Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

The 2011 Debut Author Challenge starts tomorrow!! I'm trying to finish up Torment by Lauren Kate so that I can put up a review and get started on my first Debut Author book for the year. I'm excited to be participating in this challenge and I hope I can read all the books I've already put on my list and maybe even more!!

If you want more information about the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, go here and visit Kristi at The Story Siren!

If you have already signed up for the challenge, good luck!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: July 12, 2011

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater.

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

I apologize for there not being a more complete synopsis, but this is all I can find! I’m really excited to read this, the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is at the top of my favourites list. I was ecstatic when Linger came out this past summer and loved it almost more than the first (probably the same amount of love going around, to be honest!). In Linger, I absolutely loved the introduction of Cole and I’m really excited to see how Maggie unravels the myths about wolves and answers the questions she left hanging in both Shiver and Linger. The only problem is that I have to wait until July to get it and read it!!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to this week?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from the second book from author Lauren Kate, Torment! It’s really a great sequel and I’m really, really enjoying it! Here’s my teaser:

Luce was certain Cam was not supposed to know that she was out here in California. Keeping her away from guys like him was the whole point of her relocation. Now she’d blown that.

Torment is the sequel to Fallen (see my review here), about angels, Luce, Daniel, and their cursed love. I honestly think this is a great sequel and that Lauren Kate’s writing is unbelievable. The story is a little bit slow because Luce has to find answers for herself, which isn’t that easy, but it works with the plot-line. I’m really enjoying all the new characters: Shelby, Dawn, Jasmine, Miles, Stephen, Francesca. I really think Miles is such a sweet guy, I hope he doesn’t turn out to be on the wrong side of the playing field (because of course one of Luce’s friends will end up being there). I’m just over halfway through and hope to finish it very soon so I can write a review and let you all know about it!

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I’d love to see what you’re reading.

Monday, December 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

My "mailbox" this week is figuratively overflowing. I got a lot of books from NetGalley, Christmas and the store. For starters, I got a KOBO EREADER for Christmas and I am so excited about it! I totally wasn't expecting my parents to get it for me, but there it was under the tree on Christmas morning! All in all, I have a lot of reading to do....

For Christmas
My Kobo eReader (with accessories!)
$25 GC for Chapters/Indigo/Coles
Bought in-part with GC
Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong {Goodreads}
Haunted by Kelley Armstrong {Goodreads}
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare {Goodreads}
Wings by Aprilynne Pike {Goodreads}

Bought for my Kobo
Room by Emma Donoghue {Goodreads}

For Review (from NetGalley)
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky {Goodreads}
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter {Goodreads}
Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef {Goodreads}

It’s a real variety of books this week, but they’re all ones that I’m really interested in reading. Some are continuations of series I've already started, some I've just heard lots about and sound like good reads, and some I can check off my 2011 DAC list when I read them in the new year! (thanks to NetGalley of course). And I'm really excited that I can also use my (awesome) new Kobo to read titles that I get from NetGalley! I'm pretty sure I did a little happy dance and was beaming when I figured that one out. Better get back to all that reading now! Happy Holidays everyone!

What did you get this week? Did you get any good books for Christmas??

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 Wrap-Up

My first reading challenge ended in a fail, but I’m not too surprised. My list changed a couple times (which you can see by looking through my Past Posts) and in the end it was too long for me to complete. Not only that, but being a university student made it really hard for me because this past semester was pretty hard. I’m hoping that next semester I’ll have better luck finding time to read, rather than constantly doing schoolwork. I know it’s important, but sometimes I need a break!!

This is what my list looks like now, at the end of FIR 2010:
  • Dimestore Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  • Kiss Me Deadly - ed. Trisha Telep
  • Torment - Lauren Kate (currently reading)
  • Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
  • The Little Prince Graphic Novel - Joann Sfar
  • Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber
  • Unearthly - Cynthia Hand
  • The Trouble with Chickens - Doreen Cronin
  • Delirium - Lauren Oliver (currently reading)

Along with these books, I also ended up reading Fractured by Joanna Karaplis because I won it and it was short, so I wanted to get it read and reviewed quickly. I’m actually pretty happy with what I accomplished on this reading challenge! Eight out of thirteen is not too bad for my first reading challenge! If you want to check out my reviews for any of the books I’ve read, check out my sidebar for a full list.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Publication date: April 26, 2011

For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.

I first heard about Tessa Gratton through Maggie Stiefvater (author of Lament, Ballad, and the Wolves of Mercy Falls series). The two are critique partners who call themselves the Merry Sisters of Fate along with Brenna Yovanoff (author of The Replacement). I’ve read some of Tessa’s writing on the Merry Fate’s livejournal, where they take turns writing short stories weekly, and I have really enjoyed her writing so far. The concept of Blood Magic seems really interesting and I think I might enjoy it. I have added it to my DAC list for 2011.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: Fractured by Joanna Karaplis

Sorry it took me so long to review this, I really wanted to do it earlier, but I set some ground rules for myself: no personal reading or blogging until exams are over. This was actually very depressing because I’m about to start reading Torment by Lauren Kate AND I really wanted to write this review because I enjoyed the book so much! Anyway, I am now free from school, so here’s my review!

Title: Fractured: Happily Never After? 3 Tales
Author: Joanna Karaplis
Publisher: McKellar & Martin
Publish Date: November 1st, 2010
Genre: YA, Fairytale
Pages: 119

Everyone knows a fairytale or two. They’re the kind of stories that seem to stick with you. Maybe it’s the magic. Maybe it’s the handsome prince. Or maybe they’re just the absolute perfect place to lose yourself for a little while.

But what would happen if Snow White were around today? Would Cinderella still need a fairy godmother? And would the Little Mermaid show up on YouTube?

Joanna Karaplis has put an unexpected spin on Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid; she’s quietly fractured the stories and then reassembled them for the 21st Century. So, while there may not be a whole lot of horse-drawn carriages and magic potions, you can be sure that there will be at least one evil witch and maybe even a handsome prince (or two)…

Fractured is a collection of three modern day retellings of fairytales. The first is called Snow White and the Seven Dorks, where the main character is an outcast at a small school and she falls in with the “dork” crowd. The second is Cyberella, which is told entirely in blog posts, chat messages, and text messages. Lastly is Swan Song, a retelling of The Little Mermaid about a girl trying to kick start a singing career, but who keeps hitting roadblocks.

The thing about these stories is that the themes are ones that everyday high school students might meet daily: crushes, reality shows, big career dreams, drugs, self-consciousness, and more. Joanna really captured teenage life and made her novel very relatable and realistic. In that same vein, this means that not all stories have a “happily ever after.” Here’s more of a mini review of each story:

Snow White and the Seven Dorks:
What I liked about this one was the ways in which Joanna incorporated the original fairytale. One example was showcased in my teaser last week. She also found a creative way to keep the main character’s name as “Snow White.” The story itself flips back and forth between when Snow first moved to this little town, and a school dance that she is attending with the most popular guy in school. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to Snow and her situation: not making a lot of friends in school and thus wanting to be accepted even more, attracted to the most popular guy in school, and the pressure of using drugs. It made me think about how this is a real life situation for some, and I like that Joanna isn’t afraid to address it in her novel.

This one was a really quick read because of the way it was written in blog posts and text/chat messages. The one thing I had to remember to do when reading is checking the time stamps on each entry, because the story is slightly time sensitive. The story is about Cindy and her friend Matt who get tickets to an exclusive Halloween party where their favourite reality TV stars will be in attendance. Cindy meets her favourite star, but doesn’t know it because the stars, as well as body doubles, are all masked so that attendants can guess who the real stars are. It follows the fairytale in that the reality star doesn’t know Cindy’s name and then tries to find her the next day. Like I said, it’s a quick read and also really cute.

Swan Song:
This story was by far my favourite. It was the longest of the three and I think it really evoked the strongest emotions in me, and potentially others as well. The story is about Adriana, a hopeful singer who is unhappy with her physical appearance and feels that it gets in the way of her chances of becoming a star. She is even willing to go through plastic surgery to fix it. I really liked her best friend, Fiona, who was always supportive of her, but at the same time tried to help Adi see that she didn’t need plastic surgery to be great. She was truly what a best friend should be like. I found this story to be least like the original fairytale. It took me a little bit of thinking about the story to find parallels. I think I was just so encompassed in the story itself that I didn’t have time to think about how it compared to The Little Mermaid. I have to warn you, this one really pulled at my heartstrings and I almost cried. I won’t tell you whether it was out of joy or sadness, but remember you were warned.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes reading fairytales or fracture fairytales, or stories that are really relatable. Joanna was really able to centre this novel in the everyday teenager’s life, which I think is great. It’s a quick read no matter what your reading pace, considering it’s only 119 pages. I definitely recommend picking it up!

Thanks to Goodreads and Joanna for the copy! (won on Goodreads)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

I almost forgot that I was able to do an IMM this week! When I was out doing my Christmas shopping, I ended up picking up a couple books from my local Chapters. Here's what I picked up:

Bought from Chapters
Love You To Death: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries - Crissy Calhoun {Goodreads}
Lament - Maggie Stiefvater {Goodreads}

I heard about The Vampire Diaries Companion book a while ago and was a little interested in it, but I'm usually only a fiction reader and didn't think I'd enjoy it. However, when I was at Chapters last weekend, I picked it up and was flipping through it, so I decided it was time to broaden my horizons and try it out!

I've been meaning to pick up Lament and Ballad for some time because I love Maggie's writing and definitely want to read them. Since I have so many books to read, though, I haven't picked them up yet. While I was at the bookstore I decided I wanted to buy one book for myself, and Lament was one of the first things in my hands.

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publication date: March 22, 2011

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.

This is the book I have most recently added to my 2011 DAC list. I mention in that post I had to add it because I kept hearing about it around the blogosphere and on twitter. It sounds really intriguing. I'm just getting into reading dystopia, but I'm enjoying what I've been exposed to as of yet.

What are upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

This week my teaser comes from Fractured: Happily Never After? 3 Tales by Joanna Karaplis. It’s a collection of three modern day retellings of fairytales: Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid. My teaser comes from the first story, Snow White and the Seven Dorks:

“Hey, Snow,” Jason yells over the noise, passing me something. It’s a pill, small and innocent-looking, white with a tiny blood-red apple stamped on one side.

I chose this because it’s a really good example of how Joanna uses parts of the original fairytales in her retellings. She does the same sort of thing in the other stories as well. I actually just finished reading it tonight. It’s a quick read, only 119 pages, so I made it through pretty quickly. My favourite was definitely Swan Song because it evokes really strong emotions, but if you want to know more about the book and what I thought, head back here around the end of the week to see my full review.

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I’d love to see what you’re reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date: October 19, 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 427
Series: Hush, Hush
1. Hush, Hush (review)
2. Crescendo
3. Untitled

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

I have to start out saying that I didn't enjoy Crescendo as much as I did Hush, Hush. Towards the ending I was more for it, but Nora and Patch both really got on my nerves. I was especially frustrated with Nora. She was never able to tell Patch what was on her mind. She constantly had all these questions and comments that she'd be pondering, but as soon as Patch showed up, it was like she'd totally forget what she was just thinking and ask a bunch of completely different questions. I just wished she could spit out exactly what she wanted to know and get some answers.

Another thing that bugged me about her was the way her trust in Patch totally dissolved from Hush, Hush to Crescendo. She was fine in the start, but as soon as one thing seemed off for her, she lost all trust in him. It was like she was selectively giving him the benefit of the doubt. Where Marcie was concerned, she did, but when she started wondering if he had anything to do with her dad's death, she never did. She didn't think to look anywhere else for answers, she only tried to deny his potential involvement. No matter which way she looked at it, she assumed he had something to do with it and didn't give him a chance.

Vee really irritated me in this book. She can be really funny and it's amusing how ready she is to go along with any of Nora's crazy plans, but as for her opinions on Patch, I wasn't too impressed. I understand she doesn't like the guy, and yes, he was being a jerk, but if I just broke up with my boyfriend who I was crazy in love with, I wouldn't want my best friend to be rubbing in my face how she was right that it wouldn't work out, and that I should go out and look for a new boyfriend. Nora loves Patch and her heart is breaking, but Vee seems totally oblivious to that and really insensitive. That's not what a best friend would do.

The new character, Scott, was definitely interesting. He was the mysterious one in this book and I kind of liked him. I was really interested in learning more about him, but he didn't really get unravelled until later in the book. I don't like him in the sense that I'm "Team Scott", but I think he was a really great character introduced in this book. Because of this, I kind of get the sense that Becca is better at introducing characters rather than really developing them in different situations from those she originally created (I really loved Nora and Patch in Hush, Hush, but clearly not as much in Crescendo).

All that being said, I loved the ending of this book. All the answers at the end had my heart beating like crazy and my fingers flying to flip the pages. The big twist at the end had my eyeballs practically popping out of my head, it was SO good. If you're reading Crescendo and getting frustrated or annoyed with Nora or Patch, just stick it out for the end. It's totally worth it. There is a disclaimer however: mega-super-huge cliffhanger at the end. It's like the season finale episode of your favourite primetime drama show. Seriously. It sucks so hard that the third doesn't come out until October 2011. But I can't wait.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I've decided to give another reading challenge a go. I can tell you now that Fall Into Reading 2010 didn't go entirely as planned for me. The challenge isn't officially over until December 20, but I know I won't have it complete. I will be writing a post after that time (I might not get to it until after Christmas) as my wrap-up FIR2010 post. So keep your eyes on my blog for it, or watch my twitter feed!

This post is to let all of you know that I'm singing up for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren. The premise is that you read at least 12 young adult (YA) or middle grade (MG) debut author books throughout the year. You can read more if you want, but 12 is the minimum. If you are not sure, debut authors are authors who are releasing their first YA or MG novel. If you want to participate as well, or just learn more, you can get more details over here.

Here is my 2011 DAC list:
1. Haven by Kristi Cook
2. Bad Taste in Boys By Carrie Harris
3. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
4. Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
5. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
6. Die for Me by Amy Plum
7. Rival by Sara Bennett-Wealer
8. Entwined by Heather Dixon
9. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
10. Timeless by Alexandra Monir
11. Wildefire by Karsten Knight
12. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
13. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
14. Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

I've decided to go for 13 only because once I'd added my 12th, I started hearing a lot about Wither by Lauren DeStefano and decided I had to add it to my list. I may be adding books as the year goes on, but this is a pretty good start for me. A lot of these books look really good and I'm excited to read them. Make sure you click on the links above to go to their individual Goodreads pages to see what each of them is about.


2011 has come and gone! Here is how I fared in the challenge:

1. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (review)
2. Haven by Kristi Cook (review)
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano (review)
4. Die For Me by Amy Plum (review)
5. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (review)
6. Wildefire by Karsten Knight (review)
7. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (review)
8. True Intentions by Lisa Kuehne (review)
9. Winterborne by Augusta Blythe (review)
10. Six Moon Summer by S.M. Reine (review)

I didn't complete it, but I had fun reading debut YA novels!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

I've been putting together my Debut Authors Challenge 2011 list, and so I was introduced to a lot of new books that are coming out next year. The one I chose for my WoW is one that really caught my eye and I'm pretty excited for!

My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Publication date: July 26, 2011

Ashline Wilde never received an instruction manual on how to be a 16-year-old Polynesian volcano goddess. If she had, it might have contained helpful warnings such as:

• Dreaming about your (thankfully) mortal boyfriend may cause your bed to spontaneously combust
• Oven mitts should be worn at all times during heavy make-out sessions

Instead, Ash has to learn these life lessons the hard way as her dormant powers erupt at the most awkward times. In the wake of a hometown tragedy, Ash transfers to Blackwood Academy, a boarding school nestled in California’s redwoods, where a group of fellow gods-on-earth have mysteriously convened. As if sophomore year couldn’t get any worse, her storm goddess older sister, the wild and unpredictable Eve, resurfaces to haunt Ashline. With a war between the gods looming over Blackwood, Ash must master the fire smoldering within her before she clashes with her sister one final time, which leads us to life-lesson #3:

• When warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Reasons why I chose this:
1. Volcanic Goddess. I mean come on, doesn't that sound awesome? I could stop the list here.
2. Do you see that cover?? It's mesmerizing.
3. It's different from most YA (i.e. vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc.)
4. The author is male, and I feel they are highly under-represented in YA fiction. Plus, he's kinda hilarious. (Click on his name for a link to his blog/vlog)

The only part I don't like, is that I have to wait until the SUMMER to read this! Just one more reason for it to come faster!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm excited to be doing Teaser Tuesday this week, because it's for a book I'm absolutely flying through, regardless of the fact that I'm in my last week of classes. Here's my teaser from Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick:

I wanted to tell Vee everything that had happened after that moment, but as with Marcie, there were some things I couldn't explain to her. How was I supposed to tell her about the Nephil in the red shirt, or how he'd rammed a pool stick through the table?

Crescendo is the sequel to Hush, Hush (see my review here), about Nora and Patch and angels. I have to say I'm not enjoying this one as much as I did the first, but I absolutely loved the first, so I have high standards, I guess. I'm finding both Nora and Patch to be very frustrating and stubborn, and I think that they're just being dumb overall. I think the reason I'm flying through so fast is because I just want their childish games to be over and have everything be happy and cheery again. I'll have a review up in the next couple weeks, so make sure to check back for it!

Feel free to share links to your teasers! I'd love to see what you're reading.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

This week I got a few books that I bought from The Book Depository using my 10% discounts I got from Tynga at Tynga's Reviews and from referring friends (you can still do that up until December 15, so go and check it out!) Here's what came in my mailbox this week:

Bought from the Book Depository
Elixir - Hilary Duff {Goodreads}
13 to Life - Shannon Delany {Goodreads}
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins {Goodreads}

I hope people don't think I'm crazy for not having read The Hunger Games yet. I've heard plenty about them and I know that they are a big fad right now, I just haven't had the chance to pick them up, yet. I don't know when I'll get to these books because I still have so much to read, but I just HAD to use my discount at the Book Depository. I mean, really, who would give up a discount on already very cheap books? (by the way, I think it cost me around $20-$25 for these three books, one of which is hardcover!)

What did you get this week?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Harry Potter and Me! Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This isn't going to be the type review that you typically see. I just wanted to talk about the Harry Potter series and what it means to me. Also, I'll talk a bit about the movies. The focus will eventually be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I started reading the Harry Potter books as soon as the first one came out when I was eight. I'd always been a big reader, preferring curling up with a book to many other activities. I used to sit in the tree in our front yard, reading. But that's another story. I got each book right after it came out, and sped through it. I wasn't one of those kids who would go to the midnight launches, or anything, but we'd be at the store the very next day. When the Deathly Hallows came out, I remember getting my parents to stop at the store on the way back from my cottage so we could pick it up. Then I was half way through it by the time we got home, a few hours later.

Like it does for many people, the Harry Potter series holds a really special place in my heart. Not only did I read them, but once I had finished with a book, both my parents would be next in line. My dad isn't that big of a reader, especially fiction, but I could tell he loved reading those books as much as anyone. Once they'd finished, my little sister would pick it up and sometimes, even my older sister. Both of my sisters aren't very big readers, so it's really great to see Harry Potter getting them excited about books.

Onto the focus of this post: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Unless you live under a rock, you know that the Harry Potter movies are coming to an end, with Part 1 of the final book just being released in theatres on November 19. My tradition, that I've kept since the movies first started coming out, is to read the novel corresponding to the movie, right before going to see the movie. I've done this for every single movie. You can only imagine how shocked I was when I realized that the movie release date was 2 weeks away and I hadn't picked up the book, yet. Some people would think that's plenty of time to read a 600 page book, but with my school schedule, I'm not granted that much time to read. I ended up reading throughout the day before going to see the movie (I couldn't push the movie-viewing back because I was so excited to see it). I knew I wasn't going to finish it and instead made my goal to read to where I thought would be the end of Part 1. I did some research: I asked my friend (who'd seen the movie already) where they'd ended it, but since she hasn't read the books, I still spent about 15 minutes flipping through the book figuring out how far I had to get. I ended up reading until 2:30 am the night before seeing the movie (which was at noon). The best part is that I had read the THE EXACT SPOT where they ended the movie. I definitely did a little happy dance in my seat, and turned to my friend to state that: "I am awesome." I was impressed with myself for reading to the right spot. Over the next few weeks, I finally finished reading the rest of the book.

Here's a quick mini-review for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (though, really, I just want to tell everyone to read it no matter what anyone says):

The final instalment of the Harry Potter series is just as good, if not better than the rest of the books. I remember reading that J.K. Rowling had the last few chapters written since she started writing the books, which I think is great. Since she knew where she was going, she as able to wrap everything up very nicely. Yes, she killed off a few characters and it definitely made me cry profusely, but you can't have a war without casualties, as much as that sucks. She allowed some characters to redeem themselves and show their true colours. I think that's great because it shows the reader that even if someone seems "evil" or bad, they may actually be good on the inside and that they just needed the opportunity to show it. As a future, teacher, this is a great lesson for children and adolescents to learn.

Ok, I honestly don't know what to say to convince people to read these books, if they haven't read them already. They have action, adventure, suspense, mystery, romance, comedy, and more. No matter what type of novel you like, Harry Potter is a great fit for you because it reaches across genres, genders, and ages. If you haven't yet, at least give them a chance. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.

I've only done this once, but with all the great books I keep hearing about, I decided I had to do another! I haven't decided yet, but I might try to keep up with this weekly meme.

My Waiting on Wednesday this week is:
Haven by Kristi Cook
Publication date: February 22, 2011

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet's horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical—and deadly—way.

I first heard about this book in mid-November. It sounds really great because it's right up my alley, but the different twist this time, in that the main character with the paranormal ability isn't isolated without anyone understanding what's going on. In Haven, Violet is going to a school where everyone is the same as her. I think this will allow the story and characters to be more open rather than the typical have-to-keep-it-secret-or-people-will-freak-out deal. Also, it's coming out on my birthday. I think it's meant to be!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?