Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday - September 28, 2011

This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Expected publication: October 4th 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Add it to Goodreads

from Goodreads:
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.
Hush, Hush was a one of my favourite reads in 2009 but, to be honest, I was not thrilled with left me with many questions from Hush, Hush unanswered. I guess, technically then, I've been waiting two years for Silence! What I'm really dying to see if the yummy Patch I loved in Hush, Hush return so I can <3 him all over again :D

Are you Canadian and a hugh Hush, Hush fan? Want to win books and a chance to meet Becca? Click here to enter!

Do you <3 Patch? Check out the Patch and You Facebook app

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold Kiss
Hardcover, 336 pages

Released: today (September 20, 2011)

Publisher: HarperTeen

Other places to find the book:
Taken from
“It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder.
That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest.”

When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.

Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.

Amy Garvey’s transcendent teen debut is perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures. Wren’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
My Rating: 3.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

Wren has seen her mother do some magical things and has noticed that she has unique powers herself, but they don't talk about it. Danny was the perfect boyfriend, he was so sweet and Wren and Danny did everything together. When Wren gets a call to say that Danny died in a car crash, she is heart broken. Faced with losing the love her life forever, she decided to try out her powers and brings Danny back to life, she can't lose him. Keeping him hidden and a secret is hard, even harder when Gabriel comes on scene and 'knows' what Wren has done.

I think everyone can relate to the premise of this book... if one could keep the one you love with you forever, I'm sure many would try and find a way. The problem is, that the person you love may not be the same as the one you have now and this is the dilemma Wren faces. This was a cute story about love, loss and regrets...oh and zombies! Well sort of, the zombie aspect is quite different here. We are not talking the brain eating kind, rather an empty person version. I just wish there was more substance to the story, it felt like there was so much more to tell and we were only given a glimpse. Wren has powers! Where did both Wren and Gabriel's dad go and why? Who is Gabriel? I was left curious but not super eager and in my search I can't see any mention of there being a book two.

Buy the book: 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox - September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller - I won this from It's a story about love and betrayal and regrets!
A Million Suns by Beth Revis - the second book in the Across the Universe series. I wouldn't call myself a huge sci-fi fan but I loved Across the Universe so can't wait for the story to continue.
The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothernberg - I'm always up for love stories and this title plus Lauren Olivers blurb sold me :D
..and see that card, it's an invitation to TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards! Thank you so much The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC), it is an honor to be invited.

Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink - the final book of this trilogy :(
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I think this was my most anticipated book for 2011.
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce - a companion to Sisters Red which was a fun read last year
Random House Canada organized a fun party for the launch day of The Night Circus. In the middle on downtown Toronto (and Vancouver) they had a uni-cyclist juggling, lady on stilts, popcorn...and free books! Dressed up in black and white with red scarves (if you've read the book you will know why) are the RH crew, literally handing out books to passer-bys, likely on their way to school or work. I met up with Nicole from All I Ever Read plus I finally had the chance to mee Jess and Lindsey from RH in person. What a way to start off the work day :D

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Do You Think (7): Book Trailers Revisited!

About a month ago, I asked What Do You Think: Book Trailers...Do You Watch Them? I don't very often and was curious if I was out of touch. I was shocked to see that a majority of the responses were not so pro-book trailer, it wasn't just me. It made me question the point of book trailers, how they can add value and who their target audience is.

Let's say this pie represents readers in general, and according to responses, the missing piece is how many people are devouring the awesomeness that is book trailers...only a slice! (and it was delicious)

Now look at that huge section still left untouched. This is not to say the trailers aren't working, it's just that maybe they are still relatively new and we need to find a way to get them TO the people. My small sample of responses were basically from book lovers, and I think it's safe to assume we seek out bookish things all the time, so if we aren't watching often, how do you expect others to?

I am still in love with the idea of TV commercials (a commercial for Fallen by Lauren Kate was shown during a Vampire Diaries episode) and the pre-movie promos at theatres...but I also assume they are super pricey. Thanks to my bookish friend Karoline, last week I discovered Now for those of you who have not found this cool site, you seriosuly need to check it out. It's a resource for all things entertainment (books, movies, music, TV and video games)...and a light bulb went off. Here I was watching movie trailers (which I don't normally do) because I saw that a 'friend' of mine 'liked' it. I also glanced at the Suggestions (based on what I have previously liked) and New Releases section, scrolling through to see what there was. This is an untapped goldmine for book trailers! Many books are already listed, and like, you can read people's reviews. What makes this a better place for book trailers is the fact that you have a captive audience of people seeking different mediums of entertainment all in one shop. Users who do not frequent bookish websites  may stumble upon a book easily here. An exciting benefit for users is the ability to earn stickers. While this may sound small, they are unique and something you can't get anywhere can't buy them so they are like a collectable to cherish. I jumped for joy when I earned this Hush, Hush sticker and I'm, well, not a teen. The business freak in me loves Get Glue's ability to data mine and promote!

Another idea I would love to see come into fruition is having TV's in book stores showcasing book trailers. We need to embrace the various mediums books are now in. Front and centre in stores you will find Best Sellers and a table of new releases. How cool would that be, if on a table full of books there was also a flat screen TV 'showing' you what the book is all about? How about in the kids section as kids flock to see the TV. I don't mean for the kids to stay and watch the whole time they are instore, they have limited attention spans anyhow, but they may be excited to discover new books this way. Think of all the kids who normally aren't readers, they saw the Harry Potter movies, and have since read the Harry Potter series over and over again. I can't see my son Googling book trailers but when we visit a book store, we are there to buy a book and I could guarantee this would grab his attention.

My friend at Savvy Reader linked me the book trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children after reading my original book trailer post and I was sold. I am now the proud owner of the book...proof they work, they just need to get out there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Interview With Scott Westerfeld, The End Of The Leviathan Trilogy and a Giveaway

Leviathan was the first steampunk book so it will always have a special place in my heart.  I'm not a huge fantasy reader but did enjoy reading this series. I loved the alternate universe, and with the added pictures, I was in awe at how cool the machines were...they blew my mind. The fact that Deryn was a kick butt character,  may have also have won me over ;) I had a chance to ask Scott a few question, enjoy!

Mel: Hey Scott! Thanks for taking the time to chat about Goliath, the last book in your Leviathan trilogy!

The series is steampunk mixed with an alternate WWI setting. While researching for the book, what was the most interesting fact you found and wanted to include?

Scott: I knew from the beginning that one of my characters would be the son of the Archduke Ferdinand, a teenager who would feel somewhat responsible for this huge war that his own family tragedy started. But I didn't realize when I began the book that Alek's parents had a morganatic marriage. (In other words, his mother wasn't royal enough for any offspring to inherit his father's titles.) When I discovered that, it was clearly a great YA hook: a teenager calling into question his identity and place in the world, and perhaps realizing that the whole notion of royalty that he's grown up with is at its core a bit arbitrary.

M: One of the things I loved about this series is the illustrations, something not often found in YA books. Was this something you envisioned being part of your book while writing it OR added after?

S: Keith and I worked together from the beginning. I would send him a few chapters at a time, and he would respond with sketches, and often I would rewrite based on the way he drew the events. Also, beasties or machines would often wind up with more screentime than I had planned for them, just because I'd fallen in love with how they looked. So it really was a collaboration, with Keith's visualizations influencing the flow and content of every scene.

M: When creating your own world, you also have the pleasure of making up new words & using different slang. I loved Deryn's use of barking, what was your favorite and how did they come about?

S: Most of the slang in the series is historical. My favorite is certainly "clart" for poo. It has a wonderfully Scottish lilt to it. Of my made-up terms, I think I like "monkey Luddites" the best, referring to the people who are against Darwini's fabricated creatures on principle, because it combines the historical anti-technology movement with the word "monkey," a term that makes everything more amusing. (Of course, being from the US, I'm used to having to defend Darwin from neo-Luddites as well.)

M: With Alek finding out about Deryn's true identity, how did that change your writing of her character? What things could you do/show now that you had to hold back on before?

S: Hiding the fact that she was a girl meant that Deryn could hide a lot of her own feelings as well. But once she doesn't have being a boy to hide behind, she has to face the way she feels about Alek. So in a funny way, Deryn was more comfortable pretending to be someone else than facing what she really wants. Any time you get to take character out of her comfort zone, it's a wonderful challenge.

M: Now that the series has come to an end, what character will you miss the most being inside your head?

S: Probably Deryn. She has such a joyful and practical approach to everything. She's very no-nonsense, and doesn't spend a lot of time in her own head. After writing Alek's rather brooding point of view, I was always glad to get back to her. Plus, I love writing in Scottish.

Thanks Scott, I really enjoyed this series and am sad to see it end.


Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada, one lucky reader can win a copy of Goliath! To enter, be a blog follower, leave a comment , then enter the form below.  For your viewing pleasure, I'll leave you with the  awesomeness of Leviathan:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW Blogger Swap

One of my favorite weeks of the year! Thanks to the BBAW interview swap, I met Amanda from On a Book Bender! As you will see, she is newish to the blogging scene but comes with some great experience behind her. She has a number of great features you should check out!

Me: Why did you start blogging?

Amanda: I've always loved reading, and I've been a blogger on and off for a long time.  But I never thought to combine the two.  Two years ago I was blogging about completing 101 goals in 1,001 days (I failed this challenge, but that is beside the point) and met a couple people who were doing the same.  They eventually started their own book blog as part of their challenge, and I decided I wanted one, too.  I love books and I love blogging so combining the two seemed like a no-brainer to me.  The only problem was that I was enrolled in grad school at the time and knew that there was no way I could run a book blog and go to school.  So for a while I blogged for Tara at 25 Hour Books occasionally, and then when my schooling wound down in May of this year, I took the leap and created On a Book Bender.  It has been a total blast.

M: What is a typical week like on your blog?

A: I'm pretty organized, so I have a set schedule:

M: Name your favorite book this year and a future one you are most eager for.

A: This one is tough because I just started reading a lot more than I have in the past two years and have played "catch-up" with a lot of popular books.  It's probably a toss up between the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost because it got me into reading paranormal or Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison because her writing is phenomenal and her characters are even better.  To that end, I am really looking forward to Thea Harrison's third book in her Elder Races series -- Serpent's Kiss -- which comes out on October 4th.

M: Share a piece of advice you wish you were told when you started blogging.

A: I think I have been incredibly lucky, because I had some amazing book bloggers help me with my start.  I received a ton of advice right from the beginning.  I also watched and followed blogs before I started blogging myself, so I had a little time to decide what I thought worked and what didn't.  I think the best advice I could have gotten (or maybe I did and I ignored it) was that building relationships with other bloggers and building followers takes time, so just relax and have fun because in the end, that's most important.

M: What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

A: There is no contest on this: my favorite aspect of blogging is the book blogging community.  Technically, I have only been blogging for about five months, but everyone has been so welcoming that it feels like I've been doing this forever.  Not only are they welcoming, but they are also giving and supportive.  If I had known the book blogging community was that awesome, I probably would have started blogging a lot sooner.  I've met so many amazing people through book blogging (authors included) that have made my experience blogging what it is.

You can find Amanda on her blog On a Book Bender and twitter @BookBender

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Hardcover, 336 pages

To be released: September 13, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

Author website:

Other places to find the book:
In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.

My Rating:  3.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that I was super excited to read this solely because I loved Claudia Gray's Evernight series, but I was not sold on the premise. I was nervous to see Titanic and werewolves together. Thie idea of these two things together reminded me of a mashup, and to be honest I'm being picky on reading weres/vamps these days (overkill?).

This is the story of two people, on their way to American for a better life. Tess and Alec are leaving very different different lives behind: the one Tess was born into and the one forced upon Alec. Tess is a servant with the American dream, she hoped to quit her job and stay in America, having saved up money to start her new life. Alec, on the other hand, is the son of a millionaire, heir to an American steel company run by his father, who was bitten and turns werewolf every night. After possibly killing his friend one night as a wolf, he wants to hide away in America and live a quiet life where he won't harm anyone. There is another way that could change all this, with the help of a Brotherhood, but it's basically selling his soul.

Tess and Alec meet for the first time in England, where he saves her from being attacked in an alley. They notice each other again after boarding the Titanic, but she never suspected anything would come of them. This is, afterall, a time when wealth and class meant everything and she was only third class, Alec was first...but he was different. Aboard the ship, Tess also sees her attacker, whom she comes to know as Mikhail. It becomes apparent that it was not a random attack, there was something he wants from the family she works for and he'll stop at nothing to get it. She see's the hate between Alec and Mikhail and when she discovers what Alec is, the pieces fall together.

I enjoyed being transported back in time, when you either had it or you didn't; money and power were everything. Mixed in with this is the werewolf story. Although he could have everything, that was taken away when Alec was bitten. It was his circumstance and yes there was some action, but nothing too intense. Rather, I found myself wondering how Alec and Tess would make it, what they would do so that they could be together causing the werewolf angle to become more of a background story. I think the idea of power, as shown by Mikhail and the Brotherhood, was undeveloped. This could have been great if expanded on, I mean, who doesn't like a secret society?

The Titanic was a great setting for this story. We see the good life, dreams and we know how it ends. I wish we got to see more of the ship in all it's glory. For a majority of the book,  this story could have taken place on any ship. It was not until the end, with 50 pages to go that we are reminded we are on the Titanic. It was this anticipation of the dreaded iceberg that had me flipping the pages eager for more, hoping that after all they had been through they would be amongst the few survivors and finally be together. A story of power struggles, secrets, and love with an unbelievable ending that sadly fell short for me.

Buy the book:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox - September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger - Kody's debut, The DUFF, was a favorite of mine last year and so I've been eager to read this ever since she announced it was coming!

Miss Peregrines's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - I had heard great buzz about this book but I wasn't sure if this would be something I would like. After making a post last month about book trailers, Shannon mentioned how fantastic this book trailer was and I was sold! (Click here to see it for yourself)

Also, congrats to Chey for winning my Back to the Books giveaway, she picked Beauty Queens by Libba Bray!

What goodies did you get?

(Today my thoughts are with everyone affected by 9/11 - I will never forget)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Do You Think (6) : First Impressions...The Cover!

I admit, cover art is something that draws me to a book. When I receive the email showing me updates from the people I follow, I glance down the left hand side and see if there are any books that "look" interesting to me. 

One thing that I've come to see more of while blogging is the switch of cover art. The most recent book to have a makeover is Lisa McMann's Cyer's Cross.

Upcoming Paperback

I'm not so sure I've ever liked the 'new' versions better though. Or maybe I've just come to love the original and it's like a new baby, you love them both but in different ways? While this cover remake may grab my attention,  I feel that this gives off a different expectation. For me, this cover oozes romance. The heart of the story though is creepy, it's a haunting past manifested in a chair and I think the original cover captures that. (Now if this was a vampire story about a guy watching you sleep *also creepy*  then I would totally buy into it!)

Cover art can also change partway through the series as well. Here are a couple that I still think about:
Original Hardcover
Updated Cover

I LOVED the original cover of Wolfsbane, though do think the new cover is a better fit for the story.

Original Hardcover
Updated Cover

This is actually one of my favorite covers of all time! I can see how it the change worked for well for the entire series, but man was I sad to see this one go.

Then there are the covers which didn't grab me, but the book buzz did and I fell in love with the book.

So what do you think, how important are covers to you? Does the cover art draw you in too? Are there books you would or wouldn't read just based on the cover?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish: A Firelight Novel (Firelight (Hardcover - Trilogy))
Hardcover, 304 pages

Released: September 6, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

Other places to find the book:
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.

My Rating: 4.5 / 5

My Thoughts:
Vanish begins right where Firelight left off, with the aftermath of Jacinda showing what she was to the hunters. Jacinda, her mom and sister are brought back to the pride by Cassian and now must face the consequences for leaving. Life back 'home' is not the same, with curfews in place and flying restricted.  With her sister's power finally known, Jacinda is no longer the most popular.

Throughout Vanish, Jacinda pines over Will, the one she feels she truly belongs with.  Poor Cassian can't win over Jacinda despite being the hottie prince that any other Draki girl swoons over, especially her sister. She wants to live her life the way she wants, not how other people want her too and sadly Cassian falls into the later. It's Will that can give her that and he seems to love her too, risking everything time and time again. Yes this means a love triangle plays a huge role in the book, but really I only see Will as the symbol of freedom she is striving for and Cassian as the one who knows and loves her best (can you tell I'm on team Cassian?). This book covers Jacinda's struggle with what she wants versus what is expected.

For those who love a cute story, this one is made for you! Once you start, you won't put it down, Vanish is a quick, fun read. Now I shouldn't be too surprised, given that Sophie Jordan is also a romance writer, but wow there was some hotness in there! Clean for YA but steamy enough to make you blush :D

Buy the book:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox - September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith - I found this one on and know I'm going to love it! "With graceful and honest writing and an electric love story, this is a book about growing into your own skin. For fans of Perfect Chemistry, Sarah Dessen, and John Green."

Tilt by Alan Cumyn - a teen male protagonist!!

Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard - yes THAT Sara Shepard but this is her first adult novel.

Fragile Eternity and Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr - I haven't started this fae series yet but have always meant to. When I found these two books on sale, I grabbed them!

What goodies did you get?

Love YA? Enter to in 1 of 5 ARCs!!!
My Back to the Books Giveaway is found here. Open to Cdn & US residents and ends September 7th!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To The Books Giveaway Hop

Thanks to I Am a Reader, Not A Writer and Buried In Books for hosting this fun event.

Choose your ARC!
  • Wildefire by Karsten Knight
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot
  • The Isle of Blood (Monstrumologist #3) by Rick Yancey - the series readers fought to continue! (in stores Sept 13)
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (in stores Sept 20)

You must also be a blog follower to enter (see the GFC on the right side). Leave a comment telling me what upcoming book you are most eager for and fill in the form below.

Here is the list of other blogs participating in the hop, go forth & enter!