Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Expo America - Day 2

Day 2 at Book Expo America was even more busy and crazy than Day 1. My friends were going to the Author Breakfast that morning but I wanted to do some things that started at 9 AM so I went to wait to be let into the exhibit hall again.

There seemed to be more people there on this day. I went right to the Cassandra Clare Clockwork Prince cover reveal. I was lucky to be there in time to get a t-shirt and chapter sampler. The cover is amazing-

I went right after and got in the insanely long line for Lauren Oliver. She`s so nice, and funny. It was awesome to meet her.

I heard that Lola and The Boy Next Door was available so I went to ask but sadly missed it. I got so many amazing books though that I can`t complain. I have to say that the people from Penguin are super nice.

This is the day that I started to notice some less than nice behaviour. People cut into lines, pushed others, and things like that. I was in a line and actually had people get in front of me. I am usually pretty shy and didn't really say anything but there were a few situations that resulted in me not getting books I had waited in line for an hour for. I was surprised that people would act like this.

Erin Morgenstern's book The Night Circus is being buzzed about right now. I am excited to read it. They gave us a little chocolate mouse with the book when she signed them. I thought that was a cute touch.

The books I got on Day 2 are:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Future of Us by Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler
Crossed by Ally Condie
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Clockwork Prince sampler by Cassandra Clare (it's bout 3 chapters)
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

We decided to put a large suitcase in the checked baggage area overnight to keep all our books. I would do this again. It helps if you want to go see some of NYC after and don't want to carry all your books with you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Expo America - Day 1

I was recently able to attend Book Expo America. It was my first time attending an event such as this. The whole experience was amazing, overwhelming, and so much fun. I can't wait to go back next year. I am going to split my posts into 3 - one for each day I was there.

I arrived into New York City on the Sunday. Monday there wasn't a whole lot going on at BEA so we got our passes early and took a look around. Tuesday is when it officially started.

The first thing I noticed was how BIG the Javits Center is. It's huge and there was a lot of construction going on at the time.

We lined up to be allowed into the exhibit hall (with a whole lot of other people). I was super excited already and couldn't wait to get in. I loved being able to chat with people while in line. I met quite a few fellow book lovers and I have to say that was one of the highlights.

I immediately lost my friends in the crowd and ended wandering around by myself for awhile. We didn't pick a meeting spot so luckily they knew where I would be at 11 am so they met up with me there. I highly recommend picking a meeting spot as it is very easy to lose your group.

My first book at BEA was Variant. I made sure to remember because it was the FIRST book I got.

My first autograph session was for Fateful.

One of the things that made me squeal and super excited was seeing the cover of Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter. The cover is so gorgeous. I want to read this book NOW!

I ended up going to the BEA YA Buzz panel. They highlighted a few books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Carrier of the Mark, Au Revoir Crazy European Chick, and Down the Mysterly River.

I really enjoyed the panel. It was fun, informative and I was really looking forward to hearing more about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I left wanting a few of the books.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one of my "Must Gets" at BEA and I knew that they would have a few ARCs available at this panel. I was lucky enough to snag one. Michelle Hodkin happened to be sitting right behind me during the panel so I was able to get her to sign it. Michelle is so sweet, funny and I was excited to have met her. She wrote the cutest thing in my book -

I devoured MARA on my long bus ride home and I LOVE it. It's amazing. I can't wait to review it.

The books I got on day one are -

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Fateful by Claudia Gray
The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Variant by Robison Wells
Pure by Julianna Baggott
Between by Jessica Warman
The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

I left Day 1 with a bunch of books, very tired and eager to start again tomorrow morning!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lauren DeStefano Contest...

If you've read Wither you may be interested in this contest Lauren is currently having. It ends Tuesday so enter right away.

It's for an ARC of Wither AND Fever!

Visit here for all the details on how to enter -


Good luck everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
Release Date – April 26, 2011
Publisher – HarperTeen
Pages - 409
My Rating- 7.5/10

Here is the synopsis from Good Reads

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

I reviewed the first book - The Carrie Diaries - you can read that here. There will be spoilers (minor) from the first book in this review.

I was psyched when I read the name Samantha Jones at the end of the last book. I am a huge Sex and the City fan so I was excited to see the other girls and not just Carrie.

Samantha and Miranda are in this book. I am happy to say that they felt like the Samantha and Miranda I remember from the show, just younger and less experienced.

As a fan of the show it’s hard not to pick out the discrepancies between the show and the book. There are things that happen in this books that would contradict things that happened in the show. It’s best if you try to read it without thinking about the show at all. I can’t compare it to the Sex and the City book as I haven’t read it, but maybe it’s more in line with that.

The writing style in this book is exactly like the first one. I think it’s straight forward and there are few surprises. It’s one of those books that would be nice to read on the beach in the summer.

I was happy to finally see Carrie meet Charlotte at the end of the book and wish we would have had more of her in the book.

I LOVE New York. One of my favourite things about this book was getting to hear about the shops, restaurants, and attractions that Carrie visits. It felt like such a huge part of the story. New York was almost a character in the TV show and that carries over to the novels.

If you liked the first book, or are a fan of the TV show I think you’ll enjoy this one. It’s fun to see the girls we love from Sex and the City as teenagers and I hope there is a third so we can actually “meet” Charlotte.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment by Lauren Kate
Release Date – September 28, 2010
Publisher – Delacorte
Pages - 452
My Rating- 7/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies

I had read and reviewed Fallen ( see that review here ) so I was very happy when my library had the second book available right away when I was done the first one.

This book takes place in a “school” Shoreline instead of Sword and Cross. The landscape and school are very different and it made for a nice change in the story. I loved the descriptions of the coastline and the water. It seems like a beautiful school to attend.

Luce in this book was more headstrong than in Fallen. She didn’t want to listen to anything Daniel asked her to do. She also put herself in danger quite a bit as a result of this. I like that she acted on her own and was not just listening to Daniel when he was giving her so little information, however she often just seemed to be doing it out of spite. I had a harder time liking her this time around. I did like that she was learning more about the Angel world and what her capabilities are. I am curious how strong she actually is, and what it means for her and Daniel’s love story.

Daniel remains Daniel. He doesn’t give Luce a lot of information as he is not able to. Since he is not in the book a whole lot we don’t really get to learn that much about him. I am hoping this does change in the 3rd book. I like him and would love to know more. Cam also remains as mysterious as in the previous book.

There are quite a few new characters that we meet in this novel. Miles and Shelby are the two that stood out. I love Miles. I think there is more to him than what was given away in this book. I also liked Shelby a lot and am looking forward to seeing her interact with Arriane (who continues to be awesome) in the next book.

I have to mention the one moment I really liked - Thanksgiving Dinner. It was the BEST.THANKSGIVING.EVER. It was so funny, awkward and unreal. It was a stand out moment in the book for me. It was nice to see everyone come together.

The end left on a cliff-hanger and it ended just when it was getting really interesting. I am looking forward to seeing how much Luce is able to find out in the next book and ultimately who she chooses - Daniel, Cam or even someone else!

This has nothing to do with the book itself, but the cover is really beautiful.

If you liked the first one, this one will leave you wanting even more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Possession

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 Possession by Elana Johnson

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 on a huge dystopian kick right now. This sounds fantastic and the cover is beautiful.

Expected release date is June 7th, 2011.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Character Interview - Henry from The Goddess Test

I recently was given the opportunity to ask Henry from Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test some questions. Hopefully he'll intrigue you enough to want to learn more about him..he's pretty swoon-worthy!

Thanks for stopping by Henry. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm afraid I am not certain what you would like to know. I am King of the Underworld and rule over the dead, making decisions about their afterlife when they are incapable of doing so themselves or when their beliefs demand they be judged. My work is grim, but it is necessary, and I take my responsibilities quite seriously. I've been married before, and I vastly prefer dogs to cats. Contrary to the way I am depicted in popular culture, I am not a villain, and instead I spend much of my time in solitude in the Underworld.

What is the best part about being the ruler of the Underworld? The worst?

The best is the satisfaction of knowing that I have given these people the afterlife they believe they deserve. Life on the surface can be hard, but underneath, one gets what one believes they deserve. The worst is the disconnect from the rest of the world and my family. I do not have the opportunity to see them as much as I would like to.

As a God you have powers. What power do you most enjoy using?

It is not so much a question of enjoyment as it is necessity. The power I use most frequently is the ability to appear at will in any spot I am already familiar with. It makes ruling over such a vast territory much easier.

I am sure you’ve heard the expression “When hell freezes over”. Would it be possible to actually make hell freeze over?

I despise that word, 'hell'. It is an inaccurate portrayal of the Underworld as a whole, though there are some sections that resemble the stereotype. Then again, there are also sections of the Underworld full of snow. To answer your question, it is not in my power to change what the dead perceive, so no, one cannot make hell freeze over.

How did you obtain Cerberus? Was he a gift?

Yes, he was a gift from my brother, though I would not call it 'obtaining'. We've a partnership rather than an ownership, and he is my dearest friend.

What were you thinking when you first saw Kate?

I have seen Kate many times throughout her life, and my thoughts were always about her protection. Given what happened to the others girls, I knew it was paramount to ensure her security above all else. During my first conversation with her, I was spellbound by her willingness to help a girl who had been cruel to her. That is a rare trait, and it was my first inkling that perhaps Kate was different. That perhaps she had it in her to pass the tests no one else had survived.

Is there anything you would have changed about your first meeting with her?

Perhaps I would have brought an extra jacket for her comfort.

What would you say is your biggest regret?

My relationship with Persephone.

Describe the following people in one word

Kate- Selfless
Diana- Stubborn
Ava- Exuberant
James- Calculating
Calliope- Lonely
Ella- Strong

If you were able to select another “profession” other than Ruler of the Underworld which one would you choose?

I would prefer to spend my time reading. Perhaps a librarian.

What book would we find beside your bed?

The classics. I've a particular fondness for Shakespeare and, I must admit, Jane Austen.

What 3 things would you want with you if you were stranded some where?

It would be quite unlikely for me to be stranded somewhere, but I would prefer three good books above all else.

What do you consider your best trait? Your worst?

I believe my best trait to be my loyalty and my worst to be the distance I put between myself and others despite how I might feel about them. Showing my emotions does not come easily to me.

Last question - by popular demand from my friends- Boxes or briefs?

I couldn't possibly say.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter
Release Date – April 19, 2011
Publisher – HarlequinTeen
Pages - 304
My Rating- 10/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

It took me forever to find a copy of this book. Our bookstores here in Ottawa, for whatever reason, don’t seem to be carrying it. I finally found it at Walmart and was THRILLED. I am delighted to say that my effort was for a good cause - this book is AMAZING.

Aimée Carter has weaved romance, suspense, humour and heart pulling storylines into a fantastic debut novel.

The characters are so rich and well developed. Kate was amazing. She was strong, willing to help out others, caring and capable. She is exactly what you would want out of your heroine. Everything she did for her mother, for Ava and Henry all impressed me. Her strength may not be a physical one but it’s one that is there and should be celebrated.

Henry….Swoon! He seems cold and aloof at first, but underneath he is sweet, kind and swoon-worthy. Once you understand his motivations and why he acts the way he does you can’t help but feel for him. He’s lonely and has been for a long time. That kind of loneliness can take a toll and we see that in Henry.

I loved that when we found out what the tests actually were I hadn’t even guessed them. I kept waiting for Kate to be told that a test was coming, or something similar. It was brilliance to have the tests be what they were.

I cried quite a few times during the novel. The heart breaking scenes with Kate and her mom tugged at me. I could only imagine how awful it would feel and could sympathize with Kate. I was pleased to see the humour in the book as well though. It balanced out nicely. One of my favourite lines is the following -

"Maybe you'll win when hell freezes over."

He raised an eyebrow.

"That could be easily arranged."

I was chuckling out loud at various parts in the book. It shows what a fantastic writer Aimée is that she can have me crying on minute and laughing the next.

This is one of my top 2011 releases. I can not wait for Goddess Interrupted. If you haven’t already picked this one up RUN to the bookstore and get yourself a copy. You’ll love it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Next Week - Book Expo Excitement

I will be leaving for New York on Saturday. This is my first time going to Book Expo America and I am super excited. I may not have much access to the Internet while there but I will update when I can. You can expect a huge blog about my experience when I get back (maybe a few, if I have lots to say).

If anyone has gone before, if you have any tips/suggestions/etc please leave them in the comments.

I have scheduled some fun stuff on the blog while I am gone and my fantastic friend Amy is going to make sure everything actually posts (and that Blogger doesn't eat it like it's done before).

Here is the rundown of what to expect while I am gone -

Monday - A review of Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test
Tuesday - I got to interview Henry from The Goddess Test, I will be posting our Q & A
Wednesday - My Waiting on Wednesday pick for the week
Thursday - A review of Torment by Lauren Kate
Friday - A review of Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

I am looking forward to playing catch up when I get back with comments, reading everyone's posts and seeing what I missed while away. I hope to check in as much as I can. If you follow me on Twitter I will be posting there at least once a day.

Have a great week everyone! Happy reading.

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. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

1. I am very fussy with my books. I can't bend them or otherwise have them damaged in anyway. It drives me crazy. When I lend books out I tell people this.

2. I always have to cross the street at a cross walk. Even if it means walking further.

3. I have one tattoo - it's of a dolphin and it's on my back.

4. My favourite smell is coconut

5. Getting my picture taken is one of my least favourite things to do

Book Blogger Hop

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

"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

The World of Harry Potter. Most likely from book 1 before everything got too crazy.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Release Date – May 31, 2010
Publisher – HarperTeen
Pages - 496
My Rating- 9/10
ARC from HarperTeen and Net galley (thank you to both of them)

Here is the synopsis from GoodReads

How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

This is a YA debut author and the first in a 3 book series. Josephine Angelini’s writing style is easy to get used to, descriptive and refreshing. I am floored by the amount of planning that must have went into the background and mythology of this series.

When we first meet Helen she is so fully unaware of how special she is. The girl we first met was awkward, shy, and really sweet. Her father and her have a great relationship. They take care of each other and are there for each other. The Delos family moves to Nantucket and they are immediately big news as the island is basically a small town. Helen also changes. She becomes the type of heroine I adore. Strong, capable and someone who embraces what is in her. She is no damsel in distress.

Helen’s best friend Claire may have been my favourite part of the novel. She’s tiny, spunky, feisty and hilarious. I felt myself relating to her as I am 5 fee 0 inches myself. Claire just seemed to jump off the page and really was a delight to read. I hope to see more of her in the next books.

Lucas is the perfect hero - handsome, sweet, strong and caring. His connection with his family was also very sweet. They are so close. It was hard for me at times to not think of them as being all brothers and sisters. The chemistry between him and Helen is electric. It doesn’t matter if they are wanting to kill each other, or wanting to make out the reader can feel the passion and connection between these two. I am curious to see what the consequences of some of their actions will be.

Lucas’s extended family were great as well. I really liked Hector and am looking forward to seeing the rest of his story unfold as I was quite invested in him by the end of the book. Jason was also a highlight as was Ariadne. We are introduced to a lot of characters rather quickly but Josephine gives each one a distinct personality.

I felt like we were just getting to meet the villains in this novel. I however, think that this novel was more about building the world, Helen and Lucas’s connection and Helen coming into her own. There is tons of potential for the next two books to deliver in the villain department and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.

I would recommend this if you are a fan of any YA series out there right now. The world Josephine has created, the mythology and the characters will draw you in. I am going to be counting down the days until I can get my hands on Dreamless.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Name of the Star

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 Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Here is the Goodreads synopsis-

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

A new series with references to Jack the Ripper, set in current London and mixing in romance - I WANT THIS NOW! It sounds AMAZING. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Expected release date is September 29, 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Character Interview - Vincent from Die For Me

Today on the blog I have Vincet from Amy Plum's amazing novel Die For Me. He kindly answered a few questions for me. Meet Vincent, hopefully you get interested enough to check out his story.

Vincent, I am so glad you could stop by. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I would love to. But I’ve been warned by Amy not to talk about anything spoiler-y. So how about this: I’m currently 19. I live in Paris with my kindred, but am originally from Brittany. I have a law degree, but only got it in order to help out my kindred with practical concerns. (I would have studied history if I had chosen my degree myself.) I spend my down time reading, watching films, and working out (fight training).

What were you thinking when you first saw Kate?

I saw her around our neighborhood a long time before I actually met her. And I was immediately drawn to her. I don’t know if it was my saving instincts – that I saw a human who needed help – or something else, but I was mesmerized from the very first second I laid eyes on her. She was sad. And scared. And mourning. At that point I didn’t know about her parents. I just knew I had to be around her more...to figure her out.

Is there anything you would have changed about your first meeting with her?

There are so many things I would change in my life. I act without thinking most of the time. I shouldn’t have ever talked to Kate – for her sake. But I couldn’t help myself. In my mind, I regret it. But in my heart I will never be sorry that I did.

Describe the following people in one word-

Kate- strong
Georgia- amusing
Jules- loyal
Ambrose- full-on
Charlotte- huggable
Lucien- depraved
What is the best part of living in Paris?

The people. Paris is all about living life to the utmost, and Parisians really know how to live.

If they were to make a movie out of your life who do you think is gorgeous enough to play you?

*laughs uncomfortably* You’re trying to embarrass me here. Well, my favorite actors are a lot older than me. But I’ve been told that this French-German actor, François Goeske, looks a lot like me, minus a few years.

What three things would you want with you if you were stuck on an island?

Kate (she’s not a “thing”, but I’m including her anyway). Some good books. And a telescope for stargazing.

What would we find beside your bed?

A photo of me and Kate. I like to see it when I’m going into dormancy. I always wake up to a vase of flowers that Jeanne has put there. She claims the fragrance makes awaking less unsettling. And then there’s always the requisite food tray. Water, figs, dates and almonds are my favorites for awakening.

What is your best trait? Your worst?

I’m really passionate about whatever I’m doing. And...I’m really passionate about whatever I’m doing.

Last question - this was actually the most requested question when I polled my female friends. Boxers or briefs?

*runs hand through hair/embarrassed smile* Wow, um...who are these friends of yours? Sounds like they would get on really well with Jules!

Monday, May 16, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Release Date – Oct 1, 2006
Publisher – HarperTeen
Pages - 336
My Rating- 7.5/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

I love Europe. Europe and I have stories, and fond memories. I would visit constantly if I could. When I heard about this book I was thrilled. I thought it would be a fun read. I am glad I decided to pick it up.

Ginny’s trip through Europe is the kind I wish I would have taken when I was 20. The over planner in me would never be able to do it but I would have loved to try. It would be really freeing to see where the trip might take you. This brings me to my main (and really only) issue with this book - the lack of parents. Ginny is very young and while I am not a parent I can’t imagine very many letting their daughter go off like Ginny does. I would have insisted she took a phone, extra money and have more of a solid plan. This seems to be a common trend in the YA genre - the disappearing parent syndrome as I call it.

I found the storyline with the letters from her Aunt really sweet and looked forward to actually reading the letters. It was that storyline more than her trek across Europe that kept me turning the pages. It helped me get invested in the characters and want to keep reading.

I have to mention Keith. He’s one of the characters I really liked. I could totally see why Ginny was interested in him. I think a lot of women who visit Europe have a fantasy of meeting a hot guy with an accent. Ginny and his romance is sweet and I hope there is more in the second book.

After reading this I now want to hop on a plane and take off for Europe (Greece sounds lovely and I haven’t been yet). It’s the kind of book that gives you the travel bug. I am looking forward to getting my hand on The Last Little Blue Envelope to see what happens to these characters next. I want to know what was in that last envelope!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Release Date – November 12, 2009
Publisher – Razorbill
Pages - 248
My Rating- 6/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake
Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.
From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.
Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.

As soon as I read Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth I was sold. I wanted to read this book. I grabbed it from the library on a whim from reading the synopsis and reading the author’s Fallen series.

This different than the Fallen series. Very different. Fans of that series may not enjoy this book as much, but the writing style is the same, so if you enjoy Lauren’s writing style this book might appeal to you.

I was very torn with this book. Part of me liked it and part of me had a hard time getting into it.

The main issue I have is that I am a very character driven reader. I have to enjoy the characters to care. It doesn’t mean I have to like them, but I have to feel something. The characters in this from Natalie, her boyfriend Mike, and her nemesis Justin Barber are all unlikeable. Natalie is the front runner to be the Palmetto Princess and will do anything to obtain the crown.. She’s your typical high school “mean girl”. Her boyfriend is easily manipulated by her and agrees to go along with her in most things. The rest of the characters are just a vapid, and self absorbed as Natalie. I found it hard to even want to hate these characters.

When they play the prank on Justin I was able to guess what was going to happen to him and what various character reactions would be. The final outcome of the book however did surprise me a bit (I was expecting a much different ending). The author did a fantastic job with the ending. It perfect and actually was more in line with what I was expecting from this book.

I am a big fan of Cruel Intentions and I guess I thought this would have been more in line with that. It actually has a lot in common with Macbeth. I felt bad for Natalie in that she was popular, pretty and she let her ambition prevent her from seeing what she already had (very much like Macbeth).

My teenage self would have devoured this book and LOVED it, but my adult self may be too far past high school to really be engrossed in it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Mephisto Covenant

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 Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting
the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that
puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and
Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks
for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find
peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally
found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and
win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal

This sounds so interesting. The cover is really pretty as well, I love that dress.

Expected release date is Sept 27, 2011.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum Giveaway

My first ever giveaway is for the amazing Die For Me by Amy Plum. Today is the offical release of the book and it's one of my favourites.

I have some amazing bookmarks and a copy of the book to give away.

There are multiple prizes-

1 prize consiting of 1 unsigned copy of the book (I got an extra one from a friend and wanted to share) and 2 signed bookmarks (one for the book, and one for the Dark Days of Supernatural Tour that Amy is taking part in).

4 prizes of 2 signed bookmarks (again one of each bookmark).

Simply fill out of the form below. I have also included pictures of the bookmarks.

Contest is open internationally. It closes May 30th. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me by Amy Plum
Release Date – May 10, 2011
Publisher – HarperTeen
Pages - 352
My Rating- 10/10
Obtained from NetGalley and Harper Teen (thank you for letting me review it)

Here is the GoodReads synopsis -

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.
Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.
Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.
While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

This is a YA debut by Amy Plum. I liked the pacing, and detail she put into the story. Her writing style was easy to get used to, and a pleasure to read.

My favourite part of this book was the characters. It made the story for me. Kate was troubled, grieving but strong and smart at the same time. I love that when she meets Vincent she is immediately attracted to him but does not fall into his arms automatically. They date, he has to win her over. She is unsure when she first finds out his secret. She even thinks that she might not be able to date him. This is all a new and welcome plot development in the YA genre. She made a refreshing heroine.

Vincent was equally well developed. He was troubled, strong and a nice balance to Kate. The relationship he has with he fellow revenants was also developed well. You can see how close they are, and what they would be willing to do for each other. Jules, Charlotte and Ambrose are some of my favourite characters. I liked that with so many characters being introduced at once we were still able to get a clear picture of each of them.

The mythology of the revenants was well developed and planned out. The two sides - good vs. evil - will make for interesting plot points and twists to come in the next few books. There are some things I am curious about and am looking forward to learning more about the history and mythology behind these immortals. I never thought I would think of “zombies” as sexy but they’ve never looked like (or been as romantic as) Vincent.

Paris is made even more romantic as we see Vincent and Kate fall in love. Their relationship gave me goose bumps. I have been to Paris and Amy Plum has made it just as romantic as I remember it being. The romance mixed with the revenants mythology gives Paris a dangerous, sexy, and sultry feel. The last scene of Vincent and Kate sticks out in my mind as sigh inducing. Vincent has an adorable nickname for Kate that I love. Their relationship is playful and delicious. There are some great make out scenes ( love a great make out scene). I do suspect a possible triangle happening in the future books if I am correct, so that will be interesting to see develop. I do think Vincent and Kate belong together, but there was a few times in the book that there was chemistry between Kate and someone else and I expect we’ll see it play out.

The ending of the story is not a huge cliff hanger but there are elements throughout the novel that set up the next two books nicely.

The mythology, the romance, and the characters are all things that make you immediately fall into the story. I am looking forward to the next two books and can’t wait to get my hands on them. Pick it up when it’s released and be swept away by romantic Paris, and Kate and Vincent’s story.

Friday, May 6, 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. Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?

What a fun question. Hmm....Well I would like to be Elizabeth Bennett so I could date Mr Darcy. Either that I would be Anna (from Anna and the French Kiss) and date Etienne St Clair. Yum!

Book Blogger Hop

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

"Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?"

I don't really know anyone that well yet. I am excited to meet people at Book Expo in a couple weeks when I go.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Release Date – May 3, 2011
Publisher – Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Pages - 487
My Rating- 10/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I enjoy dystopian, especially when it is done right. Veronica Roth’s Divergent is how I like my dystopian.

The characters were the driving force of this novel. These are characters I cared about, rooted for, loved to hate, and just plain fell for. I adore Tris. She’s brave, tough, and is able to take care of herself. I love that she isn’t perfect. She is willing to lie, fight and manipulate to help the people she cares about (or herself when needed). I also love that the author did not make her gorgeous, or start her out as “plain” and have her revealed as gorgeous later. I think of Tris as being cute - she’s small and skinny. I like that she seems like an average girl. She is definitely someone I will be including on my next “Girls Who Rock” post.

The other character that I ended up LOVING is Four. He is my new book boy crush. The author completely gets it right with this character. He is the perfect mix of bad boy with a soft side that makes us fall for him. I could not help but be affected by his story and am looking forward to hearing more about him in the next two books.

The other characters that we meet are just as well written and developed. The people involved with Tris - her family, her fellow initiates - are all people I came to care about (or dislike depending on their role). It’s this that makes the novel so wonderful. It’s nice when you can feel like you’re experiencing the story along with the characters.

The dystopian aspect of the novel really made me think. I tried to think about which faction I would pick if I were in that position. I still don’t think I could choose just one faction that would represent me. I also thought about if I would be able to survive what Tris survives during this novel. I honestly don’t think I could. The initiation process provided a few situations that made me flinch. I was shocked at quite a few of the things she and the fellow initiates go through, and some of scenes will stay with me for a long time.

The romance in the book was exactly what I like out of my romance - sexy, but sweet at the same time. I liked that it developed on the slower side and was not rushed or instant. I almost like that I caught on before the characters did that they liked each other.

The last 50 pages or so is an intense fast paced ending that came much too quickly. I kept wanting there to be more so I could keep reading.

The pacing, the writing style, and the way the author is able to make you feel are all stand outs from the novel. It results in a taunt, page turning read that left me aching for the second book. Veronica Roth is a fantastic writer who is a welcome addition to my library. Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Eve

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 Eve by Anna Carey

Here is the Goodreads synopsis -

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

This sounds so interesting. I know that there is a ton of dystopian books coming out this year but this one sounds awesome. I do love the cover as well.

Expected release date is Oct 4, 2011.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trailers and Covers...Oh My...

There have been a bunch of trailers and book covers released in the last little while. I wanted to highlight some of my favourites.

First is the cover for Silence. The third book in Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series. The cover is beautiful. So striking. I love all the covers in this series. It's fantastic that both Patch and Nora are on this cover. I am excited to read this book and hope that the cover means Patch and Nora will be together in the end.

This is the trailer for Amy Plum's Die For Me. It's fantastic and fits the book perfectly. I have a review, character interview and a fun giveaway coming up next week for this book. It's one of my new favourites.

The last trailer I wanted to show is for Veronica Roth's Divergent. I was able to find a copy in my local bookstore a few days early and I am almost done reading it already. It's so good. I couldn't find a link to embed it here, but EW.com has it available on the website. Click here. It's in bookstores today so pick it up!

What book covers or trailers are on your radar? I am curious to see what I might have missed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Release Date – Dec 8, 2009
Publisher – Delacorte Press
Pages - 452
My Rating- 7/10

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her

I liked the Gothic, dark feel that the novel has. The author was able to capture that perfectly. The cover is beautiful. It’s very striking. It’s fits the tone and mood of the book perfectly.

The premise of the book is a version of the star crossed lovers story. Our lovers are Luce and Daniel. The typical girl and the angel boy who loves her. I really liked the whole “past lives” part of the plot. It made some of the character’s actions a little easier to accept knowing this information. I found it heartbreaking that both Luce and Daniel were cursed to repeat their story again and again with the same devastating results. I felt for both Luce and Daniel as both of them had horrible consequences resulting from them being together.

I liked Luce for the most part. I felt I could sympathize with her confusion and her wanting to make friends. I had a little bit of an issue when it came to her reactions and actions when it came to Daniel. The first time she sees Daniel he literally flips her off. He is also rude and basically ignores her any other time they cross paths. Luce, instead of doing what she should do and tell him where to go, chases after him. She becomes obsessed. It is explained why Daniel does this and you can understand his point of view eventually but I found it aggravating that Luce was putting up with they way he treated her.

Daniel is what you would expect from the “heart-throb” of the book. Gorgeous, a little dangerous and aloof. I wish we would have found out more about him. We only find out what Luce knows. Daniel isn’t able to share a lot with her so he is still pretty mysterious at the end of the book. I am hopeful this will change in the next two books in the series.

Arriane, and Penn were two of the characters that I ended up really liking. Arriane was fun, feisty and quirky. Penn was my favourite. She was smart, rational and really seemed to want to help Luce.

I found myself drawn into the story and wanting to know what was going to happen next. I am jumping into Torment right away (as they were both ready for pick up at the library at the same time) and hope to get some more answers. I had a lot of questions at the end of the book and I am happy to not have to wait to read the next one.

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