Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Won
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 341 pages

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Characters that are utterly charming, a vibrant setting and a brand new type of paranormal creature make Die For Me the brilliant supernatural read it is.

Kate and her sister Georgia have had their entire lives uprooted. In a very short time period, their parents have died and they've been shipped off to France to live with their grandparents and finish off their high school careers. So it's no wonder that Kate has a bit of trouble adjusting. When we first meet Kate, her day-to-day tasks are repetitive and lifeless. It doesn't make for a very exciting beginning but I thought it did a good job in revealing some of Kate's innate nature, which is always important for later on.

Kate herself was a character that I liked. While not necessarily a new favourite heroine, Kate came off as brave and mature. Again, this obviously had to do at least a little with her parents' death but regardless, it was great to read about a girl that could be level-headed when the situation called for it. Vincent and his "family" were all so wonderful. They had a familiar, easy dynamic when they were together and I looked forward to whatever moments Jules Vincent appeared on the page.

The development in Kate and Vincent's relationship was certainly quick but it made me smile. They're a sweet pair and the quick way that they fell for each other just meant that we could speed up the actual story. I mean, the final showdown at the end... that was cool.

The idea of revenants is such a unique spin on zombies - I loved it! It was fascinating to hear about their history and the way that they worked. I especially liked that we got to get into the heads of the actual revenants a bit and see what they really thought of the job that came with it.

Aaaand finally, we have the setting - Paris. France has got to be the most stunning place to set a book. Granted, I've only read two novels set in the Country of Love (the other being Anna and the French Kiss) but wow. Amy Plum makes fantastic use of the beautiful setting available to her and it adds a spark to the entire novel.

Exciting and compelling.

Cover Comments: Gorgeous! I love that you can see the Parisian setting in the backdrop and, let's face it, the black swirls are just really pretty to look at.

4 stars!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren which gives bloggers a chance to share the books, swag, etc. that they've received each week.
I got some reaaaally awesome books this week, none of which I've read. I'm so excited to get started on all of them!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I can't believe I hadn't gotten this book until now... I love John Green and his novels. This one sounds quite different but also very, very good. I think it's from Razorbill's new Canadian site (check it out!) but I'm not 100% sure.

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers - I LOVE Courtney Summers. I've read all of her books and they're so emotional and heart-wrenching and just wow. Plus, she's Canadian! :) This book will probably be a different reading experience from her other books because it's about, well, zombies, but I'm thrilled about that. I have this one as an eARC from Raincoast Books -- thank you so much, Crystal!

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - Does this not sound amazing? The concept is incredible and just super, super cool. I used to think about living in a superstore all the time when I was younger! I can't wait to read this one and see what it's all about. This is also an eARC for review from Raincoast Books.

A big thank you to Penguin (I think...) and Raincoast!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, #1)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 471 pages

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.     
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

WHY did no one tell me to read this book earlier? Oh... wait... you all did. Sorry about that.

If you were here a couple of weeks ago, you might have seen my Why Fantasy Rocks post, inspired by Graceling. Now, you can probably imagine that this isn't a very normal occurence with the books that I read. Hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea as to how much I seriously loved this book!

If I could use one word to describe Katsa, it would be a survivor. She does whatever it takes to keep herself alive and is probably the most fierce character I've ever read about. She has this focused, determined air about her and the strength comes in buckets. This isn't to say though that Katsa is a cruel, heartless killing machine. Kristin Cashore does such an excellent job in adding dimensions to her character that show her vulnerability and her deepest fear that she really is a monster.

The other two characters that really stood out to me were Po and Bitterblue. Po was a fabulous character and really perfect for Katsa. He had a more laid-back demeanour but could definitely hold his own in a fight. I thought it was amazing that even though Katsa wasn't shy about showing him up at times, he just accepted it humbly instead of sulking over the fact that he'd been beaten by a girl. HUZZAH for a guy that isn't intimidated by a girl being able to do something better than him. Then there was Bitterblue! I was bouncing around in my seat when she was first announced since the book with the same title is due out soon. I must say, I can't wait to read it! Bitterblue was young in this novel but already her tenacity shines through. I loved the relationship between her and Katsa!

The world that Cashore has created is nothing short of fantastic. The Seven Kingdoms seemed so well-developed with their visual descriptions, political plots and different rulers. It's kind of crazy to me that I could feel like I knew so much about a character without even actually meeting them but that's what was happening. Over and over again. The Graces were also an extremely well-done (not to mention cool) idea.

A new favourite!

Cover Comments: I like the use of colour! The eye reflecting off the dagger (or is it a sword?) is kind of creepy but it does work well with the story. I love how fantasy this cover looks!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Too Excited for Titles

So I was at school today when some people starting talking about a supposed new book from J.K. Rowling. My reaction was pretty much, "HAR HAR, okay guys... whatever." I mean, would it be totally awesome if that happened? Absolutely! But I'm so used to hearing rumours like this and I didn't think this time would be any different.

But then.


I came home from school and logged on to Twitter. I checked my @ messages. I found a tweet from Brodie that was all 'OMG OMG OMG *link*'

This was the link: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/little-brown-publish-j-k-rowlings-first-adult-novel.html

If you don't want to read it, basically it just says that J.K. Rowling IS publishing another novel! It will be with Little, Brown instead of Bloomsbury like the Harry Potter series but really, who cares? J.K. Rowling will have another novel out! It is going to be adult instead of children's but I can totally do that if it's by Queen Rowling.

Also, I don't know if this is news or not, but Bloomsbury says in the article that they're planning to publish illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series starting in 2013. That's so exciting!

It's a good day <3

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

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:
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Add it: Goodreads
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Release Date: March 13, 2012
It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

"Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good." I'm really intrigued by that! I feel like there's a lot that can be done with it and the Global Vagabond plot in general. I haven't had the chance to read Kirsten's debut novel but I did read some really great reviews.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 378 pages

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

I read Sarah Ockler's debut novel a while ago and really, really liked it. While this is definitely a different book than Twenty Boy Summer, I found myself loving it all the same!

The main character, Hudson, has such realistic flaws. I love it when my main characters are like actual people and Hudson totally fits the bill. You could almost see her being shaped into who she is from just a few well-placed scenes and memories of her life pre-baking. It's clear that skating was a huge part of Hudson's life and her feelings post-skating career definitely reflect that.

While Hudson is a figure skater through-and-through, circumstances also introduce her to the hockey team. Hudson's first meeting with the Wolves (like, seriously, they're the Watonka Wolves varsity team) is a little intimidating, to say the least. The boys could do with some proper manners and respect for the new girl isn't at the top of their priority list. As I got to know the team though, I started to really, really like them! They were hilarious and all of them had such distinctive personalities. They definitely made for a fun read.

Then there are the characters that Hudson knows on a more personal level: Bug, Dani, Josh, and the other workers at Hurley's. I am so appreciative of the way Sarah Ockler incorporated her friends and family into the framework of Hudson's life. Oh, and Josh is cute. That helps.

The resolution that happens at the end isn't necessarily easy, but it's rewarding. I don't want to spoil anything but Hudson's relationship with some of the characters is damaged (as they are) and there's quite a bit of talking that has to happen. Yay, healthy problem solving! A lot of the times in books, I'm left irritated at the final apology scene when one character takes -- or is given -- more than their fair share of blame. In Bittersweet, I thought it was all handled perfectly.

I really have to issue a warning though, before I can finish off. You guys MUST HAVE CUPCAKES READY for when you're reading. There is so much talk of delicious-sounding baked goods and I just... yeah. Cravings.

Cover Comments: I really want to see this one in person because I think it'll look a lot better than it does on my computer screen. Anyways, the cover is nice enough. I like that they kept it simple and the sugar dusting was a cool idea. It doesn't jump out at me or anything but I like it!

4.5 stars

Monday, 20 February 2012

Cover Reveal: Hidden

Hello, hello! I spotted this kind-of-but-not-really-familiar cover a few minutes ago and I decided to share. So, let me present... the cover for Hidden by Sophie Jordan!

Hidden by Sophie Jordan
(Clicking that link will take you to Goodreads. The summary for
the book on GR contains *SPOILERS* so read at your own risk.)

Do you like it? I do! It reminds me a lot of the first book's cover but all of the covers for the series have that really similar theme going. I am so excited to read this and hopefully read some kissing scenes with Cassian. I loved Firelight and Vanish so hopefully this book will end the series on a high note.

What do you think of the cover?

(Oh, and HAPPY FAMILY DAY to all the Canadians -- or I guess I should say Canadians in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan -- reading this! <3)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren which gives bloggers a chance to share the books, swag, etc. that they've received each week.

No picture this week since there's only one book :) I didn't get any last week which is why there wasn't a post.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

This books sounds downright CREEPY. I am really excited to read it! I have yet to tire of the dystopian genre and I love all the unique things there are to be done with it. Pure definitely sounds original.

Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me this one!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

Avery Williams entices and ensnares in this dazzling debut.

Seraphina, or Sera as she likes to be called, is a heroine that possesses a more subtle kind of bravery. Emerging after centuries of guilt and desperation, it propels Sera to take some pretty drastic measures to get away from her boyfriend, Cyrus, and the ruthless measures he's been taking to stay alive. I liked Sera a lot. She's honest with herself and you can see the weariness her life has brought her. She has a conscience.

I read somewhere that someone was rather taken by Cyrus and I just... NO. Maybe this is an unpopular viewpoint (I really don't know) but I found him creepy and manipulative and possessive. In other words, not exactly ideal boyfriend material. Noah, on the other hand, was amazing. I couldn't help but feel really, really sorry for him -- and pretty much everyone else that knew "Kailey."

The novel is rather slow-paced but I never found it boring personally. Sera does a lot of reflection and she's very introspective so a good chunk of the book is focused on that rather than the action. There is also a great amount of focus on the science of alchemy which I found fascinating. There's really that debate of whether it's science (Cyrus) or magic (Sera), and not just with alchemy. My interest was definitely sparked.

Then we have... the end. HORRIBLE. EVIL. CLIFF-HANGER. Also, one that in no way did I see coming. Since I was reading it on the Pulse It website, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that the book was nearing its end and thought it would all wrap up with a pretty bow. So not the case. Evil, but awesome, awesome set-up for Book 2.

Interested in incarnation? Try The Alchemy of Forever.

Cover Comments: I like the multiple copies of Sera... nice visual representation of her many lives. The colours look well together as well and apparently the book is rather spiffy in person.

4.5 stars

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Library
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: July 5, 2011

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller-coaster life and lives to tell about it--in live television interviews, of course.

I always think that modernizing Shakespeare is a tough thing to do. I've read a few attempts and none of them have completely won me over. Unfortunately, while there were some things that I liked about Falling for Hamlet, there were also some I could have done without.

Ophelia was an interesting character. She's barely present in the original Hamlet but the star of the show in this modern version so I was very curious to see how that would play out. Michelle Ray did a great job of incorporating her into the story but I'm just still not sure exactly how I feel about her. On one hand, she had her definite moments of strength and especially towards the end, she took hold of her own life. Then though, at other times, it was completely the opposite! I really wish she would have told Hamlet where to go a few times. Also, why does her life revolve around Hamlet? I understand he's going through a tough time but I can also completely understand why Ophelia's friends were annoyed with her ditching them for Hamlet all the time.

Besides Ophelia (and Hamlet) -- although they both have their good points as well -- I liked the characters. They weren't all exactly likeable (Hamlet's mother for example is a real angel) but they were realistic and tailored well to the story. I especially liked Horatio and the dundunduuun evilness of Hamlet's uncle.

The pacing of this novel was a little off to me. I found the first half to be going at a fairly steady pace, with a big emphasis on the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet, but then the second half seemed to speed up considerably. Suddenly it was like so many things were happening and while I understand this is actually what Hamlet is like, I wish there would have been more... changes. I want to read a new take on the original play, not a modernized version in prose.

The police transcripts were an element I liked, even though I found them a little bizarre and often rather unnecessary. They brought something fun to the story and I laughed at Ophelia's snark quite a few times! The same goes for the TV show.

The dialogue of this book was snappy and there were some great twists to the original lines to make them fit into the story, which I loved.

Cover Comments: I reaaaally like that throne. It's so pretty and the details are great. I'm not really sure how I feel about Hamlet and Ophelia in all their black and white glory but it's generally not a style I appreciate.

3.5 stars

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

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:
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Add it:
Publisher: HarperCollins (Katherine Tegen)
Release Date: March 13, 2012
High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.

So from the summary, I'm guessing that this book is kind of like a prep school Robin Hood which is just full of potential. It sounds really fun and also like it could have some good serious moments! I can't wait to read this one :)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Why Fantasy Rocks

I love fantasy. I used to read a lot more of it before -- like years ago -- and I don't really know why I stopped. Just a disclaimer up front, I am in no way an expert or even very well-read in this genre. I'm just a fantasy lover.

What inspired this post? I'm reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore right now (yeah, yeah... I'm a little late to the party) and I am SO IN LOVE. I feel like I need an outlet to gush and what better place than here? Obviously these things don't apply to all fantasy novels.

The Things About Fantasy that

1. There are maps!

For a kid that can barely remember the capitals of all the provinces and territories of Canada, I sure have an inexplicable adoration for maps. I LOVE when fantasy novels have those maps at the beginning of the book with all of the different kingdoms/territories/countries/whatever. It's so cool to flip back at the end and be like gleefully tracing a route that the characters took. FUN.

(The settings in fantasy period are amazing... no question.)

2. There are girls! They do stuff!

Maybe this is a less common trend than I think it is. You'll have to forgive me if it is, because I grew up on a steady diet of Tamora Pierce and you just try and mess with Kel! (Kel is my favourite forever, end of contest.) I love seeing the women bust out their swords and bows or even maybe just their minds to help things get done. They are awesome and brave and strong and I just have so much love for it.

3. There is fighting!

In real life, I hate fighting. I can't stand it at all. In novels though? I have to admit that it's pretty fantastic when the swords are drawn and the battle commences. It's exhilarating and oftentimes superbly written (again, not an expert by any means). It's also at these points that trying to get me away from the book to do anything besides like breathe becomes a battle in itself.

4. There is magic!

I haven't made it a secret that I love magic on this blog (at least I don't think I have). Fantasy tends to be so charged with it and it amazes me every time. All of the discrimination and the battles of wills. All of the control aspects and the mastery of a certain skill. It's all so exciting every single time. I love it.

5. The sequels have purpose!

You know what I'm talking about, right? There are those genres that seem to have more of a tendency -- certainly not with every book -- to add sequels for the sake of adding sequels. I don't generally find that to be the case with fantasy. Does that mean that the series would be incomplete if it was cut off after the first book? Maybe not. It just has more of a feel that there are still (new) things to be explored and enough plot left over for a book just as thrilling as the last.


Well, those are some of the reasons I love fantasy. I'm sure I've forgotten some pretty huge ones though! Thoughts?

*Y'all are SAINTS for putting up with this crazy lameness. I'll stop now, I swear!

Also: I said the word 'love' NINE times in this post. I kid you not.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest by Julie Cross

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Raincoast Books for review
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Hardcover, 334 pages
Release Date: January 17, 2012

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Wow. If you are into fresh, exciting reads, Tempest is the book for you. I loved it!

I have said it probably ten times by now but just in case you missed it, I LOVE TIME TRAVEL. I am completely enthralled by the idea of it and the possibilities and the likelihood and just... everything. Julie Cross definitely puts her own spin on it and I really felt like she had set up the world nicely so that there were no gaping plot holes or anything (yay!).

Jackson is pretty much the perfect boyfriend... he can waltz with his girlfriend while simultaneously reciting poetry to her. Not bad, huh? Except, Jackson doesn't really come across as "perfect" to me. Sure, there seem to be some pretty awesome perks to dating him, but his voice comes across as quite a normal teenager. It was nice to be switch into a male's perspective for this story -- not that I don't adore my heroines, but you know, variety is the spice of life.

As for the other characters, they were likeable enough. There were moments when I really, really liked Holly and then others where I wasn't as enthusiastic. Again though, I think all of the supporting characters were reasonably well-done.

Except Adam. I kind of have an inexplicable love for Adam.

Exciting jumps between time, mysterious powers and an ending with just enough loose ends to make you wish for the sequel are just a few of the things you can expect from Tempest.

Cover Comments: Dramatic! I really like how this cover is done but I guess I shouldn't be surprised since apparently it's shot by the same person that did Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush cover (which I also love). This is actually a scene from the book, too! That's always a nice bonus.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Love Triangle Debate

As you probably know, the February Valentine's Event (hosted by Brodie of Eleusinian Mysteries and Lisa of Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me) is going on RIGHT NOW! There are hot boys and prizes and cute boys and interviews and gorgeous boys and.... yeah. You get the picture.

For the debate of Luc vs. Gabriel (from the Personal Demons series by Lisa Desrochers), I was lucky enough to host Gabriel.

Now, guys. I know he is a total underdog. I was totally aware of that going into this. I looooove Gabriel though and I hope I'm not the only one! I won't say much because hopefully what I mean got across in my post but I just... love him.

To see my post, as well as the one for Luc, go here:

Monday, 6 February 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Raincoast Books for review
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 390 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is a wonderfully unique book, brilliant and entrancing. Marissa Meyer brings life back to the old fairytale by revamping, well... almost everything.

Now, I'm guessing that most of you are familiar with the tale of Cinderella. While I love it for certain reasons, there are also things that get on my nerves when I'm feeling particularly critical. Like, for example, Cinderella herself. Instead of a somewhat wimpy heroine that can't seem to manage much without the help of a fairy godmother, Cinder in this story is strong and capable. I loved her fiery personality! She isn't afraid to speak her mind, even though she's a cyborg and therefore deemed "second-class."

When Cinder meets Kai (Prince Charming)... she is charmed. Charmed, attracted, shocked -- but not hopelessly in love. I love the direction the author chose for Cinder and Kai's relationship. They start off in a business-related relationship (and tell me, is it not awesome that Cinder is a mechanic?) and friendship blooms from there. They have an easy banter between them and I was really, really rooting for them by the end. Kai is a sweetheart!

The setting? The plague? The possible war? EXCITING STUFF! Cinder is packed with things that are just completely unique and inventive. There are a lot of genres working together here and it's almost a bit overwhelming at times, but for me, it just totally worked.

I didn't want this book to end. I prolonged the read when I came to the last few chapters because I wasn't ready to let it go yet and that is never something I do. I think I've been driving my family and friends a little crazy with all of the talk of this book because it has wrapped its gorgeous pages around my brain and will not let go!


Cover Comments: It's really cool! There's that connection to the original story with the shoe but you can also clearly see the sci-fi aspect as well, which I think is very representative of the novel. Plus, the font is neat.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren which gives bloggers a chance to share the books, swag, etc. that they've received each week.

Ahh, you guys! I had the picture this week, I swear! Sorry for the lack of (much) visual representation. My dad took the USB cord with him to Saskatchewan on a business trip and so I'm out of luck there. It's a shame too since the books I got this week are preeeetty.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Thank you so much to Anne from Unwasted Words for this book! I loved the first one and can't wait to catch up on what's been happening with Elder and Amy :)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
FINALLY! *pumps fists in air* I have been dying to read this one since I first heard of it. My pre-order finally arrived this week. Only question is... why haven't I already devoured it?

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
I saw this one put out early in my local drug store and made a mad dash for it. Gorgeous cover, witches AND some very promising reviews already? I'm excited.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
I'm really intrigued by the concept of this one so when I saw the hardcover on sale at Chapters for like $7, I had to grab it.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This is basically the same story as with Eyes Like Stars - the hardcover was $7. I am pretty ashamed to say I haven't read this yet... and I call myself a fantasy lover. Plus, everyone right now is all, "Bitterblueeee!" so I've been itching to start this series. Fingers crossed that I love it!

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
I bought this for school... it sounds pretty cool!

EDIT: Totally forgot to mention... I also got Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy from Galley Grab (the author tweeted a link).

What was in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Hunger Games Trailer

The new Hunger Games trailer has been released! Have you seen it yet?

I LOVE the trailer. Honestly, every time I see a new picture or read a new interview or see a new clip, I'm more and more impressed with Jennifer Lawrence. That scene with Prim where she volunteers in her place? Amazing. I think she'll be a perfect Katniss. 

And it's February now! We're so close to getting to see the actual movie it's insane. It feels like yesterday that the cast was getting announced but it's almost here! I can't wait to see it.

What do you think of the trailer?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

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:

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Add it:
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: February 28, 2012
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame. 
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
It's not exactly a secret that I adore Lauren Oliver's work and hopefully this one will continue the trend! Delirium was amazing and beautiful, even if it did stomp on my heart and break into a million little pieces at the end.


Ahem. So I'm like, kind of excited for it.

I actually named this one as my top most anticipated novel of 2012 and said that I was terrified for it at the same time. This is still true.

Anyone that's read this already? I'm kind of jealous. How was it? :)