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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)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: 7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer

7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer - 4/5 stars

Okay, so here's the deal: there are books about volcanoes erupting and meteorites hitting Earth and plane crashes where the survivors have to eat people—those are extraordinary crises.

That's not what this book is about. I'm more the ordinary catastrophe type. This second semester of my sophomore year, there are basically 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES: high school, boys, heartbreak, family, job, friends, and the future.

Well, I guess everyone's life is full of ordinary catastrophes. These are mine. Hi, I'm Gert Garibaldi. Welcome to my crazy life.

Gert is probably the first to admit that she's a bit of a spaz. Maybe that's why I could relate to her so well? Her narrative voice is super quirky and hilarious and she likes to go on semi-wild tangents which usually had me giggling. I brought it with me to the beach and it was a perfect, lighter beach read. I kept interrupting my friends to read parts of it which is usually the sign of a good book.

My favourite parts of the book were things that I never thought I'd like hearing about - soccer practice! Gert's BFF convinces her to try out for the new female soccer team and to her mortification she actually makes the team. Her descriptions of the practices had me laughing out loud.

The plot of Seven Kinds feels like a highschool year. It has its ups and downs and the climax of the book really isn't what you think it will be. While there is boy drama, it's unresolved at the end which might point towards a sequel or may just point towards realistic high school experience.

If there is another semester of Gert in the works, I'd love to read about it!

Recommended to fans of Ruby Oliver (while I'm only a few chapters in to The Boyfriend List, Gert's neurotic voice sounds a lot like Ruby).

Seven Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophe hits shelves April 5th, 2011.

(reviewed from an ARC. Thanks Random House!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Back on Monday!

I was on vacation last week and while I had posts lined up for the week I was away, when I got back I had those post-vacation blahs and didn't have the energy to post anything this week. Things will be back to normal next week though with reviews of 7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophe by Amber Kizer and Body At the Tower by Y. S. Lee.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

 Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - 4/5 stars

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Rarely have I seen alternating POVs done quite as effectively as in this book. Brittany and Alex are from such different worlds that it's easy for them to dismiss the other as rich and snobby or a gangbanger loser. It could be easy for the reader to do likewise except then you see into the other person's life and it's clear that they're not a two-dimensional stereotype. 

[spoilers here on in]
It was easy to fall in love with the building chemistry between Brittany and Alex and then when they actually kiss for the first time - phwoar! I haven't read about characters with this much chemistry in a long while. While the ending might have been a bit cheesy and over the top, it was exactly what I wanted for them. 

Overall, I really loved Perfect Chemistry. It gave a really interesting look into latino gangs and the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

(reviewed from a library copy)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

So I finished If I Stay by Gayle Foreman just last week. I read it pretty much in one sitting - it's actually rather short - and even though I was pretty emotionally drained afterwards, I pretty much immediately wanted more. Lucky for me the sequel, Where She Went, is out soon. Unlucky for me it's not here NOW.

[if you haven't read If I Stay, this whole thing is pretty much going to be spoilery. Consider yourself warned!]

the premise: It's three years after the accident, after Mia walked out of Adam's life forever (I KNOW. WHAT?!). She's a star at Juliard and his band has really taken off. When Adam gets stuck in New York, chance brings Mia and Adam together for one night. Can they rekindle their love?

why I'm dying to read it: I really love stories where couples try to make things work again, especially when it's a couple like Mia and Adam. Not only does it feature awesome characters, Where She Went also takes place in my favourite city - NYC. I'm fairly sure I'm going to love it.

how long I have to wait: Until April 5. *sigh*

while you're waiting check out: Read the first book, If I Stay, if you haven't already. It's pretty much amazing. Have tissues on hand, though!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston - 4/5 stars

In Dust City, Weston asked the question, 'what if Fairy Tales were real? What if those characters evolved? What would that look like?' The result is a civilisation divided into hominids (humans, elves, goblins and the like) and animalia (everything else from wolves and foxes, to ravens and frogs). The fairies have seemingly left the building and their once powerful, life-changing fairy dust is sold on the street and by huge pharmaceutical companies for everything that ails you. The more expensive, the longer the effects.

When Henry, son of the big bad wolf, finds a letter from his dad implying that he was framed for double homicide (Little Red Riding Hood and her gran) by being forced to take bad dust, Henry breaks out of juvi to find out the truth behind his father's crime and whether the fairies have really left.

Naturally he's joined by a cast of characters including a giant, a she-wolf Fiona and a hominid, Jack (yes, that Jack with beans and all). While the premise may sound a bit camp, the actual novel is a gritty urban tale where fairy dust is equivalent to something like cocaine. Henry infiltrates a gang of dust dealers to find out the truth about his father and his various errands around the city make it clear that this is no fairytale.

I really liked Dust City because it reads like a fairy tale mash-up for guys, sort of like Fables (only for a younger audience). The world that Weston has created feels fleshed out and real and while the conclusion of the novel is a bit disappointing (or at least it was for a lover of fairytale happy endings like me), I still really enjoyed getting there.

Recommended for fans of fractured fairy tales and gritty urban fantasy. You can read an excerpt of Dust City on the main website, here!

(reviewed from a library copy)

Monday, February 21, 2011

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:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - Really, really liked this one. Talk about a love story to swoon over. Review coming later this week.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - I knew it was going to be a tear-jerker and it lived up to its name. Really fantastic book. 

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston - Fantastic urban fantasy with a fairytale twist. Review coming tomorrow.

Currently reading:

Seven Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer is pretty hilarious so far. I'm loving the narrative voice and the highschool-ness of it all. 

Up Next: 

I'm in Florida this week on vacation (yayayay!) so I'm just taking my Kobo and not any actual print books. We'll see how I do. These are what I have in e-book to read next (amongst other things):


Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee - I adored the first Agency book and am definitely looking forward to this!
This Girl is Different by J. J. Johnson - I've read the first bit of this a little while ago so am looking forward to picking it up again.
Boyfriends and Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez - I miss reading GLBTQ romances and Alex Sanchez always delivers.

What are you guys reading next?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton 3/5 (liked)

I have to say that in general I'm not a big fan of the paranormal genre and because of this, paranormal books generally have to work a little bit harder to get me to like them. With Darkness Becomes Her, I started out only lukewarm but by the end I was really into it.

Here's what Goodreads says it's about:

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.


I think what really made me like Darkness Becomes Her is the setting. I've loved New Orleans since reading Anne Rice's vampire books. Kelly Keaton made me fall in love with it all over again. I love the idea of New 2 being a hub for outsiders and so naturally that's where Ari feels at home.

Ari herself is both a strong character, but has moments of vulnerability which make her more believable as a character. Sure she's been trained as a bail bondsman so can take care of herself but when she gets locked up in a prison cell, she breaks down and cries like anyone would.

Supporting characters are fairly well done, though her love interest Sebastian starts out all broody and stand-offish and then seemingly does a 180 and is suddenly friendly and helpful. I would have liked that to have been more of a gradual process. I like both Sebastians, I just felt like they were two different characters.

The mythology aspect of it was cool. I hope we see more mythological monsters in future books since I love that kind of stuff (see my love for Percy Jackson). Overall Darkness Becomes Her felt a bit like Percy Jackson for 16 year old girls. (And I should mention that while the f-word sprinkled throughout felt in character, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this one to the same Percy Jackson audience).

This is just the beginning of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to more.

(reviewed from an e-galley - thanks S&S!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

So many people seem to be looking forward to this one that I almost feel guilty posting that I didn't love it. Nevertheless, it's the truth. I actually read this one before I had the blog so I'm reposting my review from Goodreads.

What if you knew exactly when you would die? 

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. 

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. 

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left. 

I liked the concept here even if it requires a major suspension of disbelief - that in the future boys only live to 25 and females only live to 20- but it wasn't really fleshed out all that much. To be fair, given the POV - a sixteen year old girl - maybe she really doesn't know all that much. Or maybe the author's saving that for future books. The whole premise just felt a bit handwavey, especially when you consider that people go through puberty/menopause, etc. at different times.

The characters themselves were a bit two-dimensional. The 'bad' guy seemed really really awful and the 'good' guy was really naive and sweet. The world just seemed like it could be really complex and in comparison, the characters seemed simple.

The book itself is really readable though; I ended up reading it in one sitting despite the flaws. It's really hard to pinpoint why I didn't love it.I suppose I just wanted it to be a bit more sophisticated.  The genetic aspect of it really intrigued me and we really didn't get that many details on that aspect of things.

I've read other good reviews of this one (and other reviews more in line with what I found), so if you're into the dystopian fiction thing, I'd still recommend picking it up and seeing for yourself. (Though if you're looking for dystopian fiction, I'd recommend Delirium by Lauren Oliver over this one).

(reviewed from an e-galley)

Monday, February 14, 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:


Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton - Paranormal Romance type of thing with a mythological twist. I liked it and have a review ready to go for Thursday.

Her and You and Me by Lauren Strasnick - Contemporary drama/romance. I really really loved this one. My review is here!

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan - short snippets of a love story in alphabetical order. Adored it.

Currently Reading:

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston - Henry's dad was the Big Bad Wolf and is in prison for the double-homicide of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Henry himself is on the run from a juvenile detention center and trying to figure out the truth about his dad and the mysterious Fairy Dust that people use to solve all their ailments. So far it's an awesome fractured fairy tale action-adventure. I think it would be  good recommended read for boys.

Up Next: 

I didn't get to two of my reads from last week, so I'd still like to read Perfect Chemistry & Radiance but am also looking forward to...


I still haven't got around to reading If I Stay and with the sequel around the corner I decided I should really read it.

Infinity looks like a fun action-adventure type read and sometimes I need those in my life :D

What are you guys reading this week?

Friday, February 11, 2011

I win! \o/

Some good things that have happened lately!

I won Pluto's Ghost by Sheree Fitch from Just Deb! I got it in the mail a couple weeks ago and am so looking forward to reading this as part of the Canadian MG/YA challenge. If you haven't joined, it's not too late! Pop over to her blog for details.

The other thing: I won a Stylish Blogger award! Hoorah! I put my blog together sort of haphazardly and am still working on a banner for it, so am tickled to receive this! Thank you, Somer @ Bird's Eye Review!

As part of winning, I have to tell you 7 things about myself. Here are seven non-book-related things:

  1. I have a lovely trouble making cat called Ziggy 
  2. I was a 'band' geek in highschool and played cello
  3. I really enjoy watching White Collar, Castle, Doctor Who and sometimes Glee
  4. New York is probably my favourite city and I've visited it once a year for the past three years
  5. My favourite Canadian city is probably Toronto and I visit it much more often than once a year
  6. I love art and have a membership to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (hence the visits)
  7. I write creatively in my spare time but it's not something I really think I'll ever make a living out of.
There we are! Now to pick 15 5 stylish blogs... (I don't follow that many blogs!) 

  • Thank the awesome person who gave you the award
  • Post 7 random things about yourself
  • Give the award to 15 (or however many) other blogs
  • Contact the blogger and let them know they have won!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Read My Review: Love

I'm a sucker for romance and I'm surprised that I haven't reviewed more romance books. Soon, my pretties! One book that comes to mind when I think about love is Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Check out my review and you'll see why! 

If you want to participate, click the above picture to check out the other reviews.

Review: Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick

Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick - 4/5 stars

I met Fred first.
Fred: Hot. Enigmatic. Alex’s first friend in her lonely new town. Maybe her first…everything.
I met Adina the following Monday.
Adina: Fred’s twin sister. Cold. Troubled. Trouble.
I kissed him.
She pressed her mouth to my mouth.
People warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, but Alex is drawn to them. She wants to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences.

Not gonna lie, I was sort of hoping for some polyamorous action (spoiler!) but while that didn't happen, I still really really enjoyed this. The writing style is sparse, which is my favourite kind, and really pulled me in. The chapters are short and have a sort of moody disconnectedness sometimes but that was perfect for the atmosphere of the novel. 

At 171 pages, it's a fairly quick read but that's not to say that nothing happens because lots happens. Adina is the perfect crazy protective/jealous sister and Fred is protective of her too in his own way. While Adina is anorexic, Fred seems unwilling to come to terms with it. With an absentee father, they're left to their own devices and as a result are very insular until they meet Alex.

I found the relationships between the twins, between Alex and her mother and her father believable and more fleshed out than you would think, considering the page length. Alex's narrative voice is slightly snarky and pitch-perfect teenage girl. When Adina makes a comment about Alex's weight (because, let's face it, she's a bitch), Alex starts to feel self-conscious (until she realizes that not eating = crazy person).

I wish I would have swooned a bit more over the relationship between Fred and Alex but as it is, it is a rather sweet friendship that develops into something more. This is less a romance and more a story about friendship (and crazy twins). 

Overall - really loved the writing style. Wish more YA authors wrote like this. Reminded me slightly of Francesca Lia Block and I don't know why because it's not as imaginative as FLB but maybe the short chapters? No idea. Either way, pick this one up if you have an hour to spare - honestly, it won't take you long and it's a good read. 

(reviewed from library copy)

Wednesday, February 9, 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 Waiting on Wednesday is Huntress by the fabulous Malinda Lo and is the sequel to Ash.

the premise: nothing too unusual - nature is all out of whack so two seventeen year old girls are chosen to go visit the Fairy Queen and figure out what's going on. (Really? Teen girls? Oh well, we all know they get shit done). Naturally everyone else in their party is useless and the girls begin to rely on each other and fall in love but do they have what it takes to save the kingdom? And are they willing to do what it takes even if it means tearing them apart?

why I'm dying to read it: I really enjoyed Ash and this one sounds even better. Action adventure + romance? Yes please!! I didn't find the romance in Ash particularly swoon-worthy so I'm hoping Huntress will be a bit more intense. (Plus, have you seen that cover? SWOON!)

how long I have to wait: April 5th - enough time to reread Ash!

while you're waiting check out: Definitely check out Ash and if you like your romance with a side of action/adventure, also check out Fire by Kristin Cashore.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul. 

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once. 

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.


Angelfire is a bit of a tricky book to write a review for because there were things that I liked a lot and then there were things that I wish had been edited out.

For instance: empowered female who can literally kick ass but then dresses up as a 'sexy' nurse for Hallowe'en.
For instance: cool fight sequences but with villains who monologue cheesily through them.
For instance: cool, funny, smart BFF who all but disappears by the end of the book.
For instance: hunky Guardian (think Watcher a la Giles, only younger & hotter) but... no wait, there is no bad there. Will was all good. *grin*

Overall it was a bit hit and miss with me. I do think it will have enormous teen appeal and I almost wish it didn't have so much underage drinking/swearing so I could recommend it to younger kids but as it is, it's true to the highschool experience (well, as true as Ellie's experience can be).

With all the fight scenes and that, it would make a good videogame or film, I thought. With the way Hollywood is picking up rights to YA books lately, that may be a reality soon.

Angelfire is the first book in a trilogy.

(reviewed from ARC provided by publisher - Thanks, HarperTeen!)
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