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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Thoughts: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him

Simon and Schuster Canada sent this book to me a couple months ago. It was another one that I knew nothing about, but am glad that I got to read it. I found the synopsis of this novel is VERY misleading. But don't let that deter you from checking it out. It is WAY better then what the synopsis tells you. A fast past read, that is full of laugh out loud moments, and times where you'll feel annoyed with yourself for not reading faster.

The story is actually about two boys. Ryder; a Witchlander boy who has spent his life away from the coven and the witches that have been ruling his life for as long as he can remember. There is also Falpian, a Baen boy who is mourning the death of his twin brother. These two boys have a connection, and it's discovering what the connection is that makes Witchlanders such a fantastic read. Falpian and Ryder are sworn enemies. Years before there was a war that took place between the Withclanders and The Baens. Now there is a very distinct boarder that separates the Bitterlands (Baen land) and  that of the Witchlanders. And very strict rules that the two peoples are never to meet.

Lena Coakley's debut novel is one of the best books I have read this year.  Witchlanders is pretty high fantasy- which is not a genre that I enjoy reading. Although Withlanders is high fantasy it's not so fantastical that it is unrealistic. It is ultimately a tale about brotherhood and learning to trust yourself. It's totally a coming of age novel, that takes place in a fictional world. It is an amazing adventure. Ryder and Falpian get to know one another, they learn to like each other, but do they learn to trust each other?

One thing that always truly amazes me, is when a person has enough imagination and ability to create a whole new world. A world that has societies, and rules, and a hierarchy. There are so many details involved in creating a such a place, and I find that incredibly fascinating. I have read novels where this is done so poorly you wonder how the book was even published. However, what Coakley created was so intricate and complex you would think it would be impossible to do well. But, she did it. She didn't miss one single thing. There were no holes in her details, and you didn't need to stretch your imagination to much to believe what she was tell you, I was so impressed by this. The world she created wasn't trivial or clich├ęd, it was majestic and beautiful. I cannot explain how magical it was.

My favourite thing about this novel was the male point of view. Coakley wasn't writing just one male POV, but two. I loved the male perspective. I have sometimes read what was supposed to be a male POV, but found it to be very feminine. This was not something that I experienced with Ryder or Falpian. They were boys, and I never forgot that. I also was never confused when she would switch perspectives. It was always very clear who's mind I was in.

Although the synopsis alludes to a romance, Witchlanders contains none. I had no idea that I was getting sick of paranormal/contemporary romance, until I read this novel. I think that those who NEED a little romance in their books will enjoy this one, because of the way that Ryder and Falpian's relationship (which is TOTALLY platonic) develops. It is so endearing that you won't mind that lack of "sexual tension" that happens between the boy and the girl.

There are a lot more great things I could touch on when it comes to Witchlanders. But I think you need to experience it yourself.  There a few bloggers giving away copies of Witchlanders and I think you should head over to enter. If that's to much work, I think you should just go out and buy the book. It is really a fantastic novel. I can't wait to read more about Ryder and Falpian's adventure.

Witchlander Giveaways:
YA Booklover Blog
The Zealous Reader
Rayment's Readings, Rants, and Ramblings

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #18

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!

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

"...You had that look in your eyes, as though you wanted something from me, as though you'd wanted it for a long time. No one had ever looked at me like that before, with that kind of intensity."


**This is the first sentence of the novel, I just started this one, and so far it's pretty intense.  I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox #9 (Vlog #1)

I asked around Twitter last week about whether I should film my IMM for this week, and I got a pretty good response. So here it is. I'm sorry if I mumble.  In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

Books Mentioned

Bought Last Week:
Dangerous Pleasure by Lora Leigh

For Review:
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Flame of Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Bloggers Mentioned:

Rhiannon from Rhiannon Paille
Farrah from I Eat Words

Don't forget to link your mailboxes below.

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Chat: Book to Movie Adaptations (my very first video blog).

Ok, be kind.

Misty over at The Book Rat had this really great idea about doing a weekly Book Chat feature. Which I thought was a pretty cool idea. She wanted to make it fun an different so she suggested that participants do a video. I had been thinking about doing some kind of video for the blog for a few days and I thought this was a great idea. SO here it is. Be nice. I was very nervous.

You can find out everything you need to know about the feature here.

Book mentioned: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #17

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!

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

"Wherever this magic came from, it made him fearless, unassailable, and he liked the feeling. He ran the feather over his cheek, thinking back to the fragile hearts of the birds, and how easy they would have been to stop. A human heart was no different."


Friday, August 19, 2011

My Thoughts: The Taker by Alma Katsu

True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price. . . .
On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.
Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.
I knew nothing about The Taker by Alma Katsu before I received an e-mail from Simon and Schuster Canada. So, it sat on my shelf for a couple months, I knew I was going to read it, but I also knew I had other things to read. I am so glad that I got to read this book. SO glad. Alma Katsu took me for a literary ride that I will never forget. I think after reading this story I am kind of obsessed with it.  The story itself was amazing, but so was the writing, so were the characters. While reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down. It was full of suspense, and twists and turns, and thrills. It was a roller coaster that I was happy to be on.
The story essentially starts with Dr. Luke treating Lanny, and Lanny- revealing herself as immortal-needs Luke's help to escape. What Lanny also needs help with is her grief. She has just lost the love of her life, Jonathan, and is suffering for it. However it's not that simple. I don't want to give away to much here, So I won't go into to much detail. However, Lanny goes on to tell Luke her story.How she came to be immortal, the people she met, the things she did, and how after so many years, Jonathan is dead.
I have read stories in the past, that start out hundreds of years in the past, and somehow end up in present day. I have read stories that tell of what life was like way back when, what was done, how a character has changed for the better, and so on, and so forth. The Taker has all of this, but it also has more. What that more is, I don't really know. Lanny starts her story in 1816 when she first approaches Jonathan at church. It is here that their friendships begins. She talks about how their relationship evolved, but, she also says that she loved him from the very beginning. She tells about how things changed and she was forced to leave the town she knew as home, and venture to a big unknown city.  It is here that she meets Adair, and her life of immortality begins. It was all very captivating. The Taker was a story within a story, and at one point, I was reading a story within a story, within a story. I really loved the multi-dimensional story telling that I found in The Taker. The story flowed beautifully, and I was never confused by the back and forth between past and present.
Katsu is a great writer, and I feel like she had a great balance of plot and character. The characters in this novel were great, however I think that without the story that she had created they wouldn't have been that special, however, at the same time, I also believe that without the characters she had developed the plot would have fallen flat. The Taker was a story about interpersonal relationships, and the relationship dynamics were complex. They were insanely destructive,co-dependant, and incredibly unhealthy, but, at the same time, you didn't want them to end. 
I was happy with how the book ended, having no clue that it was indeed part of a trilogy, I felt it ended well. I thought there was some possibility for a sequel. Now I am so excited for the next installment. There are characters I am hoping will return and I am eager to read more about Lanny and Luke.
The Taker was really an amazing novel and I hope that you all go out and buy it on release day. Sept 6th, it will not disappoint.
~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lets Talk: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

So, lets talk about Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spin off series, Bloodlines-which is set to release this coming Wednesday Aug 23rd.  I am curious about how people are feeling about this new series.

I have not read The Vampire Academy series, but I have heard A LOT about it. So I'm going to jump on the band wagon and read Bloodlines. I think it'll be kind of fun. Probably a little confusing, but still. The video below is Richelle talking about the new series and what readers can expect. I would think that fans of The Vampire Academy series would be totally stoked to read this one, I know when a series that I have loved ended I want more, so this is perfect.

Any Vampire Academy fans? Are you excited for the new series? and what are you hoping will happen? Leave a comment and let me know. Also make sure to stop by on Sept 9th for my review.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #16

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

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

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

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

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

The Taker by Alma Katsu

" Sophia began visiting me in my dreams. In some, her face would merely appear in a crowd, jarring and accusatory, then disappear."


* This is really really good. I'm almost done, and I should have my review up late this week, early next.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox #8

So it's another week of In My Mailbox. I am putting this up a wee bit late, as I was away visiting a friend this weekend. It was pretty fun. Did some after hours swimming in the pool she's working at, climbed up the slide which is totally against the rules. But, shhhh, don't tell anyone, it was an all around good time. 

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

I apologize for the shadow, but, like I said, it's later in the day, and the sun's not in the right spot. Also, I am trying something new, all the titles should link to their Goodreads page. Hopefully to make it easier for you.


Forever by Maggie Stiefvater-This was an amazing, wonderful, unbelievably generous gift from Katherine over at The Lady Critic's Library. She had an extra ARC of this one lying around, and she sent it to me. Thank you SO much Katherine!

For Review:

Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne- From Penguin Group Canada. This looks like a really fun and easy read. I love the cover, and I am excited to get to it soon.


Stolen by Lucy Christopher- I had this one on hold and got a call for it. I had already reserved myself to return some of the books I took out last week ( realistically, I don't have the time for them),  But I took this one out, and I am going to get to it. I've heard great things about this book.

That's it for me this week. I am away again tomorrow (I'll be back Wednesday).  Don't forget to link your mailboxes.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Thoughts: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

It's not often that I come away from a book not sure about whether I liked it or not.  But that's how I feel about Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.  It was an interesting read, that is for sure.  The concept of the story I didn't find particularly original, the whole paranormal piece felt very formulaic in a |been there done that", type of way.  In saying that, I shouldn't say the whole story was completely unoriginal. There were a few times where Hayes surprised me, and in a totally fabulous way. 

I have read multiple reviews where readers have loved the characters of Falling Under, I have also read as many reviews who have said that they sucked. I really liked the characters in Falling Under with the exception of one or two. Theia was a sweet girl -she maybe have been slightly annoying in a "Oh, I love him, and would do anything for him even though it's only been a few days" kind of way, but she was cute. Her anxiety at talking to boys was endearing, and it made me smile. Her friends, Donny and Amelia, were great. I think as far as friends go, they were pretty amazing. I really appreciated that Hayes did not fade Donny and Amelia to the background of this novel. They were true supporting characters- and they were important to the story, which isn't something that happens often. I liked Donny and her attitude towards Gabe, I thought it was pretty funny. One of my favourite characters was Varnie, haha. The 19 year old cross dressing psychic. So funny.  Totally made this book worth the read. 

Now lets talk about Haden. He bugged me like Edward from Twilight bugged me. I cannot stand the whole- I love you, but we can't be together it's to dangerous, but I can't stay away from you-crap. It's crap. I hate it. I'm sorry. Haden wasn't all bad. He's hot, like any male protagonist in a paranormal romance should be. He wasn't a total fail, I enjoyed his-I need Theia to lose interest in me-antics. Which he would then turn into another reason for her to love him.  That's about all that I liked about him.

The end of Falling Under was pretty good though, not at all what I was expecting. Which was kind of fun. I will probably keep reading the series, just to see what comes out of it. I think you should read this story, because some parts of it were pretty cool. But it's not a grrrrrrrreat read, it's an okay read.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Thoughts: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Believe it or not, but I don't know the fairy tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. So when word of Entwined got out, and people were saying it was a retelling of the fable, I was like great. I did like the sound of it, and I was curious about the story, never mind the beautiful cover. 

I grabbed this book from the library a few months ago, and tried to read it, but I wasn't really in the mood for it, so I gave up, but I knew I was going to try again. I wanted to know what this book was all about. I picked it again a couple of days ago, and boy am I ever glad I did not give up on this book. I really enjoyed it. It was funny, and sweet, and sometimes it freaked me out (Keeper on the ceiling, anyone?), other times it made me tear up.  It really was a pleasure for me to read.

We have Azalea the eldest daughter of the Royal Family, who has just lost her mother in child birth. So, unexpectedly her and her 11 sisters are forced into mourning. Mourning means the curtains are drawn, the girls are not allowed outside, there are no visitors, and absolutely NO dancing for one year. For these girls this is tragic. Dancing was the one thing they had that could connect them to their mother. On top of that, their somewhat strained relationship with their father is further damaged by his own grief, and sudden departure from the girls' life. So these 12 girls are lonely, suffering with the death of their dearest mother. But, somehow they found refuge with a secret passage that leads from their room to a grand pavilion where they are given the opportunity to dance, and dance they do. However, it's not for free.

The thing that I loved the very most about this story was the family dynamics.  The relationship between the sisters and all their varying personalities. They were a lot of fun to read about, and I'd imagine a lot of fun to write. I really enjoyed their father, The King. In the beginning he grieved the loss of his queen, and did not know how to deal with his sorrow, nor the sorrow of his daughters. This was very sad. The family needed each other, and they couldn't be there for one another. The family needed to heal, and they needed each other to heal, and that's partially what this story was about. It really was a great story. 

The characters that Heather Dixon created were very well rounded, and very well developed. I thought Keeper was one creepy dude, and I loved that. He would do the weirdest things,  that would royally weird me out. I did not trust him from the very beginning, but I was not expecting what I got.  Lord Teddy was one of my favourite characters. He was really funny. I laughed at everything he did, and when it came to Bramble, well that was a lot of fun.

There were a lot of different elements in this story, and I loved that. It meant that I was never bored, and I always had something to look forward to. So many different things happened, and I really enjoyed that. I would recommend that everyone read Entwined. It is worth the time.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox #7-Library Edition & Something Cool

Well I did not get anything in the mail this week (besides bills). But I did make a trip to the library, and it was epic. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

See, I told you it was epic. Okay, so it was only five books. But I have SO many books to get read by the end of this month. I just hope that I can get them all done!


The Duff by Kody Keplinger-This book has been on my radar for a while, and when I saw it I picked it up, without thinking about it. It was that easy.

Jane by April Linder- I have heard that this is a modern day retelling of Jane Eyre, which I haven't read, and I really really want to. I actually wanted to read Jane Eyre before this one, but this was just sitting on the shelf calling my name-I may not read it yet. We'll see.

Clarity by Kim Harrington- This book is on my wishlist and has been for a while. This is another one that I saw sitting on the shelf, and picked up without thought. I can't wait to get to it.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry- I received Dust & Decay a couple months ago from Simon and Schuster, but I had never read Rot & Ruin. I have never read a zombie book before (I am not sure it's my thing), but Ashley over at The Bookish Brunette was raving about this one (the day I picked it up actually), also Pam over at  Midnyte Reader had good things to say about it. So this is also high up on my list of books to read.

The Romantics by Galt Neiderhoffer- This was the book I originally went to the library to pick up. I had put a hold on it. I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of this book, and I wanted to read the book. So now I have it, and have no idea if I'll get to it. Hopefully I can get to it.

Something Cool

This is a poster of Divergent by Veronica Roth- My local library is having this wicked cool contest. The poster is made up of many other mini pictures, and the pictures are YA book covers. There is a chance to win the poster all you have to do is name the poster and  the author, and also name five titles that made up the poster's image. I thought this was a fantastic concept. It was only open to 13-17 years old (boo erns). But I tried anyway.

The Divergent poster consisted of:

-Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
-The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
-Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
-Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, and
-The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

There were three other posters as well. City of Fallen Angels, Speak and another one about a Scorpion that I had never heard of.

I thought this was really cool, and I wanted to share it with you all.  Please make sure to leave a link to your mailboxes so that I can take a look.

~Happy Reading Everyone!  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Thoughts: Collide by Megan Hart

A childhood accident left Emmaline vulnerable to disturbing fugue states that last only minutes, but feel like an eternity. The blackouts are unsettling but manageable…until she meets Johnny Dellasandro.
The reclusive painter gained notoriety in the '70s for his debauched lifestyle and raunchy art films. His naked body has achieved cult status, especially in Emm's mind—she's obsessed with the man, who's grown even sexier with age. Today Johnny shuns the spotlight and Emm in particular…until she falls into a fugue on his doorstep.
In that moment she's transported back thirty years, crashing a party at Johnny's place in his wild-man heyday— the night is a blur of flesh and heat that lingers on her skin long after she's woken to the present.
It happens again and again, each time-slip another mind-blowing orgy, and soon Emm can't stop, though every episode leaves her weaker and weaker. She's frightened by what's happening to her, but she's even more terrified of losing this portal to the Johnny she wants so badly. The one who wants her, too, and takes her—every chance he gets.

If you've visited my "about me" page of this blog, you will know that Megan Hart has penned one of my most favourite books of all time-Dirty. I loved that book, and it was because of that book, that I have kept reading her books- well and because I think she is a phenomenal writer.  Now I have to say that I don't read many explicitly adult novels, so I wasn't sure about reviewing Collide for the blog, but I loved this books so much, that there was just no way I couldn't.

There have been a few of Hart's books that I have not enjoyed. Not because they weren't great, they just were not my cup of tea. So when I first read the synopsis for Collide I was a little nervous, her last paranormal, Deeper, was not one of my favourites. However, I devoured this book. It was really, really good. Hart is a fantastic writer, she describes things wonderfully and her characters are never flat and boring. They are so dynamic and so messed up, you can't help but be thankful that your own life is so normal. But reading her books never gets trivial or repetitive.

In Collide we have the protagonist, Emm. Who suffers from blackouts, and usually, that's all they are-blackouts. But upon meeting Johnny Dellasandro, the older, incredibly handsome former actor, her blackouts turn into, what she believes to be hallucinations about Johnny in his "glory days". I absolutely loved this aspect of the story, I thought it was great. Here was Emm. Having a relationship with Johnny in the past, and not getting much attention from Johnny of the present. It was fun to read.

The plot may not have been the most original, very The Time Traveller's Wife-esq, but I loved The Time Traveller's Wife, so Collide was perfect.

I want to mention briefly the sexually explicit content. Although Collide is categorized as an 'erotic' novel, I wouldn't consider it such, I would say it was a romance novel, with a few extra sex scenes Yes, it does have some explicit content, but, I wouldn't say it was graphic. I have read romance novels that were more sexually graphic then this one. There are also other novels by Hart that are more obscene then this one. This is fairly tame.

For me, Collide was a hit, and if you're curious about reading it, please do so-but only if you're 18 or older.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Many Books In A Year: July

July was busy for me work wise, and even though I wanted to very much to get at least 10 books read, I only managed eight. But, still, that's not to bad.  The eight books added brings me to a total of 54 books read this year.

1) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (My Thoughts)  
2) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
3) Then Comes Marriage by Christie Ridgeway
4) Wildefire by Karsten Knight (My Thoughts)
5) Swoon by Nina Malkin (My Thoughts)
6) The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (My Thoughts)
7) Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
8) Collide by Megan Hart (My Thoughts: Coming Soon)

I want to very much get to 70 books by the time school starts again on Sept 7th. But August is going to be even busier. But we'll see. Wish me luck.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Thoughts: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.

The Piper's Son is the third book I have read by Melina Marchetta this year. First was Jellicoe Road which holds a special place in my heart, the second was Saving Francesca and I enjoyed it, but not as much as Jellicoe Road, and most recently, The Piper's Son, and I really liked it. Maybe not as much as Jellicoe Road, but I liked how the story and the characters that were found in Saving Frencesca evolved and grew.

In Saving Francesca we are introduced to Francesca who attends a new school that is predominantly an all boys school. She knows few people and is forced to make new friends. It's a lovely story and the writing and characters are fabulous. One of the boys that Francesca meets is Tom Mackee. It is Tom's story that we get to read about in The Piper's Son. However, it wasn't only Tom's story that we got,  it was also that of his aunt, and it was that sub-plot that I loved the most.

I would sometimes get a feeling of euphoria while reading this book. I enjoy Marchetta's writing, and the way she tells a story so much that I just feel happy when I am reading her books. Marchetta writes what her characters are feeling in a way that allows you to experience those feelings, but not in a way that you are bogged down by them. Although Tom and his Aunt were both suffering extreme and intense emotions, it was never overwhelming to read about. I was able to empathize with the characters and still enjoy the story. It takes great skill to do that.

The thing I love the most about Marchetta's books are her characters. I love them. I wish they were real people so that they could be my friends. I don't think that I have read a single author who has made me love their characters as much as this woman. I love how she writes about their relationships with each other and  how they view themselves, I love seeing their inner struggle, and how they eventually come to terms with it.  Tom Mackee was a favourite of mine in Saving Francesca, and I loved reading more about him.  I really appreciated the relationship he had with his Aunt, he loves her and I loved reading about that, I really liked how loyal and loving Tom was towards his younger sister, and although they lived a ways away from each other, they still had a strong relationship.

Georgie's story was something amazing for me. She went through things that I hope never to have to face in my life. The death of a sibling, the betrayal of a partner, followed by an unplanned pregnancy by said ex-partner many years later. That's a lot for one woman to handle, adding on an abandoned nephew a missing brother (who later reappears with issues of his own). It was madness, and I think she did well, only breaking down a few times. I thought that Marchetta wrote Georgie beautifully, and I was moved to tears at the end of the book, and how things ended up for her.

A lot happened in The Piper's Son, and I am sure I could get majorly spoilery about it, but I don't want to ruin this amazing experience. I would encourage everyone to pick up something by Melina Marchetta and read it. It it totally worth it.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

RAK: July Close/August Open

I love RAK. It makes me happy.  If you don't know about RAK you had better head over to Book Soulmates and find out more. It's an awesome program, and the girls are hosting a giveaway this month. So go now.

I received one book this month, and sent out two.

This month I received:

Swoon by Nina Maklin from the Lovely Cassay over at Vamps, Weres and Cassay OH MY!

I've read and reviewed this already. It was interesting that's for sure.

I sent out:

Pre-Ordered Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer for Cassay at Vamps, Weres and Cassay

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver I sent to Cheree over at Justified Lunacy

August is going to be the last time I participate in RAK I think. SO make sure to leave links to your wish list, and I will be sure to take a look. You can find mine, here and here.
"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