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Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of Year Book Survey: 2011

I can hardly believe that it's the end of the year already! Like really?!?!?! It's amazing! I love thinking about all the books that I have read in the past year. So this End of Year Book Survey is one of my favourite things to participate in. You can find all the info about the survey over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

So onto the survey...

1) Best Book You Read In 2011?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, hands down!
One of the best books I have read ever, never mind just this year. It was incredible!

2) Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon.
I really enjoyed this book for the most part, however the end really ruined it for me. I really wanted to like this book more than I did. But the end ruined it for me.

3) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Witchlanders by Lena Coakly.
I am not usually a fan of high fantasy. Actually I usually find it a little boring. So when I read this book and loved it, I was SO surprised. The writing is beautiful and the two protagonists are fantastic. I really enjoyed this book. 

4) Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

a) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma.
This book tore me to pieces and I recommend it to anyone who has the strength to read it. but the writing it incredible.

b) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
As I said, this book was amazing. It was the book that I gave as RAK gifts the most, I raved about it, and I push it on everyone. It's FANTASTIC, go read it! 

5) Best series you discovered in 2011?

This is a hard one, because I haven't read to many series this year, I mean I have begun a series- many series. I also completed a trilogy (but it wasn't my favourite, so not worth mentioning).
But in the spirit of answering this question:

The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano.
I read Wither earlier this year and I loved it, and I recently finished Fever and it was amazing. So considering I am two thirds done the series and I think it's amazing.

6) Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

I hate to sound like a broken record and everything but...
Melina Marchetta- I have read three books by her this year and I have loved every single on of them. She is a phenomenal story teller. Really.
Ellen Hopkins- I love her writing style. When I first read it I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But I do, I love it, and her stories always leave me in tears.

Alms Katsu- I read her debut this year, The Taker, and it was fantastic. I loved every minute of it. I can't WAIT for The Reckoning to come out later in 2012.

7)  Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Wither by Lauren DeStefano.
believe it or not, but I was not a fan of Dystopian novels before I read this book. In all honesty, I hated them. I thought they were horrible and hopeless. But Wither was really good, and I loved the world that DeStefano created. It was fascinating.

I have since read many dystopians and there have been some that I have not liked, but others that I loved. I don't find them so hopeless anymore!

8) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
If you have read this book, you know why. This book had me on the edge of my seat from page one. I had no idea what was going on, who was Mara Dyer? What happened? It was insane, and I loved every minute of it. Truly I did. Once I started this, there was no way I was putting it down.

9) Book you most anticipated in 2011?
We'll Always have Summer by Jenny Han.
I loved this series. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a book I loved reading. I loved the story and the characters. I loved it all. So the conclusion to this trilogy came out this year and I was eager to get my hands on it. I was insane for the last half of April, I needed to know who Belly ended up with. It was driving me insane.

10) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Collide by Megan Hart.
I love this cover, I think it's incredibly hot, and having read the book, I find the cover suits the story. I think the cover suggests a lot without being sleazy/raunchy. It's gorgeous.

11)  Most memorable character in 2011? 

Georgie Mackee from The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta.
Georgie is one of my most favourite characters from any book I have read. I loved her. She was a brilliant lady with real problems and she handle them with all the class that a normal individual would (which was with none at all). She fell into bed and didn't come out for a week. She was human and grieving and she worried about her family. She was amazing.

12) Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
What a fantastic book. Beautiful story, beautiful characters.

13) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
This book made me realise how much the actions of others (no matter how small) can affect the life of another. Some called Hannah selfish and petty, I don't think so. The actions of others hurt her, and it was how she perceived them; it's different for everyone!

14) Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
I know, I know.
But I finally got to it last month, and I plan on reading the rest of the series in the new year.

15) Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

This is where I fail. There are to many to name.

16) Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

The Taker by Alma Katsu.
This was such an amazing book and I can't wait to have the chance to reread it, I am hoping to before the sequel.

17)  Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The end of Mara Dyer was a huge WTF for me. Actually the biggest, the sequel is my most anticipated for 2012, I am dying to know what happens next. 

Well, that's been my year. I read many amazing books this past year. So many that I didn't name. I am looking forward to many more in the year to come!

~Happy Reading Everyone!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Thoughts: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

I first saw Don't Breathe A Word by Jennifer McMahon at the bookstore back in the fall. Upon reading the back I thought it looked really good and I really wanted to read it. I didn't buy it right then, I actually wanted to see what it had rated on Goodreads before I took the plunge. I did add it to my wishlist and was pleasantly surprised when I received it as a gift in the Fall Book Exchange. Even with my mountainous TBR pile this book quickly moved to the top of the pile. I was suprememly curious about the story.

The story is told by two different narrators- by Pheobe, Sam's girlfriend which takes place in present day time and by Lisa the missing sister, her story is told 15 years prior to the present day and it recounts the events leading up to her disappearance. This aspect of the book was ok, however I would often find myself becoming bored with Lisa's story. Mostly because I wasn't all that convinced about the faries. When I was reading from this 12 year old girls perpective I felt like it was very much make believe. That none of it was real. It was only when reading from the perspective of Pheobe and the present day realities did I wonder what was going on, and whether this really was a messed up fantasy.

There were a few things about this book that I wished were different. One being the end. I did not like how this book ended. Some people would say that is was brillant. I thought it was a misguided attempt at making this book a little more mysterious. To me, this book didn't end. I mean, it ended or I felt like it ended, and everything was winding down, but then all of a sudden you're not sure. I hate when that happens. For me if a book is not part of a series, there should be a definit end to things. To go along with the end, I thought that McMahon went a little to dramatic in places.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #21 (Vlog #14) - Last one for 2011

In my mail box is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and the beautiful button above comes from Laura over at All of Everything.

Books Mentioned


Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver


Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Bloggers Mentioned:

That's all for me. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and we'll see you in the New Year!

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Completely Contemp Challenge: Sign Me Up.

I didn't realize that Young Adult Contemporary fiction was "unpopular". I love it and was amazed that it's not read as much of some paranormal/dystopian novels out there. Some of my most favourite novels are contemporaries.


I am signing up for the Completely Contemp Challenge that is being hosted over at Chick Loves Lit. I am SO excited. I love being able to track the books I read and share them with others. Head over to this post to find out more about this challenge.

My Goals.

I am to choose a number for this challenge. So I am choosing number five. Five Contemps that were published in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This is a totally of 15. Which I think I can handle.

My List


1) The Duff by Kody Keplinger
2) The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
3) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and
4) The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
5) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John


1) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
2) Hooked by  Catherine Greenman
3) You Against Me by Jenny Downham
4) Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
5) Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik


1) Someone Eles's Life by Katie Dale
2) Isla and Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
3) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
4) Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
5) My Life Nextdoor by Huntley Fitzpatrick

So there you have it. I am pretty excited for this challenge. Make sure to head over to Chicks Love Lit, if you're interested in the challenge.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Thoughts: The Furture of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

** Finished copy received by Penguin Group Canada**

I was nine in 1996 so I feel like it's safe for me to say that I don't remember much about the invention of the Internet, nor AOL for that matter. I also should say that I can barely remember life before the Internet. What I know is that the Internet was a fairly prevalent role in the lives of many by the time I turned thirteen in 2000, and when I graduated high school in 2005 the majority of my friends were on Facebook, and it was the "cool" thing to have at the time. So to imagine a life where the Internet isn't all the important in the lives of teens a little difficult. Which is what I had to do in The Future of Us.

I had read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher earlier this year and it totally broke my heart. It was one of the most powerful books I have had the chance to read. The story Jay Asher told in that book was incredible as was his writing. So when I heard that he was collaborating with Carolyn Mackler in creating The Future of Us, I was excited, however, I was also a little disappointed. I was hoping for more from just him and I wasn't sure how I felt about literary collaborations. I hadn't read anything by Carolyn Mackler before (however I do have her novel Tangled on my wishlist/to read someday list). I have to say, I had nothing to be nervous about. The Future of Us was a fantastic read. I really, really liked it.

The Future of Us introduces us to Emma, and sixteen year old girl who has just received a computer for the first time and now had 100 free hours of Internet use. We also meet Josh, Emma's next door neighbour and one time best friend. When Emma log's onto the Internet for the first time, she discovers Facebook (which has not been created yet) and herself fifteen years in the future. After some initial confusion, Emma shares this discovery with Josh, and together they explore the site.

I found this concept to be refreshing and original. I loved the characters and how they interacted with one another. Some found Emma annoying and self serving, I found her hilarious and a little neurotic, but in a good way. I liked Josh and how he was able to handle Emma. Even when they weren't getting along he worried about her, and her well being. It was cute. The story itself had me laughing out loud a number of times, and I loved that. I really found The Future of Us really funny, and I frequently found myself wondering "what if?"

I was pleasantly surprised with The Future of Us,  as I loved the story that Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler created. Much thanks to Penguin Group Canada for the opportunity to read this book. The Future of Us is available now, wherever books are sold (do I sound like a commercial?).

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

IN My Mailbox #20 (Vlog #12)

Here we are again... In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren... Thanks Kristi! The wonderful button above was created by Laura over at All of Everything. I hope you enjoy my video, and please link yours below!

Books Mentioned

For Review
-The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (I know I say Karen- fail)

-Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison 

-Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
-Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill

Bloggers Mentioned:

Ames from Thrifty Reader
Ruby from Ruby's Reads

That's all for me...

~Happy Reading!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Thoughts: But I Love Him By Amanda Grace (Video Review)

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.
  At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

**I have chosen to do a video review on this book, due to the intense subject matter, and I couldn't write how I was feeling, I wanted to rant. I think I leave the ranting to a minimum in this video. I hope you enjoy... Video reviews are not going to be a regular occurance by any means.**

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (My Thoughts)
Stay by Deb Caletti (My Thoughts)
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn (My Thoughts)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Swap #1

Ruby's Reads

Well hello there, and welcome to the Saturday Swap hosted by Ruby over at Ruby's Reads. This is the first time I am taking part in the swap and therefore will share the rules with all you fine folk.

  1. For Bloggers: Make a post on your blog letting everyone know what books you have available for swap. I suggest linking to your wishlist as well (on your blog, Amazon, BD, Goodreads, wherever), for swifter swapping. For Non-Bloggers: Leave a comment listing the books you have available for swap. Include your email in the comment so interested parties can contact you directly.
  2. Grab the button or create your own, but please link back to Ruby's Reads. All the cool people are doing it.
  3. Once your post is live, enter your info in the linky so everyone can see what you've got. 
  4. The circumstances surrounding the swaps are up to the individuals. I'm not responsible for lost books. If you're nervous about swapping with someone you don't know, I suggest you ask for a delivery confirmation number. HOWEVER: please let me know if someone doesn't uphold their end of the bargain and I'll ban them from further swaps. 
  5. HAVE FUN!
Here's the deal- I have 13 books up for grabs. I want them gone. If there is something that I have that you really want please let me know- I want you to have it. Please provide me with a link of what you have to swap.

**Please note that I live in Canada and shipping is a tad more expensive then shipping in the US.**

  • Swoon by Nina Malkin
  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  • Choker by Elizabeth Woods
  • The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
  • The Girls by Lori Lansens

  • The Last Summer (Of You and Me) by Ann Brashers
  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (ARC)
  • The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (ARC)

  • Red Glove by Holly Black (ARC)
  • Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (ARC)
  • Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  • Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

So that's all that I have to offer. Feel free to comment below or email me (JstAnotherStory@gmail.com) if there is something that you see and you want. I'll link my Goodreads and Amazon wish lists- in case you want to look and see what you have that I might want. I'm new to the rules so...  

I look forward to swapping with you!

~Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Many Books in a Year & December TBR

November was a totally fail for me. I read a grand total of five books, and one of those books was an 89 page novella. For Shame! In my defense, November was insane at school and I barely had time to eat and sleep never mind read, so five books is ooook. This gets to me to a total of 79 books. 

** I have also added a video of what I plan on reading for the month of Dec. I have big plans so make sure to watch my video and wish me luck- I'm going to need it!!**

1) The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (My Thoughts)
2) The Twits by Roald Dahl
3) Stork by Wendy Delsol
4) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (My Thoughts)
5) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

December's TBR...

From the Library:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

To Review:

The Future of Us  by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

The Theme Pile:

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Haven by Kristi Cook
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox #19 (Vlog #11)- Beyond hyper edition.

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. The gorgeous button above I stole borrowed from Laura at All of Everything.  I am incredibly hyper in this Vlog, as I just returned from seeing Breaking Dawn, which I thought was awesome. I'm thinking about when I can see it again. So yes, and the video cuts out at the end, because my battery died. But I was done anyways. So enjoy...

Books Mentioned


Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta


Dead to You by Lisa McMann

That's it for me ladies and gents. I will be spending the day celebrating my nephews first birthday but I shall return later and comment like crazy for the rest of the night! So don't be shy.

~Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Thoughts: The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

I've read the whole series this year, and I am going provide mini reviews for all three books in this post. Enjoy.

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

Shiver sat on my shelf for months before I got around to reading it. I was really excited to read it when I first bought it. However, I read some not so great reviews and I my excitement dwindled. I did eventually read it and I enjoyed it, however I also see why others did not like it. The pace was a bit slow for me in the beginning, I wasn't sure what I was waiting for, but nothing was really happening. I was a bit confused about what exactly was going on. But I persevered, and kept reading. Maggie Stiefvater is a phenomenal writer, and it was for the reason alone that I kept reading.

I loved the characters in these books. They were fantastic in all three of these books. I adored Grace. There was something magical about her. She was a strong character that was not at all boring. When she wanted something she went for it. She was beautifully written. Sam was an interesting individual. I'm not sure about him, I think I found him a little too docile for my taste. He wasn't all bad. I liked that he was broody and I appreciated his love for music and poetry.

They idea of the wolves change being provoked by cold weather was interesting, but not something I was terribly fond of. I thought it was a little corny to be honest. It didn't make sense to me. The same goes for the supposed cure.

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

I wasn't sure I was going to read Linger. As I mentioned above. I thought Shiver was ok, but I got kind of bored with it. But I got curious and I wanted to know what else was in store for Grace and Sam. I enjoyed Linger WAY more than Shiver. I thought the story was a whole lot more interesting and it brought us Cole. What a wonderfully complex character, he came to us broken and wanting to die. I found this part of his story terribly heart breaking. I loved his encounters with Isabelle, and I loved seeing their relationship develop. I also enjoyed Linger more because we got to see Isabelle grow as a character. I enjoyed her in Shiver and I knew there was more to her then what was initially presented to us.

Grace's Parents. They were the most neglectful people I have ever read about. They're selfishness drove me insane. I could not believe it. The fact that they did not know that Sam was staying at their house at night baffles me. Then we have Beck, he loved Sam and cared for him like any father would love their son. Beck wanted the best for Sam, he tried to give Sam everything that he needed. But for all intents and purposes he kidnapped Sam by intentionally changing him. The parental units in this novel were seriously lacking. Even Isabelle's parents were a little to non-caring for me.

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Forever was the last installment of this trilogy. Again, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't great for me. I still got great characters but the story never really went anywhere for me, I was waiting for certain things to be resolved or explored more, but that never happened. Cole's story for instance, I was expecting a little more detail into his life before he became a wolf but that was never mentioned. His relationship with Victor's sister was never again mentioned, which I thought was a little disappointing. Grace and Sam's story was a little boring for me. Even with the new conflict of Grace being a wolf. I did not enjoy the wolf hunt aspect that Isabelle's father was leading, I thought it unnecessary and trivial. I also did not like the end. I did not think it was much of an ending. There were SO many unanswered questions and that kind of annoyed me.

Overall, I don't think that this was a good series for me. I enjoyed the characters. Although the writing was good I didn't like the story- I don't think werewolves are my thing.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #18 (Vlog #10)

Another week of In My Mailbox. This video was filmed VERY late. Also I lost my voice this week and I only started getting it back yesterday morning, and you can start to hear my croaky-ness a little towards the end of the video. I apologize.

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

Books Mentioned


But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
Wither by Lauren DeStefano


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

From Net Galley/For Review:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Saving June by Hannah Harrigton
Someone Else's Life by Kate Dale
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

That's it for me this week. I can't imagine getting much more for the next couple of weeks. So this might be it for a while. But I have a lot to read and a month long break coming up. So you'll be seeing more from me.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge- Sign Me Up!

Ok, lets be honest. Who hasn't bought a book with the intention of reading it right away, and months (maybe even years later) discover it on the shelf with the status "to be read" still attached to it? I've been there. Actually, I have SO many books on my shelf that have just been sitting there, begging me to read them. They've been calling out my name- Sara, read me. Its downright freaky. 

So when I saw that Evie was hosting this amazing challenge I could not pass it up. It's the greatest idea in the whole world. 

The Details:

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
**There are a few extra details but you can find those over at Bookish (Evie's blog)**
The Hosts:

Evie from Bookish - @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -@alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions

The Levels:

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

My Challenge:

I have a lot of books on my shelf that need to be read. I can average about six books a month, factor in my other reading challenges and I think I can manage two a month, with a total of 24 books (I am sure I can/will do more, but at this point, that's what I am sticking to).  So, A Sweet Kiss- here I come.

Here is a small taste of what I would like to have read:

Young Adult:

-You Against Me by Jenny Downham
-Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
-Glimmer Glass by Jenna Black
-The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore


-Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
- Selfish is the Heart by Megan Hart
- Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby
-True Love by Freya North
- Envy by JR Ward
-Arranged by Catherine Mckenzie

So there you have it. A brief introduction into this wicked awesome challenge. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I encourage you all to head over and sign up.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Thoughts: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

**ARC received by Penguin Canada**

Before I talk about this book and what I thought about it. Lets talk about this gorgeous cover. I mean really, it's beautiful! I love it. Kudos to the design team for coming up with this one. It's truly magnificent.

Brenna Yovanoff is fairly well known for her debut novel The Replacement. Loads of people have read it and loved it. However, I have not read it and it was because so many people were talking about that The Replacement that I became even more curious about Yovanoff's writing. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to read The Space Between I jumped on the chance. This book took me FOREVER to read. I started to read it shortly after I received it, which was the beginning of October and have only finished it now. It took me so long to read for two reasons. 1.) I am a student, and life as a student got so incredibly busy for just as I started reading The Space Between. I barely had time to sleep, never mind read. and, 2.) It took me a while to get into the book. I found the beginning a little slow and sometimes confusing, and to my sleep depraved mind that was not something I enjoyed. In saying that, I did not dislike this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters were strong and well developed, I think it was the plot that I had the most trouble with.

Its no secret that Brenna Yovanoff is a beautiful writer. She can string words together that you wouldn't think to put together and make them sound so eloquent and classy. I loved that about this book. The writing flowed so well. The detail that went into her descriptions of everything was amazing. I had absolutely no trouble picturing everything she mentioned. It was really fabulous. I loved the emotions that her characters went through, the discoveries the made within themselves were awesome, and enlightening.

I loved Truman. I did. Even at his lowest Truman was one of the best male protagonists that I have ever had the pleasure to read. He never felt sorry for himself, despite his desire to die. I never once got the 'woe is me" vibe. He knew he was unhappy, and that he did not want to be unhappy anymore. Truman was straight forward and honest (he did sometimes omit truths). He was pathetic, and he did not lead an easy life. But I never got annoyed with his character. I loved how he cared for Daphne, and when he realized that he cared more for her then he thought, he didn't try and deny it. It was just fact and he accepted that. Daphne was a funny character. I have never read anything from the perspective of a demon before, and it was difficult in the beginning to really relate to her. This was why it took me a little while to get into the story. I couldn't relate to Daphne. I liked her, but her world and her thought process were not things I have considered in my life. It wasn't until she had her mission and had found Truman that things began to make more sense to me and I began to enjoy the story more.

The plot. I didn't realize going into this that I would be so uncomfortable with reading something that starred demons, and the child of Lucifer. However every time it was mentioned that Daphne was the daughter of Lucifer it would set me off. I was ok with hell, and Lilith and the old "legends", I was even some what ok with Beelzebub, but Lucifer, the devil- no way. When he made an appearance at the end of the novel, that really disturbed me. I can't pin point exactly why, or what it was that bothered me, all I know was that it did. It was this that made it the most difficult for me to read this book, and why it took me so long. I wasn't sure in the beginning if I was going to continue reading. My hang ups were limiting me.

I also was confused about the Azrael issue. I was never super clear about who he was- I knew he was an angel, but that's about it. Was he a fallen angel, or a servant of God? What was he role? Also when the mystery behind Truman's dreams was revealed I was even more confused. Also, Daphne's role in that, and why she was there was never fully explained. I found that perhaps there were a few plot holes that needed a bit more filling in. Obie's wife and why Azrael was doing what he was doing for instance.

Overall, I enjoyed The Space Between. There were a few things that I had issues with, however, there were also things that I really enjoyed. For those who don't have the hang ups I do about the devil, I think you'll really enjoy this book, it's beautifully written, and the two protagonists are awesome. The Space Between is due to hit shelves tomorrow, Nov 15th.

~Happy Reading Everyone!  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #17 (Vlog #9)- The "So Excited" edition

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

This week was an epic week for me (I think as least). I got some AWESOME stuff, and therefore say 'so excited like 50 times in the 7 minutes I was on camera. So... I hope you enjoy.


** I opted not to link every book, that is far to many**

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

For Review:

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

That is all for me this week. Don't forget to link your IMMs below.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge-Sign Me Up.

I can hardly believe that it's already time to be thinking about the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. The 2011 Debut Author Challenge was my first reading challenge and I had a blast participating. So Far I have read 15 DA's and we still have a month and a half left.

For those of you who have participated in the past there are a few changes to this years challenge, however it looks to be better then ever! So head over and check it out!

I have a list of 14 books so far that I am hoping to read. This will most likely change-some I'll get to, some I won't, and I am sure that there will be others added. But here is my preliminary list. 

**All links lead to Goodreads**

  1. Tempest by Julie Cross
  2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  3. The Catatsrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
  4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  5. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  6. Fractured by Megan Miranda
  7. Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
  8. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
  9. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
  10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  11. Immortal City by Scott Speer
  12. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
  13. Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
  14. What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen
As I said, I am pretty excited to be taking part again this year. I look forward to seeing everyone else's list. So let me know if you are participating, and what you are excited to read.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Thoughts: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

" 'He does make me happy,' Clary said. 'But he can't control everything in the world, Mom. Other things happen—' she fumbled for words; how could she explain that it wasn't Jace making her unhappy, but what was happening to him, without revealing what that was?" "In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants." Except for teasers, the fourth installment of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments romance fantasy has been strictly embargoed, leaving us clutching for word clues. A teen series that keeps readers on tenterhooks.

Most of you have read Cassandra Clare's popular The Mortal Instrument series. And most of you were VERY excited when it was announced that it wasn't to end at City of Glass. That she was coming back with the much loved characters and keeping the story alive. I myself, really didn't care. Only because I had only read the first book- years ago when it first came out. I told myself I wasn't going to read anymore because I really hated the Clary and Jace were brother and sister, I was not happy, so I chose not to read further. It wasn't until Simon and Schuster Canada offered me a finished copy of City of Fallen Angels that I decided to find out what all the hoopla was about. Why did people love this series so much? Why were they so excited for it's return? So back in March I read both City of Ashes and City of Glass, and I really enjoyed them, a lot. However when my Copy of CoFA came in the mail, I did not immediately jump in and start reading.

As I mentioned before, when I first read City of Bones I was not a happy camper, I was so frustrated that Jace and Clary were brother and sister. I remember liking Jace and his sarcasm, I also remember thinking that Clary was perfect for him. She could handle him. Therefore, after the big reveal, I had no desire to continue reading. But, that is in the past now. We all know the truth and can now breathe easy.

Clare writes amazing characters. We all know that. And City of Fallen Angels brought to us the fabulous characters she does so well. In CoFA we got to see more of Simon’s perspective on things. Which is something I really enjoyed. Simon was one of my favourite characters from The Mortal Instruments series. He was smart, totally dorky and completely endearing. How could you not like Simon? I really liked experiencing things from his point of view, and getting inside his head. I found reading about his concern when it came to his relationships with Isabelle and Maia. I could feel his concern and despair when his mother discovered him (that scene broke my heart), also when he attacked Maureen, the guilt he felt. Simon is one of Clare’s more complex characters, and I was pleased to see more from him. Clary was the same old Clary we all know and love (sometimes), she’s loyal to her friends and her sarcasm is renowned (maybe not like Jaces’s but...). Her friendship with Simon makes me smile.  I like Clary. I think she’s a well developed, well rounded character. However, for me, for a female protagonist, she’s not the most memorable for me. I sometimes felt like Clare felt like she had done all she could for Clary and focused more on others (this is just my perspective).  I think there are certain character’s in The Mortal Instrument series that are stronger than she is. In saying this, I need to reiterate; I liked Clary, however I just felt like she was left in the shadows more often then not. Jace, a crowd favourite. Normally I love Jace, his sarcasm and wit are legendary. Even at his lowest, Jace is known to be clever and always ready with a joke. I felt like this was missing in CoFA. Mostly because he was dealing with some heavy stuff. We still got Jace’s jokes, and sarcasm, but it felt forced and sometimes it fell flat. He did have some great banter with Simon and some great one liners for sure, but they were few. His personal demons got in the way, and I was sad about that. Clare also introduces new characters in City of Fallen Angels. Kyle/Jordan is my favourite. I loved him. I loved what he brought to the story, and his attitude. I felt for him and Maia and I am curious about their story, I can’t wait to explore that in future novels. I enjoyed seeing his friendship with Simon blossom. He even got along with Jace. It made for good reading. Magnus was another favourite of mine, and I was glad that him and Alec showed up in the end. I was worried I was going to miss them. I love Magnus, and he says one of the most remarkably romantic things to Alec, I was speechless, and saying “awwww,” all at the same time.

Where I did enjoy reading CoFA for the most part, I had a few issues with things. When Jace started avoiding Clary, I didn’t know why, I felt like that wasn’t explained very well. One minute the two were getting along great, the next Jace is having huge issues with Clary and not speaking to her, this was so confusing to me. At first I thought that I had missed something and went back to check, but no, there was nothing to explain his sudden shift. I sometimes find that Clare over dramatizes things in her novels. Everything is such a big event, there is rarely anything subtle to be found in her books. Nothing is ever down played. This is partially why I didn’t read this book when it first came to me. I had already read the two previous books in the series, and I wasn’t sure that I could handle more. So I took a break, and I think that I enjoyed CoFA more then I would have if I had read it right away. I did not like the end of the novel mostly because it was so over played and so dramatic. It’s like Clare asked “what the worst thing that could happen?”  and then did exactly that. I was SO frustrated. I should have been expecting it. But It bugged me.

Even with all my hang ups with this book, I still really enjoyed it, and was pleased with what I got. Clare doesn’t miss a beat with this book, and I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #16 (Vlog #8)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  Not to much to share with you today, but I hope you enjoy.


Lover Eternal by JR Ward
Stork by Wendy Delsol

For Review:

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand


Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

My Nov TBR video if you are interested: November TBR.

That's all for me, don't forget to link your IMMs below.

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Many Books in a Year: September and October

I don't know what happened, but I totally forgot to do a post for Many Books in a Year in Oct. Which is sad, because I read eight books that month , and six in October. Better late then never.

September's Books

1) Stolen by Lucy Christopher (My Thoughts)
2) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (My Thoughts)
3) Looking for Alaska by John Green  
4) Second Chances by Lauren Dane
5) One Foot in the Grave by Jeanine Frost
6) The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells (My Thoughts)
7) A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (My Thoughts)
8) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (My Thoughts)

A lot of book, and they were all very good.

October's Books

1) Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (My Thoughts)
2) Triangles by Ellen Hopkins (My Thoughts)
3) Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez (My Thoughts)
4) Matched by Ally Condie
5) The Brides Baby by Liz Fielding
6) City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (My Thoughts coming soon)

This brings me to 74 books this year so far. Which is NOT where I want to be. Nov is a little less busy for school, but I have a HUGE paper due at the end of the month, so I may disappear for a while. But I have the whole month of Dec off, so I am hopeful.

If you want to see what I am hoping to read in Nov, I did a video on my Youtube channel, which you can find here.  Enjoy.

~Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #25

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!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

"'Hey,' said Jace... 'do you want to see a photo of Alec and Magnus in Berlin?'
'Not really,' said Simon.
'Magnus is wearing lederhosen.'
'And yet, still no.'"


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!

"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