Recent Reviews

Free DHTML scripts provided by
Dynamic Drive

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week hosted at Book Journey, Post the books completed last week, the books you're currently reading, and the books to be read this week. Please comment or leave a link to let me know what you're reading this week!

Read This Week


Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade - Read in one sitting. Was thoroughly charmed and can't wait for the next one.
Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly - Overall, really liked. Found the romance stuff a bit too over the top but that could be personal taste. Review probably coming later.
Addie on the Inside by James Howe - Really liked it. A fitting tribute to Addie. Review coming Thursday. 

Currently Reading

I am between books! I literally just put down Ghost and the Goth, so now I need to find something else to sink my teeth into.

Up Next:


I still have these two lovely ARCs to read. I've heard such good things about both that I'm rather excited.

What have you been reading?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we basically whine about the books we want to read NOW. It's hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Today's book, Corsets & Clockwork is jam-packed full of some of my favourite authors and steampunk to boot!

I'm a bit disappointed they didn't choose some gorgeous dress for the cover or a fantastic steampunk costume of some sort but I'll live.

the premise: 13 steampunk romances by some of YA's hottest authors.

why I'm dying to read it: I'm sorry, did you see the above? Also, it has Kiersten White in it so I'm hoping this will tide me over until Supernaturally hits shelves.

how long I have to wait: Until the end of April (and then until the library processes it, unless I decide to buy it, which I might).

while you're waiting check out: Hrm... it's hard to think of a good readalike for this one. There aren't many YA steampunk books and the ones that are YA don't have tons of romance in them. So I suppose I'd recommend checking out Soulless by Gail Carriger which is an adult steampunk book with romance as well as kick ass women.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Audiobooks and a review: White Cat by Holly Black

On Audiobooks...

I listened to my first audiobook! I'd tried it in the past but found that I either tuned out or wanted to fast-forward through the weighty descriptions. I can't remember which book it was, but it wasn't the right book for my to be listening to on audiobook, clearly.

When I heard that Jesse Eisenberg had narrated White Cat, I downloaded it from my library to give it a try. I'd just seen Social Network and thought Jesse's performance was amazing. After poking around and watching interviews with him I am now completely charmed! Anyway, since White Cat was on my TBR list anyway, I gave it a try.

At first I admit that I did have trouble concentrating and kept tuning out (luckily I had read the first few chapters before so it didn't matter). When I did get into it though, I really enjoyed it. I was able to do dishes and read! I was able to sew and read! It was fantastic and Jesse's narration was perfect too.

The downside of course is that it takes so much longer to listen to an audiobook than it does to read, at least for me. On a Saturday when I was doing chores anyway though it was perfect.

Now for my review of White Cat...

White Cat by Holly Black - 4/5 stars

Holly Black said in an interview, that she was trying to think of a different system of magic. The 'apprentice' style had been done and the academic or school model had been done so she modeled the system of magic in her novel after organized crime. It works better than you'd expect and injects a new level of danger into the world.

It took me a little while to get my head around this style of curse working - that it's illegal to 'work' someone and the poltiics of the different crime families but once I did I really enjoyed the novel.

White Cat has mystery, intrigue, black market magic and a thoroughly charming narrator. Of course Cassel is a con man so it's no surprise that he's so charming.

I also really loved the family dynamics of White Cat. They're complicated and messy and never easy which of course just adds to the drama and mystery.

Overall, once I warmed to White Cat, I really enjoyed it. Holly Black is a master of her craft and she really shines in White Cat.

Definitely recommended to those who love a good con or want some magic with a twist.

(reviewed from an e-audio copy downloaded from my library)

Review of Red Glove to come Thursday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week hosted at Book Journey, Post the books completed last week, the books you're currently reading, and the books to be read this week. Please comment or leave a link to let me know what you're reading this week!

Read This Week


Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal - It was pretty good. A little different than what I was expecting but good. 

White Cat by Holly Black - I started this last year when it first came out but didn't finish it. I really like Holly Black's books and I had a feeling at the time that I would pick it up later and really enjoy it and I was right. I actually listened to this one on audiobook, narrated by Jesse Eisenberg who did a really good job. Review coming later in the week, I think.

Red Glove by Holly Black - Read pretty much in one sitting. Was completely spoiled getting to read White Cat and Red Glove back to back. I hate that I have to wait for the next one.  

Currently Reading

Got distracted by the genius that is Holly Black but I am still reading these two: 

Addie on the Inside by James Howe - It's my book at work and I've been busy enough that I haven't touched it much since last week.

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly - Really interesting premise and a good start so far. About halfway through.

Up Next:


The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade - I just picked this up at the library after having looked forward to it for a long time. Sometimes it's fun to read something light and I think this will fit the bill nicely. 

Leap by Jodi Lundgren - I got this Canadian book a little while ago and it's been sitting sadly on my TBR pile so I'm hoping to get to it this week or next.

What are you guys reading?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine by Lauren Myracle - 5/5 stars

Sixteen-year old Cat has pushed everyone away from her. She used to have friends she could count on but a few years ago she endured a secret trauma and felt unable to reach out to anyone. When her former best friend Patrick is brutally assaulted and left for dead, she is determined to make things right and find out who did this. In a small town where nothing is as it seems, this proves to be near impossible.

I don't know what I was expecting from Shine, but it definitely wasn't this gorgeously written novel that moved me to tears more than once. While I've never lived in a small Southern town, Myracle's portrayal of Black Creek feels spot on.  There's a sense of hopelessness that a lot of these characters feel that leads to a culture of drug use and secrets (and of course lots of gossip and speculation). One of the novels strengths is that each character is really well fleshed out and by the end, you really feel like you could drive to Black Creek and find each one of them.

There's an underlying sense in this small town that even though Patrick was a nice kid, because he was gay he deserved what he got which makes it difficult for Cat to solve the mystery of who assaulted Patrick. Eventually she gets help from an outside source - a college student who used to stop by Patrick's work and chat with him. Cat and Jason's unlikely partnership of course grows into something more and like many readers I did find it unnecessary but I did like their friendship a lot and was glad that Cat had someone outside of her small town to count on.

The actual mystery of who brutally attacked Patrick is in fact solved by the end and while I guessed at the perpetrator, I was still surprised by the climactic ending. It has fantastic build-up and is definitely worth some of the slower parts in the novel.

Overall, Shine is a fantastically written portrayal of a small town with lots of things to hide. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it win some awards this year. As far as I'm concerned it deserves them all.

(reviewed from ARC from Netgalley).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we basically whine about the books we want to read NOW. It's hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Today's book is a companion book to another book that I really enjoyed, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

the premise: Lola is a fashion designer with a plan. Everything is awesome (including her hot rocker boyfriend) until her past comes back to haunt her in the form of former next door neighbours. Now she has to reconcile her feelings for the boy next door.

why I'm dying to read it: Even if I hadn't read Anna and even if the cover wasn't adorable I really love the idea of the reappearance of people who mean a lot to you. I like the idea that people can come back into our lives later when we're different people and maybe things happen differently. I hope it's that kind of book.

how long I have to wait: Approximately forever. Or, you know, until September 29th.

while you're waiting check out: Anna and the French Kiss is a really sweet romance and I highly recommend it! For another awesome girl with a rockstar (ex)boyfriend who falls for an unlikely boy, check out Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - 4/5 stars

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, cougars are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.


So I was very pleasantly surprised by this one! The teens at my library love Kelley Armstrong which is awesome because not only is she Canadian, she's from my province. Let me tell you some of the things I loved about The Gathering:

  • unapologetically Canadian! Uses terms like 'cougar' instead of 'mountain lion', for instance, and takes place on Vancouver Island. That being said, I still think it will appeal to American readers (the same way American books still appeal to my teens). It was just nice reading a Canadian book that didn't try to be American.
  • Really great main female character! Maya felt three-dimensional because she had interests like taking care of animals and was interested in her native heritage. She's smart but not annoyingly so. She's strong but that doesn't mean she doesn't feel things or have a vulnerable side.
  • Native heritage! It was cool reading about the various native myths and learning more about Maya's heritage. Hopefully this will be further explored in future books.
  • No love triangle! Maya's friend Daniel is just that - a friend. I hope that doesn't change in later books.
  • Not the same ol' paranormal -  I won't spoil you with what the paranormal twist is in this book, but suffice to say we haven't really seen it before and I think it's fairly well done.
  • Doesn't end on a cliff-hanger! There are definitely loose ends and things to figure out but the first book wraps up nicely and didn't leave me wanting to throw it across the room. 
Overall, loved it! Recommending to paranormal fans and fans of Canadian YA.

(reviewed from an ARC provided by the publisher)

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It's been a while since I've done this! Let's try again, shall we?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week hosted at Book Journey, Post the books completed last week, the books you're currently reading, and the books to be read this week. Please comment or leave a link to let me know what you're reading this week!

Read This Week

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - Really good! Review coming! 

Currently Reading

Addie on the Inside by James Howe - Totally Joe is one of my very favourite GLBTQ books, and actually one of my favourite books period so I was looking forward to another book in this 'verse and James Howe does not disappoint!

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly - Another angel book? I wasn't going to read this one until I read about the angel assassin. Just started it today and already really loving it. 

Up Next:

I honestly have no idea. I have an embarrassment of ARCs right now so it will be whatever snags my attention next. Here are some in the running:


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - looks super hilar and fun.
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell - I've heard nothing but good things about this book.
Abandon by Meg Cabot - I'm on book three of the Princess Diaries and really sort of loving Meg Cabot! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher - 4/5 stars

Logan is getting over a bad break-up. Still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend who he dated for three years, he isn't expecting to fall for another girl but that's what happens when Sage moves to town. She's completely unlike any girl he's ever known - bold, funny and vibrant but with super strict parents. Logan doesn't get why her parents keep her completely sheltered while her sister is able to date and go out until they kiss and Sage shares her secret with Logan - she wasn't born a woman.

Logan, still reeling from the shock, says some pretty hateful things that he immediately becomes to regret but will he ever see Sage the same way again? And if he does, does that make him gay?

It was really interesting reading Logan's reaction to Sage. Logan, who comes from a small town, who has never even met anyone gay, let alone transgendered, doesn't know how to handle it at all. His journey from being disgusted to realizing that Sage deserves his understanding and compassion feels completely realistic. Katcher doesn't shy away from Logan's honesty, even when he's thinking pretty awful things that are painful to read and it makes his final acceptance that much more meaningful.

Sage herself is really well written too and her experience is unfortunately not the exception. I completely ached for her the entire time. I wish we got more of her story.

Overall, Almost Perfect felt like an honest, raw potrayal of the transgender experience. Definitely recommended.

(reviewed from an e-book borrowed from my library)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee

Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee - 4/5 stars

This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.

First off, if you haven't read A Spy in the House, get thee to a library! In her second adventure, Mary is just as complex, clever, and for lack of a better word, kick ass. She has to disguise herself (again!) as a boy to sneak onto a construction site and almost has her cover blown the very first day. What's that? A flawed character who makes mistakes but then learns from them? Yes please! 

I could almost write this entire review about all the things I love about Mary - her fierce independence! her conflict over her racial identity! how adorable she is when she gets accidentally drunk! - but really you should just read the book and fall in love with her yourself. 

Everyone's favourite Victorian engineer is back - James! And of course the romance is just as heated as in the first book. Victorian romance is almost hotter than contemporary romance just because you know every improper move they make is a Big Deal. 

The plot itself seems simple - murder on a tower - but like the first book, nothing is as simple as CSI makes it out to be. Everything unravels with twists and turns, leaving the reader struggling to figure out what is going on just like Mary. While you might guess at the cause of the murder, it's really only revealed in the climatic scene - the way it should be in a mystery. 

Overall, another rockin' Victorian spy mystery. Can't wait for the next one! 

Recommended to fans of historical fiction who want a bit of a twist. 

(reviewed from a library copy)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...