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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop


2013 saw some really great releases from all kinds of authors- some debuting their first novel and some their tenth. Today, for you, I have a list of the my top five favourite books of 2013 and some lucky person gets to pick one to take home and enjoy for themselves.

Thanks so much to the hosts of this Giveaway Hop:

The Prizes:




1) Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (My Thoughts)
2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (My Thoughts)
3) Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (My Thoughts)
4) Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (My Thoughts)
5) Altered by Jennifer Rush (My Thoughts)

The Rules:

  • This giveaway is open internationally as long as the book depo ships to your country.  
  • Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.
  • Make sure to check out all the other blogs participating in this hop- links below! 
  • Good look everyone! 



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Monday, December 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR


I love making TBR lists and with the exception of the Fall TBR I have been pretty successful with TBR lists. But maybe this time, it will be better.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR



1) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak- I have had this book on my shelf for a looooooong time. But I haven't been putting it off. But with the movie out and people talking about how good it is. I need to get around to it (I may or may not have already started it). 

2) Four Seconds to Lose by KA Tucker- I just finished One Tiny Lie a couple days ago and I really enjoyed it- a lot. Maybe even more than Ten Tiny Breaths





3) Rules of Civility by Amor Towles- I was supposed to have this read by the end of November for Book Club. But we cancelled our meeting, but I still want to read this book. SO that is my plan. It looks pretty good. 

4) The Descent by Alma Katsu- This one was in my fall TBR but I only just recently got my hands on it. SO to be fair... This one is for review so I am hoping to read it soonish. 

5) Cress by Marissa Meyer- I am pretty excited about this one. That's all. 


6) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- This is a big maybe. I really really want to read this one. It was in my Fall TBR and I thought for sure that I would have it read by now, but I haven't. I say maybe because I have heard that this one is a wee bit sad and I have also heard that The Book Thief is a little sad as well, so we'll see.

7) Erased by Jennifer Rush- I loved Altered when I read it last year and I have been eagerly awaiting it's sequel. I am very excited. 





8) Heaven is for Real by Todd by Todd Burpo- I've heard about this story by a number of people and I really want to read the book. I also saw the trailer for the movie last week and I am pretty curious. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. 

9) Something Real by Heather Demetrois- This looks really cute and I am pretty excited to give it a try. I hope I can get to it sooner rather then later. 




10) Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov- I said at the beginning of this year that I would read this book. I wanted to read a Russian classic and Lolita is the only one I own. I am hopeful. 








~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Thoughts: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller


When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.






Where to start. I decided to read Trish Doller's debut Something Like Normal soon after her second novel came out and I couldn't get my hands on it. I had been seeing a lot of praise for this new author and I wanted in on the experience. I had initially thought that I would never read Something Like Normal because of it's militaristic themes- it just wasn't something I was interested in- which we'll get to in a bit. But... almost everyone who had read this book had good things to say about it, so I gave it a go.

Let me begin by saying that I may step on some toes with this review. I am going to share my opinions and it is just that- my opinion. Edit: This review has been sitting here for a while and I was never sure if I was going to share it. I guess if you are reading this, I decided to share it.

As I mentioned before, I had originally thought that I would never read this book because of it's military setting. The protagonist- Travis- is a soldier on leave from the navy. I generally don't like the attitude that North American  media outlets take when it comes to the military. There is extreme reverence of those in the military and it makes me SO uncomfortable. I do not believe that I am free because people chose/are choosing to serve in the military- to me this is silly.  So, because I was believing that this is what I was going to get in Something Like Normal made a little grumpy at it. But Doller surprised me with her book and I am very appreciative about it.

Tavis has just spent a year serving in the navy and is home on a month long leave before receiving his next assignment. He has spent the last several months in Afghanistan, and survived a number of traumatic events while there. One of them being the death of his closes friend. So naturally Travis is dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. Except: when he gets home, his parents' relationship is on the rocks and his younger brother is dating his girlfriend. What a wonderful home coming.

What I found really interesting about Something Like Normal was how not perfect Travis was. He wasn't the picture perfect soldier coming home. He made some really dumb decisions and said some ridiculous things and sometimes his logic was lacking. I liked that. I also found it really interesting how unpatriotic he was. There was no "God Bless America" coming out of him. He didn't feel like it was his American Duty to serve in the navy. Well that was not the sense I got from the story. This was not something I had anticipated.

One of the things that often upsets me about the military and soldiers who return after serving, is how down playing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is. PTDS is not often talked about. Men don't like to admit that they are struggling with it. There is this stigma attached to it and it is seen as a weakness. Trish Doller does not let that happen in this book. Travis's mom is pretty awesome and is incredibly supportive of her son and his vocation in the navy. She's a totally navy mom. She also knows something is going on with her son and takes him to talk to someone when he feels overwhelmed. And she doesn't judge him for that.

I suppose I should talk about the relationship Travis has with Harper. And while it was sweet and I liked that she didn't coddle him and she doesn't censor things when she's talking to him. However, for me, this romantic relationship wasn't the most impressive thing for me in this book. There were a bunch of other amazing interactions between Travis and the various characters.

Trish Doller wrote a great book. Her story telling was authentic and it was bias. I could never tell whether she was for the military or against the military, and as a reader who isn't sure about novels about the military this was something I was very grateful for.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am glad that I caved to peer pressure and read it. Now please oh please can I get my hands on Where the Stars Still Shine.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

















Friday, November 29, 2013

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things (2)

Where has the month gone? November went by in a flash, and it's been busy. SO, in saying that, I don't have a lot of favourites this month, but I have enjoyed a few things this past month, and I am here to share them with you.

TV:

DOCTOR WHO!!!

OK, so if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you surely know about my obsession with all things Doctor Who. But November brought us The Day of the Doctor (The 50th Anniversary Special). But it goes further than that. The show FINALLY found it's way onto Canadian Netflix, and I thought it would be a good idea to rewatch the series. There were a couple episodes here and there that I chose to skip, and all of season four- I am sorry, I don't like Martha Jones. Anywho... Doctor Who has taken up the majority of my month- I didn't blog or really read, because I was spending time with David Tennant and Matt Smith.

I suspect Doctor Who might make next months favourites as well. With the Christmas special and Matt Smith's exit from the show (oh, my heart feels sad just thinking about it).




Music:

Don't Judge Me...

Miley Cyrus- Bangerz

While, I may not like Miley's personal life decisions and I may think she looks absolutely ridiculous- I actually kind of like her album. She's got a pretty amazing voice and I am kind of a pop junky. So I've been enjoying this album. I have enjoyed the song FU a bit (oh, I can feel all of your judging me!).



Lorde- Pure Heroine

This little girl is seventeen years old. For some reason I find this crazy. This album is really good. I am not sure I like Lorde's cocky attitude. She;s said some things that are not great. But, none the less. This is a good album. Tennis Court is one I have enjoyed.







Beauty:

I got a new job this past month (I am working retail in the mall- just to pass the time). This new job requires that I put a little more effort into my appearance. So I have a few beauty favourites:

Revlon Color Stay Top Coat- I love nail polish and I I have been painting my nails a bit this past month. I had initially tried a top coat by Sally Hansen and it was so bad, that I wanted to cry, because it destroyed my beautiful manicure. I then went back to my old faithful and I probably will never try anything again. I love this stuff. It makes my manicure last all week, with minimal chipping, and it's shiny. It's brilliant.





Teddy (eye kohl) by MAC- I love this pencil. I have been using it for years and it's beautiful. I like to be low maintenance, so I can sweep this across my lash line put on some mascara and I look presentable and able to be at the mall. Teddy is a beautiful brown colour with gold flecks in it. It makes me boring brown eyes look okay.





And because this is a book blog after all:

Book:

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (My Thoughts), I loved this book. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. You should just read my review. It explains everything.









That's all for my favourite things this month. I hope you all are enjoying this little feature and seeing some of the things that I love (aside from books). I have been having fun sharing. Til next month.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Thoughts: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry


The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

**Review copy received through Netgalley

Whew!!! Did I ever love this book. Just to warn you, this may be more of a gushy, "ermergerd, you need to read this book," kind of deal. Crash Into You was fantastic!

Ok- So I first read Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry last fall. And I loved it. I thought it was brilliant and I loved how she tackled contemporary YA (you can read my review here). Not long after that I read Dare You To (My Thoughts) and McGarry's novella Crossing the Line.  Both were good, and I enjoyed reading them, but I didn't adore them like I did Pushing the Limits. I was certain that Pushing the Limits was a one off and that McGarry's books would be good (really good even), but nothing would be like that first time. Then came Crash Into You, and I take back everything I ever thought about Pushing the Limits being an isolated incident.

It was hard not to be excited for this book. Isaiah was a much loved character and I was eager to read his story. In the previous two books, Isaiah was an endearing guy, who was incredibly loyal to those he cared about. But he was lonely and I desperately wanted him to have his happy ending.

Crash Into You begins with Rachel preparing to give a speech at a charity function her parents host in memory of her older sister, Colleen, who passed away from leukaemia before Rachel was born. Because Rachel has always felt like a replacement daughter she does her best to please her parents and make them proud. Even if it means hiding an anxiety disorder (brought on by public speaking) that leaves her physically ill. It also doesn't help that Rachel has four older brothers who constantly feel like it is their job to "protect" her and they always know what's best for her, claiming that she is too weak to know better. It is after this even that Rachel needs an escape- one she often finds driving her car at top speeds. This is when Rachel finds herself at a drag race and meets Isaiah.

Isaiah is at this race to make some quick cash. But things change when the cops show up and he finds himself saving Rachel's butt and in turn Rachel saving Iasiah's butt. And thus, they fall in love.  No, not really. But this is where their relationship begins.

Lets talk about why I loved this book. Rachel- she was fantastic. She was SO sweet. Especially when it came to Isaiah. Rachel was incredibly insecure, this is partially due to her brothers, and partially due to her anxiety. But for some reason when she's around Isaiah, she becomes this brave girl who says what's on her mind. This is constantly surprising her and I loved that. Sometimes Isaiah would say or do something that he thought was in her best interest and she would shut it down, she turned into a sassy pants with him. If only she could be that way with her brothers. There were a few times during the reading of this book that I would find myself saying that it would suck to have brothers like her. They were so patronizing and selfish and almost uncaring when it came to her feelings. It absolutely frustrated me.

Crash Into You introduced us to to Abby. Katie McGarry knows how to write characters that hit you where it hurts. Abby made me want to weep. She seemed snarky and confident, but she was also very lonely and her immediate friendship with Rachel told a deeper story. I am hoping that we get to see more of her soon (I am feeling certain that we will).

Overall, Crash Into You was amazing and I think it's my new favourite by Katie McGarry. I was so invested in this story and the characters that I found myself up until 7:00 am one morning finishing it, and as soon as I was done, I was ready to start all over again. It was that good. I have already ordered a couple copies as gifts, because this book needs to be shared. SO read this boys and girls. It's so worth it!

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Recommend To...



I am excited about this week's topic. Why? Because I get to talk about all these books that I can recommend books to someone... back in the day my mum was a pretty big reader. Not at into it and myself or my grandmother. But she would read a lot. In the past decade (maybe the last nine or so years- since my brother was born), my mum hasn't read as much as she used to. Well prepare yourself mum, cause I've got a list for you.

Disclaimer- I really don't think that my mum would read the YA that I am so fond of. So there is little of that here.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To X Person (your choice -- could be to your mom, to a reluctant male reader, to your teenage sister, to dog lover's, to sports lovers, etc.)


1) Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult- This is the kind of book my mum would eat up. She would get caught up in the drama of it, the mystery of it all. The plot twists would through her for a loop and she would love it. I know she would.

2) Outlander by Diane Gabaldon- I just finished reading this one myself, and I think it's right up my mum's alley. It's the kind of story she could really through herself into and love. Jamie Fraser is a stud and Claire is sassy. My mother would love them together.

3) Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill- I read this book a number of years ago, and ever since I have been thinking that this is a book my mum should read. It's a heartbreaking story, but kind of hopeful as well. She loves things that and she wouldn't be able to put it down.





4) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma- Gotta have a book in there that would definitely make my mum go WTF?!? Haha. Gotta expand your horizons mum.

5) Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas- I loved this book/this series and if I know my mum, I bet you she would too. She enjoys romance and fluff as much as the next woman.

6) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson-  My mum in the past has enjoyed a mystery/thriller novel here and there. I don't really read those. But... The Gargoyle is one that I am pretty certain she would enjoy. It's wonderfully written and it's a really great story.

7) The Taker by Alma Katsu- I think my mum would really enjoy this book. It's suspenseful and mysterious and it's got a paranormal essence to it. She'd like it.

8) All Fall Down by Megan Hart- This is a book I am certain my mum would love. This is exactly her kind of book and I am sure she would withdraw from life just to finish this one.

9) Bared to You by Sylvia Day- I hated this series. But for some reason I want my mum to read it. I think she would probably like it. But I really disliked Gideon Cross and thought he was a controlling ninny. My mum would probably find him swoon worthy though.

10) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I am pretty sure that my mum has seen the movie. But I think she should read the book. It's a great book... actually. I think she would enjoy the whole series. She should get on that.

Well there you have it. Ten books I would suggest my mum read. I hope you enjoy.

~Happy reading everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Sequels



Not sure if I'll make it to ten again this week. I've been trying to avoid starting new series lately. This is mostly because I don't tend to finish them and also because I really can't stand waiting for them to finish, so I don't start a series until all the books are out. So, in order to make this TTT worth it this week worth it, I am going to add a few sequels that are already out as well as third books (they're also sequels- sort of- right?)

TTT is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On



1) Split Second by Kasie West- This is the sequel to Pivot Point and I loved Pivot Point, and I am SO curious as to where West is going to take us from here. Bring on the parallel universes.

2) Shadowplay by Laura Lam- This is the sequel to Lam's debut, Pantomime. I really liked Pantomime is was an interesting novel set in the circus. There were some crazy things that happened at the end of the first novel and I am eager to see what happens next.





3) Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi- I know very well that this book has been out for ages and that I could have read it by now. But I haven't, and I have heard SO many things about chapter 62, that I need it in my hands. It's just finding the time with all the other books I can't wait to read. I think I am also holding out for Ignite me. I really hate waiting for series to end. Waiting for that last book is killer.

4) The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- I am pretty excited about this one. I can't wait to see how everything ends. Particularly because Michelle has known how it was going to end from the very beginning. She had the end before everything else and I want to know what it is. June 2014 seems so very far away!!

5) Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke- This is the sequel to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (which I think has the best title ever). Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was one of the weirdest books I had ever read. But I enjoyed it, and I really liked Tucholke's writing and I want more of it- In August.



6) Erased by Jennifer Rush- This may be the sequel I am the most excited about! I absolutely loved Altered (if you haven't read it, get on it).  Hot boys, lost memories, adventure, what more can you ask for?

7) Cress by Marissa Meyer- This is the third instalment of the Lunar Chronicles, and I am pretty pumped. Scarlet introduced us to some pretty amazing characters and I am eager to meet up with them again. This series has been a wonderful surprise to me, as I generally stray away from sci fi. But, both Cinder and Scarlet were SO good.




8) Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano- This is the sequel to Lauren's newest trilogy which began with Perfect Ruin. Perfect Ruin ended in such a way that I wanted the next book right then and there. However, Burning Kingdoms doesn't come out for a little while. Sigh.

Well it looks like it's only a top eight tonight guys. I just don't have that many new series on the go.

~Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things (1)


Last month I did a little introduction to this new thing I am featuring on the blog, where I share some of my non-bookish favourite things. I have a couple of things to share with you today, and I hope you enjoy.

Movie:

Don Jon



I am slightly obsessed with Joseph Gordon Levitt- I think he's a great actor and just so freaking adorable. So I knew I wanted to see Don Jon for a number of reasons. Because not only did Joe star in it, he also wrote and directed it, and because Scarlett Johansson also starred and I really like her to. 

Don Jon did not disappoint. It was fantastic. Super clever and incredibly witty. But I warn you- this movie can get pretty raunchy at times. But I think the movie tells a deeper story than what is presented in the trailer. It's totally worth seeing- especially if you like movies and JGL. 

TV: 

The Originals

I have been watching The Vampire Diaries since the middle/end of the first season. And while the show is entertaining I probably would have quit watching had it not been for Klaus. I think he's an absolutely brilliant character. I was both excited and apprehensive when the CW announced that they were developing a spin off series based on Klaus and his family. While the pilot presented in the last season of The Vampire Diaries had me intrigued with this new series, I was disappointed with the second pilot for the show itself. However, with the second the third episodes I was totally hooked and I am absolutely loving the show. Joseph Morgan is kind of a brilliant actor and he does Klaus SO well. Klaus is a complex character and sometimes you love him and other times you hate him (well not me, I love him all the time).




Music:

Lana Del Rey- Paradise Album

I've been obsessed with this album lately. Well Lana herself. I've just discovered her and I absolutely love her voice. I've been listening to this whole album non stop. My favourite songs have been Born to Die and Blue Jeans.








Justin Timberlake- 20/20 Experience 2 of 2

The second part of JT's album came out at the end of September and I didn't buy it right away. While I liked the first part well enough. I wasn't totally thrilled with it.  But I love JT so I knew I would get it eventually. I have to say that it's pretty fantastic. Way better than the first edition. It sounds more like the JT of Future Sex Love Sound., but not exactly the same. I am loving it and when I am not listening to Lana I am probably listening to Justin. My favourite song on this album at the moment is 'Only When I Walk Away'- It's pretty good.



Beauty:

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve- This stuff  has been amazing for me this last month. It's getting pretty cold in my part of the world and this means that everything dries out. My lips, my cuticles, my elbows. Everything. And this magic little product has been amazing. I use it for all three areas (but mostly my lips and cuticles) and it's been a saviour! I got mine from Bath and Body Works in the US (I know you can get it here in Canada from there as well).


And because I am a book junkie, there was no way I could not add a book.

Book:

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

I read a lot of book this month. But Perfect Ruin was by far the best book I had read. Which is interesting considering it was the first book I read this month. You can check out my review here, and find out why I enjoyed it so much. DeStefano is a brilliant writer and she did a good job with this one. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Thoughts: Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards


Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? 
And why can't she remember?

** EARC received from Netgalley




You know what's great? Reading a book that you think is going to be a "meh" kind of book, finishing it and realizing that it was actually pretty great. That's what happened when I read Natalie D. Richards Six Months Later. For some reason going into this book I was expecting some clich├ęd book with an incredibly predictable outcome. But I found none of this while reading Six Months Later. Generally I am not a fan of mystery/thriller type novels. I tend to get a little stressed out and become way to involved with the plot that my own life takes the back seat while I am reading. But I had seen enough good things about this one to give it a try.

The story begins with Chloe being at school with her and her bestie Maggie talking about SATs and study groups and what not, it's just a regular day. But then Chloe goes to class and falls asleep. When she wakes up she is no longer in class and it is no longer spring. Chloe quickly learns that six months have passed and she has no recollection of what went on during those months or why she can't remember.

What initially intrigued me about Six Months Later was the reason behind the memory loss. I automatically assumed that it was something supernatural-like. But as I read the novel,  I soon realized that this wasn't necessarily the case. This made for a very intense and interesting read. At one point I was sure aliens were involved and then I was sure that this chick was just losing it. Whenever I thought that I had things figured out something would happen and I would be just as clueless again.

The characters in this book were good. I loved Maggie, Chloe's best friend. She was one kick ass character. During the time of Chloe's lost time, her and Maggie have some kind of fall out and are no longer speaking. But Chloe needs her friend and I appreciated how Maggie was able to be assertive with her former friend, but not mean or rude. I may not be making sense but that's what I liked. Maggie was not a push over. Adam was a also pretty cool. I liked the mysterious relationship he had with Chloe.

Overall, the characters in Six Months Later aren't hugely memorable and I can't say that I connected that much with any one of them, but the story as a whole made up for that. If you are looking for a fast paced, mysterious thriller this book is for you. And it's a stand alone so you don't have to worry about any sequels.

~Happy Reading Everyone!
















Monday, October 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I was forced to read



This week's topic is kinda fun and made me think of all those books I read prior to blogging. I hope you enjoy. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Books I Was "Forced" to Read (either by teachers, friends, other bloggers, book club)




1) In Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien- I read this WAY back in high school and I really liked it. I was surprised with how much. It's a mystery novel that is pretty trippy. You are never sure what's the truth and what's made up. When I first heard the synopsis of Gone Girl, it immediately made me think of this novel. I haven't read Gone Girl so I don't know if they are similar. But In Lake of the Woods is a good story. 





2) The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffennegger- I was browsing the book store one day years ago and my friend saw this book and told I absolutely HAD to read it. Because it was SO good. So I read it. Loved it, hated the movie though. I thought it was JUNK! 

3) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta- When I read this book every blogger and their cousin had been talking about it. Saying that it was amazing and their favourite book. I needed to know what all the hoopla was about. SO I did it, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Jellicoe Road is one of the book I recommend the most to people. I love it. 

4) Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill- I can't remember why I read this one. I think one of my teacher friends was teaching it to her grade 12 class and wanted me to see if it was appropriate. It's a heavy novel but VERY good. And it's by a Canadian author. 

5) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys- I read this book back in the tenth grade I believe. I loved this book and it made me ugly cry. A lot of books that I read in school made me cry. But this one particularly. Flowers for Algernon is about a mentally disabled man who becomes a genius through an experiment. It breaks me heart just thinking about it. 

6) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan- I specifically remember Farrah from I Eat Words talking about how much she loved this one, and if possible to experience the book via audio. I took her advice and absolutely loved it. The audio book is hysterical and the story is so endearing. Loved it. 

7) The Outsiders by SE Hinton- Read this book in the eight grade. I distinctly remember finishing it on the morning of my 14th birthday and bawling my eyes out. My mum came into my room and was like "what? What happened?"  This was a required reading for us that year and while I loved this book, once again, I was SO sad at how hopeless is made me feel. Oh the emotions of teenagers. 



8) The BFG by Roald Dahl- I can't remember what grade I was in when this was a required reading. But I know it was in elementary school sometime. But it was this book that fuelled my love for all things Roald Dahl. 

9) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer- This was a book club read from a couple month ago and I think it's my favourite so far.  I loved Charlie, the little boy and how messed up he was after the death of his father. I loved the perspective the author gave in terms of 9/11. How it affected the families involved. It was an intense novel and I am glad to have read it. 


10) Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt- My mum had to read this one for a class she was doing and she enjoyed it so much she insisted that I read it as well. I don't normally read non fiction because I don't usually like it. But this book was amazing and completely heartbreaking. But it's more hopeful than one might think. I really appreciated what it had to say. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Thoughts: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano


On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.


**Review copy received from Simon and Schuster Canada

Back when I first started to blog seriously Lauren DeStefano's debut Wither was one of the first dystopian/post apocalyptic novels I had ever read that I actually liked. I remember being blown away by her writing and the story she gave me. As I read The Chemical Garden Trilogy I continued to be blown away by Destefano's writing and her talent for weaving words together in this incredibly poetic way. It was magical.

Upon finishing Sever (book three in the Chemical Gardens Trilogy) I was happy that there was already plans for more from DeStefano. I couldn't imagine seeing nothing else from her. I didn't know a lot about what to expect from this new series, which I had been described a utopian society in a city floating on a rock in the sky. Sounded good to me. So I went into reading Perfect Ruin knowing very little and and not expecting a lot. I did see a few tweets here and there from fellow bloggers who were having a hard time getting into the story. This left me feeling a wee bit nervous.

Perfect Ruin is the first book in three part trilogy (I think). It introduces us to Morgan a sixteen year old girl whose family has been through some trials. Her older brother Lex is a jumper. What this means essentially is that he tried to jump from Internment (the floating city) to get to the ground, this is a big faux pas. As it often leaves those who survive mentally incompetent. This is unacceptable because Internment is a city that is very tightly run. Residents of the city marry who they are told to marry, they have children when they are told to have children, they take medication when they are told to. Everything is all very regulated. This is to ensure that nothing goes array in the city. So when a girl is found murdered, there is chaos. Homicide isn't something that that happens on Internment and it sends everyone into a frenzy. Including Morgan who is beginning to question the way things are on Internment and is feeling the pull of the edge herself.

Perfect Ruin (to me) was a little reminiscent of Matched by Ally Condie (which was the only book I read in that trilogy). In that everything in the city was very regulated and there was a way everything was to be done. Even the way I saw the city in both books was the same. I am in no way comparing this story to Matched because I think they are very different. However their societies are similar. If you didn't like Matched still give Perfect Ruin a go, because it is very good.

As mentioned earlier, some of the earlier reviews on this book has said that not a lot happens in Perfect Ruin, and that the beginning is pretty slow. I agree and disagree. It is true that not a lot happens in the beginning, but what's DeStefano is doing is setting the stage. She's showing you what life on Internment is all about. What Internment itself is all about. These are all important details. I loved that by the end of the book I felt like I knew the workings of the city and those who lived there.

What I really loved about Perfect Ruin were the characters. I thought Morgan is a fantastic protagonist. She is a curious, loyal and brave individual. Her brother Lex is also one of my favourite characters. He's suffering from his jump which left him blind and he is a wounded soul who wants something more from his life. According to the powers that be on Interment this makes him erratic and mentally unstable. But Lex is intelligent and he is also incredibly loyal. I loved the relationship that he has with Morgan. It's something special. Lex is often off in his own world, but there are times when you see how truly he cares for his sister, and it's beautiful. Basil, Morgan's betrothed is also a pretty interesting character, I have a feeling we'll be seeing some interesting things from him in the future. I also liked how well he and Morgan interacted. They respect one another and that's important for any relationship. While Pen, Morgan's best friend was one of the few characters who didn't stand out for me. I feel like she's going to surprise us and be a monumental figure in future books. I'm curious about her.

Overall, I really liked Perfect Ruin and I was in my happy place the whole time I was reading it. It's beautifully written and the characters are well developed and three dimensional. If you are going to read this book, read it for the characters alone.You will not be sorry. Lauren DeStefano know's what she's doing.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Series Enders



This week's topic is a tough one for me because I don't generally finish series that often. I read the first book, maybe the second book. There are a number of series sitting incomplete on my shelves. Shame on me. Sooooo, I am not sure if this will be a complete list yet. But let's give it a try.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish 


Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

Best: 



1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling- If this is not on everyone's best list I just don't know that I can take them seriously. JK Rowling knew what she was doing with this one and I loved every minute of the ending. I was completely stressed out and off my rocker for the full three days it took me to read this. But whew! 

2) Boundless by Cynthia Hand- Now it depends on what team you're on for this one I think. But I was totally rooting for this specific relationship and I got what I wanted. It was brilliant and perfect and I was so glad when I finally got this one done. 

3) We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han- Love this series, love the end. This was really depends on whose team you are on. If it's right one, you will not be disappointed. 





Meh: 

4) Forever by Maggie Steivater- Don't shoot me guys. But this was one series that was not a fan of.
I did find that I went further into the series the more I enjoyed it. There were certain things in this story that I did not like and there were still some unanswered questions for me. I was excited to hear that Maggie was penning a spin off story featuring Cole and Isabelle. That's exciting for me. 

5) Sever by Lauren DeStefano- When I first read this book, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. But the more I stewed over it, and thought about it. The more I realised that nothing really happened and then there was a resolution that had no real explanation. Lauran is a brilliant writer and her characters in Sever were still pretty spot on, it was just her plot that needed work. 




6) Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins- This series were one of the most stressful series I have ever read. My poor little heart can barely handle it. I liked the first two books in this series and was curious about how it would all come together, I felt like the end was a bit to rushed. What's funny is that I didn't even know there was an epilogue until a friend told me (months after I had read the book), so I had to go back and read that last half a page. Made a world of difference. 


But I think that's all the series that I have ever finished. That is pathetic. Bahahah!

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

September Wrap Up



I am always so surprised with how fast a month can go by. I have been back at school for a month, I have been done my job for a month. But it feels like only yesterday. Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you get older.

So, here we are. The monthly wrap up. I found that I was suffering from some pretty terrible migraines early this month which made it impossible for me to do anything never mind reading. Even saying that I still was able to get a few books in. So I can't complain.

Books Read:

1) Just One Year by Gayle Forman
2) Wicked Burn by Beth Kerry
3) Consequences by Aleatha Romig
4) Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick
5) The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
6) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Looking at it now, it seems like I read a lot. Hmmm. How did that happen.

Books reviewed:

1) The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace (My Thoughts)
2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (My Thoughts)
3) Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker (My Thoughts)

Random:

-I posted my Fall TBR. I had had such success with the spring and summer lists. I don't know that this fall will be as successful. We'll see.

-I have decided to start a new feature. A monthly favourites if you will. I posted the introduction last week, you can see it here.

- I got a new blog design! I absolutely love it! It was done by Katie at KD Designs. She's brilliant guys and if you're looking for a change. Check her out.

-The new blog design means that I have a new button for you all the grab and all my social media icons are in one tidy little place. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestInstagram, Youtube and Goodreads.

Challenges:

I've given up on my challenges. I think in the new year I will not participate in any challenges. And just focus on reading, reviewing, and commenting more. I think I'll just start that now. Yup- that sounds good. I will still give myself a book reads goal- those are fun.

2013 reading challenge: 62/75- I am seven books ahead. Which is great cause it looks like the next month is going to be INSANE for me. I have an assignment due every week from now until the end of the term (end of November). I'll be reading, but maybe not a lot.

Anywho, that is all for me this month. Here's to another month!

~Happy Reading Everyone!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

These are a Few of my Favourite Things- Intro


In recent months I have really wanted to start a monthly feature where I share some of the non-bookish things that I have been loving. I was sort of inspired by the beauty gurus of YouTube who have done their monthly beauty favourites, and than began to share their lifestyle favourites. These are sometimes some of my favourite videos to watch. Especially when the start sharing about their favourite books of the month. I was kind of thrilled when bloggers everywhere started sharing some of their non bookish favourites. I was like I am going to do that.

So, this initial post is to kind of introduce you to some of my favourite things outside of books. I have movies, TV shows, music, beauty products, food, a real hodge podge of things. And in the coming months I'll share some of the things that I have been loving for the month.

Movies:

Interview With the Vampire

I was ten when I first saw this movie and have loved it ever since. I don't know what makes me love it so much. But I do. I could watch this movie over and over again.


Dracula

This is kind of funny, both of my favourite movies being vampire films. I guess the nineties just knew how to do vampires. Dracula is brought to live by Gary Oldman. And he was brilliant.







TV Shows:

Gilmore Girls

I own this whole series on DVD. Which is kind of insane. But I love this show. It was witty and clever and I loved the relationship between Rory and Lorelai. Team Jess all the way!



Supernatural

This is a show my BFF and I started watching together and still eight years later, we're still both pretty faithful. But look at that man candy. There have been some season that have been wonderful and others that have been not that great (season six, and especially seven).





Doctor Who

I started watching this show in March of this year. I devoured all six and a half season in maybe three weeks. I started with season one, watched a couple episodes, jumped to season five, got through those, went back to watch season two-four, and than back to one. I love this show and I am devastated that Matt Smith is leaving.


Music:

The Backstreet Boys

I have seen these boys in concert four maybe five times. I love(d) them. And I have no shame in admitting that. N'SYNC had nothing on BSB. I giggle thinking about this now. But I was a pretty loyal fan.







City and Colour

Dallas Green once a member of Alexisonfire began a solo career a number of years ago. And I have been a big fan ever since. I am not a terribly musical person. But I get goosebumps every time I see him live. He's SO talented!









Random Loves:

I absolutely love beauty products. Makeup, nail polish, skin care. I love it. There is something about it that I love. In saying all this, I am not a girly girl. I don't wear makeup every day. I don't always have my nails painted. But I  enjoy it. And I have more nail polish and eyeshadow than is necessary.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Sequels


Here we go again, with another list! Love lists. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.


 Top Ten Best Sequels


1) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer- One of the best sequels I have ever read. Cinder was amazing, but Scarlet was even better. And now Cress is one of my most anticipated reads. Can't wait.

2) Boundless by Cynthia Hand- I finally read this one this past summer and it was everything I could have wanted in a series finale. SO amazing. I smile just thinking about it.

3) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- I liked this one. A lot of people didn't. I thought it was a good addition to the series. It totally kept me at the edge of my seat- I mean completely stressed me out. That's a good thing when it comes to books.


4) Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo- Loved this book. Love this series. A marvellous addition to
the series. If you haven't read these books, what are you waiting for?

5) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling- This whole series is fantastic. But the third book is my favourite.

6) Into the Shadow by Christina Dodd- I really like Christina's paranormal romances. A lot. I really liked her Darkness Chosen series. The third book in particular. These are by no means literary works of art. But they are entertaining and fun to read.

7) Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas- I love me some romance. And I especially like it when it's a series. I loved Sugar Daddy SO much and I was happy with it's sequel. Lisa Kleypas writes some awesome romances if you're in the mood.


8) Thumped by Megan McCafferty- What a hysterical set of books. I really liked Bumped and thought it had interesting things to say. The sequel was equally as intriguing and they were both really entertaining.

9) Where She Went by Gayle Forman- While I think I liked If I Stay more than Where She Went, I still really liked it and I am glad that I read it. It tied up the story nicely.

10) Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor- This is an amazing sequel! What more can I say. This story has so many levels and is so brilliantly written. It's breath taking. Read it!


That's it for me. Please link your TTT below. So I can go look.

~Happy Reading Everyone!
"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