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Monday, October 31, 2011

My Thoughts: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

**ARC received by Simon and Schuster Canada**

I hadn't heard of Virtuosity when it showed up in my mailbox a few months ago. What I did notice right away was the cover. Look at that cover, It's beautiful! And after reading the novel, the cover is very fitting for the story. I really like this book. A lot. I enjoyed the musical world Jessica Martinez created. It was fun and complex, and the competitiveness that takes over the lives of young musicians I found very original. One often reads about competitive sports competitions, but this concept of a musical skill being all consuming is not something that I have read about before, and I found it incredibly interesting. 

I was sucked in Virtuosity from the very beginning. I absolutely love when an author does that. When she is able to create such a gripping tale, that sucks you in from the first line.  Martinez was able to convey the extreme emotions that Carmen was made to feel because of the Guarneri competition. I felt for Carmen, and her I could understand her anxiety. It made sense to me. Her confusion over her feelings for Jeremy was clear, and well developed. I loved reading about it. Her feelings of not being good enough were something that as a reader, you were empathic to.  I enjoyed this part of the novel immensely.

I liked Carmen. I really liked Carmen. She was a fairly timid  girl and even with her timidity she tried to be strong. For a lot of the time she attempted to be the person everyone else wanted her to be, and that almost destroyed her. She lost sight of the thing that she loved the most- her music. What I loved the most about Carmen was when she made the decision to stand up for herself, and live her life, she stuck to it (for the most part), she knew that she needed a change and she was the only one to bring to make that change a reality. Although it was not easy for her. Carmen's mother was a piece of work. She was in no way supportive of her daughter. She was controlling and manipulative, and she almost destroyed her daughter. It really irked me. I really dislike the notion of parents living vicariously through their children, nine times out of ten it's not going to end well. Which we saw in Virtuosity.  A mother's obsession that almost ruined her daughter.

Jeremy. Oh, Jeremy. I liked Jeremy when her first made an appearance. I thought he was cocky, and funny, and he brought Carmen out of her shell. I wasn't a huge fan of this, a boy being the reason a girl could be herself. Girls don't need boys to be themselves. But, that's beyond the point. In this sense Jeremy was good for Carmen, and they had something in common. Her understood her. He knew what she was going through, and how the competition was all consuming, he knew the feeling. It was great. However, Jeremy wasn't all good. He did some pretty crappy things, which led to Carmen's downfall. However her redeemed himself, sort of. Jeremy wasn't without his faults, but he was pretty terrific.

Overall, Virtuosity was a great book. I loved this story, and I loved the world that Martinez created.  It was complex, and magical, and totally worth the read.

~Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #24

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Space Between by Brenna Yovsnoff

"There's a whole aisle devoted to elaborate bottles of perfume and tiny vials of cologne and aromatic oils. The museum is the only place in the city where we can feel the jab of a pin or smell the delicate fragrance of Chanel or eau de fleurs."


Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox #15 (Vlog #7)-Fall Book Exchange Thankyou!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

I filmed this at a different angle this week, which showcases WAY more of my disaster area of a room, for that I am sorry. I am a full time student who would rather read than clean. So there! This is also an intensely long video. I apologize.

Books Mentioned


The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Goodreads)


The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (Goodreads)

Ruby's Reads
From Jen over at Romancing the Book

The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti (Goodreads)
Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon (Goodreads)

Thank you SO much Jen. I am SO excited to read both books!

Thank you Ruby (Ruby's Reads) for hosting such a fantastic event!


Post cards
All Fall Down by Megan Hart (Goodreads) Dec 20th, 2011
Precious and Fragile Things By Megan Hart (Goodreads/My Thoughts)
Vice and Virtue by Megan Hart (Goodreads) It's out. Was released Sept 6th, 2011.

That's it for me this week, what did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cover Love: Lover Reborn by JR Ward

I never do cover reveals, nor do I gush about covers, but, as you ALL should know by now, I am in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series!! So when I saw this on Facebook earlier today I needed to share it.

So viola! Lover Reborn by JR Ward, which will feature Tohrment!

I am pretty excited for this book, Tohr has suffered, and I am eager to see him get a HEA!

According to FB post the manuscript was 754 pages and over 170, 000 words. Whew, That's longer than Lover Avenged.

I don't love this cover, the model isn't how I have pictured Tohr, but meh. I love the title though, I think it fits perfectly!

Love Reborn is due to be released March 27th of 2012- Just in time for exams.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Thoughts: Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

16-year-old Molly Dix loves her ordinary life in suburban Indiana, so when her single mother passes away, she is shocked to discover that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world famous movie star and red carpet regular.
Equally intrigued and terrified by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Southern California and plunges head-first into the deep end of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her new life and family couldn't get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous and spoiled half-sister whom welcomes Molly to la-la land with a healthy dose of passive-aggressive "sisterly love."
Set against the backdrop of a sparkling and fashion-filled Los Angeles, this deliciously dysfunctional family soap opera will satisfy every reader looking for their next lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous beach read.

Sometimes all a girl needs in life is a nice easy read. Something that doesn't take a lot of thought when reading it. Something that will make you laugh and roll your eyes at it's content. Something that you can get lost in while you're reading, but have no problem putting down when you need to. That is exactly what I got out of the debut novel by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, Spoiled.  I enjoyed reading this novel; about a sixteen year old girl-Molly- who finds out that her dad is a mega super star and after the death of her mother, she decides to go and live with him and his other daughter. Spoiled tells of her adventures in this new land of papporazzi, and mean girls.

This was a fluff novel. When I say that I mean, and novel that doesn't have a whole lot of substance. That isn't the nicest thing to say, but it's the truth.  I liked this book, will I remember it in a couple of weeks? No. I barely remember it now. I do know that it didn't take me long to read, and that it did make me laugh.  The world that Cocks and Morgan created was so ludicris. The portrait they paint of Hollywood society is so out of this world, that I had to roll my eyes at their drama. Sometimes less is more. I loss a sense of reality while reading this book, and sometimes is wasn't in a good way. Specifically with the ridiculous demands that the rich and famous make. The Girls' father Brick, was out of this world insane. Kind of funny when you think of it, but it was slightly over the top. I should mention that Cocks and Morgan could have done a better job with the end. It kind of just cut off, without any sort of resolution.

The characters were funny though, if not a little annoying. The situations were a little grating. But overall, I liked Molly and I liked Bridget. However, they weren't anything special. 

That's the thing with this book, there was nothing overly special about it. It was all just Meh.  Meh characters, meh writing. But at the same time, it was exactly what I needed. I wasn't bored. The rich and famous have always intrigued me. So I think when it comes to Spoiled, I am indifferent.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox #14 (Vlog #6)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

Books Mentioned

For Review:

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare


Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Thanks to Helena at Helena's Bookshelf.



Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian

That's all for me.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Thoughts: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I’m halfway to death, is this all I’ve got to show for it? Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Then there’s Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. As one woman’s marriage unravels, another one’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all three of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.

ARC received from Simon and Schuster.

After reading Tricks earlier this year I am a little nervous when it comes to reading anything by Ellen Hopkins. Not because it was bad, but because it was so good that it left me feeling a little sick with how real and unnerving it was. Hopkins does that on a regular basis, her young adult stories leave you reeling with emotions. She doesn't sugar coat situations and make them seem better than they are. She tells the honest truth, the gory truth. This skill has put her, and her books on the banned list more then once. But they are amazing, I have only read two of her young adult fiction, and I have been shaken to the core by the story she tells. In saying that, when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was writing a novel geared towards adults I was excited and totally freaked out.  After Tricks and Identical, how much worse could it be? It was that question that freaked me out, but I couldn't stay away.

I was glad to realise that Triangles was not full of drug abuse, child molestation or prostitution. What it did involve was three women in their forties; one with a sick child and a failing marriage, another- a mother of three, facing her fortieth birthday with a brand new image, and the third- a single mother with a teenage daughter, who has been having a bit of a dry spell when it comes to men. They are all intertwined in one way or another and they are all dealing with similar issues. Three women, whose responsibilities have gotten in the way of what they really want? Writing about the lives of women may not be the most original topic in the world to write about, when Hopkins takes something on, it's bound to be epic, and Triangles was epic.

If you've read Hopkins before you will not be disappointed with Triangles, if you've never read Hopkins, welcome to the beauty of her writing. The lives of the women in her novels are not perfect, but neither are they so terrible. That's what makes this book so good. I've said it before, Hopkins writes about real life, not just the bad stuff. Her traditional style of writing in verse adds to the beauty of this story. The real life situations that are presented in Triangles are complex and sometimes hard to read, but they won't leave you cringing. They will have you thinking about what it is like to be an adult, and be unsatisfied with your life. They will have you questioning about what is right and wrong, and what's worth sacrificing. Triangles tells the story of three women, of commitment and of friendship. 

Overall, this was another Ellen Hopkins masterpiece. It's not aggressively disturbing, but it still tells a tale that doesn't lie, and reveals human imperfection in all it's wondrous glory.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Thoughts: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

ARC received from Simon and Schuster Canada

WOW!! That's what I have to say. This is not going to be a long review, there are millions out there already  raving about this book. But I NEED to share my love for this novel.
 I knew The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was going to be good, I just wasn't expecting this good. I am stunned that this is Michelle Hodkin's first novel. The writing style is excellent, the plot is insane, the characters are complex. It was incredible.
Mara Dyer is a 16 year girl who has suffered a terrible accident. She is the sole survivor of a collapsed building that killed three of her friends- one of them being her best friend Rachel and her boyfriend Jude. Having survived this tragedy, Mara and her family leave the town they were living in, to make a new start. But, it's not a new start Mara gets. Soon after, Mara begins having hallucinations involving her dead friends. She begins seeing things, and hearing voices, and things die when she wills them to. Freaky eh? Yeah.  I found myself yelling asking, "what the heck is going on?" so many times, while reading this story. There were twists and turns everywhere. It was a wild ride and I loved every minute of it.

I think that I am generally pretty good at figuring out what's going on in a book. Plot twists and cliff hangers aren't usually that exciting or shocking to me. This was not the case in Mara Dyer, I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on with Mara, I didn't know what she was. The paranormal aspect I couldn't figure out; is she a witch? is she a ghost? I have no idea. Also, that end totally floored me. I was not expecting it at all. Not. At. All. However, I was reading an ARC, and I have heard that the end is a little different in the finished version. Regardless it was crazy.

If you want an amazing read. That will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is it.  It is a fantastic read  that will not disappoint.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for the chance to read this.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #23

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
About Guilt

It's something learned
in childhood- this nibbling
of conscience that begins
with deniel- I did not
push my little brother out
of the swing.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox #13 (Vlog #5)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

Books Mentioned


Naked by Megan Hart- Audiobook (My Thoughts)


Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
-From Katherine at The Lady Critic's Library (she's awesome sauce!)

For Review:

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Crossed by Ally Condie
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl