Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-Seven

So I think this is what they’re calling a New Adult novel – a novel based around a MC who’s late teens and early 20s. I have to admit that I’m really intrigued by these novels and this one has gained my interest.

Eternal Starling
Written by: Angela Corbett
Released: December 6, 2011 by Pendrell Publishing
Summary: A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them.
Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men.
For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn’t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren’t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.
First off, Evie is driving my dream car – especially if it’s a convertible. But this novel sounds like something that I’ll definitely have to read and very soon since its release date is next week! I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the soul and whether it’s a real thing that people possess, whether it’s some part of the brain, or if it’s just something that’s been made up. I love reading novels where the soul comes into play and I hope that this one doesn’t disappoint!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (12)

Soooo... I have way too many books currently on my TBR – a lot of which are sitting prettily on my shelf – so this list wasn’t all that hard to think up. Of course, if I listed all the books that I wanted to read this winter you would be here for quite a while reading and would most likely give up and stop reading. So I decided to list only the books which are sitting on my shelf and I hope to use in the 2012 TR challenge (once I’m able to sign up for it. my internet isn’t fast enough in order to do so).
In no particular order those books are;
1. The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.
Now that I have all the pretty, pretty paperback covers I can properly dive into this series with gusto. I read the first novel a while ago from the library and they only had the second one on audio book so I tried but failed to get more of the Jacky story.
2. The Private series (and last Privilege novel) by Kate Brian
Another series that I have in its entirety and haven’t been able to read through. This will happen soon!
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Let the hailstorm begin. I can’t believe that I have yet to read this one!
4. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
I read and loved her first four Sisterhood novels when they first came out and I really want to know how it all really ends.
5. Ten Things Wd Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
This just looks like a great contemporary novel and it’s just sitting on my shelf.
6. Anything by Sarah DessenI’ve only read one book of hers and I want more! Due to my dives into used book stores I’ve collected quite a few of her novels!
7. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
I absolutely loved I Am Number Four last year when I read it and I need to know what happens to Four and Six next!
8. Novels by Rick RiordanI’ve only read his Percy Jackson series and now I really want to read his Heroes of Olympus and Kane Chronicles novels.
9. Abandon by Meg Cabot
I love Cabot’s books and I have no idea why I haven’t read this one yet.
10. Sisters Red and Sweetly by Jackson Pierce
Fairy tale retellings are my favourite and I need to get around to reading these.

Ok, I cheated and listed way more than 10 books – but you can see where my entire TBR predicament comes from! I’ve made my Goodreads challenge this year already to read 125 books so next year with these ones on my list I hope to read more than that!
As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Leader of the Pack

Raised by Wolves
Written by: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Released: June 8, 2010 by EgmontUSA
Summary: Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.
But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.
But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?
Oh this review is way overdue. I mean, I read this amazing novel back in September! It’s almost December – that just shows you how backed up my need to review pile is.
I was able to get a signed finished copy of Trial by Fire while at BEA this past May and it gave me the kick I needed to get myself a copy of this novel so that I could read them in order. I was able to find a paperback copy at The Strand (which I need to get back to ASAP because that book store is amazing) but soon realized that paperback wouldn’t cut it (bookworm OCD being what it is with matching covers) so I got a hardcover copy from The Book Depository and quickly started to read.
I loved this novel. I loved the characters, I’m a sucker for werewolves, and it was just an all-over amazing novel.
Bryn is an amazing voice to read about and follow. Her need for separation is something that is easily understood but at the same time you see that she needs something more in her life as well. Then in comes Chase and her entire world is upended and everything that she knows changes.
From the very beginning you’re thrown into the world of the pack, the life of Bryn, and non-stop action. You get several plot twists, different plot lines, and a culmination of events at the climax that just about makes your heart stop beating.
This was the first novel of Barnes’ that I have read and it definitely won’t be the last. I can’t wait for the third novel in this series, Taken by Storm to come out next May. I’m giving this novel an 8.5/10!

Ps: Can I have a best friend like Devon? I would love to have a big burly guy who also has a penchant for show tunes as a bestie. Also, I would want Lake to teach me how to hustle pool!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Life is a Masquerade, My Friend

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Written by: Stephanie Perkins
Released: September 29, 2011 by Dutton

Summary: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

I don’t think that I will ever be able to convey the amount of love that I have for this novel so I’m not even going to try because I’ll just end up talking in circles. Seriously, this is the type of book that I wanted to start reading all over again as soon as I finished the last page. I loved it even more than Anna and the French Kiss and I loved that book a lot!

Lola is such a strongly voiced character who you just can’t help but love. You follow her through this amazing journey of self discovery and first love and it’s so hard to tear your eyes away from the pages of her story.
And can I just quickly mention Cricket? Where can I find a Cricket of my own? I would love a guy who would let me paint his nails blue and who would cross between houses on a ladder just to get to me. Yeah, he’s also a genius and super beyond sweet. Please, someone find me a guy like this. It can be my Christmas gift, ok?
This is a novel that I’m going to be passing along for years to come, just like it was passed on to me (Thanks again Brenna!!!).
Lola is the type of novel that you really just have to experience for yourself so rush out and buy, borrow, or – well don’t steal it but you get what I mean. I give it a 10/10!
Love, love, love!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Hail Mary Pass

Catching Jordan
Written by: Miranda Kenneally
Released: December 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Summary: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.
I was a little sceptical that I would like this novel. I know nothing about football (hell, nothing about sports) and I’ll admit that I was a little worried that I would be left wondering what the hell the characters were talking about.
Well, I had nothing to fear.
Sure, there were sports analogies and sport talk but it was done in a way that I wasn’t left scratching my head. No, this is an amazingly well written contemporary novel that has roots in love, family, and friendship (as well as football).
Jordan is the type of girl who I think I would have been incredibly intimidated of in high school. The girl is written as being pretty (though I think that it’s in that modest way which means she’s gorgeous) and an all-state footballer who has no sense of guys other than being one of them. Plus she’s a regular Amazon woman. I would have cowered in fear that she would body check me into a locker and then laugh at my hair. But, that’s simply not the case. Jordan is as clueless as anyone when it comes to the fine art of boys (as in dating them) and it was sweet reading about her trip into the deep end. Plus, the girl knows no bounds when it comes to the art of conversation. I loved how blunt she was and how no topic seemed to be taboo. Hell, the girl comes right out and talks about her sex life to a fellow female classmate – not someone who’s a close friend either – as if it’s no big deal. I chuckled at that scene and shook my head.
This novel isn’t just about first love or football, it’s about going after what you really want. Jordan wants nothing more than to play college-level football for Alabama and she’s bound and determined to make it happen. But this novel is also about realizing when you need to bend and maybe try something new and strange in order to get what you really want.
Whether you’re a sports fan or not this is an amazing novel. In this novel I have found a new literary crush in Sam Henry and I’m just about to pre-order my very own copy of this book from The Book Depository. I’m giving it a 9/10 and a high recommendation for you to read it if you want a good contemporary novel.

I received my copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-Six

So I came across this book on Goodreads a few days ago and it immediately caught my attention. Aside from the amazing cover, the summary made me just want to read it as soon as possible.
The Raft
Written by: S.A. Bodeen
Released: August 12, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Summary: Robie, 16, lives with her family on the Midway atoll, a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific. Her parents are scientists; it’s an isolated life. Robie enjoys visiting her aunt in Hawaii – she gets back and forth on a cargo plane that brings supplies to Midway.
During a visit, her aunt is called to the mainland for a work emergency, leaving Robie to get home on her own. On her flight back to Midway the cargo plane hits nasty weather, and goes down. It’s just Robie, the pilot, and Max, a co-pilot she’s never met till this flight, on board. Robie is pulled aboard a raft by Max, who is injured and slipping in and out of consciousness. They have a bag of candy and very little water between them. When they finally reach an island that seems abandoned, Robie hopes they’ll be found quickly. But she’s not sure she was even on the flight manifest. Her parents must be looking for her…aren’t they?
In THE RAFT, S.A. Bodeen creates a hair-raising suspense story that will have readers agonizing over the same question as Robie -- how long can they survive?
It seems a little like Sharks and Boys (which I read and reviewed earlier this year) with a little Lord of the Flies. I really need to know if they survive and if a romance blooms. Is it weird if I immediately want a romance to be there?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (75)

Ok, so I am so done with book bans. It seems as though I never stick to them when I’m on them so this is me officially calling it off (in the hopes that the reverse psychology will work). To be fair, though, I only bought two books myself. So on the whole I’m doing quite well in that respect!
Anyway, this week in my mailbox I got;

For review
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
A HUGE thank you to Vimala at Penguin for sending me this novel! I was so excited when I got the e-mail I literally threw my phone across the table. The back fell off and everything. It also scared the crap out of my friend Megan.

I got one of those mystery Chapters Indigo gift card thingers in the mail. You know, the ones where you have to spend a certain amount and then the gift card will tell you how much you get off your purchase. Anyway, I’m a huge sucker for those and my mum gave me a Chapters gift card for my birthday so... yeah. I cleaned up in the bargain books though!
Fragile Eternity and Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Now I need to find a hardcover copy of  Wicked Lovely... TBD it is! (Plus, both these are in the bargain books!)
For the Win by Cory Doctorow
This book has been eyeing me ever since it was first released but I didn’t want to commit to the cover price. But since it was in the bargain books I decided to take a chance!
Willow by Julia Hoban
Another amazing bargain book. I remember Kristi from The Story Siren talking about this one a long while ago and it intrigued me. It’s a tough subject matter (cutting) but I think that this will be one of those amazing crying books.
Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
The cover roped me in – it just looked so pathetically cute on the bargain table.
Blood Promise and Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Yay! Now I have the whole series and I can’t wait to read them!

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
It was calling me from the shelves at work earlier this week (before I bought the other two). It cried out that I would get my discount on it.
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
So excited to read this one! I’ve heard such amazing things about it.
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Ok, technically I bought this one a couple of weeks ago but it just came into my Chapters in Ottawa and I was just able to pick it up!

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week. Yay for books! But I really need to stop acquiring them (even at good prices) because I’m almost out of shelf space. Hahaha. Leave me a line and let me know what you got in your mailbox this week!

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Great White North

Written by: Sarah Beth Durst
Released: October 6, 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry
Summary: When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.
Ok, this wasn’t my favourite retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon but I did enjoy reading it. I thought that the modernization of this fairy tale was incredibly well done and that it incorporated a lot of great ideas to make the entire story plausible.
That’s as far into this review that I can make it. I don’t know why but everything I write sounds so stupid when I read it over so I’m not even going to try.
I liked this novel, really I did, but whether it was the modernization (which was done really well, don’t get me wrong) or the characters or whatever it just didn’t cut it.
The parts I did like, though, consist of;
The ideology behind the trolls.
This was a really interesting and different part of the novel and it really sets it apart from others od the same myth. I love how it made for a happy ending and in general how it played out.
The whole Reaper thing.
This was something else that made the concept interesting and kind of explained why there was a talking polar bear in the modern day world.
A female character who was career driven but also followed her heart. I loved how she was ready to do anything that she thought was right or was for a good cause. The girl literally throws herself off the top of a mountain – now that takes guts.
So, yeah. This novel has a lot of really good points but it just didn’t awe me like I thought I would. However, if you’re a fairy tale lover and like a good retelling, make sure that you check this one out. I’m giving it a 6/10.

Friday, November 18, 2011

To Mer or Not to Mer

Tempest Rising
Written by: Tracy Deebs
Released: May 10, 2011 by Walker Books for Young Readers

Summary: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Mermaids – the next big YA trend and I couldn’t be happier. What makes it even better is that almost all mermaid novels have gorgeous covers and this one does not disappoint.

But if we judged a book by its cover all the time we book bloggers would read a bunch of horrible books with pretty covers and overlook the amazing books with ugly ones. Thankfully, this is a book that you can judge by its cover and I’ll tell you why.
First and foremost this cover obviously states that the novel is about a mermaid (duh) so the reader has a vague idea of what to expect. Definitely there will be a lot of time spent in the water – as the underwater background suggests – and the plot will have a little mystery.
Ok, I’m totally BS-ing you. But really, judge away with this one.
Tempest is the type of girl who I would like to hang out with because she’s super cool and would teach me how to surf all while hanging out with really attractive guys. But there were so many times that I wanted to slap her. Especially at the end, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Other than that, I liked reading about her. I liked following Tempest through the mermaid transformation and the situation that she’s very suddenly thrust in the middle of.
I’m going to warn you, there’s a slight love triangle happening in this novel, just like the summary leads you to believe, but as the reader you know who the choice is going to be so it’s not really that big of a deal. Still, both guys are sweet in their own way and you find yourself slightly rooting for the underdog just a little bit because he is just so cute.
I really enjoyed this novel but I also went into it knowing that I would love it. There was action, adventure, love, betrayal, and a quest for answers. There were fight scenes and tears shed along with romantic sighs and quiet yelling at the characters to remove certain body parts from certain cavities. Basically it has everything that a mermaid YA novel should have in order to be great. I was kept at attention and on the edge of my seat for a lot of the novel just wanting to know what was going to happen next. In fact I read this novel from start to finish in a very short period of time due to my inability to disconnect from the pages. There were a few things that I didn’t like about this novel, though.
First, there’s the ending. Ok, I get it, really I do, but I almost screamed in frustration. I don’t want to ruin the ending so I’m not going to go into details, but what the hell Tempest? Not even a freaking “Goodbye, I love you”? If I were on the receiving end of this whole situation I would be super pissed for not being even a passing thought. One thing I did like about the novel was that it didn’t end on a huge cliff-hanger. Yes, there were several unanswered questions but I could have lived with it as a stand-alone if need be. Thankfully, it was building for at least one more, so I won’t have to make do with just one.
The villain fell a little flat for me. I was more intrigued by something else that happened very quickly than I was with the evil sea witch. I thought that the build-up for her was well written, but the entire confrontation was a little too Breaking Dawn for this reader.
And what’s with the coldness that’s the big focus for about the first five chapters and then BOOM never mentioned again. I mean, seriously, you’re forced to read several paragraphs about how cold this girl is, how she can’t stop shivering, and then all of a sudden... what? She’s not cold anymore – ever? There’s a brief moment where it’s semi-brought up but it really means nothing in the long run and doesn’t explain it. I guess it’s just me but this really irked me.
Some of the lore was a little vague for me as well, but I think that it will be explored more in the second novel which is due out next June – a novel I can’t wait to read.
Despite the problems that I had with this novel, it delivered exactly what I wanted from reading it. It’s fun, cute, adventurous, and it has such a pretty cover. I’m giving it a 7.5/10 and it’s one that I’ll definitely be passing on to fellow YA lovers who also like mermaids and magic.

Cover Reveal - More Mermaids Please!

Look, Look, Look!

Isn't it pretty? I'll admit I'm more of a fan of the original but I do enjoy the continuation that this cover provides. The face looks too old, though, in my opinion and it's different than the first. But I love the colour use!

Summary: Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side.
But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat.
As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Doesn't it sound fantastic too? I can't wait for next summer (June 5th) for Walker Children's to release this one!

Stay tuned later today for my review of Tempest Rising!

Ps: Sorry that the photo is so blurry, but the Goodreads picture isn't that big and I can't find a better resolution. Also, keep in mind this may not be the final cover.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spy School Cool

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Written by: Ally Carter
Released: May 1, 2006 by Hyperion
Summary: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance.
This was such a cute novel. I’ll admit that after reading this first in the Gallagher Girls series I’m still a bigger fan of Heist Society, but I can completely see myself getting attached to these characters and falling in love with these books.
Cammie was such a likeable character. I loved reading how she first stepped into the teenage realm of dating and boys (all while balancing her impressive school work and extra credit projects). Take away the school and the spy stuff and she really was just this teenage girl who knew nothing about guys but was quickly learning after being pushed into the deep end.
And the romance was so cute! I loved reading the adorable scenes between Cammie and Josh. I grinned like a mad-woman over just how sweet they were together (even when Cammie’s friends were hanging from the roof).
The supporting cast of characters in this novel were spectacular. The teachers were hilarious, the townsfolk ridiculous in their separation from the Gallagher Academy students, and the students were just jealousy invoking. I seriously wish that I had been able to attend spy school and learn 1002 different languages and accents all while participating in covert operations.
The really great thing about this novel was how Cammie and her friends stuck together no matter what. You could tell from the very beginning that Cammie, Liz and Bex had this concrete friendship but after adding Macey to the mix you really saw that a link was missing even though it wasn’t necessarily wanted at the beginning. It was great to read a novel where friends will really do anything for each other – like digging through garbage and hacking through firewalls – if it means even just one person being happy.
The only thing that I was disappointed in with this novel was that it was missing the action and adventure that I assumed it would have. Maybe it’s because I read Heist Society first or maybe it’s because this is just the first in a series, but I wanted some kick-butt scenes against bad guys. You get a little of that at the very end of the novel, but it wasn’t quite enough for me.
Still, I’m so happy that I was able to score the box-set of the first three novels in this series at a used book store because I can’t wait to read the next one! I’m giving this novel a 7/10.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-Five

I found out about this novel from Angel over at Mermaid Vision Books due to her Mermaid Month. That, and at the blogger meet-up a few weeks ago she was talking it up like crazy – basically how the cover is gorgeous (which it is) but that people were giving her weird stares on public transit because of it. Needless to say, I can’t wait for this one to come out at the end of next summer!

Monstrous Beauty
Written by: Elizabeth Fama
Released: August 21, 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Summary: Monstrous mermaids, ghosts, and a century-old curse feature in this beautifully crafted, compulsively readable thriller.
In 1872, mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
One hundred thirty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger and feels drawn to him in a way she can't explain or resist. For generations, love and death have been inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect...or a curse? Hester's investigation of her family's strange, sad history leads her to the graveyard, the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean--but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of long ago.
Ok, the name Hester aside, this sounds so good! And that cover! The main character could have the worse female name ever and I would still want to read this novel purely because of the cover.

Top Ten Tuesday (11)

This week is novels that have been sitting prettily on my shelf and doing absolutely nothing for ages. There are many such novels that I own – such is the albatross of the avid bookworm – and the hard thing about this week was choosing only ten... and finding the older ones.
So, in no particular order, my picks are;

1. The Private series by Kate Brian
I have all the books, just not the time to read all of them. I really want to, though. I loved the Privilege series!
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
It’s described as being kind of like The Hunger Games – and I love The Hunger Games so much!
3. Alpha by Rachel Vincent
This is one of my favourite adult paranormal series of books but I just can’t bring myself to read it! I don’t want the series to be over.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
This is where my whole hypothesis of the Harry Potter Syndrome stems from.
5. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
I picked up the first novel in this series at a used book store because I had seen the novels around in book stores and the covers are pretty.
6. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Another gorgeous cover I’ve never cracked open. I really enjoyed the first in the trilogy though.
7. Novels 2-4 of The Luxe series by Anna Godberson
Loved he first, ran out the buy the next three, and never got around to reading them.
8. Once Upon a Dreadful Time by Dennis L. McKiernan
This is the fifth and final book in a series. The first is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and the next four play off of characters introduced in it. I think that most are combinations of other old folk/fairy tales but it’s been so long since I read any of them that I can’t be certain.
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I bought the Swedish movie cover of this novel one Christmas on a stranger’s recommendation at Chapters. I’ve been told it’s amazing after the first 100 pages.
10. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Yeah. Another novel (for there are many more than this list shows) I waited ages for the paperback to come out to match my other novels in the trilogy and nadda.

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (74)

So this is really a week and a bit worth of books since I bought a few while in Toronto last weekend. In short, I didn’t stick to my book ban. Honestly guys, I think that this is almost a lost cause. However, it has been a couple of weeks since I ordered something for myself off of The Book Depository! And some of the purchases this week were ones that the universe made me buy.

From the amazing Ontario Blogger Meet-up last Saturday I got;
A Midsummer’s Nightmare ARC by Kody Keplinger
I read this one this past week and I loved it!
First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci
I hope this is a great alien novel!
Under the Never Sky ARC by Veronica Rossi
SO EXCITED! But I need to hold off on reading it until closer to the release date so that I don’t accidentally give away any spoilers.
Fever ARC by Lauren DeStefano
I still have to read Wither!!
I received another novel as well, but I first traded it and then gave the traded novel to my friend since she was interested in it.

Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker
Violet by Design by Melissa Walker
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
These three I just had to rescue from the bargain teen books at the Chapters in Oshawa.

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
I’d Tell You I Love You, But then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Hooked by Catherine Grenman
Flawless by Sara Shepard
I got these ones at the BMV close to the Eaton’s Center. This was such an amazing store! Hooked was brand new and I got the hardcover copy of Flawless!

From Indigo in the Eaton’s Center
In the Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer
Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Now I just need the Blue Tattoo and I’ll have them all in the paperback pretty black spine covers!

Then there was a charity book sale at one of the local elementary schools, plus it was on my birthday, so the universe told me that I needed to go and buy books!
Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs
Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs
Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
I’ve never read this one but I loved the movie from, like, 10 years ago!
The Nannies by Melody Mayer
Another Cup of Sugar by Anna Olson
Yay dessert cookbook!!

Then (since it was my birthday) I went to a used book store in the next town over and got;
The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
Now I have the entire series in hardcover!! :D Muahhahahahah!
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
I want to get all the Vampire Academy novels before I start reading the series.

Then I got a bunch of e-books this week from NetGalley but the most important one was Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout!!! I just finished reading it and I loved it! I can’t wait to buy my own copy as soon as it comes out. In fact, I might just go break my TBD streak and pre-order my copy...

So I was super lazy and fighting with my internet, hence the lack of photos. I don’t know why but internet has especially sucked this past week – more than normal. I also found out that it won’t even load klout! I’m just happy that blogger is cooperating most of the time and Twitter is accessible through my smart phone.
This is all for me this week. Leave me a message and let me know what you got in your mailbox this week! And for more IMM fun, visit the source of this amazing meme and go check out The Story Siren’s website!

Friday, November 11, 2011

All You Need is LOVE

Anna and the French Kiss
Written by: Stephanie Perkins
Released: December 2, 2010 by Dutton
Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
I honestly don’t think I could ever do this novel justice by writing a review. I absolutely loved this novel and I just wish that I hadn’t waited as long as I did to read it. First off, I want to thank Brenna for sending me the copy which now sits all pretty on my shelf – THANK YOU!
This novel was just everything I wanted from a contemporary novel. It was cute, sweet, sexy, funny, sad, and simply perfect. I first heard buzz about this around summer of 2010. This was a debut novel and it was getting rave reviews from all over. I’ll admit that I was sceptical. Sure, I was really into reading the 2010 debut authors but was this really a novel I wanted to spend my time on? It sounded just a little cheesy and I was worried that Paris as a setting would lean too much towards Paris being a selling point for readers than a setting.
Oh how wrong I was.
Paris is a key factor in this novel, I’ll give you that, but it also becomes a character in and of itself (as Paris is wont to do). I loved reading about the adventures of Anna and St. Clair in the City of Light from Notre Dame to Les Jardin du Luxembourg not to mention to French theatres. I laughed, I cried (ok, I balled my eyes out), but most of all I was on the edge of my seat needing to know that everything would end happily ever after.
I loved Anna and St. Clair, and all of their amazing friends. I swooned along with Anna over St. Clair too, though I’ll admit that I don’t go for short guys so it’s not for me. I wanted to bonk Anna over the head in all her stupid moments and kick St. Clair really hard about every second chapter. I got so invested in their relationship which just goes to show how amazing Perkins’ writing is. Her characters all drew me in and kept me in until the very last page. Heck, I didn’t want the novel to end (so I started reading Lola right away).
For everything that makes this book one that you need to read right now – and I’m definitely going to be passing it on to my friends and family to borrow – I’m giving it a 10/10. If I could go higher I would! I can’t wait to read whatever else Perkins comes out with in the future. She has made a fan for life out of me!

One thing, though; where's Anna's white hair stripe in the cover art?

Ps: Happy 11/11/11!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Say Goodbye When You Say Hello

What Happened to Goodbye
Written by: Sarah Dessen
Released: May 10, 2011 by Penguin Young Readers Group
Summary: Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

This was my first ever Dessen novel and it’s not about to be the last. I can say that with must assuredness because I have most of her other novels now sitting on my shelf from picking them up at used book stores.
This particular novel I was privileged enough to get while at BEA this past May and I was able to get it signed by the author. I’m not sure why it took me this long to read it (though not quite as long as the time between then and when this review is being posted), but I think I was a little unnerved by the amazing things I’ve heard about Dessen’s novels. I’ll even admit that I started reading this novel a month or so before I actually sat down and read it; the first time I didn’t make it past the first few pages.
I, apparently, was an idiot.
Sarah Dessen has an amazing writing style. Her characters are realistic and relatable, her writing flows well, and it’s just an amazing reading experience.
McLean felt to me as though she was really able to face a lot of her fears and problems in this novel but it was the way that she dealt with everything that made her interesting in my eyes. I can’t imagine it being easy living through a divorce like she did and the circumstances that surrounded it but by reading this novel I get a pretty good idea of what it would be like for someone. I could see where the need to constantly become someone else from town to town would stem from and how it would feel like a release from how life really was while still being rooted in it. I don’t think that, had McLean of taken on a new persona in this novel instead of her real one, that the novel would have been as enjoyable.
All the supporting characters in this novel were great to read as well and I loved how they were just normal. There wasn’t that breathtakingly beautiful guy who sweeps the MC off her feet, there wasn’t the overly dramatic BFF character, and there wasn’t the absent parent (well, not really). They were all normal people who you would find in a small town far from the city. Hell, you would find these people in my town.
I think that may be why I enjoyed this novel so much – was that it could have been my town. Still, no matter what the ultimate reason was, I really did enjoy this novel and I can’t wait to read more. Plus, I think I’ll read Dessen’s novels all in order now since apparently characters from previous novels make appearances!
Overall, I’m giving this novel an 8/10.

Cover Reveal for Sweet Evil

So I don't have a Wish List Wednesday this week but this novel is teetering on the edge of being on it. It’s also the first time that I’ve come across a photo for the cover so I’m sharing it here.
Personally I really like the cover and I think it’s rather gorgeous. It would definitely make me pick it up off a shelf if I saw it. It has this whole good vs. evil thing going on for it and it’s playing a little with the whole “devil on your shoulder” idea.

Written by: Wendy Higgins
Released: May 1, 2012 by HarperTeen
Summary: What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Anna, a tender-hearted southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger,
but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the reality that hope and love are not options for their kind. When it's time for Anna to confront her demons, will she choose to embrace her halo or her horns?

What do you think? Are you going to add this one to your To Read list? As an added bonus, it's also a 2012 debut YA novel.
I'll admit, though, that I'm a little tired of the Angel trend BUT this one seems different than most so more than likely I'm going to give it a try! Plus, the first five chapters are posted online at Inkpop so it's easy to get a real taste of the novel*!

*I read the first five chapters and I'll admit that I want more to see how some things pan out. However, I worry that it may fall into the same old, same old patterns concerning angels in YA fiction.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (73)

Ok, so I’m writing this early Friday morning because I don’t know what my internet situation will be like this weekend since I’m going to Toronto for the Ontario Book Blogger Meet-up! Of course, this means that I also forgot my camera for the event... Ah well.
This entire week, though, I’ve been in London which means I’ve had at my disposal some of the most AMAZING used bookstores ever. Which also means I spent too much money on books and now have a huge bag full to deal with... which will probably be added to in the next few days (from writing this post) and has successfully shot my book ban all to hell.
So, without further ado I’m going to get into these books because it’s 3am and I need to be up in a few hours to drive into Toronto... where I will buy more books*.
Ok, so these books have come from Half-Priced Books, Chapters, a Value Village, a Goodwill book store, and four used book stores (the fifth was mysteriously closed).

Mississippi Jack, My Bonny Light Horseman, and Rapture of the Deep by L.A. Meyer
I blame Nicole from WORD for Teens for getting me into this series. And I know it’s probably blasphemous but I like these covers better – plus I like their larger paperback size.

The Stowaway by Melinda Metz and Turnabout by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin
ROSWELL BOOKS! The first is BRAND NEW and the second is an old library book and from a different Roswell series completely but still! Excited!

A Girls Guide to Vampires, Sex and the Single Vampire, and Love in the Time of Dragons by Katie MacAlister
The first two are replacements since I somehow (i.e. I think my old roommate stole them) misplaced my original copies. These are all in brand new condition though and I got them at a used book store!

Emily of New Moon and Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
I’ve started to accumulate these classic Canadian novels and I think I have most of them now.

The Penultimate Peril, The End, The Carnivorous Carnival, and The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
I thought that these were the last I needed in the series but apparently I’m missing one. Then again, I was still looped on the sedatives from the hospital because I insisted that my dad drive me across town in the wrong direction of home so that I could go to this particular used book store.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
My Dessen collection is almost complete!
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
I’ve heard great things about this series so now I have books 1 and 2
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Another books I’ve heard good things about. It’s a lot thinner than I ever would have imagined it though.

So, as of Thursday this is what I’ve amassed this week. Oh, and a bunch of Sweet Valley Twins and Unicorn Club books for my collection but I’m too lazy to go looking for cover photos of them so I’m not bothering to show them.

Leave me a line and let me know what you got in your mailbox! And if you want more IMM fun check out The Story Siren where Kristi is the brains behind the whole thing!

*It really is a disease. Book ban will start ASAP as of Sunday night! (I hope)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Girlfriends Unite

Shut Out
Written by: Kody Keplinger
Released: September 5, 2011 by Poppy
Summary: Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.
Kody Keplinger is an amazing writer and she has made a life-long fan out of me with this her second novel and it makes me so beyond excited that I was able to get a SIGNED copy while in NYC for BEA at the Teen Author Carnival and read this novel quite a while age (yeah, I’m beyond behind in my reviews).
To start, I loved the concept behind this novel because I can completely see it happening in real life. Plus, the fact that the main focus is sex is just so reflective of how things really are. You see so many YA novels that gloss over the over-sexed ways of today’s youth. Seriously, some of the stories that I could tell you from when I was in high school that would make your jaw fall off in disbelief. But Keplinger’s characters spanned the entire spectrum from the timid wait-until-marriage virgin to the well-known school slut.
Before it was mentioned in the novel I had no idea that the plot was based on a classic greek (right?) play and when I finally put two and two together (I have my slow moments) I was really impressed and wanted to read the source material even though that will never happen because my TBR is beyond huge. I would love, though, to compare the two and see just how much they match up.
I greatly enjoyed the characters in this novel. Lissa wasn’t what I thought that she would be – which is a great thing don’t get me wrong – and by the end I left a kinship with her character in many ways. I’ll admit that I loved The DUFF just a little bit more, but I fell in love more with her leading guy in this novel than that one. Seriously, Cash is the whole package in this book – he’s sweet, caring, and funny. Plus, he’s not a dick like Randy. Speaking of, Randy was a huge jerk and I was definitely rooting for Cash the entire time – he was just so swoony.
I’m definitely giving this novel a 9/10 and I seriously cannot wait for Keplinger’s next novel A Midsummer’s Nightmare which is due out next June.

Ps: Kody Keplinger is one of the nicest authors that I have ever met. I think it’s because she was so sweet when signing my book at TAC and she took the time to speak with everyone who came up to her in the line (even if they weren’t having a book signed).