Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Release Date – March 10, 2009
Publisher – Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages - 308
My Rating- 8/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

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

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
This was my first real Zombie book (as I count Die For Me as something else). I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I am so glad I read it.

The story is heart pounding, and sad. The world Carrie Ryan has created is harsh, and full of danger. I was rooting for the characters to survive and make it through. This is the type of book that has you edge because you can feel the danger, and it seems so real.

Part of me liked Mary and part of me wanted to smack her. She couldn’t make up her mind at all. She bounced all over the place with what she wanted, and never seemed satisfied with anything. She ended up only realizing what she truly wanted when it was too late. I found her to be very realistic though. I think a lot of people don’t truly know what they want (or what they have) until it’s gone.

I loved Travis and Harry. I really enjoyed them both and had a hard time picking between the two in terms of who I liked better (Travis won out in the end). I also enjoyed Cass, Jacob, and Jed as well.

I love that Carrie didn’t sugar coat what would happen in a world like this. People would get bitten, die, and this is the case in this novel. People I didn’t expect to die ended up not making it through this novel. It was different from anything I had read as I wasn’t expecting it.

This book had moments of amazing awesomeness and other moments I felt moved a little slower. They balanced each other out, but I felt itchy to get to the good stuff sometimes.

The ending left a lot of questions unanswered. I want to know the fate of a few of the characters as some are unknown at the end of the book. I know there is a second and third in the series, so hopefully they will answer some of the questions I have. I liked the ending though. Not everything gets tied up in a nice “happily-ever-after” bow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

This sounds like a really cute, fun read. I am a sucker for love/romance books and this one sounds like I am going to really like it. The cover is really cute.

Expected release date - Jan 2,2012.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tabitha Suzuma Interview

I loved Tabitha's Forbidden so much I asked her if she would allow me to interview her. She was extremely nice, and let me ask her a few questions! To learn more about this fantastic author, and her other novels please visit her site here.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?

I was six years old when I declared to my mother I would become a writer when I grew up. Then I stuck a picture on the cover of an exercise book and started writing a story about a blind boy.

Who is the first person that gets to read your work?

My best friend.

Can you please tell us a little about your novel Forbidden?

Forbidden is a love story between sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan. They are brother and sister.

What gave you the idea for Forbidden?

Consensual incest was a subject I had wanted to write about for a number of years. I kept rejecting the idea because I thought there was a good chance the subject matter would never get past the gatekeepers. I was only able to take the plunge once I had built up confidence in my writing ability through my previous four books. I was inspired by the desire to write a tragic love story. It came down to incest by a process of elimination. I wanted the book to be set in contemporary London and I needed the two teens in question to be old enough for their love for each other to be taken seriously. But I quickly realised that (fortunately) in modern-day Britain there are very few - if any - obstacles that could keep a couple in love apart. Cultural and religious difference maybe, but if the couple were determined enough to go against their families' wishes, they could always run away together. I needed something that would be condemned by everyone wherever they went - a relationship that could never be and moreover, was against the law.

Did you realize when you were writing it that it would be controversial?

Of course. I actually gave up on the book after writing the first few chapters because I believed that no-one would agree to publish a book for teens about consensual sibling incest. I was persuaded to keep going by my editor, however. But yes, the worry was there all along and the whole book was a battle between keeping the story as realistic as possible (i.e. not glossing over the sexual scenes) and writing a book that wouldn't be banned from every school and bookshop.

What kind of research did you do for this novel?

I got in touch with a wonderfully helpful woman at the Metropolitan Police who answered all my endless questions, both about the characters' legal positions and the details of what they go through at the end of the story. I was also very fortunate in that shortly after starting the book I caught two brilliantly-made television documentaries on the subject. I also found a couple of fascinating magazine articles about siblings who'd had consensual incestuous relationships during their teens.

Did any of the characters grow and have a larger part than you had originally expected?

Yes. I suppose that thirteen-year-old Kit became a more important character than I had anticipated when planning the book. He became much more than just an annoying younger brother, I really began to feel for him as a person and I did not plan the crucial role he would play at in the denouement of the novel until I reached the end.

Which character was the hardest to write? The easiest?

They were all quite easy characters to write because they were all based on people I know - at least in part. Lochan was undoubtedly the most complex, the most unusual, the most emotional and the most intense. Then again, he was the character I identified with the most.

Is there anything you would want someone to know before picking up Forbidden?

Yes. That it's a book about consensual sibling incest. And there are a few explicit love scenes and so it is not a book for children, nor for the faint-of-heart!

Forbidden is quite dark. Do your other works have that same tone?

Yes. Most of my books revolve around mental illness or mental suffering because it is something I am very familiar with. Clinical depression is a condition I have lived with for most of my life and one which has come close to ending it. I guess I write about what I know, what fascinates me, and what I think is important, and all of these topics fall into at least one of those categories. The genius in A Note of Madness and its sequel A Voice in the Distance is Flynn, who is a musical prodigy, and his ‘genius’ was greatly influenced by my then teenage brother who is currently training to become a professional concert pianist. I am also fascinated by the link between mental illness and the artistic temperament. I studied psychology for a while, and one of my favourite books is Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison, which studies this link by exploring the lives of the many, many illustrious writers, musicians, composers and artists who suffered from some sort of mental illness.

The cover is great. Did you have any input? If not who designed it?

I didn't have much input into the cover of this one. It was designed by the artistic team at Random House UK.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about any of your books?


What is the last book you read and enjoyed?

We Need to Talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

Monday, June 27, 2011

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Release Date – June 28, 2011
Publisher – Simon Pulse
Pages - 464
My Rating- 10/10
*Special thanks to the S&S Galley Grab for this one*

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

I don’t know that there is a rating high enough for this book. I know a lot of people after reading the synopsis might be a little leery of picking this one up. Do yourself a favour and read it! I haven’t been as impacted by a book since Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It’s the type of book that grabs your heart, squeezes and leaves you changed.

The writing in this is so hauntingly beautiful. Tabitha manages to break your heart with the littlest words. She makes you feel everything - the pain, the love, the joy, the fear, and the happy family moments too. You are sucked into this little world of Lochan and Maya’s and are so invested in these characters.

I don’t think it’s possible for me to dislike a character as much as I disliked the mother in this book. She’s horrible. The fact that two teenagers were left to be the adults in the house and care for three younger siblings was awful enough, however her coming in and out of their lives was much worse. It broke my heart each time the children would get excited when would come back. I knew she would disappoint them eventually. You see them slowly become more and more broken until your heart shatters for them.

The 5 siblings are so fully developed. You understand why each one does the things they do. You want to protect them, and at the same time shake Lochan and Maya and make them see reason. Lochan and Maya are both so broken. They both have issues even making connections to people outside of the family for fear of people finding out about the home situation. The pressure and stress that these two have would be a lot for most adults, never mind teenagers.

I also ended up caring about the other siblings (Kit, Tiffin, and Willa). I especially loved Willa. Poor, young, Willa. I couldn’t help feel bad that this adorable little child seemed old beyond her young years. It’s almost like she wasn’t getting to be a child. Kit and Tiffin each broken their own way, and act out in different ways. You could see the bond and love between all them (even when Kit pushes Lochan to his breaking point).

The end of the book devastated me. You can see the ending coming, and as you speed towards it you want to scream at the characters to stop. You want to try to prevent it, but really this is the outcome you’ve already come to expect. I will suggest having tissues on hand as it’s a sad, haunting ending that will stay with you.

It’s a heavier read, so make sure you’re in the mood for this type, otherwise I recommend this to everyone. It’s one that is going on my bookshelf in hardcover once it gets released.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday/Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q. In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

My favourite fairytale. Hmm....Beauty and the Beast. I've always liked it. The Grimm brother's version and the Disney movie.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q-“When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?”

I was pretty young. I liked to read as long as I could remember, however, I really got into it with the Sweet Valley High books when I was like 12 or so. I went through a faze where all I would read was those book (over and over again). I've pretty much always liked to read though.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Release Date – April 26, 2011
Publisher – Balzer + Bray
Pages - 323
My Rating- 6.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

I picked up Bumped and was so wanting to love it. I love the premise. It seems really believable, and scary. I felt like it could happen in the future. However, this was just an ok read for me

I thought it was interesting to have the two sides - having babies for profit vs. having them to raise yourself. It made me think about what it would be like if this actually happened. I could see the world McCafferty built as being a likely possibility. It definitely made me think, and ask questions of myself.

I found myself getting frustrated with the slang, and words the characters used (ex rilly, for serious). It was really prevalent throughout the whole book and I honestly found it distracting.

The two main characters Melody and Harmony. Harmony is the religious twin, while Melody is the “Pro”. She has a contact to give birth for a wealthy family. While they seem very different, I found their voices very similar. I found it sort of confusing to keep straight whose point of view I was reading as it switched back and forth. It got better as I got more into the story but I really felt like there wasn’t an overt difference. I also had a hard time connecting to either of them. They seemed to be there just so we could see what the effects of both ways living were. They succeeded in this but at a cost of having me really become invested in them.

The one character I really did like was Zen. He was sweet, really loves Melody (even though she won’t admit she likes him too). I just wanted him to get the girl. He provided some chuckles and I hope he has a happy ending when the series ends.

I do think that there will be people who love this book for the exact reasons that I just couldn’t get into it. I just wish that there had been less of a distraction from what was a really interesting premise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - A Beautiful Dark

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums.

She never questioned if the stories were true.

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing.

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker

I love the cover of this. It's really pretty. I also love the synopsis. I like the sounds of the triangle, and the paranormal aspect sounds like it might be different than what is out there now. I have a copy of this waiting for me to read it, and I may have to bump it up my to be read list.

Expected release date - September 27,2011.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bookish Things

There has been so much awesome cover releases, videos I have stumbled on, etc in the last little while that I thought I would do a quick post with some of my favourite things I've found.


As I am sure everyone already knows JK Rowling is set to make an announcement about her next "project". It's not a book, and that's about all we know. Whatever it is it's called Pottermore. The official announcement is coming June 23rd. The official website is and you can follow them on Twitter - @pottermore. You can also see the really cool countdown here.

On the topic of Harry Potter. We are less than a month away from the FINAL Harry Potter movie. I am not sure how I feel about this. I am so excited to see it, but sad it's ending. Anyone else?


Two of my favourite dystopian novels are Divergent and Delirium. Veronica and Lauren did a tour together and HarperTeen has posted some awesome videos of interviews with them. Here are my two favourites

Veronica also announced that the title of book 2 will be Insurgent. CAN.NOT.WAIT!


I am a fan of the books, but this is about the TV show. The next season starts this Sunday and I am so excited.

True Blood does AMAZING marketing, and they recently did a whole campaign dealing with True Blood Withdrawal . Hilarious and so much fun. This is just one of them.

I am sure there are TONS more things I am missing. Anything book related that you think is awesome? Leave it in the comments!

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Release Date – June 14, 2011
Publisher – Random House
Pages - 349
My Rating- 8.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

I loved the original Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series. LOVED. I was so excited to hear that there would be a book about Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget as adults. I always wondered what happened to them. I was satisfied where I had left them, and this is a classic example of be careful what you wish for (but more on that later).

Jumping into the story I immediately realized how much I missed the girls. I was happy to see that for the most part they hadn’t changed too much. They were just more grown up versions of what I remembered. The nostalgia factor was high. I was a transported back to when I first read the previous books and watched the movies. It was nice, and felt like catching up with an old friend (or in this case friends). It was nice to see what Kostos, Eric, and Brian were up to as well. The guys of the Sisterhood are pretty awesome (I have a huge soft spot for all of them for different reasons). It’s also nice to see which couples made it.

The writing style was typical of the other books. Some of the books in the Sisterhood series are better than others, and I think this book is one of the better ones. Is it perfect? No, but I think fans of the previous books will devour this one.

Now on to the “be careful what you wish for” part. I know a lot of readers want another book when their favourite series ends. We all want to go back and visit those characters that we love, myself included. I usually tend to forget that means our characters may have bad things happen to them. This book has an event that devastated me. I literally ended up crying for most of this book. I don’t mean little sobs either. I mean messy, on my bed curled up bawling. I had to stop reading. I don’t want to give anything away because I think it impacts you more if you are not expecting it. I will say that I think I reacted so strongly because the event happens to my favourite character, and I am around the age of these characters ( I am 30, they are turning 30 in the book) and was able to put myself in the same position. I couldn’t help but thinking of what it would be like if it were me.

I finished this book wanting to call my best friends and tell them that I love them. I want to make sure they know that every day. It’s cheesy but true. It highlighted how important true friendship can be in your life and made me cherish the ones I do have.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday/Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Hmm...I am going to say Urban Fantasy. The Cassandra Clare novels The Mortal Instruments series made me love it. It`s hard to pick just one though.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q- “How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile?”

I currently have about 100-150 books waiting in my closet to be read. I really need to get a bookshelf.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey # 2) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey series # 2) by Julie Kagawa
Release Date – August 1, 2010
Publisher – Harlequin Teen
Pages - 359
My Rating- 8.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I was so glad that I got this book right after finishing Iron King. I am also glad I have Iron Queen waiting for me. I don’t think I could stand the wait. If you didn’t read my review of Iron King you can do so here.

I once again was sucked into the story. Julie’s descriptions are so vivid that you can picture everything perfectly. It was nice to learn more about the Winter Court. We meet Ash’s brothers Sage and Rowan. They are both as icy as Ash, and just as good looking. I loved the policies and traditions that exist within the Courts. It’s all new to Meghan so we learn along with her.

I adored all the characters again this time around. Puck is still his adorable, smirky self. I had said in my last review that I figured Puck liked Meghan. That question is answered in this book. I must say as much as I like Puck, I am Team Ash. I just see him as a better fit with Meghan.

Grim provided some humorous moments. I love that we got see him again. I really ended up loving Ironhorse in this one. His loyalty, and sense of honour were very apparent and made me like him.

Ash is still swoon worthy. As usual he played hot and cold throughout the book. I understood why he did it though. The romance between Meghan and him is seriously steamy .

I loved Meghan in the first book. I still liked her in this one. She’s loyal, brave, and not afraid to fight. There were a few times that I wanted to shake some sense into her during this book though.

We meet a few new characters in this book. Leanansidhe is an interesting character, and I have a feeling that she’ll be a big part of the next books. We learned about what happens to faery that have been banished from the Seelie/Unseelie Courts. We also meet Charles. I knew exactly how important he would be early on, and I am looking forward to what Meghan does with the information she now has.

I felt that the end of this book had a even better cliff hanger than the first one. I wasn’t expecting what happened at the end, and I am legitimately worried about a certain favourite character of mine.

The ending of the book set up the next one, and has made me want to dive into the next one and stay up all night reading. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite series and I am looking forward to continuing the journey with Meghan and her beautiful Winter Prince.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday....Want To Go Private

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Want To Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman

Here is the Goodreads synopsis-

Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.

Abby is starting high school—it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke—he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

This sounds like an intense, gripping read. It also sounds like a very timely message that should be put out there. I can't wait to read it!

Expected release date - August 1, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Iron King (Iron Fey # 1) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King (Iron Fey series book 1) by Julie Kagawa
Release Date – February 1, 2010
Publisher – Harlequin Teen
Pages - 363
My Rating- 9/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I resisted picking this up for so long. I am not really sure why. I finally gave in and I am so glad I did.

This book hooked me right from the beginning. I was immediately drawn into the world that Julie has created. The world of the Summer and Winter fey courts were so vividly described that I could picture them completely. I am all about the Winter Court. It sounds so beautiful (although too cold) and it has Ash. The Summer Court is also beautiful in it’s own way. I love the contrast between the two.

The characters are amazing. Meghan is a fantastic heroine. She’s tough, is willing to protect the people she loves, and is no damsel in distress. She also has soft side that is romantic, and girly. I liked the balance.

Her friend Rob/Puck is great too. Funny, full of charm and loyal. I am looking forward to seeing more of him in the next books. Ash..sigh. The Winter Prince is very swoon worthy. I am hoping that Meghan find a way to melt his icy heart a little and we get some more hot kissing scenes. He is one of the main contenders for my next “Hot Boys in Books” post. I do get a slight “triangle” vibe with maybe Puck liking Meghan as well. I am curious to see if I am correct. I love Grim as well. He made me laugh quite a bit. It was nice to have his comic relief throughout the book.

The love story that is developing is nice because it’s on an instant love. It’s taking time to build and an actual connection is being developed.

I liked how technology and mythology were tied into the story. It was different and not what I was expecting when I started the book. The tying in of Midsummer Night's Dream was also a great touch. I love Shakespeare so that just made this novel even more fantastic.

This is a fantastic start to a series that I should have started A LONG time ago. I can’t wait to start Iron Daughter and luckily I have it already! Pick up this series if you haven’t already!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
Release Date – May 8, 2011
Publisher – Flux
Pages - 264
My Rating- 8.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.
This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.
We meet Ann 1 year into her relationship with Connor. We meet her as she is lying on the floor surrounded by glass. She’s been abused by Connor and you get the impression that this is the worst in an escalation of abuse. The story goes in reverse chronological order from there, leading up to the day she meets Connor.

I thought that this technique was perfect for this type of story. Often in cases of domestic abuse the refrain of “why did they stay” is asked. This allows us not to judge and just go on the journey with Ann. At the end of the book we are left with a sense of how both Connor and Ann got to the point they are at when we first meet them. It’s one of the novel’s strengths.

One of the things I took away from the novel was how important a support system can be in situations like this. Ann feels cut off from everyone and it impacts decisions she makes and her mind set. In situations like this just knowing that someone is there for her when she needs them can help.

The fact that both Ann and Connor are shown as broken was important to me. I felt that even though Connor’s actions were awful there is an underlying cause to his behaviour. It’s too often that the “villain” in this type of book would be one dimensional and not developed, and this is not the case with Connor.

The writing style really pulls you in. You’re invested right from the beginning and you want to know what brought Ann and Connor to the point they are at when we first meet them. The book almost makes you feel like you’re the one whose been beaten. You feel Ann’s pain when she is abused. The author manages with her words to keep you on your guard, like you’re Ann walking on egg shells with Connor.

As sad as this novel is, I think it’s an important one. This is situation that needs to be discussed so that necessary support systems can be put into place. It’s an intense and thought provoking read that I recommend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q. The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

I am going to go with a 2 part answer. If I was in the mood to play it safe I would pick Anna Oliphant from Anna and the French Kiss. Not only does she get to go to school in Paris for awhile, but she ends up with the adorable Etienne St Clair. It's also a big bonus that she's not in danger of being killed all the time.

If I was feeling a little more daring I would select Mara Dyer from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Sure, she has some major issues, her life isn't perfect (but who has a perfect life) but she's just awesome. OH, and that I would mean getting to be around the delicious Noah Shaw.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

Q- Who is the ONE author that you are DYING to meet?

Aimee Carter. She's so much fun on Twitter, and she seems really sweet. Plus, I could gush about the hotness of Henry with her in person.

Happy weekend and Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Family by Micol Ostow

Family by Micol Ostow
Release Date – April 26, 2011
Publisher – EgmontUSA
Pages - 384
My Rating- 8/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.
Told in episodic verse, family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to make themselves “whole” again.

**If you know nothing of the Mason Family case there may be some spoilers for the book in here**

I have seen a few movies, and even read a few books that were based on the Manson Family. When I heard that this was based on that case I was interested to see what the author would do with the story. If you’ve read Helter Skelter than you’ll see that this book is quite similar to the events this is “loosely” based on.

I wasn’t aware until I picked up the book to start reading it that it was written in episodic verse. This was my first time reading a book that was told in this style. It was a little jarring at first, but once I got used to it I finished the book rather quickly. There is something almost liquid about the words when written this way. They seem to just flow. It was a nice parallel to Melinda’s feelings and thoughts. The words were also a little disjointed, looping, and a little trippy. It gave the book a drugged feel which also matched our protagonist.

The switching from the night of the murder, to the early days of Melinda’s entrance into the “Family” was quite shocking and effective. I thought that was done really well.

The only thing with the verse style writing is that it does get a touch repetitive. Some of it is to underscore the cult mentality of being brainwashed, which does come across rather vividly. It did get to the point, however, that I wished at some points it would move quicker.

Melinda is abused, broken and adrift. She is looking for something, anything to hold on to. She meets Henry. He senses this and strikes. He’s all charm, and says the words that Melinda needs to hear. The author does a great job of showing how broken Melinda is. You can see how she would have gone with Henry and fallen for what he was saying. However, there were points in the novel that you could sense Melinda coming out of the almost “hypnotized state” that she was in. I liked that the author was able to make us see that a part of Melinda was fighting just below the surface against Henry’s control. She had times of doubt, fear, and uncertainty. It made her seem more real and complex.

We don’t really get to know many of the other characters except what Melinda tells us. We don’t really know much about their motivations or backgrounds. I would have liked to have learnt more about some of them, especially Henry’s mind frame. We barely get to know Melinda and that is the draw back of the verse writing. I felt a little disconnected from the characters at times.

The ending of the book felt like a storm gaining momentum. You are at the edge waiting to see what each of the characters will do. I liked that the author surprised me with the ending. It is not what I expected at all.

This dark, frightening, yet lyrical book is perfect for people who are curious about the case it’s based on, enjoy some darker fiction and don’t mind different writing styles.

Waiting on Wednesday - Deadly Cool

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday.

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool. But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.

When I read this synopsis I can't help but think of the movie Heathers in terms of that dark humour it has. It think this book will have that same dark humour. I enjoy a good murder mystery and this one sounds like it has plenty of suspects to keep me guessing. The cover is also pretty eye catching. I love the girl's eyes.

Expected release date - October 11th 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011

YA and Book Trailers

I am sure most of you have heard about the Wall Street Journal article "Darkness Too Visible" that basically slammed the YA genre. I wanted to post a much different blog post (mainly one with swearing and rants) but decided to give myself some time to cool off. They also posted another article slamming book trailers.

If you somehow managed to miss this please see the two articles -

Darkness Too Visible

The Insane World of Book Trailers

It seems that the Wall Street Journal is just bashing YA novels without really taking the time to do proper research. Have they heard of Anna and the French Kiss by the lovely Stephanie Perkins? The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot? Not every author that writes YA focuses on the dark. There are plenty of novels that are on the lighter side. These were sadly not even mentioned.

I would also like to bring up the fact that YA novels that were published years ago also were quite dark. Lord of the Flies anyone? The fact is that death, suicide, addictions, rape, etc. exist in the world. It's more important that we don't ignore these topics and get people to talk about the issue. I love that a lot of these books (really I mean the authors) take the time to provide hot line numbers, support websites and other information for people to get help if they are suffering. This wasn't mentioned in the article either.

I also don't know about most readers, but reading the same style, or type of book would get a little boring after awhile. I like that I can have a wide variety to choose from that includes both light and dark. I am not always a bubbly happy person and yes, my entertainment choices reflect that. There are times that I want to be challenged, be made to think and be left with something after I read a book, and other times I want to lay on a beach with something light and girly.

The trailer issue to me didn't really make sense either. The whole point is to get people talking, buzzing and wanting to learn more about your book. If an image, a video, or synopsis does that I don't think it's a bad thing. Shouldn't every tool possible be used to encourage EVERYONE to pick up more books? It seems like a no- brainer to me. I am going to post some amazing trailers that I do think helped get the book out into the public.

Trailers -

Room by Emma Donoghue

This simple, yet highly effective trailer has made me want to grab a copy of this book. I am not so patiently waiting to get my hands on it from the library. I know this book is not YA but they slammed all trailers so...

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

This tells you in such a brief time what you can expect from this novel. I think it captured it perfectly.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

One of the first book trailers I watched. I thought it was so unique and different. It give you the feel and mood of the novel.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

As if I wasn't excited about this book enough. This trailer has made me even more curious and has made me want to read this book even more.

In closing, I just wanted to say that I could not have been more proud when I saw #YASaves trending on Twitter. There are times that I am in awe of this book community I recently become a small part of, and that was one of them.

What do you think? Can you think of any trailers or books that go against what Wall Street Journal is proclaiming? Leave them in the comments and I will check them out!

Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession by Elana Johnson
Release Date – June 7, 2011
Publisher – Simon and Schuster
Pages - 416
My Rating- 7.5/10
*Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab*

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

I am going to start this review talking about something that really has nothing to do with the review- the cover. It’s stunning. So pretty.

Vi is the heroine of Possession. I really enjoyed her. She was feisty, head strong and different from other female characters that have been in the books I've recently read. I did find her a little over the top at times, but mostly I loved how strong she was.

The triangle is made up of Zenn and Jag. Sadly, I didn’t really feel that we got to know Zenn that much so comparing the two of them is not really fair. I did like Jag. He was sarcastic, charming and I could see why Vi would fall for him. Zenn is a little more mysterious. We learn the most about him from Vi, and since he is brain washed by The Thinkers we are left wondering how much of what we know is the real Zenn.

The other characters in the book I had a harder time connecting to. I am not sure what caused it. The writing itself was not an issue and the story had tons of potential. I just ended up not really feeling strongly about them one way or another.

I have to admit that there were points during the novel that I was a little confused. I had a hard time picturing the world that was being built and keeping some things straight. It got better as the book went on and I got more comfortable with the world, but it could be a deal breaker for some people. The moment where I feel immersed in the world happened later than I would have liked.

I do think that there will be people who love this book, and while I thought it was well written and some of the characters are amazing I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Die For Me Winners!

I recently held my first ever contest. I should have announced the winners awhile ago but with Book Expo, visiting family and such I got distracted.

The winners -

The book and signed bookmarks winner is - The Bookish Brunette. You can see her blog here.

The other 4 winners of a set of signed bookmarks are-

Michelle - see her blog here

Nicole S - see her blog here

Lisa @ Fic Talk

Valia - see her blog here

I have emailed all the winners and they have 48 hours to send me a mailing address or I will select another winner.

Thank you to everyone that entered. The response was fantastic. I just want to thank everyone for following my little blog, and hope that you stick around!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow Friday/Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q. What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)

I am sadly unprepared. I have some non-perishable food items, and water, but if zombies did hit I would be in trouble.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by It's a great way to meet new people and friends around the blogworld!

“Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us why it’s close to your heart!”

My favourite post would be the interview I did with Aimee Carter. I interviewed her character Henry. It is my favourite because it was so much fun to do. Aimee was so sweet as well. You can view it here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove by Holly Black
Release Date – April 5, 2011
Publisher – Simon and Schuster
Pages - 325
My Rating- 9/10

Here is the synopsis from GoodReads
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

I love White Cat. Holly Black made me fall into this world she created. The world was so well developed that I was excited to return to it again in Red Glove. I was not disappointed.

You can read my White Cat review here. This will have spoilers for White Cat so if you haven’t read it you may want to come back once you have (and go pick up a copy right away).

At the end of White Cat we found out that Lila had been worked by Cassel’s mom to love him. This in Cassel’s view made it impossible for him to ever really be with Lila. I felt so bad for him. I honestly believe that Lila did like Cassel even before she was worked, but sadly Cassel will not believe it even if Lila does admit it. I am a sucker for romance and Cassel’s love of Lila is actually a sweet backdrop to the grit, crime and film noir feel. I have to say that my book crush on Cassel is still very much intact. Lila is crazy to not have snapped him up earlier! J

The big question of this novel is who killed Cassel’s brother Philip. The pacing and way in which clues are revealed is perfect. We learn things as Cassel learns them and this results in us only knowing who the killer is when Cassel figures it out. Holly is able to keep the feeling of suspense going and as a result you keep turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next. I was surprised by who the killer was when we did find out. I was thinking it was someone else.

I love that because of the cons, curse work, and the mobster feel that we don’t know who to trust. Everyone is suspect and we treated to a few twists and reveals as a result of the lies, and cons going on.

I still love Cassel’s friends Sam and Daneca. It’s nice to see Cassel have actual friends that he can lean on and even trust. They are the only slightly stable thing in his life.

Cassel’s mother was exactly what I wanted her to be. I loved to hate her. What she does I this book made me raise my eyebrows and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the next book.

I really enjoy Holly Black’s writing style. It really does have a crime noir feel. I mentioned that I thought Holly got Cassel’s voice exactly right in my White Cat review, and I am happy to see that it is still pitch perfect in Red Glove.

I adored Red Glove as much as White Cat. I am now dying to see how Cassel’s story will continue in Black Heart.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book Expo - Day 3

The last day of the Expo. I was heading right to Maureen Johnson's book signing for Name of the Star. It was one of my "Must Gets" and I knew it was going to be busy. I got there really early as it didn't start until 10, but I lined up at 9. I was in front of a group of people that seemed to let in a whole bunch of other people. I ended up being much further back than I should have been as a result. Again, I didn't say anything because I don't really know anyone and it just felt awkward. Needless to say others in line were not happy about it. Eventually the line got going and I got to meet Maureen and get a copy of the book. She's super funny.

While I was doing this my friend Nikki was going around seeing what books were available. She got me a copy of Eve (thanks Nikki!).

We went to a bunch of signings. Marianna Baer was sweet. She was telling me how nervous she was. It was nice to hear that they were nervous to meet us as well.

The books I got on Day 3 are -

Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman
Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Eve by Anna Carey
Frost by Marianna Baer
Family by Michol Ostow
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Those Accross the River by Christopher Buehlman
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Wintertown by Stephen Emond
The Bridge to Neverland by Ridley Pearson, Dave Barry

In closing New York was amazing, Book Expo was amazing. I fully intend to go back next year. I will leave off with some of my favourite pictures from NYC!

Waiting on Wednesday - The Vampire Stalker

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen.

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

This sounds like a unique premise. I am really excited to get my hands on it. The cover is eye catching too.

Expect release date - June 1st 2011.

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