Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cover Reveal for Underworld

Oh my god look at that cover!

I want to just fan girl my cover whore self all over this picture. I love it even more than Abandon - the first in the series. Underworld is gorgeous!

That reminds me, I need to read my copy of Abandon ASAP...

In My Mailbox (72)

So I broke my book ban... but it was for The Iron Knight – so you’ll understand why I did! Aside from that, I did incredibly well. I received a bunch of books from TBD and I didn’t order any others! I was able to kick my Book Depositor habit for this week, so I’m going for week 2!
Ok, now on to the books. This week in my mailbox I got;

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Gifted from the amazing Brenna over at Esther’s Ever After

A Million Suns by Beth Revis
I’m reading Across the Universe right now and I’m planning on sitting down and finishing today! Thank you, thank you, thank you Brenna!!!

Arrived from TBD

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Devoted by Hilary Duff

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
The CORRECT hardcover version! Now all I need to do is find The Last Olympian...
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
I just finished reading this one and it was great!

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Siren’s Storm by Lisa Papademetriou

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week! Leave me a line and let me know what you got in yours! And as always, check out the amazing Story Siren for more IMM goodness!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's Your Language

The Pledge
Written by: Kimberly Derting
Released: November 15, 2011by Margaret K. McElderry

Summary: In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
I was so excited to read this novel when I saw it in the Simon and Schuster Galley Grab e-mail from October. It was one that interested me for a quite while but I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not so I put it on the back burner and never really thought about wanting to read it. However, I would always find myself coming back to it and wondering just how a novel would turn out with a summary like that. So I jumped at the chance to read it and boy was I not disappointed!
From summary to page the book isn’t done justice. I was expecting something a little more Paris Hilton and instead got a lot more like Katniss Everdeen, which was amazing. I loved the direction that the plot took and I thought that the difference between languages was a great twist on everything.
Charlie was an amazing character. She has this huge secret, is incredibly loyal to her friends, and loves her family – especially her little sister. I wanted her to succeed at whatever was thrown at her, especially if that was a romance with a mysterious loner dude.
The ending was what really made me love this novel. After a slew of annoyingly horrible cliff-hanger endings this novel blew them all out of the water by wrapping things up nicely while leaving just enough left unanswered to make me want to read the next novel. But I was satisfied, and that's what mattered.
I don’t want to give too much away with this one since a lot rests on the element of surprise and good plot twists. Let’s just say that it’s an amazing read and is definitely one that should be on your “to read” list. I’m giving it an 8.5/10 and I can’t wait for the next novel!

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for allowing me the opportunity to read this via Galley Grab!

Ps: Love the cover!

Friday, October 28, 2011

So You Want to Marry a Vampire

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Written by: Beth Fantaskey
Released: February 1, 2009 by Harcourt
Summary: The undead can really screw up your senior year ...
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.
Ok, I’m going to admit that I never really cared about reading this book when it first came out. In fact, I remember seeing it on the shelf at work and scoffing at the title before never giving it a second glance. However, I was in one of my favourite used bookstores in London and saw this hardcover sitting on the shelf for something like $5 and I thought “what the hell”. From there is sat and sat on my shelf until last month.
See, when I was in NYC for BEA I was strolling through the Harcourt booth and I overheard a girl ask if they had ARCs of Jessica Rules the Dark Side. I was in book-trolling mode and when the Harcourt employee produced some lovely advanced copies I stealthily asked for a copy like a ninja. I think I may have annoyed the Harcourt lady... but I was in ninja mode so it’s all good.
Then we come to September where I was looking for a cute fun, easy read and ultimately no-thinking required. I took pity on this little book and I am so glad that I did!
Jessica’s Guide is such a cute book. I fell in love with the characters as soon as I started to read and it kept me guessing as to how things would play out. Was there going to be a happily ever after? (Ok, well I knew there would be since I had the sequel on my shelf...) Would Jessica become a full vampire? (Again, I have the sequel BUT STILL!) I was on the edge of my seat for quite a while and especially near the end.
I thought that the pacing of this novel was really well done. I didn’t feel as though things were rushed but I also didn’t think that they dragged out too much. For the development of the characters and their relationships I thought that everything was perfectly done. Especially Lucius and Jessica’s romance; I knew that they would be together in the end but I liked how the romance wasn’t instant and kept the reader wondering up until the very end if it was real.
In short, this was like a better version of Twilight minus the bogus sparkling vampires.
I greatly enjoyed this novel from start to finish and it made me a fan of Beth Fantaskey out of me. It also made me incredibly excited to read the next novel! It was exactly what I wanted to read – cute, fluffy, paranormal romance – and it kept me more than entertained for an afternoon. I’m giving this novel a 7.5/10 and a high recommendation to read if it sounds like your kind of book!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-Three

Ok, so this book isn't out until next summer and it doesn't have a summary yet, but the cover has me interested.

I love the mystery that the cover alone provides. I can't help but wonder if it's going to be a paranormal novel, or contemporary , or dystopian, or a really amazing action/adventure. All the cover tells me (well, what I assume it's telling me) is that the main character is female and that the mountains play a key role.

Survive is written by Alex Morel (a name that's as mysterious as the novel at this point) and it's being published by Razorbill in August 2012. Add it to your Goodreads 'To Read' list if you're as intrigued as I am!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (9)

I'm so excited about this week! Halloween is my favourite holiday and I absolutely adore horror movies and scaring myself silly! I'll have to admit, though, that it takes a lot to get me really scared but when it happens I can become a huge ball of panicked little girl!
And so, for this week I present my Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween!
1. Feed by Mira Grant
The thing that was the most scary about this novel was the science behind the zombie plague. The cure for cancer causes people to reanimate.
2. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Zombies, villages lost in time, mystery and romance; an amazing novel. I need to read the next too soon.
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
A classic – need I say more?
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The ultimate monster.
5. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
These books scared the pants off me when I was in, like, grade three. I think I was only able to read a few from cover to cover.
6. Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
A little humour at Halloween has never been a bad thing. And this series of books makes me laugh until I have to pee!
7. Lynsay Sands’ Vampire books
Mmmmm, sexy Canadian vampires...
8. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Werewolves, witches, and a creepy spider thing. Plus romance!
9. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Three words: Killer man-eating unicorns.
And a special non book entry

10. Hocus Pocus
Everyone needs to watch this movie during the Halloween season!!
As for my Halloween costume... well right now I’m not planning on anything L although come to think of it I might just dress up anyway and go give out candy at my aunt’s house! (I don’t get any trick-or-treaters) Hmmm... what should I be. I’m going to have to YouTube some Halloween make-up inspiration!

As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (71)

It’s official – I’m like a junkie when it comes to books and my new place to score a hit is The Book Depository. Seriously, I could have worse addictions, but I really need to avoid TBD for a while. I also need to avoid any and all used books stores, though this week I did pretty well at not over indulging too much on my shopping day (which was really a day where my co-worker and I went into the city for cosmetics training. We just went a little early and made the used book circuit)!
So, for used books – and I’m only sharing highlights – I snagged;

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
This is a replacement copy. My friend’s insane cousin stole my original copy and I’ve never gotten it back from the... witch. That was years ago so I caved and bought a new one. If memory serves I liked this much better than Twilight.
Silver Eyes by Nicole Luiken
FINALLY! I’ve been looking for this novel for the better part of a decade (no lie). I literally screamed in the store when I found this beauty!

A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court by Marianne Mancusi
After featuring this in last week’s TTT I got myself another copy! Yay! This was a fun sexy-times adult read.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I’ve heard mixed reviews and I have wanted to make my own decision about this book for a while – I just didn’t want to pay full price. Now I can read it!

Last week I caved while at work and bought the last copy of;

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
It was the last copy and I got 30% off with my employee discount. No way was I letting this book slip through my fingers at that much of a deal!

I received in the mail from TBD;

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
I’ve heard so many great things about this novel and now I’m going to read it and find out for myself. Plus, the cover is rather pretty!
I also downloaded some free e-books from TBD. They have a lot of L.M. Montgomery’s work so I added several of her books to my e-reader!

Finally, I downloaded some galleys from both Simon and Schusters Galley Grab and NetGalley. So from there I got;

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
I’ve read this one already. It gave me nightmares – but only in the best way possible. It was great!
Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Mermaids? Yes please. I can’t wait to read this one!

The Pledge by Kimberly Dertling
I’m reading this one right now and it’s fantastic. It too has invaded my dreams and I can’t wait to finish it.
Dearly, Departed by Lisa Habel
I’ve heard good things so far and I can’t wait to find out.
Legacy by Molly Cochran
I haven’t heard too much about this one but I added it to my Goodreads To Read list a while ago. Long before I was able to get the galley.

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week! My plan for the next week is to not buy anything – even online. The week after... well, I’ll be in London and that city has the best used book stores!! But seriously, after that I’m on a hardcore book ban until Christmas.
Leave me a line and let me know what you got in your mailbox this week! And as always, for more IMM info and to share in the fun visit The Story Siren!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who For Art Thou, Mara?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Written by: Michelle Hodkin
Released: September 27, 2011 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Summary:  Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
This was THE most sought after ARC at BEA this year and for good reason. I don't think that there is another YA novel whose hype can compare to that of Mara Dyer. Seriously, people had it on their Goodreads lists as far back as at least last summer (it made its way onto my To Read list last January) and the advanced copies were equivalent to literary pirate treasure. And for good reason.
What a crazy-ass rollercoaster ride. I warn you, if you hate novels with horrible (and by horrible I mean ones that leave you wanting more than more) this is a novel you may want to hold off on reading until you have the second (and maybe third... this is a trilogy, right?) novel in hand. I, on the other hand, am incredibly impatient when it comes to books that I want – no need – to read and now I’m stuck with the super long wait until the next.
If you can’t tell already, I loved this novel. It kept me guessing and left me guessing. Hell I still have so many unanswered questions for the next instalment which, normally, would leave me one very peeved reader. However, I find myself – while longing to know what happens next – unable to be angry at how desperately this book left me hanging high and dry and in a complete WTF moment.
Michelle Hodkin I tip my hat to you; you are one smart lady and an amazing writer.
It’s slightly hard to classify this novel. While I would describe it as paranormal, I think that it’s also a lot more than that. Mara has these incredibly vivid hallucinations that leave you wondering if they’re more of a second sight or if she’s somehow able to imagine them into being. But then there’s the whole back-story which as a reader you’re able to relive with Mara through flashbacks as she regains her memories.
And then there’s Noah Shaw. The guy is an enigma wrapped in a mystery and smothered in man-whore when you first meet his character. He has this overwhelmingly strong sexuality that practically oozes out of him and yet as the novel progresses you’re really able to see a different side of him when it comes to Mara. Oh my god, the scene with the two of them and the animal cookies in her had me laughing so hard! And if you have yet to read this novel, you’ll know what I mean when you get to it.
This is an amazing debut and I don’t want to say more for fear of ruining it for someone who has yet to read it. I give it a much earned 10/10.

Oh, and hate off to Simon and Schuster for a gorgeous cover! And my eternal thanks to Vanessa for passing along her ARC to me (before I bought my own pretty copy).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Music in the Night

Written by: Mandy Hubbard
Released: July 21, 2011 by Razorbill
Summary: Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?
Love Love Love! This was such an amazing novel and it wasn’t one where I figured everything out within the first few chapters. Hell I didn’t see the ending coming, so there you go. Plus, MERMAIDS! Mermaids are definitely my new favourite paranormal creatures, just squeaking above werewolves and leapfrogging over vampires.
I loved how this take on the siren (mermaid style, not birdlike) played out. I felt so sorry for Lexi and what happened to her on her birthday and then what she felt she had to do in order to protect not only herself but her friends. Her ice queen persona was heartbreaking, which is why I was really rooting for Cole over Erik and for her mending her friendship with Sienna.
Hubbard’s take on the siren mythology was different from a lot that I have read though still rooted in the general standard. I think it’s the way that the story is written around the legend and the emotions that made it more than your average siren story.
This was a novel that I read in a very short time seeing as I was unable to put it down. I thought that the story was amazingly well done and it completely pulled me into the tragedy, the romance, and the mythology. I loved the characters and I loved the twists and turns that I never saw coming.
Oh the ending! While I had some ideas about how it was eventually end, I never would have guessed the way that it did play out and I loved that. There’s nothing worse than figuring everything out before the story really takes off – I didn’t get that with this novel at all.
This was one amazing novel in m opinion and it only makes me want to read more of Mandy Hubbard’s work as soon as possible. I’m giving Ripple a 9.5/10!

Ps: Awesome cover! I especially love the scare detail on Lexi's legs!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Vampire in the Cemetery

The Vampire Mystery
Created by: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Released: September 1, 2009 by Albert Whitman & Company

My thanks to NetGalley and Open Road for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-book.
Summary: The Aldens meet Mr. Hudson, a local author who is best known for his novel about a vampire. But rumours of a real vampire are going around town - a vampire who haunts the graveyard behind Mr. Hudson's house! But since vampires don't exist, the children soon realize that someone must be trying to scare people away from Greenfield! Who brought the old legend back to life - and why?
Oh these Boxcar Children books take me back. I don’t know if the books have necessarily become shorter or I’ve just become a faster reader, but I remember it taking all afternoon to read one of these novels when I was little. I sped through this novel in less than a half hour and thought that I could have definitely read it faster if I so wanted.
Reading these novels years later, it’s nice to see that while the writer has taken the characters into the current decade without losing the foundation that both the books and the characters were built on.
One thing that I’m not too keen on is the language used. Of don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing but squeaky clean stuff here, but in order to appeal to today’s kids the stiff formal language really needs to be updated more. In a world where today’s youth is playing COD and watching Jersey Shore – yeah, these books aren’t going to be snatched off the shelves by anyone other than ultra-conservative parents.
But onto the novel itself.
The mystery was cute and perfect for the Halloween season. While I felt as though everything were rather rushed (inevitable from the short length of the novel) I can see where it was meant to keep the attention of its targeted audience.
In the end, I like how I can dip back into my inner child (more than I already do) by reading these types of novels and this one didn’t disappoint in that respect. However, there’s only so far a person can retreat into childhood and this was just a little too much. Yes, I would buy it for young cousins whose parents are a little too strict. In the end, I’m only giving this a 4/10 and a recommendation for very young readers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-Two

Even though it doesn’t have a cover yet, and it’s not set for release until 2012, and there isn’t an actual summary... Yeah I can’t wait for this novel!
I burned through both Anna and Lola, but as absolutely amazing as both those novels are I want MORE!
Isla and the Happily Ever After
Written by: Stephanie Perkins
Released: Fall 2012 by Dutton

All Goodreads is telling me is that it’s set in Paris (which makes sense since Isla made an appearance near the end of Anna). All I know is that I want it to be next fall already. It would also be nice to have a cover image to pair with it!

I also know this novel doesn't fit with the non-contemporary novel month, but I am just so excited about it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (8)

Ok, let me first rectify my list. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It but I’ve never bought a book JUST because of the cover or the title. Most of the time the cover is what drags me towards the book, but I always check with the summary before handing over my money.  So I guess this list is more Books I Bought Because the Cover/Title Drew My Eye and Made Me Pick It Up to Read the Summary and Then Buy It.
So this week my inner cover whore led me to buy;

1. Entwined by Heather Dixon
Have you seen this cover? No? Well go look it up on Goodreads and you'll see why it made my list. It's gorgeous!
2. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Oh the original cover, how pretty you are!
3. Elixir by Hilary Duff
Yeah, I also wondered just how good of a book Hilary Duff could write (or just slap her name on the cover...) but the cover was just too pretty to pass up!
4. Sweetly by Jackson Pierce
It's the whole girl-wolf-girl thing that the cover has going on. I can just stare at it like those duo-content pictures.
5. Broken by Kelley Armstrong
This was my first ever Kelley Armstong novel purchased. It's the fifth in the series (right?). However the cover just made me pick it up as it sat all pretty on the wall at a Coles bookstore.
6. A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court by Marianne Mancusi
Ok, so I was on a school trip and the bus stopped at one of the highway reststops. I was in need of something to read and this was the novel that drew my attention. My friends majorly ripped on me for buying it but this book turned out to be really good! (well, as good as a dime store romance type novel can be) Sadly I lost my copy after I loaned it to a friend.
7. Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister
I was in high school and we had these $5 books in the store. I found this one and never looked back. Katie MacAlister is HILARIOUS! Seriously, I used to laugh out loud while reading her stuff on the bus. Somehow I've lost several of her books that I owned and now I have to scour used book stores to find them.
8. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
I didn't like the butterfly cover but I LOVE the puzzle pieces one. It just fits so well with the story. And it's so pretty!
9. Once Upon a Winter’s Night by Dennis L. McKiernan
Ok, this one I did buy purely because of the cover. But I also figured it would be an East of the Sun, West of the Moon novel. I loved The Polar Bear King movie growing up!
10. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not Your Fantasy Creature

Written by: Diana Peterfreund
Released: August 25, 2009 by HarperTeen
Summary: Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Or not.
Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student ... an attraction that could jeopardize everything.
I’ll admit, I’m a part of the world who thinks that unicorns are these amazingly beautiful beasts that look like a horse with a horn in the middle of their head. So I was a little weary about unicorns looking like goats and monsters... and, you know, the fact that they have a taste of human flesh. However, I found myself wanting a little Bonegrinder of my own – even though she would eat me as soon as snuggle – and the conflicting ability to hunt down the beasts.
I enjoyed reading this novel. I liked the inner battle that Astrid internally struggled with and her attraction to Giovanni which she saw as both an out and something that much more. I also liked the majority of Astrid’s fellow unicorn hunters though some fell flat for me and some of the other characters in the novel I just didn’t care for at all – like Lilith.
The battle scenes in this novel were rather epic. In fact, I can see where they would give a lot of people nightmares since they’re not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of bloodshed, people, so be warned. The gore was perfect for an October monster read, though, and of that I’m glad. Plus, the fights were so well written that they drew the reader into the action and kept you on the edge of your seat.
I have the second novel all set to be read on my bookshelf and I can’t wait to see where the story goes. I thought that Rampant could have functioned as a stand-alone novel though the sequel will serve to answer a few questions that I have – like the source of the cure and what will happen to Giovanni and Astrid’s relationship.
In the end, there were parts of this novel that I fell either fell a little short or were just too drawn out. While I am looking forward to the sequel, I’m only giving this novel a 6.5/10.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Angel vs. Angel

A Beautiful Dark
Written by: Jocelyn Davies
Released: September 27, 2011 by HarperTeen
Summary: On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.
Another past-due review paired with an expired e-galley. So forgive my lack of in-depth details.
Ok, I’m usually not one who liked angel-type situation novels but this one had me intrigued from the very beginning and kept my attention. Plus, the angel stuff wasn’t a main-main focus in the grand scheme of things. If anything, the holiness took backseat to the magic of it all so it didn’t scream angel. Does that even make sense?
Anyway, reader beware that this novel also contains a love triangle; one which I’m hesitant to take sides on. It’s not a straight-cut situation like Jacob/Edward or Gale/Peeta or even Puck/Ash, at least it wasn’t for me. I constantly found myself like Skye and pinging back and forth between the two. I would have to say, though, that in the beginning I was rooting a little bit for the third pseudo-contender in the romance department. However, by the end I had no clue who to give my vote to.
So, to sum it all up, angels, magic powers, love triangle; this book has it covered. I enjoyed it and I’m giving it a 7.5/10. I also can't wait for the next in the trilogy! Oh, and I love this cover! It's so pretty.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen for the advanced e-galley version o this novel! I greatly enjoyed it despite this incredibly short review.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Toe Rings and Fish Tails

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings
Written by: Helene Boudreau
Released: December 1, 2010 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
This novel was super cute. I received it as my first EVER RAK gift and I was super excited to finally crack it open and start reading.
Summary: Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning...
If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting...
All summer I’ve been reading mermaid novels and this one didn’t disappoint. I loved just about everything about it from the “chubby” main character to the explanation of the mermaids.
Jade was an adorable character and I felt bad that she had to keep this huge secret from her bff while having a huge bitch hone in on her only friend. I loved her crush on the cute guy in school and how she does everything she can to help her family.
Pretty much the only thing that I didn’t like about Jade was how she was described as “plus-sized” when it just seemed like she had a little bit of a baby fat belly. She wore skirts and shorts and bathing suits and the only complaint that there ever seemed to be was about how she couldn’t get a tankini to stay down over her stomach. Oh, and her penchant for chocolate.
There’s going to be a sequel to this novel and I can’t wait to read it when it comes out. I have a feeling that it will be just as adorable as this one was. Plus, as an added plus for this novel I read it in pretty much one sitting. It was hard to put down the delightfulness that was this mermaid novel.
For being super cute I’m giving this novel a 6.5/10 and a glowing recommendation for younger MG readers.  

PS: What DID happen to her toe ring? You never do find out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

This week was so much fun but I had a bit of a hard time thinking of novels that I wish I could read again for the first time. I guess it’s because I can’t think of what it was like before I read a lot of them!
So, here’s my Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First Time in no particular order;

1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling
I’m pretty sure that I’ve read this novel about 12 times since it came out (more than any other in the series).
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The thrill, the cold-blooded murder, the romance, the game! I loaned this novel out to one of the pharmacy technicians where I work and she loved it too.
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
LOVE! Just love.  
4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I’ve been thinking about this novel (and Anna) since I read them a couple of weeks ago and I just want to read it again and again and again.
5. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
This was one of the few series where (since all books were out already) I read one right after the other. In fact, I was so angry when I couldn’t get a copy of the last novel from the library that I caved and listened to it on audio book.
6. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
I read this one years ago and Elena is my favourite of her characters – especially in this series.
7. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I didn’t know that this one was even a novel until about the 100th time that I watched the anime movie. Of all the books in the Howl trilogy this one is by far m favourite!
8. Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Ok, let me clarify on this one. Yes, this novel has yet to be released BUT years ago it was posted online and I read it there as each chapter was posted. Let me tell you, reading it when it comes out next year (which is too far away!) WILL be like reading it again for the first time!
9. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
I inhaled this novel while on spring break in Cuba my second year of university. And then I saw the movie (which doesn’t hold a candle in comparison). The book was definitely far better!
10. Tamora Pierce’s novelsI started with the original Circle quartet and evolved from there. Every so often I still like to re-read them!

As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (70)

So this week I was really good and I didn’t BUY any books! I did, however, receive books in the mail while I had bought through The Book Depository.
So, this week in my mailbox I got;

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michele Hodkin
My pre-order FINALLY came through. I was super excited, too, when this lovely book came on the same day as the Smart Chicks Kick It tour that I want to in Ottawa. It was AMAZING and I met some fantastic area bloggers!
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Persistence on TDB really pays off because I finally found this novel in the correct hardcover version. It looks so pretty on my shelf with my other Riordan books!
Vengeance by Kate Brian
The last novel in the series. Now I can go and read them all in order and not be left by horrible cliff-hanger endings!

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week. Leave me a line and let me know what you got in yours!

As always, check out The Story Siren for more amazing IMM goodness!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

If Trolliez Were Real

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Written by: Rae Carson
Released: September 20, 2011 by Greenwillow Books
Summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s saviour. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
I greatly enjoyed this novel even though the idea of the Godstone almost gave me Troll nightmares. Thank goodness the main character had hair that wasn’t in Technicolor, or spikes.
From the very beginning you know that as a reader you’re in for a novel that’s full of action and adventure. It starts with a wedding (which you find out a bit later is meant to be secret) and immediately bleeds into a jungle attack scene with a body count. From there there’s kidnapping, rebellion, assassination, war, and so many other things that keep you on the edge of the proverbial seat. The entire second half of the novel I was unable to take my eyes off the page.
I liked Elisa as a character. I thought that at the beginning she was rather weak, as the story evolved she became thing amazingly strong character who withstand so many hardships. In a reflection of that her overweight physique mirrors her inner transformation as well.
The idea of the Godstone, Trolls aside, was fascinating. While there is a lot of information shared on it in this novel I really can’t wait to find out more about it. I want to know what role it will play with the next novel and just what will happen in general with Elisa and it.
I hope that the release date for the next in the Fire and Thorns series hurries up and get here because I can’t wait much longer. I really enjoyed this first novel and I’m giving it an 8.5/10.

My thanks to NetGalley and Greenwillow Books for the opportunity to read this novel before its release date!
Yet another e-ARC which I have read and neglected to write the review until after the galley expired. So, sorry if my details are off at any time!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rainbow Unicorn Poop

Drink, Slay, Love
Written by: Sarah Beth Durst
Released: September 13th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry
Summary: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrols in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
Ok, I’m going to admit that I’m relatively over the entire vampire fad (thanks Twilight!) however I had heard amazing things about this novel – mainly that it was rather funny – and so I gave it a chance. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.
I sped through this novel as fast as my work schedule allowed me to and loved every minute of it. Hell, the damn book influenced me so much that it entered into my dreams. Seriously, I was dreaming of vampire homes with secret a passage disguised as a bathroom which led to the underground living quarters. There were also sparkling vampire hunters though I can’t verify that there was anything unicornish about them.
I loved Pearl as a character. She was feisty and so full of life in her undead state. It was funny to read about her making her high school friends and navigating her way through what would be an ordinary day for anyone else. But what was really amazing was reading the description of that first day of sunlight. Durst has this amazing way or writing so that you can really feel the wonder and awe of the moment.
This was the first novel that I’ve read by Sarah Beth Durst but it won’t be my last by far. I’m giving this novel an 8.5/10 and I’m definitely going to be purchasing this one soon!

My thanks to Simon and Schuster’s Galley Grab for allowing me the opportunity to read this novel before publication!
Fair warning, I read this book way before I wrote this review and by the time that I got around to writing it my e-galley from Simon and Schuster had expired. So forgive me if my details are a little off as I have nothing first-hand to refer to.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Devil in the Red Heels + Giveaway!

Written by: Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
Released: June 8, 2011 by Flux

Summary: Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when the fashionistas find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes-with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, Lord of the Underworld himself. To make them atone for what they've done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld an individual whose unholy contract is up.
Finding that delicate balance between their fashion addiction and their new part-time job in the eternal hellfire biz turns out to be harder than Meg and Shar expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there's the matter of the fine print in their own contracts...
This was such a cute novel and I was lucky enough to obtain my copy at BEA during a signing. By the way, both authors are super sweet and during the signing you also got Sirenz pins AND a lucky cat cell phone charm – but more on those later.
I enjoyed reading this novel a lot and I even liked the alternating chapters between Meg and Shar (though sometimes I forgot and then was a little confused for a sentence or two). Still, all in all that wasn’t enough to make me put down my book (unless I had to, you know, be working... or I was sleeping) for any length of time.
I really enjoyed all the characters in this novel from our two main leading ladies to Hades and everyone in-between. I thought that they were all incredibly well-crafted and some even went against what I thought they would be like. Even Hades surprised me, and let’s just say that I wouldn’t have been able to deflect his advances for as long as one of these characters was able to!
Another aspect of this novel that I really loved as well how the Sirens were your legit bird-like ancient beasts with their luring abilities instead of what we relate to as sirens today – the classic mermaid types. This different take was so incredibly well done and I don’t think that I could gush about it enough even if I tried!
When receiving my signed copy, either Bennardo or Zaman (sorry, I can’t remember who!) said that this was a clean read, and it really was. There wasn’t any sexual scenes, the foul language was incredibly minimal and no really bad worse were used, and everything that happened was funny while still being appropriate. While I like my smuttyness in books, sometimes it’s just really nice to escape into a novel where I’m not only reading only for the dirty scenes.
Honestly, I don’t know what else I can say without going around in circles about how much I enjoyed this novel. So let’s just leave it at that and with a rating of 8/10!

And now, time for the promised giveaway! Thanks to the lovely Charlotte Bennardo and the amazingness of Twitter I have a Sirenz swag pack to giveaway! Seriously guys, this swag is amazing. There is a signed bookmark, buttons, feathers, charms, and CHOCOLATE! I’ll admit that I opened the pretty mesh bag to take a good peek at everything but I controlled myself and left everything in its original form for this giveaway. I’ll admit, the chocolate called my name with its red goodness!
So here’s the deal. Since I’m not made of money (and we’re dealing with chocolate which DOES have a shelf life) this contest is for Canadian/US residents only. That way the package won’t be lost in the mail for weeks. However, I’m also feeling super generous, so I’m going to throw in a copy of the novel as a part of the giveaway to go along with the swag pack so you’ll be able to fully enjoy the power of the swag! (and know what some of the stuff means...)

Here are the rules.
1.       Obviously you have to have a Canadian or US mailing address
2.       You DO NOT have to be a follower, although being one will give you extra brownie points in my books
3.       You must fill out the entry form COMPLETELY. I don’t want to see you lazy people skipping over questions. You know who you are! >:(
4.       Uhhhh... I can’t think of a fourth
5.       Oh, yeah. The contest will run until Halloween. And then I’ll use my amazing random number generator (i.e. whoever I ask to pick a random number) to choose the winner!
6.       I’ll e-mail the winner who then has 48 hours to respond with a mailing address. If they don’t, then I random number it again for a new winner, and so on.
7.       Yep, I think that’s it.
Good luck to everyone who enters!!

Fill out the form found here.
(let me know if there are any bugs)
Giveaway is CLOSED