . or will they be the next to disappear?

Even though it took me a few days to read this book, but wow, am I ever glad that I just sat down and finished it in one fell swoop.

This book was one of the craziest in the series and it was jammed with so much action and information that my head was spinning a little with it all. In fact, I have to share some information (that doesn’t give away who A is and who killed Ali) because there was just so much.

First, what the heck is up with Darren Wilden being Amish? That was something that I thought could have been left out since it came out of completely nowhere and didn’t add anything to the actual story. It seemed like it was just a nice story-line with him… although it was meant to make you think even more that he was A. Of course, I’m not saying whether or not he is.

Second, where exactly did Ian’s class ring come from? It wasn’t answered and I’m still wondering. Was there even a reason for Aria to find it? I mean, where does that even fit into anything?

And last but not least, what was the point of making Spencer’s dad and Ali’s mother have an affair which resulted in offspring? It was a nice twist but it didn’t need to be there; not really anyways.

Then, on top of everything, there is the worst cliff-hanger of the series in this book. The ending of Killer was bad enough (who was it that Aria pulled out of the burning woods anyways? Was it really Ali?), but this one was so unexpected that I had to re-read about half a page to make sure that what I read was correct. It was just Wow.

Anyways, sorry if I spoiled anything for anyone, but I swear that none of it really has anything to do with who A is. This is a 9/10 book for me and Wanted only adds to the amazingness so stay tuned for that review soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Attention, Attention!

I just finished reading the last Pretty Little Liars book (book seven and eight reviews to come this week), and while I stayed up way too late (or early as the clock dictates, but my foot is swollen from an allergic reaction to mosquito bites, so I can't sleep anyways) I can't wait to read more from this author.

Thankfully I'm only going to have to wait until the new year.

On the last page of Wanted, there was an add for the Pretty Little Liars television show on ABC Family - which is amazing and you should check it out if you can - but there was also an add for Shepard's next series entitled The Lying Game. It's being called "deadly" and it sounds amazing. Here's the book cover and summary from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Sara Shepard’s new series weaves a mystery of long-lost twins, mistaken identities, a duplicitous circle of friends, and cold-blooded murder. Combining juicy plot lines, to-die-for lifestyles, a tangled web of friendship and romance, magnetic characters, and sharp-witted narration from the afterlife, The Lying Game is an alluring cross between Pretty Little Liars and The Lovely Bones.

Foster kid Emma Paxton has only just discovered Sutton Mercer, the wealthy twin sister she never knew she had, when Sutton drops off the face of the earth, asking Emma to cover for her at home, school, and with her friends—just for a few days. At first Emma enjoys trying on her sister’s fabulous life: her fiercely loyal friends, her adoring boyfriend, her close-knit family. But as Emma is drawn deeper into Sutton’s world she finds the friends are not so fabulous, the boyfriend is not who she wants to be with, and the family is clinging to long-buried secrets and a veneer of functionality. And worst of all, Sutton may not be coming back. In fact, someone may have made sure she never could…and that someone knows Emma is not who she claims to be. Emma will need all her wits to survive The Lying Game.

Gah, I can't wait. The cover looks gorgeous too and so mysterious, of course I don't know if it's the final cover or not. If it's only half as engaging and mysterious as Pretty Little Liars was I'm going to be just as hooked!

Movie Monday - The Hunt is On


Written by: Bob DeRosa and Ted Griffin

Directed by: Robert Luketic

Released: June 4, 2010

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Spencer Aimes is just your average, undercover, government-hired super-assassin accustomed to a life of exotic European locales, flashy sports cars and even flashier women. But when he meets Jen Kornfeldt, a beautiful, fun-loving computer tech recovering from a bad break-up, he finds true love...and happily trades international intrigue for domestic bliss. Three years later, Spencer and Jen are still enjoying a picture-perfect marriage - that is, until the morning after Spencer’s 30th birthday. That’s when Spencer and Jen learn he's the target of a multi-million dollar hit. Even worse, the hired killers have been stalking the happy couple for years, and could be anyone: friends, neighbours, the grocery store clerk, even that crabby old guy shuffling across the street. Now Spencer and Jen are on the run for their lives. As their suburban paradise turns into a paranoid game of dodge-the-bullet, they must find out who wants Spencer dead and why, all the while trying to save their marriage, manage his in-laws, keep up neighbourly appearances ... and just plain survive.

I was sceptical about this movie since the last Katherine Heigl movie flopped for me, but a friend of mine wanted to go see this on campus and the movie tickets are super cheap, so I agreed to go.

I’m not going to say that it was amazing, because it wasn’t, but it was a little above average and it was entertaining. Besides, you got to stare at a half-naked Ashton Kutcher… that was a bonus. He just keeps getting more attractive as he gets older. It was fairly funny as well; I laughed more than a few times.

I would recommend this movie for a date or for a bunch of friends who want to oogle Ashton Kutcher. If you can, go on cheap night (if your local theatre has one) because I don’t think that it’s worth the full movie price, or wait until it comes on DVD because, really, it’s not a noteworthy movie. In fact, it’s semi-predictable and forgettable. I’m giving this movie a 4.5/10

Sunday, July 4, 2010

NOT In My Mailbox

Yep, you read that title right; this isn't a post about what I got in my mailbox but rather a post about the fact that I didn't get anything.

Well, I am proud of myself for not buying any books this week! My book-ban seems to be holding... but I'm not too sure how long it's going to last since I'm planning on taking a trip to this amazing used bookstore near my aunt's cottage this upcoming week. Soooo... we'll have to see next week what happens.

However, at least for this past week, it means that I saved money by not buying anything! Go me!

This is what I didn't get in my mailbox, but what did you get in yours?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Full of Hot Air


Written by: Meg Cabot

Released: May 13, 2008 by Point

Summary: Emerson Watts, 16 and female, loves playing video games, hanging out with her best friend, Christopher, and has made peace with her less-than-supermodel-esque looks. But when she’s involved in a mysterious accident, she wakes up to find she’s now in the body of...a supermodel. Who was behind this switch? What was the motive? And how can she get Christopher to realize she's still the same person inside?

Admittedly, I didn’t know what to think about this book when I first started to read it. I was a little sceptical and I had my perceived notions, but everything that I thought that it would be went right out the window once I started to read it. I don’t know why but I thought that she became a decoy-type double for a famous person… So not what happened. In fact, all that I could think of while reading this book was how similar it was in theory to Robin Wasserman’s Skinned books; I mean, placing someone’s brain into another body and all that.

However, I really liked reading this book and that showed in how I zipped right through it and how I can’t wait to read the next one (but I HAVE to finish PLLs first).

I liked Emerson’s character and I could completely see how hard it would be to be shoved into someone else’s life without warning.

What I can’t wait to find out in these books is who she ends up with romantically. I’m leaning towards Christopher but I would take Gabriel Luna as well. They just both seem so handsome… at least they do now.

I’m giving this book an 8/10. It was great and if you want a fun summer read, this is probably right up your alley.