Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I Am Silent


Today, I am silent.
Here is some information about the Vow of Silence, taken directly from the Free the Children website:
We won’t stand by while children are subjected to exploitation, poverty and the denial of their basic rights. Every day, millions of children are silenced by these abuses. But we can take a stand for children everywhere.  
The Vow of Silence is Free The Children’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising campaign that engages tens of thousands of participants to stand up for children whose rights are not being upheld. 
From Toronto to Mexico City, London to San Francisco, Beijing to Jakarta, Vancouver to Sydney and back, on November 30, 2011, young people will go silent for 24 hours in solidarity with children who are being silenced by poverty and exploitation. For Vow participants, being silent can mean refraining from speaking. It can also mean not using email, Facebook, Twitter or text messaging. It can even mean not using hand gestures, note writing or any communication at all. Participants like you can determine your level of silence based on what you’re comfortable with. 
This campaign can be done as an individual, group, school, or even an entire city. 
So take the Vow. Take action, raise funds and awareness for Free The Children. On November 30th, go silent in solidarity with children who are denied their human rights and denied their voice.


***

FYI: This is a scheduled post since I won't be communicating through notes, e-mail, Twitter, etc. on the 30th. This will be my 4th year participating in the Vow of Silence, so wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 452 pages
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.


It can.


She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.


There is.


She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.


She's wrong.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is... wow. I don't even really know what to call it. Creepy, romantic and compelling are some of the words that come to mind!

To be honest, I was a little hesitant to read this novel. I kept going back and forth - from some reviews, I thought it would be the crafty tale that it is; but from from others I thought that it would be more of a disturbing thriller. While there are some creepy elements, it makes for an exciting read rather than something that would scare my easily frightened self.

After moving to a new town to get away from the constant scrutiny she is receiving, Mara enrolls at Croyden Academy of the Arts and Sciences for a fresh start. Mara is an interesting character. I related to her easily, even though her situation was so bizarre and the facts surrounding it so blurry. She has a wonderful support system with her brother Daniel and her parents have good intentions, even if they don't always quite know what to do with Mara's situation.

Then we come to my favourite character of the book: Noah. Oh, Noah. Noah is supportive, caring and gorgeous. He's on Mara's side before he fully even understands why he needs to be and... he has a British accent. Seriously, I got into a metaphorical boxing ring with Brodie and Kathy for this boy (I won, obviously).

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is almost impossible to put down. I started it late at night and the first thing I did in the morning was run to my computer to continue. In between cooking my lunch, I kept racing back to the computer to get in a few extra pages. I was obsessed! The plot is quick-paced with little snippets from the past peeled back until you are presented with the honest truth. The pages will fly and before you know it, you'll have reached the end, dying for more. I know I am!

Cover Comments: Now why can't we have more covers like THIS? It's intriguing and striking with a fancy font and Noah Shaw. I think all covers should have more Noah Shaw, don't you? ;)

5 stars 

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Library
Publisher: Point
Release Date: December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover

Love is all you need…or is it?

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She’s had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys. It’s a personal choice…and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny’s not the only girl who’s tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys…or the way their guys don’t really care about them.

Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club (named after Sgt. Pepper’s band), and Penny finds herself near legendary for her non-dating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can’t help but like… 

Let's start with a confession round: I don't like the Beatles. I don't like them at all (sincerest apologies to Penny's parents). I did however really enjoy The Lonely Hearts Club!

I think we all know at least one person - I sure do - that fits what Penny sees all around her school. What that is, is the girl who is so in love with her boyfriend that she's abandoned her other friends, hobbies and really even herself, to be with him. Do you know what I want to do for them? Giftwrap a copy of The Lonely Hearts Club and put it under their Christmas tree.

There is such a fantastic message in this novel. At first glance, the idea of this book comes off as little more than a dramatic way of dealing with heartbreak. As things move along though, it gets so much more meaningful. The Lonely Hearts Club inspires its members to think about themselves for a change and really celebrates how special and unique they all are. Throughout the novel, the girls start to realize that they don't need a guy to define them.

Penny was a very realistic character. She is understandably hurt at the start of the novel, and the way she deals with it is something I could see happening. She makes her fair share of mistakes, but what teenager doesn't? Penny's friends and the other girls in the club were all very relatable - I felt like they could have been my friends!

Finally, a message to everyone reading this: You are so beautiful. I hope you know that you don't need a guy/girl to make you sparkle.

Cover Comments: I like it! I think it represents the diversity of the girls in the club and I like the font for the title.

4 stars

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Add it: Goodreads
Source: Won
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
 
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

A delicious blend of romance and intrigue, Hourglass was a book I enjoyed the whole way through - a one-sit read!

Emerson's life hasn't been going exactly as planned. Her parents are dead after a tragic accident and she sees ghosts from the past. Despite the wonderful support system she has in her brother and his wife, she still can't help but feel lost at times. I loved Emerson from the start - she has snark and toughness in spades and there is something just so endearing about her.

The concept of time travel has fascinated me for so long. I am loving the trend in YA right now and it's so interesting to see the different spins on it. Myra managed to write a scientific (very kindly explained to non-science people like me, but still) story without losing my interest. The ghosts from the past and the other elements of the time travel are very well described and were one of my favourite parts of the book.

Speaking of favourites.... Micheal and Kaleb! While I think I'm personally more for Kaleb, both of these guys were awesome. The connection between Emerson and Micheal is electric, yet feels natural, and I can't wait to see where their relationship goes. At this point, we don't know too much about Kaleb but I already like him! Fingers crossed that he gets more time to shine in Timepiece.

With a sizzling romance and likeable characters, Hourglass is a novel that stands out in its genre.

Cover Comments: It's just... so cool. There's a floor and there's Emerson but Emerson is not on the floor. It blows my mind, it does.

Plus, the cover is kind of shimmery in person.

Sonia + Glitter = <3
(Leave me alone, guys)

4.5 stars

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Purchased
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 346 pages

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Dear Shatter Me,

Let's go ring shopping.

I am so blown away by the fantastic story you contain. I want to gather your characters in a hug, explore your world with a magnifying glass and paint your words on my walls. The story is fresh and exciting, leaving you wanting more more more.

Juliette has spent the past 264 days in complete isolation. All of her life, she has been denied the touch of a human being except for that one time and she can't stand it accepts that's how it needs to be. What gets me is that Juliette has every reason to be a vengeful, hate-filled killing machine. Instead, she is compassionate and generous. In addition to this, she is so strong. Juliette is my new favourite heroine. I want her to be my new best friend, too.

Of course, then there's Adam (picture ten or so hearts after his name, every time). Adam who believes that Juliette can shine and does everything he can to help her do so. He is lovely - smart and brave and honest. But... there's also Warner, who I am a little annoyed to like (just a little!). At times, I feel like I should give him a bit of leeway with the way he is, because he is most definitely a product of his environment. Then I look at Juliette though, and seeing the goodness of her makes me that much more unforgiving.

Shatter Me, your futuristic setting is bleak and dangerous, no doubt about it. The rich and powerful take what they want for themselves and leave scraps for the rest. Society is run with an iron fist and terror is always brimming under the surface. Through all of this though, there is that underlying feeling of hope. New possibilities were definitely introduced and I can't wait to see where they take off in the next book!

Now, I can't help but mention the way your story was written. Tahereh Mafi, I want to hug you and absorb your talent. The English student in me kind of wanted to pull out my different coloured highlighters to pick out all of the literary devices (ahoy there, metaphors!). The writing is effortless and captivating, with such a distinct style.

One of my new favourites.

Consider
me
shattered.

Love,
Sonia

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Interview with Michelle Madow



Welcome to another stop on the Remembrance blog tour! This tour is hosted by the fabulous Amanda of Stuck in YA Books. To stop by any sites that you've missed on this tour, you can click here for a full list of all participating blogs.

Remembrance is the debut novel of Michelle Madow, inspired by the music video of the song Love Story by Taylor Swift. Michelle was kind enough to answer a few This or That questions. Enjoy! :)

***
Noise or Silence?
Silence. I can't get work done if there's any noise around me. Which means I work without music on (and I love music!)

Summer or Winter?
Summer--I don't like cold weather!

Series or Stand-alone?
Series. I love being able to read more about characters I enjoy and seeing plotlines develop.

Romance or Friendship?
This matters who we're talking about! I think it's best to always have a few friends, and hopefully a romance will eventually come.

Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
Harry Potter! I never really got into Lord of the Rings.

Circus or Carnival?
Carnival, because I like going on rides and playing the games.

Physical book or e-book?
Physical book. I love owning them and looking at them in my library. But when it comes to actually reading, I prefer reading on my Kindle.

Hardcover or paperback?
Hardcover, because they're so pretty! Paperbacks are easier to read though.

Juice or Soda?
Apple juice! I love it.

Talent or Effort?
Effort! Because even if someone is talented, it won't come to anything if they don't put in effort to succeed.

Thank you for having me on The Story Queen!

Be sure to check out my debut novel, Remembrance, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository.

***

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find it on Goodreads!

New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

***

SO YOU LIKE GIVEAWAYS?

So, because Michelle is made of blood, bones and awesome, she is hosting a couple of giveaways at the moment. First of all, there is her cover design and book trailer contest, which has a fantastic prize pack for the winners. All of you talented people - be sure to check that out!

Aaaaand there is also another giveaway, specifically for this tour, open to all Canadian and US residents which involves a signed copy of the book and a mask I will jealously steal from you. You can head over to the original blog post to enter, since I am technologically challenged (and a procrastinator) and have not yet figured out how to put the Rafflecopter into this post. Sorry about that!

Thanks so much for stopping by and of course, thank you to Michelle as well. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. The purpose of the event is to spotlight the upcoming releases that readers are most looking forward to.

This week, I've chosen...
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Add it: Goodreads
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: January 10, 2012

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
NERDFIGHTER PRIDE!

I still have not ordered this one (I hope my copy has an anglerfish!) but I'm definitely intending to do that soon. I will say that this is not the cover I was expecting, especially after some of the AMAZING fan-made covers, but maybe it will grow on me.

Friday, 11 November 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge


Hey guys!

So I'll be participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge this year, hosted by the fabulous Kristi of The Story Siren. To read more and sign up, you can head over to this page. I wanted to do it this year but I just missed the deadline. Regardless of that though, I've read 20 debuts this year and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to read even more next year.

I'm setting the goal at 15 for now. I have a rough list of 15 that I'd really like to read, but nothing is set in stone or anything.

1) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
3) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
5) Tempest by Julie Cross
6) Everneath by Brodi Ashton
7) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
8) Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
9) Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
10) Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
11) Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
12) Slide by Jill Hathaway
13) The Selection by Kiera Cass
14) Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
15) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

We'll see which of those I actually read, but it's nice to have a list for reference now. I'm excited to be participating in the Debut Author Challenge!

-

Also, something completely off topic, but much more important: Happy Remembrance Day. My most sincere thanks to all of the soldiers out there.

I'll be MCing at my school assembly today, so wish me luck!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions anthology

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Find it: Goodreads
Source: Library
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 443 pages

A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.

Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new land-scapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.  
Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.

This review is going to be a little different. I took notes while reading for all of the stories, so here is a tiny review for each of them.

Giovanni's Farewell by Claudia Gray

I liked this one! It had a simple writing style, but I think it really worked in this case. The story itself was very sweet and I loved the tight sibling bond between Cairo and Ravenna.

Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan

As always, the quiet and poignant desperation of Ryan's stories left me breathless by the end. I liked the emphasis on making choices and the stark reality of the urgency in survival. I have to say that I also really liked the younger sister, Sally!

Red Run by Kami Garcia

This one was a really interesting story - I only wish that it could have been expanded into something a bit longer. While it started off a little mysterious (that was the point, I believe), it definitely picked up by the end. Once the story reached its climax, things got intense!

Things About Love by Jackson Pearce

I loved this story! It was a really sweet, hopeful portrayal of desiring love. It was wonderful to see just the yearning for it and not necessarily TRU LUV 4EVA. If anything, I now can't wait to read As You Wish!

Niederwald by Rachel Vincent

Wow, do I ever want to read the Soul Screamers series now! My favourite parts of this story were those that delved into the lore. The story has creatures I don't normally get to read much of, so it was a nice change of pace. My favourite character in this one was definitely Syrie, who I found fascinating.

Merely Mortal by Melissa Marr

I really liked it! It felt a little choppy at the beginning, but it's always tough for a short story to flow as smoothly as a full-length novel from the get-go. Still, it was sweet and fun.

Besides, I am game for anything with Donia and Keenan because, really? SO CUTE.

Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong

I know I'm saying this a lot but: LOVED! Kelley Armstrong does a fantastic job of reminding readers of past events (the Darkest Powers trilogy) without bogging down the story. This short story was fun, suspenseful and sweet.

(For those that have read the DP trilogy, our favourite wolf is back in this one <3)

Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan

Ahh, my favourite one! This was hilarious, heart-warming and it's almost ridiculous how much I loved it. It was fabulous to see the band come together and there were some really funny lines, as is always the case with Sarah Rees Brennan. Even amongst the less serious parts, there is some depth.

Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready

A story that is both hopeful and strong.

I liked the prose in the novel, but I'm really not the best judge of that, so don't take my word for it. Even without that though, the story had really great pacing and managed to explore quite a bit for a short story. Although there aren't very many words, they pack a powerful punch. Nice job!

Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting

Oh, this story was so good. It is heartbreakingly desperate.

Kimberly Derting is a master at building up the tension and suspense. The story is short but impactful and I'm really excited to meet Rafe in Desires of the Dead (I've read the first novel, but not the second). This one had a different tone from a lot of the other stories (they all had different tones, really) and it was a nice break for the nature of the book.

Leaving by Ally Condie

I love Ally Condie's writing - both here and in Matched. Sara, the main character, was very compelling and her emotions were perfectly portrayed for me. I thought the whole concept of the Globe, and the story in general, was unique and interesting.

At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday

Fun, fun, fun! This was a very creative, imaginative piece. I found it entertaining and just so much fun. Really though, I'd love any story with the Rocky Horror Picture Show references this one had (there are a LOT).

IV League by Margaret Stohl

First off, I want to say that I love this title. I think it's so inventive and clever.

Unfortunately though, I found this story a little boring. The concept was interesting enough but something about the execution just didn't click with me.

Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson

I really liked this! There were some very strong emotions that came through and I was utterly entranced by the sections on gargouilles and flight. Also, guys, there is something about √Čtiennes. Are they all this awesome? Is there like an unwritten rule somewhere that says all √Čtiennes must make my heart melt?

The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I really like Barnes' writing style. Don't ask me what about it I like because I'm horrible at explaining that. I found this story so interesting! I want more. While the ending truly doesn't have much resolution at all, it worked for me and I liked how it almost came full-circle.

Automatic by Rachel Caine

I have to say, I've never really been interested in the Morganville Vampire series before (there's SO MANY BOOKS) but the joint forces of this story and Jen's ABCs of Morganville Vamps list have swayed me. I really liked this story!

4.5 stars

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. The purpose of the event is to spotlight the upcoming releases that readers are most looking forward to.

This week, I've chosen...

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
Add it: Goodreads
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother. 

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.
This sounds really interesting!* Drastic life changes and then sudden ghost appearances? I could go for that. The cover is pretty cool as well, I like how the swirls wind around her body.

* Okay, I know I say the word INTERESTING like every other sentence on this blog, but I'm serious. I guess I'm just easily intrigued.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Won
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

Talk about a fantastic novel! I fell completely in love with Waterfall, and I look forward to reading more by Lisa Bergren.

If you're searching for a realistic teen voice, look no further! Gabi is a smart, tough and determined heroine that I just loved. Even after being launched into Fourteenth-Century Italy, Gabi manages to keep her cool and stay strong. While it quickly becomes clear that Gabi is not like the other girls around (we'll say she's a bit more "adventurous") she still manages to protect herself in that Italian-speaking, sword-wielding way of hers.

Looking for some romance? Step right this way! Marcello is amazing, and I can almost guarantee that you'll love him, too. He manages to be the more commonly accepted gentleman of the time while also accepting that Gabi has her own way of doing things. Gabi and Marcello together were so, so adorable and all of their interactions made me smile.

One of my favourite aspects of this book was the family one! I've said it before, and I have no doubt that I'll do it again, but genuine family connections always bump up a book for me. Throughout the book, Gabi does not waver in her mission to locate her sister, Lia, even when there are other things (read: Marcello) to distract her. It was so obvious how much Gabi and her family cared for each other.

With fantastic characters, an enchanting setting and remarkable dialogue, Waterfall is everything I wanted. Why on Earth have I not read Cascade yet?!

Cover Comments: I really like it! There's something very unique about it. The castle and archway in the background really set the tone for the story and I like the overall look of it.

5 stars

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Library
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 390 pages

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
After the nail-biting conclusion to Nightshade, readers will be happy to know that Wolfsbane does not delay in picking the story up right where it left off.

Right off the bat, new settings and characters are introduced, all of which make for an exciting read. There is a sense of urgency in the novel even when casual jokes are being made and although I've heard that others found the beginning of the book a bit uneventful, I definitely didn't find that the case. While it's true that the second half is more action-packed, there is still plenty to keep you going for the first.

Now, if you're anything like me, you would have probably wanted more explanation of the history and inner-workings of this fascinating world in the previous book. Thankfully, no such problem exists in Wolfsbane! There is so much rich, detailed history and I loved that we got to learn so much about the Keepers, Guardians and Searchers.

While I did miss Calla's pack a bit, I think the group of Searchers she encounters makes up for it. They were a really dynamic bunch and I enjoyed the friendly way they interacted with one another. Like the wolf pack, some of the Searchers appealed more to me than others - Monroe and Connor, I'm looking at you!

The one problem I had with Wolfsbane is this: Calla.

Look, Cal, I get it. You're super confused about which boy to pick (*cough*REN*cough*) and your life is a total mess. You have the right to be wrong, to make a few bad decisions! Still, I can't help but be annoyed with you. You seem to change your mind every 5 seconds, so much that I would rather you just choose Shay and be done with it. I really wanted to scream and chuck my book at the wall a few times, because I was so appalled by you. Just... try to keep it together? For me? You're still my favourite female Alpha.

Despite the small problems I had with Wolfsbane, I still found it a very enjoyable sequel. I recommend the series to anyone looking for thrilling action and romance set in front of an exquisite historical background.

Cover Comments: I have tried really, really hard to get over the cover change for this series. The first one grew on me a LOT and I really don't mind it now, but I can't get over this book. I find the pose Calla's in very awkward and the colour is so dark that I can barely even see anything. I like dark effects as much as the next person, but not when it takes over the picture!

4 stars

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Cover Reveal: Endlessly

This cover was released on Kiersten's blog about 2 minutes ago AND I LOVE IT.


Endlessly will be released July 24, 2012 by HarperTeen.

Find it on Goodreads here!

The third book in the Paranormalcy trilogy.

The final chapter of Evie's adventures. Old friends, new ones, all wrapped up in impossible decisions. And some ball gowns. Because what's a life of normal and paranormal drama without a ball gown or two?

Note: This is not the final summary. I took it off the Goodreads page.

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Anyways, back to the gorgeous cover! I LOVE it. Purple is my favourite colour and I love that dress and Evie's hair is still super cool. Plus, is that a SMILE on her face? Yay happiness! I am so, so excited for this book. I absolutely adored Paranormalcy and Supernaturally so hopefully this conclusion will end on a high note as well. I have full confidence in Kiersten :)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. The purpose of the event is to spotlight the upcoming releases that readers are most looking forward to.

This week, I've chosen...
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Add it: Goodreads
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – called the Death Shop – are slim. Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous – a savage. He’s also her only hope.

Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Debut author Veronica Rossi is accumulating fans from all over the globe—the book has already sold to more than twenty countries. It’s not surprising that foreign rights for this title have been flying off the shelf. It’s a tantalizing romance in any language.

First of all, that COVER! Isn't it striking? I love it.

Under the Never Sky has been getting some great buzz already and it sounds like it will be another captivating dystopian. I can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Won
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover (294 pages)

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.
Vanish is a fantastic sequel to Firelight, with new elements and dimensions introduced, but also some of the same things that pulled you in the first time around.

In Vanish, we have Jacinda and her family back amongst the pride. Things are far different from how they used to be, and Jacinda is being treated with animosity from all angles (well... maybe not all...). There was a perfect balance for me in that even when Jacinda was doing a bit of moping, I wasn't annoyed because of how sorry I felt for her. It just felt like a very accurate portrayal of what she would be going through.

I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with the transformations we see in this novel. Quite a few of the characters are revealed to have more to them than what first meets the eye, something that was very well done. Now, personally, I was always pro-Cassian, but it was definitely nice to see that my thoughts of what may be true weren't completely ridiculous. Cassian is such a fantastic character in this book! He really looks out for Jacinda, even when she's not exactly cooperating.

Now, while this novel does definitely have a different feel than the previous one of the series, I liked it even more! The action heats up by the end and some truly shocking events come to pass. I am already thinking about when I can get my hands on Book 3, which I'm sure will be even better than this one!

I really recommend this series if you haven't started it yet. There is action, romance and fascinating mythology. What's not to love?

Cover Comments: I love it! It's so similar to the Firelight cover yet so different at the same time. The contrast is great and both of the covers tie in so well to their respective stories. I have no idea what Book 3 will feature, but I'm excited to find out!

4 stars