Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday Hop!


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

Q: You are a matchmaker -- your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

Hmm....I would set up Izzy from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare with Phoenix from Embrace by Jessica Shirvington. Izzy loves the bad boy, and Phoenix likes a strong, tough girl. I think they would have some pretty epic arguments, but their relationship would be full of fire and passion (while it lasted).



TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Issue Books: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is the first one that comes to mind. I love how you tackled bullying, teen suicide, and how people should consider how their words and actions impact others.

Happy Weekend!

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date –  April 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  Kensington
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  353 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream. 
Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. 
And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca. 
Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all. 
The storm is coming . .
After hearing Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries rave about this book I knew I had to read it. It promised great characters, action, and the intriguing Merrick brothers. I am happy to say it delivered.

What I love most about Brigid Kemmerer’s writing was the characters. She created these complex, realistic characters that she layers by using the story. She doesn’t tell us their characteristics, she uses the plot and actions to SHOW us. The mythology of the elements and the feeling of being connected to that element is well described and developed.

Reading a book from a guy’s point of view written by female author is sometimes a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. I felt Brigid did a fantastic job of presenting her male characters, and giving them a believable voice. 

Becca is someone that will appeal to most readers. She has had a rough school year after some rumours get spread about her and the soccer team. She carries around a lot of guilt and grief over decisions and choices she made, and you can not help by sympathize with her. I loved that she wanted to learn self defence, and was capable, but it was within reason. She felt just like the girl next door, which really worked for this story.

Chris is the misunderstood, quiet guy that Becca saves. He really keeps people at arms length for their own protection, but also because he seems happier that way. While the death of his parents has impacted him I didn't find him as bitter as some of his other brothers. He also wasn't one to last out, or make jokes like the twins. I just found him to be a little hesitant, lost, but wanting to connect.

The romance, while not overpowering, is quite sweet. I loved the push/pull between Becca and Chris. Whenever I think of Chris and Becca I think of the line “Almonds, Vanilla, Torture”. This line for me sums up how Chris feels whenever Becca is close. He’s hyper aware of her, and it’s torture because he doesn’t trust himself not to lose control around her.

Gabriel is as volatile as the element he controls. His actions and words are filled with fire, anger, and passion. He was easily the Merrick I could see going out of control. His complex feelings towards Michael showed how much everything has really impacted this boy and his whole family. While Gabriel and his twin Nick look the same, they are as different from each other as can be Nick is much more level headed and focused. Both twins seem like a lot of fun, and charming though.

Michael is a bit of a jerk. It’s warranted however. I felt so bad for this young man who suddenly finds himself the head of the household and raising three younger brothers. His own guilt serves as barrier between him and his brothers who are harbouring their own resentment and confusion. My heart broke when the consequences to the events in Elemental are revealed. It explains so much about Michael that I urge everyone to start with that novella.

The relationship between the brothers is really what shines in the novel. It’s complex, feels real and will pull at your heart. So much as gone wrong for these guys, you just want something to go right for them.  Their powers are unpredictable, and the urge to loose control is always there, but each of them fight it. You want to scream at them to talk, work it out and just admit they love each other. Sigh...boys!

Four hot brothers, intense action, a few surprises and a fun mythology made me fall in love with Storm. The storm may have passed, but it’s far from over for the Merrick brothers and Becca. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Burn for Burn

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 Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian



Here is the Goodreads synopsis
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste
Intriguing premise. I am really curious about the revenge aspect and how it'll play it. I am a huge fan of the TV show Revenge, and part of it is the guilty pleasure thrill this type of entertainment provides. Very excited to find out about these girls and what leads them to join forces.

Expected release date - September 18, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini


Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Release Date –  May 29, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  487 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

**********SPOILERS FOR STARCROSSED**************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Can true love be forgotten? 
As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on. 
Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder. 
As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos. 
Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling STARCROSSED delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds expectation.
Some books are just written to be enjoyed at the beach. Dreamless is a scorching read  that is perfect for those hot days of summer. The romance is steamier, the action more intense and the mythology dives deeper. 

The mythology is explored, revealed and developed in even greater details in this book. I felt like we got some insight into the Greek myths and how they are going to intertwine with Josephine’s story.  Josephine’s writing is as addictive as it was in Starcrossed. The paces her chapters well, and it makes you want to turn the pages quicker.

Helen showed how strong she is in this instalment. She suffered going into to Underworld night after night all to benefit the other Scions and prevent further pain for people she cares about. Her decisions may aggravate you, or you may want to shake her and say “LISTEN TO PEOPLE”, but you can understand her actions and motives. I like that she didn’t sit around and wait. She embraces her destiny and is determined to fulfill it, even it comes at the cost of her life. She took action and did what she felt she needed to. It was also refreshing to see her not being treated as weak or incapable by the people around her. They still wanted to protect her, and help, but it never felt patronizing. 

The addition of Orion is one that I am sure is going to cause people to react very strongly. Lucas fans, watch out! Orion is charming, sexy and will steal your heart. He’s there for Helen when she needs him most, and while their relationship is tricky for it’s own reasons, he is a good fit for her. I felt the bond between them was made by their experience together. Lucas is still very present and, while he and Helen know they can not be together, they can't stay away from each other either. This is a triangle that feels natural, and not overwhelming to the story.

Matt intrigued me in this novel. I couldn’t help but love how honourable, caring and what a fantastic friend he was. I think there is more than meets the eye to this character, and I hope to learn more about him in book three.

Dreamless is a much more intense novel than Starcrossed. The stakes seem  higher, the characters are in real danger, and real consequences come from actions. The action sequences are plentiful and make for a fast paced, quick read.

I enjoyed Dreamless even more than I enjoyed Starcrossed. Josephine Angelini gives a second novel that has everything you want from this series. Romance, action, and deeper mythology. She moves the plot along and actually has real consequences for the characters, which is rare for the second book in a series. At the end the characters are irrevocably changed and the impact is going to be felt in the third book. I am breathless waiting to see how this story will end.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan


Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan
Release Date –  May 29, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harlequin Teen
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  348 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
I don't do dangerous. Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...
A kiss can change everything. In Samantha's case that isn't just a figure of speech. She is kissed by her long time crush and suddenly she can't focus on anything other than how hungry she is. Food doesn't ease the hunger and it isn't long before she realizes that it's human souls she is craving. Enter Bishop a sexy angel, and his team of angel and demons and you have a fast paced, quick read.

This novel felt like it had a lot happening all at once, especially in the beginning. It felt like information overload at first, with everything happening rapidly, and I found it too much too soon. Once things settled and the plot started to come together I appreciated the story more. There is a balance between too slow and too fast and this pacing is a little on the fast side. People who love action, and a fast moving plot will enjoy this aspect. People who prefer more character development may find that aspect a little lacking until later on in the story.

The mythology was, for me, what saved the story. I enjoyed the layers Michelle Rowan created, and having the angels and demons work together was a refreshing change from the usual for the angel genre.While the story may feel known, Michelle is able to make it her own and create something with her own spin.

Samantha was a likeable enough character. She's cautious, doesn't take risks or chances and is happy that way. The kiss with her long time crush changes everything, and watching her react to this was a enjoyable part of the story. I like that, even as Sam is changing, the author manged to stay true to her character. She is still Sam underneath it all. Too often the heroine looses herself after the "big event" happens and changes. Sam does change, but her core characteristics are still present.

Bishop is tall, dark, and brooding. Perfect drool worthy material for readers, and he is someone that Sam can't seem to stay away from. His fractured state only heightens his appeal and many readers will fall for him. I am curious about his backstory and hope to learn much more about him in future novels.

To counter balance Bishop we have Kraven - a snarky, good looking demon whose banter with Sam is amusing. I think there may be a triangle of sorts in the future books and I think quite a few readers may enjoy Kraven as well.
While I had my issues, it was still an overall enjoyable book. With the hint of the action packed sequel to come, layered mythology and romance Dark Kiss is a fast, enjoyable read. It will hit the spot for some beach goers who are looking for something other than the usual light romance fare of the season.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

I did not get any new books this week. However I did get some bookish goodies!

I won a contest that Chapters was holding on Twitter. Chapters is Canada's largest bookstore chain. They held a contest for Cassandra Clare's City of Lost Souls around the release date and part of the prize arrived this week.


A t-shirt with the cover of City of Lost Souls on it. I am waiting for the second part of the prize which is a Shadowhunter family ring replica. Very excited!

I also received a bookmark for The Dark Light from Sara Walsh (Goodreads). I had entered a contest during the YAmazing Race and Sara was kind enough to send everyone who entered her contest a bookmark.

Publishers Lunch released a BEA Buzz Books. It's little excerpts of 30 books that will be at BEA this year. I have been checking them out and I am even more excited to go now!


It has a lot of information in them, and showcases a ton of amazing sounding titles. For those that use Netgalley I believe it is still available to download if you wish to check it out.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

Some pretty covers to show you this week. Super excited about all of these books!

First up we have City of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster. I mentioned this one either last week or the week before in my obsessions and now we have a cover. Pretty awesome and not at all what I was expecting. If you want to learn more check out the Goodreads synopsis.


Next is what may be my favourite cover of 2012... Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr. Real fire was used to create this photograph and the result is stunning. I am SO beyond excited to get my hands on a copy of this one. If you want to learn more check out the Goodreads page.


I think the entire blogger community freaked out when this was released. It's pretty, it's eye catching and has the right feel for this series. Days of Blood and Starlight, the follow up to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is already on a lot of people's wish list. If you haven't added it yet, do so via Goodreads.


I love the cover for Dearly Beloved by Lia Habel. Does it match Dearly Departed? Yes and No. I am LOVING the back cover though too. It's Bram! I love the detail (the stitched lip...EPIC!) and can not wait to read this one. Check out Goodreads for synopsis info.


TV

The Following trailer

Ok, so go ahead and watch this trailer.....I'll wait.



Doesn't this show look amazing?! Press that have screened the pilot episode have been raving that it's the best pilot EVER and that has me even more excited. I love the nuance of Kevin Bacon's character not exactly being a squeaky clean detective. Did you catch the hint of a love triangle? A twisted, demented love triangle has me pretty excited. I think this is totally going to be my 'fall in love with' show of 2013. It starts in January and I am already hoping they show the pilot early somewhere.

Season Finale of Revenge

I am in love with this show. It's soapy twisty fun at it's best. If you haven't watched this season, catch up over the summer. It had one of the best season finales this year (this and Once Upon A Time rank high for me) and  I love the characters. Nolan Ross is everything that makes me happy in a TV show.

OTHER

Book Expo America

Officially 1 week away. I leave next Sunday night to head for NYC. I am super excited to be going and can't wait to share everything. I am going to break down the convention into three posts, once for each day. Look for them on Jun 12, 13 and 14.  I have blog posts planned for the Monday - Thursday while I am away so hopefully there will be no lapse in the blog. I can't wait! I have a feeling this week is going to feel VERY long.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Follow Friday


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

Q: Activity! Dreamcast your current read.

Since I am between books right now I am going to cast the last book I read. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.

I had tons of fun with this. All my choices are too old now (with the exception of my selection for Howie).

Jasper "Jazz" Dent -


He is described as good looking, clean cut. I picture a young Alex Pettyfer or something like this for the role.

Howie -


Jazz's best friend. Logan Lerman looks like how I pictured Howie. A little nerdy, but still super cute.

Billy Dent -


Ray Liotta would be amazing in the role of Jazz's dad who also happens to be a serial killer. I think he is a little too old for the role but in his younger days he would have been perfect. He is considered handsome but still has that roughness I would expect Billy to have.


TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Show Me Your Cover: What are some of the worst book covers, but hold some of the best stories inside? Don't be embarrassed, show us your cover!

Hmmm....I am reading Storm right now and I am not a fan of the North America cover (the blue with all the guys on the cover), but it's sooo good. I do like the Australian cover (the one with the girl and the guy) though. Much better.


The other cover I can think of is the United Kingdom (girl in red dress) cover for Fateful by Claudia Grey. I like the North American (blue tinge) cover much better. The U.K. one looks very photo shopped together.


Happy Weekend!

Scarlet by A.C Gaughen


Scarlet by A.C Gaughen
Release Date –  February 14, 2012
Publisher Website –  Walker Childrens
Pages -  292 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.  
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. 
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
I’m Rob’s secret declares Will Scarlet. Many of us know the tale of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. You may even be familiar with Will Scarlet, whose loyalty to Robin is well known. This novel puts a delightful twist on the age old tale by making Will Scarlet a woman. A tough, sarcastic, conflicted woman at that. This is her story, and it’s her character that kept me interested in the novel. We got to know the vulnerable side to Scarlet as well and the reader quickly learns that she is disguised in more ways than one.

The setting is perfect, and the forest Scarlet and the men in her life roam is easy to imagine. The plot itself is imaginative and well thought out.Those familiar with the tale will find that Ms Gaughen puts her own spin on the characters and keeps it entertaining. The narration was a hybrid of present and past tense that was a little jarring at first. It takes some getting used to, and it didn’t really work for me.
I had a love/dislike relationship with the romance aspect of the story. I wish Robin had been a little more developed. I didn’t really find myself invested in the romance as a result of not being attached to the characters. I wish I knew more about what really motivated Robin. I felt I got to know Scarlet, but the other characters seemed less developed.  I also wanted to scream at Robin and Scarlet to talk to each other. Misunderstandings, and lack of communication are this couples downfall. Even as truth and honesty is demanded from each other their past and own reasoning prevent them from doing it.

At the same some there are plenty of romantic scenes and stolen glances that left me giddy in anticipation for something to happen. There is a hint of a love triangle, that felt awkward to me. I didn't really think it was important to the overall story and there was enough drama to create tension without it.
The action mainly is prevalent in the latter half of the story, this tends to make some of the earlier chapters feel a little longer. The last half though rushes by with storyline reveals and fight scenes. The fight scenes in the end were some of my favourite parts of the story.

While I had some issues with the narration, and wished some characters were developed more, I enjoyed this book and would gladly read about these characters again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday.....Carnival of Souls

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 Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In a city of daimons, the Carnival of Souls hosts a deadly competition. Once in a generation, every citizen can fight to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live. 
In our own world, Mallory knows that her father—and every other witch—fled the daimons’ city long ago. She trains to be lethal because it’s only a matter of time until the daimons catch up with them. 
While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans there for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence that is the Carnival of Souls. 
From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series, comes a brand-new tale of secrets, love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.
This cover...SWOON! I love the cover. It's stunning. I am intrigued by the synopsis, the carnival and the competition itself. Very excited to get my hands on this one.

Expected release date - September 4, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Release Date –  April 3, 2012
Publisher Website –  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  359 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad? 
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say. 
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view. 
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod. 
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
This novel really should come with a warning - beware when and where you read. There is a high chance of spine tingling scares if read in the right environment. Barry Lyga does not flinch from the horror, and depravity of serial killers, and he delves into the mind of them with what feels like chilling accuracy.

The writing is one of the stronger points of the novel. I liked the taunt, suspense filled chapters and the mixture of humour was a great touch. A lot of the novel is Jazz's inner dialogue and it could have ended up being predictable, and off-putting but Barry's writing makes it work.

Nature vs. Nurture is something that is often debated. What if both were a factor? Genetics, upbringing and the fundamental elements of Jazz’s childhood are all factors in making Jazz who he is today. The question Jazz is asking himself though is who exactly is he. The haunted, almost desperate way Jazz tries to cling to anything that makes him nothing like his father is heart pulling. He wants so badly to not be his father, but the urges are there, and Jazz isn’t sure he wants to fight them. Jazz’s character keeps you intrigued because you don’t know what he is going to do. You can’t predict him, and that makes for refreshing character development. I wanted to get closer to him, as much as I wanted to run away. He’s charming, chillingly so, and comparisons to Dexter Morgan are spot on. You’ll root for him, but being alone with him would set you on edge.

I adored Jazz’s friend Howie. Providing a dash of humour and someone that cares for Jazz while knowing everything makes us relate not only to Howie, but Jazz himself. Howie having hemophilia make me worry about him and hold my breath whenever he got involved. Jazz's girlfriend Connie was someone who challenged Jazz and he needed that.

The hunter vs. prey, cat and mouse game that Jazz and the serial killer play throughout the novel is fascinating, and the identity of the killer is shocking. It’ll keep you holding your breath and anticipating what is going to come next.

The ending left me wanting a sequel, as Barry Lyga sets up the next book perfectly. With plenty of childhood secrets for Jazz to unravel, and a new determination to go down a different path, to not continue Jazz’s story would be the ultimate crime. I look forward to hunting with him again, and hopefully soon.

This book will chill you, give you nightmares and leave you wanting to spend some more time with Jazz. Just make sure to read it in the daylight…

Monday, May 21, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks


Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Release Date – May 22, 2012
Publisher Website –  Feiwel & Friends /Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  324 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.
Mermaid books and I tend to not mix very well. I am not sure what it is, but I think I have a harder time with them as the mythology tends to be something I find unrealistic.  However, Anna Banks has convinced me. I enjoyed the mermaid mythology in Of Poseidon and foud myself really enjoying the novel.

Syrena (mermaids) are divided into two “families” consisting of the Triton tribe and the Poseidon tribe. Each tribe as a special gift, and Poseidon’s is the ability to communicate with fish. Galen is searching for a Syrena who has this gift in order to cease a war and save not only his Kingdom, but all of Syrena.

Galen both bothered me and intrigued me at the same time. I had issues with his treatment of Emma. He does things “for her own good” and to “keep her safe” but they just ended up making me think he was a bit of a jerk. I did like that Emma didn’t really put up with it and challenged him. I didn’t like that he thought her saying NO and telling him not to tell her what to do was “cute” and “adorable”. However, I did like that he was there for Emma and supported her through things.

Emma was a fun character. She has a temper, is quite stubborn, and doesn’t back down. I found her “voice” to be quite amusing. The girl says “OHMYSWEETGOODNESS” which I found highly funny.

What kept me reading was Anna’s writing. It’s highly addictive, and the plot is well developed.  I enjoyed the different perspectives we got by switching the chapters between Galen and Emma’s view point. The switching for first person, to third person was a little jarring at first, but once you are used to it you barely notice. The mermaid mythology was one I very much enjoyed and am anxiously awaiting to learn more about the Poseidon and Triton tribes and the rift that happened to separate them.

There is a shark attack early in the novel that I felt was well done. I could feel the panic, and fear. It was a very intense moment and it was moments like these that made the novel really stand out.

The ending provides a killer cliffhanger that made me want to grab the second book immediately. I guessed part of the twist, but not the full extent of what was going to be revealed. I admire the subtle clues Anna hints at without making anything glaringly obvious. The mythology kept expanding and changing throughout the story. I liked that it unravelled slowly and that we learnt things as Emma did.

While I had some issues with the characters (mainly the guys) the plot, and writing more than made up for any disconnect I felt with them to provide a highly enjoyable mermaid read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. For those who might be sceptical about mermaid books this is the perfect book to dive in with - romance, action, and mystery are all waiting for you in the deep blue ocean.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).


I got three books for review.

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas (goodreads)
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (goodreads)

from Netgalley


The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter (goodreads)

I was super excited to find Black City waiting at my door. A huge THANK YOU to Penguin Canada for sending this for me. I am super excited to read it.

Another huge THANK YOU to Hachette Group Canada for sending From What I Remember. It kind of sounds like The Hangover movies, and I am hoping it's just as funny!

I also want to think Daniel Marks author of Velveteen for sending my some AMAZING bookmarks. I LOVE them and the quote
She walks a tightrope between psychotic and smokin'
I love this quote so much! I am excited to read this novel.

I also want to give a huge THANK YOU to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the chance to read and review The Goddess Legacy. I am looking forward to learning more about Persephone especially.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

More book deals have been announced and there are two I am excited to check out.

The Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Here is where I admit I haven't read Sophie's over novels. They didn't really grab my attention even though I had read great reviews for them. This one however sounds amazing. Check out the Goodreads synopsis
The first in a two-book series pitched as The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report; in which a teen's perfect world unravels when mandatory genetic profiling reveals she's a carrier for HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome), otherwise known as the "kill gene" and she's forced to question herself, her world, and her love.
Seriously? The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report? AWESOME. What happens to the people who are found to have HTS? Are they sent somewhere? Is the system corrupt? So many questions that come from this  brief synopsis. Looking forward to this one being released in 2013 by Harperteen.

All The Rage by Courtney Summers

I read the synopsis for this and immediately started to fangirl. This sounds amazing. Check out the Goodreads synopsis
A 17-year-old girl’s attempt to blackmail her rich classmates results in her waking up on a dirt road with no money, no memory of how she got there and a semi-erased message she left for herself the only clue as to why. When she tries to piece together the evening before and all the events leading up to it, a dark and sinister game is revealed. Likened to Brick and Veronica Mars.
This sounds amazing. A little Veronica Mars is never a bad thing, and I am intrigued to find out why she is blackmailing her classmates and how she ended up on a dirt road. St Martin Press is publishing this one in 2013 and I am so anxious to get my hands on it.

Does anyone else think 2013 is looking to be the BEST year in books? So many amazing, and UNIQUE sounding titles.

Some other titles I have come across recently that are releasing soon (THIS FALL!) and I think sound amazing.

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox


The Goodreads synopsis of this sounds cute, and like it might have an interesting mystery at the heart of it
When Charlotte comes to after being pushed onto the subway tracks, she is informed by a group of teenage girls that she is dead…they all are. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency. With the support of these dynamic girls—including fashionable Lorna, who can’t wait to find out if the devil actually wears Prada, and nerdy Nancy, who insists on staying in limbo to help out other girls—Charlotte follows leads and tracks down clues to solve her own murder. With plenty of juicy mysteries and some pretty cute guys, readers are sure to fall in love with this fun and suspenseful page-turner!
Investigating her own murder? Creepy but awesome. I hope this is as cute, and suspenseful as I am thinking it's going to be. This comes out September 18 from HarperTeen

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues 


The Goodreads synopsis for this one sounds a lot like Thirteen Reasons Why.
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....
Sounds like it could be really emotional, and intense and really good. I enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why and felt like that book should be mandatory reading in highschools. Hopefully this one is just as poignant. This comes out September 4 from Simon Pulse.

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence


A little Romeo and Juliet happening in the Goodreads synopsis.
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided. A political rebellion ignited. A love that was meant to last forever. 
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
So obviously there will be a love triangle, and I am curious as to why Aria has holes in her memory. I love the cover of it too, so pretty. Random House is publishing this one October 9, 2012.

TV

Once Upon A Time season finale

Crazy twists? Check. Romantic reunions? Check. Beloved (by me anyways) character seemingly dies? Check. Insane cliffhanger that will leave you gasping until the fall? CHECK. We left Storybrooke with "something bad" coming (Got to love Henry) and we are in for a intriguing second season.

OTHER

Book Expo America

TWO WEEKS!! Yes, this Sunday is the two week mark before I leave to go to NYC. My excitement level is pretty unmanageable right now and I am having fangirl freak outs on a daily basis.  Kirkus reviews released their BEA Guide. It offers their picks for what to get and the titles in there all sound amazing. I am looking forward to surrounding myself with bookish people and can't wait to share everything in blog posts when I get back.

Disney World

As some of you know I have three young nieces. They are going to be visiting Disney World for the first time this December. Yesterday, I purchased my flight to go with them! I am so looking forward to their little faces when they meet their favourite characters. I predict freak outs over Cinderella and Belle. I already can't wait to explore the most magical place on earth with my sister's family.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop


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

Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

Hmm....well I am going to keep it local and list a real place I could actually go to here in Ottawa. I fully intend to go to this spot as soon as I have some free time and the weather is nice!


The Ottawa Canal has quite a few scenic spots along it where you can stop to read, picnic, or just enjoy the view. It turns into the world's largest skating rink. It's lovely to walk along as well. Can't wait to grab some delicious fruity drink and relax with my book. The only downside to this spot? It's popular and often filled with people, it takes an effort to find a quiet spot.


TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

A Book Blogger is Born: What made you decide to start your very own book blog?

I started my blog largely due to being the "go to" book person in my group of friends. I have always been asked for book suggestions (especially from penpals) and figured this was an easy way to share what I was reading and what I enjoyed. I also had read a book called Stolen by Lucy Christopher and had to review it.

Now that I am fully part of the book blogger community I am very happy I am here. I've met great people who share my love of reading and books. It's truly been an amazing experience.

Happy Weekend!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Release Date –  May 8, 2012
Publisher Website –  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 536 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**purchased**

***************SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST 4 BOOKS IN THE SERIES****************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
The Mortal Instruments series (and the Infernal Devices series too) are one of my favourite series. Cassandra Clare manages to capture humour, heartbreak, pulse pounding action and endearing characters. It's the characters that we really grow attached to. City of Lost Souls, the second to last book in this series, has us fearful and apprehensive about the fate of some of the characters. Cassandra Clare is a master at the heartbreaking scene that makes you cry and this instalment was no exception.

I love how involved Cassandra's plot is. Clues, reveals and twists are plotted well in advance and dropped when neeeded. Clare's writing really shines when you factor in that the two series compliment and shed light on the other. I have a theory that ties into both books about some of the characters and I was delighted to have more 'hints' that suggest I am correct. An author that can expand a complex plot and weave the whole story through what will total nine novels is impressive.

My favourite part of the book was the amount of time we got to spend at Magnus's apartment. This meant we got to see much more of Magnus than usual, and his relationship with Alec is given a fair share of the plot as well. I adore Magnus, he is my favourite character in this world Clare has created and I wish for more of him each book.

Simon was another highlight. I found myself liking Simon well enough in the first cycle of books, but this new set of three has really made me LOVE him. He's grown and changed. He is more weary after having been through so much, still fiercely loyal to Clary and his blossoming relationship with Izzy is wonderful to see develop. I hope Cassandra explores the relationship between Simon and Magnus. When the dust has finally settled for these characters and they've lived their lives conceivably he and Magnus will be the last two left (baring anything awful happening in the last novel). I would like to explore that and see if they could become friends.

Clary, while brave and capable, makes the worst possible decisions in this novel. I realize she does them out of fear and love, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it was infuriating to "watch" her make them. It was disappointing because I've always liked the character and felt myself really disliking her this time around. Going in I knew Jace was not going to be himself, but I was not prepared for how different Jace actually was. Fans of Jace may especially dislike this version of him.

I spent most of the book wanting to smack Alec Lightwood upside the head. He gives Clary competition in the "who makes the worst decisions" contest that is for sure. I felt awful for Magnus and was glad he stood up for himself. You get the impression that he has been around way too long to put up with much. This outcome has been building steadily in the last few books and while I was anguished over it, the outcome is realistic. Magnus has often voiced his reluctant to be the 'go to warlock' for our gang and it is really evident in this novel how much of what Magnus does is out of his love for Alec, and not out a true desire to assist the others.

Much of the plot revolves around trying to determine what Sebastian's plan is and what his motivations are. Clare has developed a villain that is anything but one dimensional and is captivating in his own right. There are glaring differences between what Sebastian wants and what Valentine wanted so it does not feel like a rehash.. Sebastian is determined and is willing to go to great lengths to obtain his goals. I found myself fearing for our beloved characters because I truly believe Sebastian when he says he wants to "burn down the world".

When Sebastian's plan is revealed and the dust from this battle has settled we are left with a sense of foreboding and unease. War is coming and it is easy to see that not all our beloved characters will make it out alive. City of Lost Souls, to me, felt like a set up of the epic showdown we are going to see in City of Heavenly Fire. A necessary step to the finale that provided the usual heartbreak, laughs and excitement I have come to expect from a Cassandra Clare novel. Saying goodbye to this series with the sixth and final book will be bittersweet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....What's Left of Me

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 What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
I love the cover for this. This just sounds so unique. I don't think I've read anything quite like this before, and I am looking forward to it.

Expected release date - September 18, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Author Interview - Katherine Longshore


Today the lovely Katherine Longshore stops by for an interview. We're talking Tudor Court, history and research. Gilt is in stores TODAY so grab a copy. If you are interested in winning your chance to read it the Tudor Tuesday blog tour wraps up today and has 3 chances to win. Details can be found in the contest post.

1 Describe Gilt in three words

friendship passion betrayal

2 Describe your novel's Catherine Howard in three words

charismatic manipulative duplicitous

3 What drew you to write about Tudor England? And what especially drew you to Catherine Howard?

I kind of fell into Tudor England, really. My first love was late Medieval history, and Richard III in particular. I suppose I have a bit of a soft spot for the bad boys, because Henry VIII seemed to follow naturally. And when I realized I was kind of destined to write for teens, Catherine seemed an obvious choice, as she was a teenager when she became queen.

4 What sort of research did you do? Did you visit any sites in England?

I read a lot of books. I found transcripts of original documents online. And yes, my favorite part of research is to visit the places where my characters lived. And died. Hampton Court Palace is still as majestic as I’m sure it was in the middle of the 16th century. The Tower of London is just as formidable. And though some places no longer stand – even in ruins – I can learn a lot just by being able to view the world from their location.

5 During your research did you learn anything that surprised you?

It surprised me that so many historians perpetuate the assumption that Catherine Howard was birdbrained and frivolous. Yes, she made an egregious error. But who among us didn’t at some point – especially when young – do something stupid? Does that mean we are stupid? Not at all. So why should we assume Cat was?

6 If you were alive during Tudor times would you have wanted to be at Court?

Honestly? I don’t think so. My natural expectation is that people are basically good, kind and honest. And I think the Tudor court bred that out of people. As Cat says in Gilt, “The English court is beautiful and cutthroat, and anyone going there has to be both. Or at least act as if she is.” Though I would like to see it – the gowns and jewels, the tapestries on the walls, the musicians, the incredible, elaborate foods. And then, I’d probably like to go home to my own quiet space.

7 What was the easiest part of this novel to write? The hardest?

I think they’re one and the same. Stephen King coined the phrase “killing your darlings”, meaning, as a writer, having to excise some of the parts of your novel that you love the most, because they don’t work in the story structure. But it can also apply to characters. I can picture the Tower of London, the scaffold, the scant and miserable crowd at Catherine’s execution. The vision makes the words come easily. But it was difficult, emotionally, to write it.

8 Who is the first person that gets to read your writing?

My sister, Martha Longshore. She is the first writer in our family, and has an uncanny eye for whether writing works. She recently read the rough draft of Book 2 in the Royal Circle series, and when she told me she finished it in two days, I was blown away.

9 What is the last book you read that you would recommend to others?

This book won’t be coming out for a few months yet, but I’d certainly recommend that people keep an eye out for SKINNY by Donna Cooner. It is so relatable, so heartfelt, so beautifully unnerving. A must-read.

10 If you could go back in time to any time period and any place, where and when would you travel to?

I’d love to travel to the Field of Cloth of Gold. From June 7 to 24, 1520, Henry VIII met Francis I, King of France, in a field near Calais, which was part of England at the time. They built tents to look like chateaux. They covered everything in the titular cloth, and all of it gleamed in the sunlight. They had games and feasts and signed a peace treaty that was supposed to last for years (but didn’t). This is what the pageantry of the Renaissance was all about, and it would have been amazing to be a part of it.

******************************************************************************

I want to thank Katherine for stopping by!

I have a mini contest going on. I have some amazing signed bookmarks and feel like giving some away. I am going to be giving 5 in total. To win, simply comment below with the name of your favourite of King Henry's Queens and a way to contact you (Twitter handle, etc).

Also don't forget to enter the Tudor Tuesday contest to win a copy of Gilt!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore


Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Release Date –  May 15, 2012
Publisher Website –  Penguin/Viking Juvenile
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  398 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
Historical Fiction has that unique aspect that most people know how the story going to end when they pick up the novel. This is even more true when reading about a historical figure, rather than just having a novel set in a particular time era. What takes a good historical fiction to a great one is the journey. It's in the process and how the author gets you to that ending. Gilt shines here. Katherine Longshore strength is the journey, taking us up to the moment we know is coming.

Catherine Howard (Cat) brought to life under Katherine Longshore’s skillful writing is exactly what I imagined her to be. History paints her as a silly, frivolous girl who was not the brightest. I see her as a young lady who made mistakes. Mistakes are part of what it means to grow up, and learn. Sadly, Catherine Howard paid the ultimate price for her mistakes. She was also much more aware and intelligent than given credit for. She became Queen. Not an easy task, and she managed it. Was Catherine fun loving, manipulative, and cunning? Absolutely. They are not crimes worthy of what happened to her.

Katherine Tylney (Kitty) is a true friend. She is someone that is supportive and understanding, even when it is undeserved. She is someone I really liked as she sticks to what she believes in.  She is loyal almost to a fault. Her connection to and willingness to do anything for Cat means their fates are intertwined and as Cat’s fortunes change, Kitty’s change as well.

The romance in the novel is almost secondary to the friendship. I did love William and his connection with Kitty. I liked that it was not overwhelming to the story, but still provided some steamy scenes. The ending is one that is honest and genuine to the story being told.

The theme of friendship and what it means is one that anyone can relate to. We have all had friendships that are pretty one sided when you look back on them. While Cat took and manipulated there are moments that shine through when you can see the genuine friendship there.

The duality of the danger in Henry’s court and the grandeur was portrayed wonderfully. We have a King that is quick tempered, makes snap decisions and changes his mind frequently. It is a little like walking on glass being part of his Court and yet the riches, wealth and splendor also exists.

The saddest part of Catherine Howard’s story is her youth and vivacious personality being silenced too soon. Katherine Longshore handles that final scene in a way that is touching, poignant and provides a different perspective in having it be from Kitty’s view point. You get to see it through someone who would be mourning her loss.

You’ll be holding your breath waiting to see what awaits Kitty and will hope she manages to escape with her head. Intrigue, secrets, romance, and a friendship that will resonate with everyone made Gilt a read that I couldn’t put down.  I am eagerly awaiting the second book in the Royal Circle series.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).



Purchased

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (goodreads)
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (goodreads)

Library stash

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (goodreads)

I had a very busy week with books. This week was all about City of Lost Souls! I am so happy to have it in my hands. My review will be posted sometime this coming week (Thursday I expect).

Brodie who runs the amazing blog Eleusinian Mysteries has been RAVING about Storm for months. I could not find it in any store in Ottawa so I ordered it. It finally came in and I was thrilled to find out it came with the short novella that you're supposed to read prior to Storm. I hope to get to this one soon. I ordered Sweet Evil at the same time and it just came in Friday. I love the cover of this one so much! It looks amazing "in real life".

I loved The Gathering and am so excited to jump back into this story. Hopefully I have time to get to it soon.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Weekly Obsessions!

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOKS

There are so many amazing books that have been announced in book deals recently. I don't have pretty covers to show this time, but I do have lots of awesome sounding future releases to share.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

This sounds AMAZING! Slated for a 2013 release, Bloomsbury has purchased the publishing rights. The writer? She's 20 YEARS OLD! I am in awe. Oh and this is the first in a SEVEN book series. Here is the synopsis on Goodreads
The Bone Season begins in 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. She works as an envoy between secret cells: she drops in an out of people's minds. For Paige is a lucid dreamer, a clairvoyant, and in her world, the world of Scion, she commits high treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, kidnapped and transported to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for two hundred years, she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has every laid eyes on – and he will become her "keeper".
Warden already sounds yummy and I love that the character is almost 20. A little older is nice. I want more fun, twisty, intense novels that feature 25-30 year olds.

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

The author of The Near Witch has some amazing sound novels coming out. The Archived sounds awesome. It's her other novel that has me pining though. Here is the Goodreads synopsis

About two best friends whose college experiments to create supernatural abilities wind up turning them against each other.
Amazing right? A 2013 release by Tor books. This is being called a more adult read, and the characters are college aged. I am dying to find out more about these "supernatural abilities" that they are trying to create.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Twin Peaks meets The Village? YES PLEASE! Harper Collins has this awesome sounding novel scheduled for a 2014 release. Check out the Goodreads synopsis

Natalie Parker's BEWARE THE WILD, pitched as Twin Peaks meets The Village, in which a claustrophobic Louisiana town is dominated by its sinister, encroaching swamp, which swallows up a boy who is instantly forgotten by everyone except his sister, and replaced by a mysterious girl from the past who is intent on taking over his family and his life.
I enjoyed Twin Peaks. It's weird, a lot quirky and it had a pretty great mystery surrounding it. The synopsis has me pining and Harper really does have awesome titles.

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Once again Harper strikes with an amazing sound title coming out in 2013. The City of Thousand Dolls sounds creepy,and awesome. Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Nisha Arvi is a casteless orphan in an empire where caste and tradition are as unchanging as the roof of gray sky above her head. The only exception is the City of a Thousand Dolls, an estate where abandoned girls are trained to be anything from assassins to courtesans to nobleman’s wives.

Nisha is not so lucky. When she finds out that the City Council want to sell her as a slave, and also that they are hiding a series of mysterious deaths among the girls, Nisha makes a desperate bargain. If she can find the killer, she’ll have a chance at a caste and a future.

But it won't be easy, because in the City of a Thousand Dolls missteps are as easy as wearing the wrong robe. And when Nisha suspects an old friend of the murders, she puts both of their futures in jeopardy.
I love the mystery surrounding the storyline and the creepy feel of the estate itself. I think this one is going to be fantastic!

TV

Vampire Diaries season finale

Elena chose a Salvatore, some people left Mystic Falls, and lots of awesome, insane and crazy twists happened. The Vampire Diaries knows how to do a season finale (and season premiere). I was on the edge right until the jaw-dropping ending that will have a serious impact on all our beloved characters next fall. If you are not watching this show I just planned your summer for you. You can thank me later.

OTHER

Teen Author Carnival

Teen Author Carnival is a huge event that happens in New York around the same time as Book Expo America. It gives the chance to meet some of your favourite teen authors. This year Michelle Hodkin will be there so I am so freaking excited. I am going to bring my hardcover of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for her to sign. Lots of other fantastic authors will be there and I am excited to chat with so many of them. If you want to learn more check out the Teen Author Carnival website.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Follow Friday


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

Q: This Sunday in the U.S. is Mother's Day, in celebration, what are some of your favorite books with strong mother/child relationships?

Whoa! I am trying to think of one. I can think of a perfect father/daughter relationship. Um, I love the relationship between Clara and her mother in Unearthly and Hallowed. Her mother is present, and actually takes the time to know what is going on with her daughter.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

We tend to gush over those main characters the most, but what about those supporting roles? Who are some of your favorites?

I have so many. Kanin from The Immortal Rules is one for sure. Grim from The Iron Fey series. I am not sure if he counts but Magnus Bane from all of Cassandra Clare's novels would be my number one.

Happy Weekend!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Release Date –  May 1, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  544 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Veronica Roth’s Divergent hooked me. Insurgent destroyed me. Veronica Roth has managed to create not only a realistic future, but realistic characters that are so well developed and flawed.

Veronica's writing keeps you on the edge of your seat, turning the pages waiting to see what will happen next. Her pacing is excellent and the book reads rather quickly considering it's 500+ page length.
Tris is different in this book. She’s shattered, changed and haunted. Taking someone’s life has deeply impacted her and we see immediately that it’s not something easily brushed off. It feels authentic to her character and provides a new side to Tris that is nice to see. She’s still strong, sacrificing and capable but so much has happened and she’s forever changed. I liked that she is changed so drastically because of what happened. It’s something that should have a huge impact on her and I am thankful Veronica didn’t sweep past it.

With alliances being formed, choices being made, and a war brewing Tris has to determine who she can trust and what that means going forward. Insurgent is filled with secrets being revealed, crosses, double crosses and intriguing faction relationships. You see how someone’s choice can define and change them forever. A faction can mean more than family, and sometimes choosing yourself can be the only choice left. Learning about the factions and how they operate was fascinating. We learned so much about Dauntless in Divergent and we learn a lot about Amity and Abnegation in this one. The inner workings and politics within each faction are fascinating. I am looking forward to learning even more about them.

The relationship between Four and Tris is so well developed and intense . Their relationship is not easy for either of them but the genuine feelings between these two jump off the page. They are both committed to making it work even in the bad times. The steamy scenes are off the charts hot and the fight scenes are laced with feeling and longing. Tris and he have a lot of issues that need to be worked though (most of them stemming from events in Divergent) but you can see how important it is to the two of them that they work on it.

The ending, quite simply, changes everything. Everything you thought you knew is seen anew thanks to a revelation. The final twist will leave you with your jaw dropped, questions spewing out of your mouth and you giddy with excitement to get your hands on the third and final book in this stunning trilogy.

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