Saturday, July 30, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 30, 2011

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

This week I got :

The Map of Time by FĂ©lix J Palm - time travel in Victorian London...I was sold!

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles -The protagonist Katya, sounds like a strong woman and it is set in New York City in 1938

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison - a story about love during World War II

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenster - the circus, magic and fate...sounds like a winner to me!

Any of my goodies catch your eye?  What did you get?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally (Paranormalcy)
Hardcover, 352 pages

Released: July 26th 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

ISBN13: 9780061985867

Other places to find the book:
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Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.
My Rating: 4 / 5

My Thoughts:

Evie has left the Agency to have the 'normal' life she craved.  She starts noticing that there are some odd beasties around town. When her old boss, Raquel, approaches her with an offer to do some side work for the agency, she decides to give it a shot. Paired up with Jack, Evie once again finds herself among the fae.

I loved Supernaturally, especially Evie's kick-ass character and attitude. With Evie living a normal life in the beginning, I missed that action from Paranormalcy so found this suffered a slow start. She discovers that the normal life is not that exciting and realizes that she won't ever be free of the supernatural world.  Jack was a great addition, adding many fun times for Evie. With Lend being away at school, we don't see him much and Evie has to hide her work (and Jack) from him.  Kiersten's witty writing keeps the story fun, even in the slow times.

It was the last third of the book that was what I had hoped for. We learn a lot about Evie, the fae, and the big twist! Oh the evil fae, I love how this sets up the last book of the trilogy! If you liked the mischievous Reth, you will fall in love with Jack. The ending was not predictable and leaves you NEEDING the next book now!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday - July 27, 2011

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

Expected publication:  Spring 2012

Publisher: Viking

Other places to find the book: (Pre-order)
Add it to Goodreads

from Goodreads:
A dark and provocative novel from the author of The Secret Year.
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough—or cared enough—to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again. Jennifer R. Hubbard has created a riveting story about a difficult but important subject.

I'm not normally one to love dark reads but I loved Jennifer's debut, The Secret Year! I do have a soft spot for broken characters though and seeing Ryan break out of his shell by having that one person sounds like a beautiful story.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane (Nightshade, Book 2)
Hardcover, 400 pages

Released: July 26, 2011

Publisher: Philomel

ISBN13: 9780399254833

Other places to find the book:
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When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

My Rating: 5 / 5

My Thoughts:

When Calla wakes up, she finds herself in a strange place among the Searchers. Her world is turned upside down as she now wonders if it's really the Keepers who can not be trusted. One of the aspects I loved about Nightshade was the origins of the supernatural war and this was Wolfsbane's focus; we see the flip side of this story, the reason for the war from the Searcher's prospective. From page one I was hooked.

Calla has been given the choice of joining the Searchers, who she has only ever seen as her enemy, in hopes of saving her pack. As always, she considers doing what is best for her pack.  The ultra-sexy love triangle from book one takes on a smaller role as Ren, unfortunately, is not so prominent. Calla is feeling guilty that Ren was left behind after helping her and Shay, and worried about how he is being treated. She has easily become one of my favorite female characters. She is fierce and determined, but here she is also more vulnerable. She feels the weight of her decision to save Shay and the impact it has had on the people she loves. Shay steps us as the kick-ass character, as he takes advantage of the powers he has gained from Calla. I loved seeing this transformation and can't wait for him to show us what he's made of next!

Full of a great new cast of characters, surprises and betrayal, Wolfsbane starts off strong and manages to keep hold of you until the last page. I always love it when characters surprise you, and Andrea has given us quite a few of those moments.  As more and more layers to this story are revealed, it will have you begging for the next book.  I had high expectations for Wolfsbane, as Nightshade was a favorite read for 2010 and this still blew me away! It's going to be a favorite of 2011.

On a side note, I did find I needed help remembering the roles of the various groups (Searchers, Keepers, and Guardians) as the book picks up exactly where it left off. I would suggest reading Chapter 14  of Nightshade as a quick refresher.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 24, 2011

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

This week I got :

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier (A middle grade book said to appeal to fans of Lemony Snicket and Brothers Grimm. I'm hoping to read this with my son.)

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (A dystopian where "an ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies", yikes!)

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (I was fortunate to be part of the Canadian blog tour of this. It's set in the same world as Vampire Academy, I can't wait!)

What goodies did you get?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Do You Think (2) : Review Pitches Gone Wild?

With so many social media venues to choose from, there seems to be a gray area on how an author should contact a book blogger for reviews. The preferred method of contact for most bloggers is via email. Our email addresses can be found on our blog page, along with a review policy that is also worth checking out!

Here are a few ways that don't work:

Twitter - sending a tweet asking for a review comes across as unprofessional and rather lazy. - We may not mind friending you as a author there, but please do not send us a book recommendation for YOUR book. As soon as that happens, you are no longer my friend.

Email -  A little effort goes a long way. If you want us to pay attention to your request, don't start it off with a generic "Dear blogger" or even worse, the wrong name. A little personalization (I see you liked X so you may like Y) shows us you are truly interested in our opinion. Also, sending the same email again a month later is rather tacky.

Has this happened to you? What are your preferences? What do you consider the best way to be approached for a review?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: One Day by David Nicholls

One Day (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage Contemporaries)Paperback, Movie Tie-in Edition, 435 pages

Released: May 31, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

ISBN13: 9780307946713

Genre: Adult Fiction/Chick Lit

Other places to find the book:
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It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

My Rating: 4.5 / 5

My Thoughts:
If you ever need to find a book that makes you cry, this is the one to read. My review is not going to do it justice because it's hard to put into words! This truly is a book you need to experience.

Emma has always noticed Dexter and after their graduation has a chance to spend the night with him. No one knew this was only the beginning and not just another one of his one night stands. You see, Dexter is one of those guys that has to keep moving. He comes from a rich family, has a cocky attitude and some charisma about him that women love (and boy does he love women!). Emma on the other hand is more plain Jane and nice to her core. He travels the world and wants to be famous, she moves from job to job but really wants to be a writer. One Day covers 20 years of their life after that one night, now leading separate lives yet always staying in touch.

Dexter is oh so broken. He seems to have it all, he is rich and living in the limelight after all, but what he needs and money can't buy is to find himself. He has many ups and downs, battles drug and alcohol,  the only constant in his life is Emma. I found the middle of the book a little slow but then again this is a realistic look at a relationship and well, the middle of those aren't always fun either ;) Get the kleenex ready for the last quarter of the book though. A roller coaster ride of emotions, One Day shows us that love can conquer all.

The movie, starring Anne Hathaway, is out Aug 19th and I HAVE to see it! Just watching the tailer now, I had to hold back the tears.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Met Maggie! Toronto Tour Stop #1

I  had the chance to meet one of my favorite authors on Saturday...Maggie Stiefvater!!!! ***squee*** She is on tour right now for Forever, the conclusion to her Wolves of Mercury Falls trilogy. I have always been fascinated with wolves and one of the things I love about this series is the way she has kept that animal instinct in them while they shape shift into a wolf. Here's some pictures from the signing I was at.

A few fun facts I learned about Forever:
  • One cover of Forever had what looked like maple leaves ,but since the story doesn't take place in Canada Maggie had them change it. She also mentioned that Sam would not wear skinny jeans...she didn't have enough say to change it LOL
  • Forever was handed two weeks prior to her deadline, then she had second thoughts & scrapped it :o  She felt the first copy was written more with what the readers would want and not really how SHE saw the just didn't feel right.
  • One of the major scenes in Forever involves a wolf's struggle in the forest (sorry for being vague here, trying hard to avoid spoilers) and this is actually based on a real wolves plight. One website she used as part of her wolf  research actually tracked the wolves and logged how they died. She thought it was such an awful way to die...then figured it would be good to use!

See that big stack of books on the table, yep all mine...I brought every single book I had, plus an extra Forever for a contest coming up soon!

And I couldn't resist, feel sorta stalkerish but I HAD to see this car of her's up close!

Thanks Maggie for making the trek up to Canada and both Scholastic Canada and Chapters for making it happen :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 17, 2011

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

This week I got :

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is an MG book that was touted as “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter” by Kirkus Reviews

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi finally has a cover now, and there's been so much buzz, I'm so curious!

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies. I love the idea of fate so am eager for this one!

I forgot to add it in the picture, but I finally picked up Lament by Maggie Stiefvater! I was at her signing yesterday and this was the only book I didn't own.

What did you get?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Maggie Stiefvater takes on Ontario!

To celebrate the release of Forever, New York Times bestselling YA literature sensation Maggie Stiefvater is coming to Ontario this weekend, as part of her North American book signing tour!

Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)

Driving a ’73 Camaro, she will make the following stops:

Saturday, July 16th, 12:00pm
For more information call: (905) 438-8593

Saturday, July 16th, 6:00pm
For more information call: (416) 781-6660

Sunday, July 17th, 2:00pm
For more information call: (519) 685-1008

There will be trivia, giveaways, DJs and more!

See more information about her tour here:

and here:

Maggie is an author I have always wanted to meet. When I found out she was coming to town, I did a little happy dance and have been counting the days ever since. I'll be at the Oshawa stop with my bestie Jackie.
Are you coming?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What Do You Think (1) : Series Burnout?

My love for series probably started way back when, during my early reading years, with The Babysitters Club. Just for fun, here is the original cover and the re-release from last year. What a difference a few years , OK decades, make. (An interesting fact from wiki: When publishing ceased in 2000, there had been 213 novels published in the series.)

Kristy's Great Idea (The Babysitters Club)

I've just recently discovered that for series going beyond a trilogy (Harry Potter, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, A House of Night by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast and The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare to name a few) I have a love/hate relationship. I am a loyal reader. I continue a series even if I didn't enjoy one of the books, but wonder if I wouldn't have been left more satisfied with a trilogy. Charlaine Harris announced yesterday that her Sookie Stackhouse series would end at book 13...13!  I worry that a series just runs out of steam and I'd rather it be left on a high note.

Marked (House of Night, Book 1)The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)

The draw of a series for me is living in that world for years to come.You become emotionally attached to the characters and know everything about them: what they like/don't like, who they love/hate, what they would do/won't do. As someone who loves character driven stories, it's like an amazing journey!

The flip side is that what comes along with being so invested in a series is expectations. The ending of the previous book ends in a cliffhanger of sorts and you NEED to know what happens next. You need to see that character grow and learn from their mistakes. As the books progress, not only do you love to see new conflict, you also want answers.  The longer the series goes, the more expectations we make, but the problem with that is sometimes we don't always get what we hoped for.

So just how long is too long for a series before you feel the story is getting stale? With generally a one year gap in between books, will you still be as passionate about the books 4,5,6 years from now?  (Julie Kagawa is an exception here, releasing every few months either a novel or short story - she is a writing machine!) Maybe I just have a limited attention span or am impatient (probably both), but Harry Potter aside, I'm beginning to wonder if I prefer a trilogy or maybe a spin off.  I'm loving the Infernal Devices (the spin off of Mortal Instruments) and am eager to read and Bloodlines (which takes place in Vampire Academy's world). There's still that familiar element but the story can start fresh... plus if the story is only three books long I get my resolution sooner :D

What do you think? What keeps you coming back for more and when do you think enough is enough? What series do you love and what have you given up on? Do you think Julie (and Harlequin) are onto something here by releasing more frequently?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week  a new Top Ten list is posted at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This weeks question:  Who are the top ten authors that you'd DIE to meet?

in no particular order...

1. JK Rowling - like many others, Harry Potter pulled me back into reading for pleasure after all those painful years of studying textbooks!

2. LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables, need I say more?

3. Michelle Zink - one of the nicest, most approachable authors I know...and she writes great books too!

4. Jeri Smith-Ready - another super sweet author, who has a love for music & seems all around awesome.

5. Philippa Gregory - I'd love to chat about the Tudors!

6. Kiersten White - her main character in Supernaturally, Evie, is a hoot & I want to see just how tiny Kiersten in in real life :D

7. Kieran Scott - because I want Jake to be real, loved him in She's So Not Dead To Us!

8. Stephen King - with that kind of freaky imagination, I always wonder what he's like in real life.

9. Libba Bray - because she is quirky and I'd never know what to expect!

10. Cassie Clare -  I'd love to pick her brain on writing! She has a magical way of pulling you into her world, grabbing your attention & just when you anticipate something, she gives it to ya! It's like she's in your head & I love that.

Who would you want to meet?

Review: Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)

Hardcover, 386 pages

Released: July 12, 2011 (today)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

ISBN13: 9780545259088

Other Places To Find The Book:

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater


When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.


That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.


Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
My Rating: 5 / 5

My Thoughts: ****warning: as this is the last book of a trilogy, you will find spoilers ahead***

In Forever, there is trouble looming for the wolves. Isabel's father is determined to get rid of the wolves and organizes an aerial hunt. Sam is fearful as Grace is still changing into a wolf and Cole makes it his mission to find a cure, or at least something to control the disease.

I was nervous how it would end and began reading it with no expectations (I didn't even read the synopsis prior to pasting it above) but Maggie blew all my expectations out of the water! Forever is just beautiful.What makes this series so special is the love story between Grace and Sam (then Isabel and Cole) feel so real. This is not a case of  instantly falling in love, instead we watch it grow naturally. It's amazing what people will do for love and how it has the power to change you, this is what Forever is all about. How far would you go to save the one you love?

I have read that this was a slow read for some and I have to admit is wasn't full of non-stop, nail biting action but I see it rather as something to savour. This is a book that ties up many loose ends and is all about character growth. We see Sam become stronger, Grace take a stand for herself, Isabel open herself up and Cole be the good guy that he's tried to mask for so long. I loved that the ending wasn't forced, but rather was left open for the reader to imagine just what the future holds for everyone. Thanks Maggie for showing us the power of love.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? July 11, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to join in this weekly event if you'd like as well as use the picture above. Thanks Sheila for hosting!

This week:
I'm finishing Forever by Maggie Stievater. Fifty pages to go, no need for kleenex yet but have heard it will be necessary! Maggie is also coming to Toronto this week and I get her meet her this Saturday **squeee***
Next up is Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. Nightshade was a favorite of mine last year so I can't wait to dig into this one.

                                Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)  Wolfsbane (Nightshade, Book 2)

Last week:
I read Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (click here for review) and One Day by David Nicholls (review to come, a great character development love story). I also reviewed City of Fallen Angels by Cassie Clare (click here for review)
                          Starcrossed     One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)   City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4)

What are you reading?