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Monday, July 30, 2012

My Thoughts: The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond

This was the summer that would change my life.

No more being what everyone expected. No more doing what everyone else wanted. 

So when Luke came into my life, I decided to keep him a secret. Maybe he as a dead-ringer for notorious Hollywood bad boy Trent Yves. And it was possible that everything he told me was a lie. And yes, I was probably asking for trouble. But all I saw was Luke--sweet, funny, caring--someone who would let me be the real me. 

But which was the real him?

**ARC received from RainCoast books for review**

I am going to say this from right here, right now! The Synopsis of The Summer of No Regrets is SO misleading. It leads a reader to believe that it is a frilly novel with no depth, it leads a reader to believe that it is your average run of the mill contemporary YA novel, with a typical romance and teenage angst. The story that Katherine Grace Bond gives us is none of that. The Summer of No Regrets (which again is not properly titled), is about a girl who is struggling with her spirituality, it is about a girl who is struggling to find her own identity within her incredibly eccentric and in a number of way, broken, family. It is about a girl who lost something and is trying to find it. The Summer of No Regrets is about a boy who has numerous identities and is struggling to find his true self, it's about a boy who's family is broken and it's his responsibility to keep everything together.

Ok, so maybe my synopsis makes The Summer of No Regrets sound like your everyday contemporary novel, but it's not. It is SO much more.

I really liked this book. A lot. What I loved the most was the transformation that we (the reader) saw happen within the characters. Specifically Brigitta. She was a rather confused teenage girl. Especially after the death of her Grandparents (her Grandmother specifically). These events have a life altering effect on not only Brigitta but her father as well. Which also effects Brigitta. This may sounds rather confusing. But the relationship between Brigitta and her father is absolutely heartbreaking. She feels completely abandoned by him. This is something that they both need to realize and they both need to work through. It was beautiful to read. I loved Bond's writing.

I also enjoyed the romance between Brigitta and Luke but I didn't find it epicly cute. It wasn't a breath taking romance. It was sweet. But now as I write this I am having trouble remembering what was so great about it. I know I enjoyed it. I liked Luke I thought he was an interesting character. But nothing incredibly memorable.

In saying that, The Summer of No Regrets is much more than it would seem and I really enjoyed the depth each relationship had. I would encourage all of you not to write this one off. It was well worth the read.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

It's that time again. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews

Books Mentioned! 


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

For Review:

A Violet Season By Kathy Leonard Czepiel
Y by Marjorir Celona

Gift Exchange: 

What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen 
Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta 

That's it for me. Be sure to leave a link to your hauls below so I can take a look at what you got this week. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From Book to Movie (10)

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

I have heard SO MANY readers talk about The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I am serious. Almost everyone of my blogger friends has read this book, and raved about it. It is one popular book. Stephen Chobsky's novel is extremely controversial and has found itself on many banned book lists. And in all honesty, when I initially read the novel's blurb I didn't think I was going to read the book. I was like, this does not sound like anything special. I thought The Perks of Being a Wallflower was going to be your average run of the mill coming of age story. BIG DEAL. 

The trailer did nothing to alter my perspective on this book. I found that it made the story appear even more like a boy finally finding friends and finding himself. I wasn't understanding the excitement that everyone was talking about. 

But then I read the book. 

I understand now. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an EPIC story. It had me in laughing hysterically on one page and in tears three pages later. It was incredible. Completely surprising! I read the book because I knew I knew that once the movie came out I would see it, and I HATE not reading a book before a movie comes out. And I was blown away. I was speechless when the book ended. 

Now about the movie. 

I am not sure about who they cast as Charlie- Logan Lerman- Why? Because I think he's to good looking. I don't know. I sort of see Charlie as being really geeky. I am sure he will be fine-perfect even. But this is my first response.  I am NOT a fan of Emma Watson as Sam. I am not sure, but I believe that I might be one of those individuals that will always see her as Hermione Granger. I had a hard time picturing her as Sam. Again, I am sure she will be perfect.

I think the trailer as a whole is misleading. I don't believe it expressed the nature of the story, and I believe those who know nothing about The Perks of Being a Wallflower will be a little surprised when they realize what it is actually about.

I am excited for the movie and I am really curious to see where Hollywood is going to take this novel.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

**Don't forget about the TWO giveaways that are happening now at Just Another Story. Links to your right** 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Vacation Reads Giveaway Hop

I love giveaway hops and I feel like it has been AGES since I have participated in one! Which is madness! So I am excited to bring to you The Vacation Reads Giveaway Hop. Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Bookish Mama.

The Prizes:

I will be giving ONE person any TWO books of their choice as long as they are under $25.00 Canadian dollars. But just so you know, I have been known to pick extra winners every time I get +100 followers.

Contest will run from July 19th-July 26th. Winners will be announced later in the day on July 27th.

To enter the giveaway is pretty simple:

1) Fill out This Form
2) You DO NOT need to be a follower to enter- but
3) You get a +1 for following and..
4) You get a +1 for tweeting about this giveaway... And
5) You get a +2 for heading over and liking my Facebook page.

That's about it. I like to keep things simple.

Don't forget to
Fill out

Make sure to check out the other Hop participants in the linky below! There are a lot of giveaways to enter!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Thoughts: A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens

He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible. I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. "I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?" The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden." My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. "Let me stay," I said. "Please." "You're going to get me in trouble,"

Student/teacher relationships have been EVERYWHERE lately. Television, movies, books. It really is all over the place. And I have been basically obsessed with it from the very beginning. I can't say I know why. Mostly because I am not sure how the individuals involved think it could possibly work. Actually, it goes beyond that. I cannot fathom how they could even start in the first place. Therefore when Laura at The Reading Nook mentioned A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens, in one of her book hauls, I knew I needed to read it.

I was expecting big things from A Season of Eden. I expected it to explain Why a student/teacher relationship would develop into something romantic. I wanted it to explain to me how such a relationship could be maintained and I wanted it to explain to me how it could possibly be okay that a teacher be romantically involved with a student.

A Season of Eden was interesting. I say this because it had me cheering for the relationship. By the end of this book I was rooting for Eden and James. I wanted them to be together. They were so sweet and cute together. James was level head for Eden and she was... well, she did nothing for him, but he was great.

The story is about eighteen year old Eden, a spoiled rich kid who gets everything she wants as her father is to busy with his second wife and his job to pay much attention to his only daughter. So her buys her things. Eden is bitter about this and she is also missing her mother who died when she was young. Essentially Eden is not a nice person. But she's not a bad person either. It's hard to explain exactly what she is.  She was just meh. so when she decides to take an easy credit music class during her last semester of high school where she meets Mr. James Christian. Her 22 year old, fresh out of college choir teacher, her world is rocked. She realizes things about herself she previously chose to ignore.

Their connection is almost instant. Almost. What I kind of liked about this book was Eden's transformation. I say kind of, because Eden's character does a complete 180 which she attributes to Mr.Christian. I am not a fan of the theme of girls changing for a guy (good or bad), I'd much rather they change for themselves. But I also think that Mr.Christian helped Eden realize certain things about herself. He encourages her but doesn't enable her. He tells her when she's being immature and unreasonable. He takes her down a few notches. This is amusing.

Although the chemistry between the two is instant they don't jump into a relationship and I am not even sure if I could say they really have a full blown relationship.  That's what makes A Season of Eden so interesting. You're kind of waiting for something to happen, for the shoe to drop. But does it ever?

I enjoyed this novel and I got through it pretty fast, but I wouldn't say that the writing was anything special. It was pretty okay. I would have liked to see certain scenes, situations and themes embellished a little. Some things were left a little vague others felt a little rushed. I also wouldn't say A Season of Eden answered all the questions I had. I don't know why student/teacher relationship would turn romantic, I sort of get how they thought it would be maintained and A Season of Eden did explain to me why they thought it would be okay. In this situation specifically.

Overall, this was an enjoyable novel and I would recommend it to anyone who has the same obsessions over taboo student/teacher relationships as I do. Aria/Ezra anyone? (Pretty Little Liars reference).I had to stop watching that show because they thought of them getting caught totally stressed me out. But don't expect any type of in depth Aha moment from this one. It won't give it to you. I am curious to read more books on this theme so if you have any recommendations please let know. I'll look into them.

With that said...

~Happy Reading Everyone!

PS- Don't forget to ENTER my Two Year Blogiversary Giveaway! There are SO many chances to win it's UNREAL. Check here for details!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Just Another Story Turns 2 Giveaway!

We'll this is more of a LATE 'Happy Blogiversary'. Because My actual Blogiversary was on Saturday, July 7th. And, Just Another Story turned TWO!! Can you believe it? I have been blogging for TWO years. That is madness. I never expected it to be what it is, and for me to love it as much as I do.  And I have ALL OF YOU to thank for that. So I am giving stuff away.

I have decided to get creative and giveaway some of my favourite books that I have reviewed here on the blog. There is a list of 20 to chose from, so hopefully there is something in there for everyone.

There will be TWO winners:

First place will get to chose TWO books from the list below and second place will get to chose ONE book.
Pretty simple.

Here are the Books:

1) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
2) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
3) Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
4) Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart
5) After by Amy Efaw
6) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
7) Wither by Lauren DeStefano
8) Identical by Ellen Hopkins
9)Across the Universe by Beth Revis
10) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
11) Collide by Megan Hart
12) The Taker by Alma Katsu
13) Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
14) Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
15) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
16) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
17) All Fall Down by Megan Hart
18) The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
19) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
20) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (which I didn't actually review but loved SO much that I had to add it).

That is the list.

Now there are a FEW rules, more like guidelines really, that  I would appreciate you follow:

1) Fill Out This Form 
2) Every title on the list above leads back to my review of said novel. For every comment you leave on said review you will receive an extra entry. So you have the chance of gaining an extra 19 entries (that's pretty freaking awesome!). 
3) One extra entry if you Tweet this giveaway. 
4) You DO NOT need to be a follower. But take a look around if you like what you see, that hit that follow button. 
5) Contest Ends Monday July 30th (that gives you four weeks to enter). 
6) Contest open INTERNATIONALLY!! 

That's about it. I hope you enjoy. 

With that said...

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

June Wrap Up

I just realized that I called my, what was supposed to be my May Wrap up I accidentally called the June Wrap up. Oops.  But, today I bring you my ACTUAL June wrap up.  Which I am pretty excited about, because I KICKED BUTT in the reading area of things. I read a whopping NINE books last month. Which I think is fantastic. I also think it makes up for only posting three reviews in June (but now I have a number of books I want to review).  So lets get to it.

Books Read:

1) Forbidden Head by Opal Carew
2) Paper Towns by John Green
3) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4) All Fall Down by Megan Hart
5) The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
6) A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens
7) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8) If This Bed Could Talk by Liz Maverick
9) Hooked by Katherine Greenmen (technically I read this in July as well- I started June 30 and finished July 1st).

Books Reviewed:

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
Thumped by Megan McCafferty
All Fall Down by Megan Hart

Random Stuff:

I posted the cover for Lover At Last by JR Ward. I talked about my feelings on the book and how I wasn't as excited about the couple as everyone else was. You can check it out here.


Like I said last month I have thrown my challenges out the window. However I am keeping track with my Goodreads reading challenge.

2012 Reading Challenge: 42/80

Halfway there. Whoop whoop.

For the month of July I am challenging myself to post 14 times on the blog. The last few months I've only been seeing seven posts and I would like to double that for the month. So wish me luck!!

PS- If you want to know what I am hoping to read in July go here and watch my July TBR video.

~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