Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (18)

So this week the topic is books which I think would make for great Book Club choices. I realize that some are already Oprah picks, but this just means that they’re doubly awesome.
In no particular order my choices are;

1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
This was just one of those breathtakingly beautiful books that would work for an all-ages book club since you follow the main character from childhood to adulthood. It’s just so well written and the film is gorgeous as well.
2. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
The book is so much better than the movie and it’s a brilliant historical fiction. It’s also definitely a book that’s hard to put down once you start reading.
3. Perfume: Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
Far from what most people would choose to read, this is one of those books that makes you question humanity and also makes you feel for the murderer.
4. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
A heart-plucking contemporary that makes you believe that you can do anything, no matter what, so long as you put your mind to it and keep trying. It’s also a bit of a tear-jerker.
5. The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Perfect for those who love art, it’s the ‘story’ behind the famous painting and is a novel you can easily read more than once. Plus, it’s a relatively short novel.
6. If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Such thought-provoking novels about life, death, and love.
7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
A novel that calls to the inner princess in all of us and a fantastic choice for a younger-set or those who are young at heart. I honestly have lost count at how many times I’ve read this novel.
8.  Stay by Deb Caletti
A novel that gives you a terrifying look into how abusive teenage relationships can be. I know that some were disappointed by how fast the main character fell for someone new, but I think that she just wanted something normal back in her life after the horror story of the previous boyfriend. This would be a great book for debates.
9. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson is meant for all ages – even though he’s marketed as a pre-teen series.
10. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Great if you want to jump into the steampunk genre. It also incorporated classic literary characters, which makes reading fun and very, very bookish.

Leave me a line and a link to your TTT post! I love seeing other people’s lists.
As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (80)

Another week, another batch of books, and another video IMM!

Books featured in this week’s video;
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austin
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

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 IMM amazingness and information!

Bookcase tour - click here
Video review of The Secret Circle: The Iniriation by L.J. Smith - click here

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bookshelf Tour - Part One

I had a few requests to do a bookshelf tour, so here's part one! Part two will be posted next week!

I'm not sure why it decided to format like this... I'll have to look into that. Let me know if you enjoyed it and if you want to see more non-IMM videos!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Just a Programming Malfunction

Written by: Marissa Meyer
Released: December 5, 2011 by Tor

Summary: Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In “Glitches,” a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch....

This was a fantastic start to what I imagine will be a phenomenal book. I loved how they released this e-book before Cinder was released and gave readers this great glimpse into the world the novel is set in. I was able to read this novella online at the Tor website. You can read it here.
I really started to feel bad for Cinder and after reading this novella I can only imagine that I will feel even worse for her in a full-length novel. She’s just so sweet and you can’t help but love her and when the new “step-mother” turns into a complete bitch you just want to come to Cinder’s defence.
I really cannot wait until I crack open the spine (not really cracking it) to Cinder and start to read it. I want to have a full day where I can just sit and read because I have this gut feeling that once I start I won’t be able to stop.
I’m giving Glitches an 8.5/10.

Ps: I want an Iko of my very own. Aside from the ability to do housework, she seems like she’s going to be a cool android to have around.
By the way, is Iko a he, she or it?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You Can Find Me in The Club

The Initiation
Written by: L.J. Smith
Released: September 15, 1992 by HarperPrism (original release)

Summary: The first novel in a trilogy set in the isolated town of New Salem, where a group of teenagers wields a power of magic, passed down to them through three centuries. As a girl lies dead at the bottom of a hill, newcomer Cassie is initiated into the circle - and she hides a terrible secret.


So, as you can see this is a video review. I have basically just become very lazy (ok, not really but I work 7 days a week most weeks so I’m just super tired) and I don’t want to physically write a page review. This way I can babble and make a general arse out of myself.
To sum up;

I think Cassie is a closet lesbian
I think I like the show a bit better
I love the cheese
I hate “The Club”
It’s rather unrealistic even in supernatural terms
Good set up for the next two books
If you’re a hard-core fan of the tv show you might want to give this series a skip because it’s so different. Personally I can’t wait to read the remaining two books and see where the show goes in comparison. I’m giving it a 6/10.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish List Wednesday - Number Seventy-Two

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Released: January 13, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Summary: A Throne of Glass novella.
On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She's been sent by the Assassin's Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes - and she will risk everything to right the wrong she's been sent to bring about.
Yes, this novella is already available from Amazon.com BUT;
1.       I don’t have a Kindle
2.       I don’t want to download more crap onto my computer
3.       I refuse to spend money on e-books
That all being said, I would break all my rules to read this one, but I really hope that Bloomsbury releases all four novellas (the next three coming out in the months before Throne of Glass) in print like Spencer Hill Press did for Jennifer L. Armintrout’s Daimon. I will pay triple the price for a printed version so that it would sit all nice on my shelf. If I’m really lucky they’ll do a bind-up of all four after they’re released.

So, please Bloomsbury, please? I know that I’m not the only person who would buy printed versions!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (17)

Freebies are evil. Do you have any idea how many ideas went through my mind and I couldn’t settle on one – or I discovered that it had already been done. So, instead, I’ve decided to cheat and play Russian roulette with my books and randomly pick 10 to feature using an online number randomizer.
1. Where the Heart is by Billie Letts
I loved this novel. It deals with real problems and is just so beautifully done. The movie is rather amazing as well – though it doesn’t go into as many details.
2. After by Amy Efaw
Words cannot describe just how powerful this novel it. It’s really a must-read even if you’re not a YA fan. The subject matter is just so raw and heartbreaking – it’s an amazing novel.
3. Broken Wings by V.C. Andrews
I own a lot of V.C. Andrews novels but this one I have yet to read. It just sits on the shelf with all the other emotionally disturbed books by this author.
4. Vanished by Kate Brian
12th book in the Private series, I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.
5. Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
I read this back in high school and it’s just so good. The book that comes before it – Homecoming – it just as amazing.
6. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
One of the only fairy novels that I like from what I've read so far.
7. Tall Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands
So good. It’s set in Canada and blends the perfect amount of sexy times and humour.
8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
An amazing start to an amazing series of novels. If you haven’t read this novel yet you really should – it’s great for all ages.
9. He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
I loved She’s So Dead to Us and was excited to read this one – but I haven’t yet.
10. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
I love Gail Carson Levine. While Ella Enchanted is my favourite, this one is really good too!

Leave me a line and a link to your TTT post! I love seeing other people’s lists.
As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (79)

IMM is brought to you this week via vlog!! I have to admit, I'm rather enjoying making them. Let me know if you would want to see more by way of reviews, lists, and whatnot!

Books mentioned;

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Fated by Sarah Alderson

Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The Candidates by Inara Scott

The Marked by Inara Scott

Also mentioned;

True Blood season three

I got some other e-books this week, but I'll list them next week!
(ok, I was just too lazy to add them to the video and then forgot once it was uploaded...)

And, yes, I did get a little crazy. But, in my defense, it was late Friday night and I'm a rather insane person to begin with in real life.

As always, IMM credit is given to The Story Siren and you can find more info on her amazing website!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

If Shakespeare Wrote YA - a mini review

A Midsummer’s Nightmare
Written by: Kody Keplinger
Released: June 5, 2012 by Poppy
Summary: Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée’s son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
I don’t think that Keplinger can write something I won’t love. Seriously, her books just seem to be getting better and I have a feeling that this review is going to mostly be gushing – so you’ve officially been warned.
I really enjoyed this book. And by really, I mean I read it in the span of a few hours simply because I could not put it down. The story draws you in and keeps your attention. You suffer the highs and the lows along with the characters and you just feel this insane need to know how it all ends as soon as possible.
I think that this novel falls into the age-old forbidden love category – and what a forbidden love it is. Move over feuding families, the feud within the family is where it’s at now. I can’t wait to see what Kody Keplinger comes out with next but I know one thing for sure; it will be just as amazing as this novel was! I’m giving it a 9/10!

Stay tuned for a full review closer to the publication date! I received my ARC from Hachette Canada via the Ontario Book Blogger meet-up from last fall.
**Cover photo is from the ARC and is not necessarily the final photo which, to date, has yet to be released.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I Think Cinderella Was a Twit

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?
Written by: Melissa Kantor
Released: September 1, 2005 by Hyperion
Summary: Wicked stepmother? Check. Evil stepsisters? Check. Miserable life? Check.
Lucy Norton’s life has all the makings of a Cinderella story. Her dad’s always away on business, leaving Lucy with her cruel stepmother and bratty stepsisters. She’s burdened with chores, and has a hard time fitting in at her new school. So when she sees Connor Pearson, the star player on the varsity basketball team, Lucy hopes her destiny has finally changed. With everything else going on in her life, doesn’t she at least deserve to get the handsome prince?
Melissa Kantor’s enchanting novel proves that sometimes the happy ending isn’t quite the one you’d expect. Lucy’s about to discover the truth about finding her real Prince Charming… and finding herself.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have realized now that, after 20+ years, Cinderella pisses me off thanks to this novel. Granted, I haven’t watched the Disney version is quite a long time (do I have it on DVD? Upon quick inspection I don’t, but I do have it on VHS) so maybe I should just to see if these feelings are even valid, but that doesn’t change the fact that I had an epiphany. Cinderella is a twit who never stands up for herself. And so, in order to properly review this novel, I’m going to take a page out of this book (the first in fact) and do a side-by-side comparison between Cinderella and Lucy.
Familial Layout
Cinderella has two deceased parents and a stepmother she should have poisoned long ago (back in those days they didn’t have CSI so it’s untraceable) and two stepsisters she should have drowned when they were children. They do, after all, look stupid enough to not know enough to stand up in a fountain full of three feet of water. I’m just saying...
Lucy has a mostly absent, clearly brainwashed father, a gold-digger of a stepmother, and two bratty kid stepsisters. Being that this is the 21st century, all she would need to do is place an anonymous phone call or two from a pay phone and become an emancipated minor.
Cinderella = sleeping in the sooty fireplace/kitchen or in the drafty tower room where the staircase seems to deft physics. One push and goodbye Cinderella.
Lucy = spider-infested (I’m assuming) basement with a blow-up mattress.
Cinderella = rodents who most likely have rabies; especially the fat one.
Lucy = well, she gets some friends and they teach her how to dress like a slut. Maybe she would be better off with the rabies...
Prince Charming
Cinderella experiences love at first sight and is whisked off her feet, which is probably a good thing considering I don’t think that glass would make for comfy footwear. It could also be argued that she saw a good opportunity and took it. I know that I would have done the same just to get out of that house. You know, unless I took the first point into action and was thus made independently wealthy.
Lucy gets hit on by the school hunk after wowing him with basketball facts. Basically she becomes a guy friend who said basketball player could publically kiss. But then there’s the dark horse entry complete with red sneakers and a tuxedo. I’d choose door number two. Swoon!
Happily Ever After
Cinderella has an unknown future but I would imagine that it involves a lot of alcohol and dealing with scullery maids who aren’t in the scullery... if you get my meaning. I think that the Prince might develop a bit of a “hero complex” and take to helping the staff.
Lucy makes her own happy ending but only after getting to the ball. I find no complaints there.

In my opinion, Cinderella takes all this abuse at home, right? She’s obviously not paid for what she does, so she stays and plays the servant bit (minus a monthly salary) for what, exactly? To be belittled and treated like dirt? The girl needs to grow a backbone. I would imagine that there is no way in hell that everything was left to the money-hungry old crone. But I digress, this is exactly what I hated about Lucy in the beginning of this novel. She took all this abuse – the girl sleeps on an AIR MATTRESS for eight months in the flipping BASEMENT – and doesn’t try to rectify the situation. I waited chapter after chapter for her to flip a shit on everyone and demand a proper bed. And a dresser. Maybe a closet. Then, when she finally does, she backs down and becomes all docile again. Then, shit really hits the fan and I couldn’t help but cheer; she was way overdue for a teenage rebellion and the parental units should have just been happy she didn’t end up going overboard and being the next Sixteen and Pregnant contestant.
Now, Cinderella aside, I really enjoyed this novel. I read it in one sitting because it was just so fun and consuming. I did not want to stop – I just needed to see what would happen next and I waited for Lucy’s rebellion to kick in.
I loved how art acted in this novel. Hell, I just love how it was incorporated. It allowed the reader to see this entirely different side of Lucy; this confident side where she can be snarky and speak her mind. Where knowing basketball made Lucy popular, knowing art made her come into her own person.
I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to reading other novels by Kantor – especially if they’re based on fairy tales. I’m giving this novel a 7.5/10.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So You Married A Vampire

Jessica Rules the Dark Side
Written by: Beth Fantaskey
Released: January 10, 2012 by Harcourt Children’s Books

Summary: The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.
It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?
Ok, I really enjoyed Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I was a little hesitant when I first started reading, but I ended up really liking it. So, when I went into readingthis novel I figured that I would at least like reading it as well – boy was I wrong.
So I received my copy while at BEA last year almost by fluke. I was in the Harcourt area, asking about a different novel that they had a display poster for, and overheard another girl asking about this novel. Turns out that there were advanced copies and my inner book whore reared its head and I asked for a copy as well even though I had (at that point) never read the first book. It was on my shelf, I just hadn’t read it.
Like I said, I went into reading this book expecting to enjoy it like I did the first but sadly that wasn’t to be. As much as I liked the first, I disliked this one – which is really too bad.
The main focus of this novel is the murder mystery and Jessica becoming the ideal Queen. Well, I had the mystery figured out within the first few chapters (before the damn crime was even committed) and Jessica was a huge drip for almost the entire novel. Sure, she finally came into her own within the last few chapters, but I was just so taken back by the abrupt change in her character. It just was not enjoyable to read.
There were parts of this novel that I did enjoy and they go by the name of Mindy. I enjoyed reading her chapters and loved her voice in them. She was just so fun and I was rooting for her romance with Rainero. Plus, I love how she saw the obvious which STARED YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!
I think that, unless you’re a die-hard Jessica fan, you should stop reading after the first novel. It ended well and didn’t necessarily warrant a sequel. If you want more, there’s always the online wedding novella on Beth Fantaskey’s website (which is super cute). I’m giving this novel a 3.5/10.

Help me decide what amazing novel to read next!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wish List Wednesday - Number Seventy-One

Give me anything to do with faity tales and I'll be very happy. That alone is enough reason to want to read this novel, but then check out this cover!

Oh my god it's beautiful! Just, wow. And then the summary;

This book is coming at you April 10, 2012 by EgmontUSA so make sure to add it to your To Read lists!

True love’s kiss just may prove deadly....

Mirabelle’s past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents’ tragic deaths to her guardians’ half-truths about why she can’t return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who’s a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren’t pretty things, and they don’t always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy-tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy-tale curses of their own ... brothers who share a dark secret. And she’ll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

Speaking of reading - help me decide what to read next! Just click the link here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (16)

This week the topic is 10 Books for People Who Don’t Read X. I have decided to make my list for people who don’t read non-contemporary novels. See, I was going to make it for people who don’t read young adult but I wanted to have a bit of a wider spectrum than just YA. This way I can incorporate MG and Adult titles!
So, in no particular order, my top ten picks are;
1. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I read and love this novel and have the next two in the Oz series – but haven’t read it yet. Still, this book is so good that it spawned an award winning Broadway show.
2. Stray and the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent
You want something with sexy times, action, and a lot of bite, this is the book (and series) for you. Faythe is a kick ass heroine who can shift into a werecat – enough said.
3. Uglies (and following books) by Scott Westerfeld
This is a fantastic dystopian that makes you think about just how much society thinks about how beauty = good.
4. The Lightning Thief and the Percy Jackson series as a whole by Rick Riodan
Reminiscent of the Harry Potter series, these books grow with the reader and appeal to adults as well. Personally it’s a favourite of mine.
5. Soulless and the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
Steampunk with weres, vamps, and ghosts plus one amazing main character who will smack you with her umbrella if you get out of line.
6. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Oh how I love this book, (screw the following two) I don’t think I could count the ways. I loved the anime film but I adore the novel.
7. Dragons or Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Not the name of a book, but rather the focus of her paranormal series’. This lady is ‘make you pee your pants’ funny while pairing that with sexy times.
8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
It’s a great zombie book that has you on the edge of your seat for the majority of it. I have yet to read the next two, but I will soon!
9. the Circle of Magic quartet by Tamora Pierce
Really, and novel by Tamora Pierce but this quartet is my favourite.
10. Anything that has to do with fairy tales at all.
Do I really have to elaborate on this one?

Leave me a line and a link to your TTT post! I love seeing other people’s lists.

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

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (78)

Yay! I got a book in the mail this week!

Kelly's websites where the contest was held;

Books Mentioned;

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Starters by Lissa Price
dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman
Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
First Date by Krista McGee
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

I also forgot to add in the video that I got Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown!!

Happy reading everyone! Leave me a line and let me know what you got in your mailbox this week!

This week's IMM. For more information, visit The Story Siren's website;

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The First DNF of 2012

Various Positions
Written by: Martha Schabas
Released: February 14, 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux (First published June 28, 2011 by Doubleday Canada)
Summary: Nuanced, fresh, and gorgeously well-written, Martha Schabas' extraordinary debut novel takes us inside the beauty and brutality of professional ballet, and the young women striving to make it in that world.
Shy and introverted, and trapped between the hyper-sexualized world of her teenaged friends and her dysfunctional family, Georgia is only at ease when she's dancing. Fortunately, she's an unusually talented and promising dancer. When she is accepted into the notoriously exclusive Royal Ballet Academy--Canada's preeminent dance school--Georgia thinks she has made the perfect escape. In ballet, she finds the exhilarating control and power she lacks elsewhere in her life: physical, emotional and, increasingly, sexual.
This dynamic is nowhere more obvious than in Georgia's relationship with Artistic Director Roderick Allen. As Roderick singles her out as a star and subjects her to increasingly vicious training, Georgia obsesses about becoming his perfect student, disciplined and sexless. But a disturbing incident with a stranger on the subway, coupled with her dawning recognition of the truth of her parents' unhappy marriage, causes her to radically reassess her ideas about physical boundaries--a reassessment that threatens both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina.
After reading just over 100 pages I just couldn't do it anymore. I didn't care for the characters and the plot just dragged. I tried, really I did, but I just couldn’t do it. With every new chapter I thought ‘this will be the one where the plot picks up’ but, alas, that was never the case. Finally I just had enough and stopped reading. I have so many other books on my TBR that I actually will enjoy – I’m not going to waste a few hours with something that I’m not connecting to.
The sad part is, though, is that the opening was amazing and was what made me want to read this novel from the moment I opened the document on my e-reader. I just wish that the rest of the novel had been as intriguing and attention grabbing. It’s like there was this amazing hook... but no worm.
I wish that I could have connected to the main character but there was nothing there to grab onto. I think that the problem was that she was a huge drip. I get that she’s only fourteen and that, yes, kids do the things at that age which are depicted in what I read (yes, there were girls in grade nine who were sexually active when I was in high school) but she was such a flat character. The girl didn’t have friends! Sure, once she got into ballet school she had the girls from there, but before that there was no mention of someone from public school and even after there was nothing. Hell, I skimmed the last 20 pages or so just to see how it ends and nothing arose then either. The main character is just so... blah, for lack of better wording and she never seemed to try. I think that was what really turned me off reading this; since I couldn’t connect to a disconnected character, I couldn’t get into the story, and so what was the point of reading it at all?
Another thing that bothered me about this novel was that the focus seemed to be more on the main characters (see, she didn’t even make enough of an impression for me to remember her first name and I was just reading less than 10 minutes ago) parents and their messed up relationship. Her father was always “working” (I didn’t get far enough to see if my hypothesis on this one was right) and her mother seemed to be suffering from a severe form of depression or was bipolar. They had this huge disconnect and were always either screaming or sucking face.
I was hoping that this would be a great ballet book like Sophie Flack’s Bunheads, but I was sadly disappointed, especially since it’s a Canadian novel. In the end, I've had many other books along the same genre line that I enjoyed much more and this one just didn't cut it. There just wasn’t a heart or soul in this novel and it showed through the pages. I wish that this wasn’t the case, but the work speaks for itself. I'm giving this novel a 2/10.
On a side note, isn't the cover gorgeous? I love the simplicity and the black against the white.

I received this eARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Purity Cover Revealed!

I LOVE THIS COVER! It's so pretty, and simplistic, and fits in with the summary of the novel perfectly. I definitely cannot wait for this one to come out!

Summary: Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

For more information about the cover, visit Jackson Pearce's website or the Purity Goodreads page! April can't come fast enough!

The House on Haunting Hill

Unraveling Isobel
Written by: Eileen Cook
Released: January 3, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Summary: Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.
"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." --Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy
This book messed with my mind. Seriously, it invaded my dreams so that I was having creepy ghost-type nightmares. I think this made me finish it rather quickly after that first night of reading...
If you want a fast-paced novel that leaves you wondering right up until the very last page – this is the book for you. I had so many questions (some which weren’t answered... but oh well) and I couldn’t anticipate most of the twists which were thrown at me while reading. Sure, there were certain plot lines that I figured out rather quickly, but just when I thought I had everything figured out it all went to pot and I was left scrambling to make sense of the new revelations and think up different possible outcomes.
Where the mystery was fantastic, the romance was a little lacking. I didn’t care for how quickly the dynamic between Isobel and Nathaniel (the brand new step-brother). Dude was a total dick right from the beginning and then suddenly he’s super nice and falling in love. I did, however, like the endgame of the romance and how Nathaniel and Isobel were together. Does that make sense?
Now let’s discuss the characters. I loved the slow descent into madness that Isobel thought she was experiencing and her reactions to it all. Hell, I liked Isobel as a character in general (minus the insta-romance). I thought that she was realistically written in regards to her reaction to stepfather Dick and her curiosity behind the disappearance of certain characters (I don’t want to give away any of the mystery). Now Nathaniel on the other hand took a while to warm up to. Like I said above, he was a huge dick in the beginning and several times I would think for a second ‘oh, he’s not so bad’ and then he would go and do something jerkish. But, as the novel went on he got better and better and by the end I was swooning just a little.
Then there are the “parents”. Oh how I hated the parents. Isobel’s mother is one of those women I absolutely loathe who lets a man tell her what to think and what to do. I wanted to slap the beyotch almost from the very first page. And then there was Dick – whose real name is Richard, which is rather fitting – who lived up to his Christian name. I hated how manipulative he was and how slimy. The only thing that these two characters have going for them is the fact that they worked so well with the story (duh, since they were written in there for a reason) and the fact that I reacted to strongly to them shows just how well they were written.
This isn’t the first book that I’ve read by Eileen Cook (that honour goes to Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood) and it won’t be the last. Seriously, I have The Education of Hailey Kendrick sitting on my shelf right now. I’m giving Isobel a 7.5/10

On a completely unrelated side note; it irks me that unraveling isn’t spelled unravelling and that it comes up all highlighted in my word document as misspelled.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Strange Case Indeed

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
Written by: Kady Cross
Released: May 1, 2011 by Harlequin Teen

Summary: Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience.

Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

I made the most amazing discovery and I honestly think that I’m a dunce for not knowing about it before. This would be the Ontario Library Service – and if you’re not native to this Canadian province, I’m sure that there’s a local equivalent for you.
This website is amazing. It’s all audio and e-books that you can lend out for either 7 or 14 days. I’ve gone on a huge MP3 binge from there since I can transfer them to my e-reader and keep them past the expiry date, but this novel in particular I got in e-book format.
Last year I read and reviewed the amazing The Girl in the Steel Corset and soon after was informed that there was going to be a novella prequel. I was really excited to read it but never got the chance – until last month.
Topping out at less than 100 pages, it’s a fast read with a lot of action and information into Finley and her character. In fact, if I’m not mistake, the events of this novella are mentioned briefly in the Steel Corset and by reading this I’m able to quell my curiosity over the entire matter.
For such a short story, this novella packs a lot into its pages. First we’re (re)introduced to Finley and meet her just as she’s being fired – again. From there we see her become employed into an affluent family, grow close to her employers, and ultimately save lives in the process. The reader is also given a small taste of how The Girl in the Steel Corset integrates famous classic literature into its plot lines.
I love Finley as a main character and as a heroine. She’s the defender of the less fortunate and down-trodden, she has a superb moral compass, and she can kick some serious butt. I mean, a girl who can drop from the second storey window without breaking an ankle (and without thinking of the consequences), just to come to the rescue of someone she thinks is in trouble is a definite hero in my books.
If you haven’t checked out this series yet, or you’re unsure of the steampunk genre, this is a great jumping off point. Personally I can’t wait for book two – The Girl in the Clockwork Collar – to come out this spring! I’m giving The Strange Case of Finely Jayne an 8/10.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wish List Wednesday - Number Seventy

The Académie
Written by: Susanne Dunlap
Released: April 10, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Summary: Eliza Monroe—daughter of the future president of the United States—is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when—ooh, la-la!—she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies—and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.
Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history.
Gorgeous cover, intriguing summary, and a stand-alone novel? Count me in! This one is up on NetGalley and my fingers are crossed that I’m approved for it. If not, I’ll just have to wait until it comes out!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (15)

Ugh, this was such a hard list to come up with! I didn’t want to have books where the author was coming out with a book this year and I wanted to have authors who have nothing set up for release. So I tried, and I searched, and I Googled and Goodreadsed and this is what I came up with.
So, in no particular order, the authors who I wish would write more ASAP!

1. Lise Haines
She wrote Girl in the Arena and I absolutely loved that novel. It was just so well done and I would love more from her – especially if it was in the Girl in the Arena world.
2. Shauna Cross
Famous for writing Derby Girl which was made into the movie Whip It. I loved both the book and the movie!
3. Aimee Friedman
I really liked Sea Change and I would love to read a second novel.
4. Heather Dixon
Especially if she writes more fairy tale retellings like Entwined I’ll be one happy reader!
5. Amy Efaw
After is this heartbreaking novel that I would rate as one of my top reads of all time, and Battle Dress was just so empowering and great.
6. J.K. Rowling
The world needs more from her – period.
7. Suzanne Collins
With the wild success of The Hunger Games, I would love to see another YA book (or 10) from her!
8. Gayle Forman
She has a novel coming out... in 2013. I wish there was something sooner.
9. Gregory Maguire
I’ve loved all the books of his that I’ve read and while I like his Oz books, I would like more of his fairy tale retellings.
10. Jennifer Castle
The Beginning of After was so good and was a debut. I can’t wait for more from this author!

As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!
Leave me a line and a link to your TTT post! I love seeing other people’s lists.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Top Reads of 2011

Yes, this is normally where I would post my IMM but I didn't get any books this week!

Go me!

So instead I bring to you my top reads from 2011!

Contemporary Young Adult

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kinneally
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Stay by Deb Caletti

Non-Contemporary Young Adult

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armintrout
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

New Adult/Adult

Heartless by Gail Carriger
FEED by Mira Grant

Honorable Mentions (because I don't have physical copies of these books)

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Monster High
Written by: Lisi Harrison
Released: September 1, 2010 by Poppy (audio released on September 1, 2010 by Hachette Audio)

Summary: From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the horrors of trying to fit in.

They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Disorder), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.

She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?
This was the second audio book that I’ve ever listened to and I have to say that it was a very enjoyable experience. The narrator was fantastic and even though the chapters alternated between two main characters I never had a hard time telling who was speaking. The same was when other characters were speaking – there was a subtle (or not so subtle) change in the narrator’s voice that indicated when they were talking and it made differentiating between the characters just so easy!
Lisi Harrison’s The Clique series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine whenever I go to the library. They’re cute and fun and just nice to read in order to turn off the brain and just enjoy. I think that I could easily find myself being the same with this series of books. The characters are fun and have these fantastic spins on the classic monster characters from literature, history, or mythology. For example;
There are many more and I have the feeling that more will emerge with the following books as well.
Deuce = Medusa
Clawdeen = the Wolfman
Frankie Stein = Frankenstein’s Monster
Blue = Monster from the Black Lagoon
Cleo = Cleopatra
Holt/Jackson = Jekyll & Hyde
The story is what you would expect from a MG/young YA novel; Cute and enjoyable. I found myself really getting into the audio book and laughing out loud at certain points. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye open for the following audio books or the physical books at my library.
I’m giving this book a 6.5/10 and a recommendation for anyone who wants a fun read!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cover Reveal - Stealing Parker

This novel doesn't come out until October but I am so excited to read it! Not only is it a companion novel to Catching Jordan - which I loved - but it just sounds like it's going to be a phenomenal read.

Summary: About a 17-year-old girl named Parker who falls for the new 23-year-old coach of the baseball team.

Don't you just love the cover? I like how it works with the Catching Jordan cover; which means that it will look good next to it on my shelf when I buy it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Last Weekend

Never Eighteen

Written by: Megan Bostic

Released: January 16, 2012 by Graphia

Summary: I had the dream again. The one where I’m running. I don’t know what from or where to, but I’m scared, terrified really.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. But in the short time he has left there’s one thing he can do: He can try to help the people he loves live—even though he never will.

It’s probably hopeless.

But he has to try.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this. Mostly because I’m horrible and never read a summary as a refresher before starting to read the novel, but also because with all the Lurlene McDaniel and Nicholas Sparks type books out there plots can seem all alike. This novel was different.

But first off, bravo to Megan Bostic for a debut novel that most definitely never seemed like a debut. This novel had an air about it that, while raw, never lacked in that professional undercurrent. And to be fair, the subject matter and the pure emotion were what made for a raw experience.

I liked how you were thrust right into the story, not quite knowing what was happening and what the background was. It was the same with the characters; when they were first introduced, not much was shared about them, but through Austin’s weekend journey you were able to learn whatever they were willing to share. I know that that may sound weird, but the way that it was written was so realistic in that way – no characters were forced to speak of anything that they didn’t want to.

Austin was a character who I admired and we’ll just leave it at that for fear of spoilers, but who I felt most for was his friend Kaylee. She is so strong, but there is this inner weakness that you couldn’t help but want to help make better.

This is a fantastic novel and while it made me cry I would highly recommend it. I can’t wait to see what else Bostic comes out with after this amazing debut. You can be sure that I’ll be reading it. I give it an 8/10.

My thanks to netGalley and Graphia for allowing me to read this advanced copy.