Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Publisher: G. P. Putnam
Pages: 326
Received: Received from Razorbill Program

Release Date: February 7, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My Review:

This book was absolutely amazing! Right from the beginning I was definitely in love, it's been awhile since I've read a book about witches and this one is the best one. This book was definitely an introduction into the world of Cate and her sisters, Jessica really has you understand what they are going through trying to keep their secret.

I really loved the feel of the sisters interaction throughout the story. Jessica does a great job of bringing to the forefront of what happens to families when the mother dies when the children are at a young age. It is a real feeling of the oldest daughter taking over the motherly role. The interaction between the sisters is definitely real, and helps you connect with everyone. Jessica introduces the characters and really dedicates this book to getting to know everyone and understanding how they work, this is definitely not an action story.

There was a little mystery added to the story as well. It was fun meeting all the characters and feeling like you don't know who to trust throughout. Everyone seems to have their reasons for befriending the sisters, yet you don't know why. Everyone seems to have their own secrets and you just can't tell who is really there to help Cate and her sisters throughout, it definitely makes for an interesting read! I am really interested to see where Jessica takes this in the next book.

The ending of this book also really took me by surprise, I was not expecting what came at all. Jessica sets up the next books in a great way, and I am excited to see what happens next. There were a few parts about the ending that I did not like and I wish that there were a few other things that happened, but I can't go into it without giving away spoilers. This is definitely a book to check out, with the supernatural in the olden times.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 479
Received: Borrowed from library

Release Date: January 1, 2008
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

My Review:

I decided to look into this book because it was a Goodreads recommendation, and I am so glad I did. I can now officially vouch that the recommendations they give are great! I absolutely loved this book! Patrick Ness's writing is amazing! The whole story is told from Todd's perspective, at times I felt that Todd was actually writing the story himself because the way Patrick writes shows that Todd is not able to read (a lot of the words are written in phonetics rather than proper spelling). As a reader you learn things along with Todd which is fun, because there is a lot of mystery to the story that keeps the story going.

The world building in this story is well done, a world where it is impossible to keep secrets is such an interesting concept. We begin by only knowing about one settlement, but soon learn there are many different places and each place has their own way of dealing with the 'Noise'. It's interesting to go on the adventure with Todd and learn about these people.

There is also a lot of mystery to the story that you can never really figure out. As Todd and Viola travel through each of the settlements you find out that nobody likes people from Prentisstown. Throughout the book you never find out why they are hated until you get to the very end. I found myself continually reading trying to figure out what happened.

This book also had a large amount of action throughout. I found myself enthralled at what would happen next. Right from the beginning Todd gets into a fight with another one of the characters and throughout the entire novel Todd constantly finds himself getting into intense fights with people. They are always edge of your seat fights and it makes the book so much fun. I found that they always came up at unexpected moments, but you do get a little breather between the action before Patrick jumps back into it (and he really does just jump right into the action scenes).

Patrick Ness also did a great job with the relationship between Viola and Todd, he has it slowly evolve throughout the book. With all the books I'm used to reading about this instant love between two characters this was a nice change to see not even a relationship in that way, it just evolves into a close friendship with them helping one another.

This was definitely a surprising read for me and I can't wait to see what happens next. Will definitely be finishing this series!

Similar titles:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday  is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and lets us talk about upcoming books we are excited about.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 2012

When everyone thinks you’re dead, how do you start your life over again?

Emma Tupper, a young lawyer with a bright future, sets out on a journey after her mother’s death: to Africa, a place her mother always wanted to visit. But her mother’s dying gift has unexpected consequences. Emma falls ill during the trip and is just recovering when a massive earthquake hits, turning her one-month vacation into a six-month ordeal.

When Emma returns home, she’s shocked to find that her friends and colleagues believed she was dead, that her apartment has been rented to a stranger and that her life has gone on without her. Can Emma pick up where she left off? Should she? As Emma struggles to recreate her old life, everyone around her thinks she should change – her job, her relationships, and even herself. But does she really want to sacrifice everything she’s working so hard to gain?

I have just recently finished one of Catherine's other books and I thought it was adorable. She is an awesome writer. And the synopsis for this really caught my eye, I love this idea! 

What are you waiting on today?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 448
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: February 7, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Katie Sandford has just gotten an interview at her favourite music magazine, The Line. It's the chance of a lifetime. So what does she do? Goes out to celebrate - and shows up still drunk at the interview. No surprise, she doesn't get the job, but the folks at The Line think she might be perfect for another assignment for their sister gossip rag. All Katie has to do is follow It Girl Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they'll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

Katie takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Katie begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason. Katie has to make a decision -- is publishing the article worth everything she has to lose?

My Review:

I will start out by saying this book is a little predictable for the type of book it is, but with that aside it is definitely an enjoyable and quite an amusing read. The tagline for this book is absolutely perfect for what happens throughout the book. Katie will stop at nothing to get her dream job. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments throughout the book that I could just picture happening in life and I would not stop laughing, for one instance Amber comes into a group meeting dressed in a green tracksuit and basically acts like a frog.

I really enjoy how Catherine describes Katie's descend to hitting rock bottom (I mean really, showing up drunk to an interview! It's hilarious). Catherine does a great job of showing how being a celebrity in rehab can be such a joke to some people. The whole book was a nice comedy of being in rehab and yet Katie learns that maybe she did need to be there. It was comedic watching Katie grow and realize things while in rehab. There were quite a few times where I thought Katie was a little overly ridiculous and you want to yell at her, but yet that's what really brings you closer to understanding Katie.

The whole story is told through Katie's perspective. We really get to connect with Katie as a character, you get to see her have conversations with herself (which is funny in itself, but the way her conversations are make it even more amusing). I really love the ending how Katie manages to make up for everything that went wrong throughout the book.

I found myself yelling at the book because of how ridiculous Katie was at times. You know that "One more drink" line you hear from friends, yeah Katie uses that one a lot! And then there is this whole thing with her family, which was only slightly touched on, I wanted to know a little more about that aspect of her life (one of the only disappointing things of the story). They briefly introduce them while Katie is in rehab, but there is not an in-depth explanation as to why she has not had contact with them in the last few years, and there is not much of a resolution between Katie and her sister, which is something I think should have been noted especially as a part of 'graduating' rehab. Despite that tiny little problem in the plot I did enjoy the story. If you're a fan of contemporary novels I definitely recommend this cute and funny story.

Similar Titles:
In Her Shoes: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (7)

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. So it seems I haven't done an IMM in awhile. I've been so out of it the last few weeks, with getting my wisdom teeth out and then busy helping to put hardwood on the main floor of our house that I haven't really had time to write up what I've received. So this post wraps up what books I have received over the last two weeks.
Grave Refrain by Sarah M. Glover

Netgalley Reads:
                              Starters by Lissa Price              The Bellweather Revivials by Benjamin Wood

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wassermann  Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 338
Received: Bought own copy

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Buy From Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

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

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

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

My Review:

This is another novel that I wish I had read right away. I had to stay up all night because I refused to stop reading it as soon as I started. Tahereh Mafi's writing is like poetry, it's different from what I've read before and that's what makes it so amazing. I found she took my breath away with her writing, she did an amazing job of describing everything that happened to Juliette, and she really makes you feel what Juliette is feeling throughout. I honestly had shivers reading this book it was that awesome!

Her descriptions are absolutely amazing with passages like:

All I know is the sound of boots pounding the pavement, the screech of tires peeling out of underground storage units, alarms wailing in our wake.

The words she uses in these passages are so descriptive, she really makes you feel like you are there hearing all of this.

This book is non-stop action right from the beginning. Tahereh Mafi describes everything to really make the reader feel like they are right there in the action. And then the steamy scenes between Adam and Juliette, all I can say is OH MY! I'm pretty sure I was falling in love myself, and I mean I don't know how I didn't faint from the heat coming off those pages!

I really loved getting to know the characters throughout the novel, Tahereh Mafi really lets you inside the characters minds, and you come to understand what they are about.

I love that the ending is not a heart-stopping cliffhanger, it does not leave you with too many questions, but it still leaves you wanting more right away. I do not want to wait for the sequel, I need to know what happens next! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: The Cyclops Conspiracy by David Perry

Publisher: Pettigrew Enterprises
Pages: 520
Received: Received from publisher through NetGalley

Release Date: February 1, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this engaging thriller, David Perry demonstrates his skill as a master storyteller taking us behind the counter into the world of pharmacy. The Cyclops Conspiracy accelerates through tense terrain toward an incredible finish. As the story opens, pharmacist Jason Rodgers stands nose to nose with his tortured past following the untimely death of his mentor, Thomas Pettigrew. He is reunited with his former lover and Pettigrew's daughter Christine. Troubled by the way Pettigrew died and Christine's unsettling statements about her father, Rodgers pushes to know more. Their reunion initiates a cascade of apparently unrelated but fateful turn of events for Rodgers-an incredible job offer working for a mysterious millionaire, the lustful pursuits of a sexy physician, and the criminal activities of a corrupt pharmacist. With the clock ticking down to a nail-biting climax, he races to stop a plot and expose the conspirators before he becomes their next victim-and before American history is irrevocably altered.

My Review:

I really enjoy mystery and thrillers and this one sounded like a really interesting read being based around conspiracies. This story began in an interesting way for a thriller, right at the beginning you are told who is behind the conspiracy (so to say). At first I thought this was a little weird because I'm used to trying to guess who is behind the events happening. I found it was almost like working backwards through a story, you know who the culprit is but then you are trying to figure out why they are doing this.

There were a few things about the story that disappointed me a little. The first thing was that I found a lot of the story seemed to focus on the drama between Christine and Jason. It felt that the mystery of the conspiracy was a bit overshadowed by the history between these two and the 'will they won't they get back together' plot.

I also found the story to be a little long for everything that was included. I found that it took a little long to get into a lot of the action and I was running out of steam when it came to that part, I slowed down a little bit half way through the story. It did pick up at the end when all the action really started which I enjoyed. The action was keep you on the edge of your seat thrilling, but it just took a little longer to get there than I would have liked. I found there were parts that didn't absolutely need to be included, the search for the answers took too long and there was a lot happening that wasn't necessary (there is some things with Jason's ex-girlfriend that seemed to be just put in there for no reason).

This was an enjoyable read and if you like thrillers with a little conspiracy mixed in you will enjoy The Cyclops Conspiracy.

Other books you may enjoy:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
The Litigators by John Grisham
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, it lets us show off books we are excited about, and are anxiously waiting to dive into.

This week my pick is:
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: April 2012

Synopsis: We join Roland and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. As they shelter from the screaming wind and snapping trees, Roland tells them not just one strange tale, but two--and in doing so sheds fascinating light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother's death, Roland is sent by his father to a ranch to investigate a recent slaughter. Here Roland discovers a bloody churn of bootprints, clawed animal tracks and terrible carnage--evidence that the 'skin-man',

a shape-shifter, is at work. There is only one surviving witness: a brave but terrified boy called Bill Streeter.
Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, 'The Wind Through The Keyhole.'

'A person's never too old for stories,' he says to Bill. 'Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.'

I absolutely love anything by Stephen King and his Dark Tower series was amazing. So when I heard that he is coming out with another one that takes place in the middle of the series I have to jump around. Though I am not one who usually reads .5 books I can't say no to this one. Though I think it means I'm going to have to reread the first 4 books (this one takes place between 4 and 5). And just look at the beautiful cover! Yay for more Roland and the ka-tet!

What are you waiting on today?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 480
Received: Bought own copy

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Buy From Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Review:

I honestly can't believe I waited this long to read this book! It is an amazing story, and a nice fast read. Lauren Oliver sucks you in from the very beginning. What I really love is that this is a story that is all about the characters and there is not a lot of action happening in it, but that's what made it amazing. The plot line of the story is also very unique which makes it that much better!

I love reading about the characters growing throughout the novel. Lena begins to understand more and becomes able to make her own decisions. I also enjoy that Lena does not automatically fall for Alex, she tries to fight throughout most of the novel because of what she was taught, and she is such a strong character. I also love her relationship with Hana, it is the epitome of friendships. Two complete opposites that just help each other (Hana definitely brings out the more fun side of Lena).

I fell in love with Alex as soon as he was introduced. He is absolutely swoonworthy that you are just automatically drawn to him. The moment he was introduced I was like "YES, I want him." He is the perfect male lead for a book. There are so many of his lines that I absolutely love, the best one telling Lena when he first saw her running.

Lauren Oliver's writing style is amazing and she knows how to get inside her characters minds (I love being able to feel what the characters feel while reading). Lauren Oliver creates a new and interesting society in DELIRIUM, she introduces everyone and everything around her and does not leave too many questions lingering in the reader's mind. The ending was amazing and definitely brings you back for more!

You may also enjoy:
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart Macbride

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 496
Received: Received from publisher

Release Date: January 5, 2012
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

The gritty new standalone crime novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of Shatter the Bones and Dark Blood Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret! Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front -- Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last. The tabloids call him The Birthday Boy. He's been snatching girls for twelve years, always in the run-up to their thirteenth birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death. But Ash hasn't told anyone about Rebecca's birthday cards -- they all think she's just run away from home -- because if anyone finds out, he'll be taken off the investigation. And he's sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter's killer gets what he deserves!

My Review:

I have to say Stuart Macbride is a genius with his writing. This is one of the best crime novels I have read! Stuart is such a gritty writer, there were times I wanted to put this book down because I was a tad disturbed but found myself so enthralled with his writing. I also really love the setting of this book (I really enjoy books that take place in other countries, especially the UK) it's fun getting around a new area and getting used to the accents of the characters.

The opening chapter is gruesome and really captures the reader's attention (and he keeps your attention throughout!) While reading I found myself saying, "Okay I think I know who it is", and then I turn the page and come to find out something new and I love that. His characters are so much fun to read, my favourite has to be Dr McDonald because she has such a quriky personality and I found myself always laughing when she was in a scene (no matter what was going on). I found myself picturing a  younger version of Temperance Brennan from the TV show (not the books).

One part of the book makes me have a love/hate relationship with this story and that is the ending! I can't go into detail or else it will spoil it but it was definitely amazing. I absolutely loved it because it does something different from other crime novels, it was so unexpected and usually I find that most always end on the same kind of note. Stuart Macbride definitely takes his story in a different way.

I got to meet Stuart at a wonderful event over at Harper Collins in October and he was so much fun. It's hard to imagine that someone so funny can write such dark things. He was so much fun to listen to (he is definitely a talker!) and he even signed all the books and tried to personalize them (he drew a cat in mine). We even had fun attempting to do a plot map (though we didn't get to far). If you haven't read any Staurt Macbride I suggest you start with his creepy but funny short story "The Princess and the Pervert" (it's hilarious to hear him read it).

I feel like I need to go out and buy up all his other books to see if they are just as good as this standalone novel.

Similar titles:
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Halflings by Heather Burch

Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 272
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: January 17, 2012
Buy From Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Split.After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret---and the wings that come with.A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys' powers, as well as her role in a scientist's dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

My Review:

This book has a new and interesting take on the supernatural. It is not the regular werewolf/vampire story which really interested me. This is the first of a series and Heather Burch does a good job of bringing you into this new world. What I really enjoyed was that the story has a good vs. evil aspect to it and everyone needs to choose one side. But the thing that really got my attention was the science vs. religion aspect of it (I haven't seen this in a novel in awhile and I quite enjoy it).

This story opens up right away with Nikki being attacked, I found myself being intrigued because Heather Burch jumps right into the story. There are a lot of questions I found myself asking while reading the book because there is quite a lot of things that need to be explained that aren't right away. But I enjoyed that because it kept me intrigued and I kept reading because I wanted to find out everything. It takes awhile before the author explains what halflings are which I was hoping to find out a little earlier.

The small thing that got me was that throughout the book there is never much of an explanation of what Nikki is or why she is so special. The halflings mention something in passing but they don't go into much detail. It seems that no one throughout the story understood why she needed protecting and I feel that if they are on a mission to protect her they should know why it is her, it is unusual that they don't know why they are there either. I hope that in the next book more is mentioned as to why Nikki is so important and needs to be protected.

I did enjoy that Nikki is not the average girl that I have seen in most YA books lately (very girlish and boy crazy). Nikki is the complete opposite as that, she is more of a tomboy type who is strong (black belt in karate) and she tries to take care of herself rather than being protected by others. Nikki also does not automatically fall for the good looking guys that show up to the school (there is not the automatic romantic involvement that has been seen in a lot of books). I really enjoy that a relationship does not get started right at the beginning (I would actually say nothing that resembles a relationship even starts). This was an interesting read and I am interested to see where the story will go from here.

Similar books include:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 358
Received: Borrowed from library

Release Date: March 22, 2011
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

My Review:

This book was really interesting, and definitely very enjoyable. What would you do if you knew how long you had left to live, I would try and live my life to the fullest. The world that Lauren DeStefano creates in Wither is intriguing.

There were a lot of questions that I had after reading Wither, like where did this disease come from (it's never really explained). And I really found it hard to believe that there were people who believed in letting the disease take it's course and against finding a cure (if I was in this position I would do whatever I could to have more time). These questions did not take away from the story though, because I know this is a trilogy I am hoping that some of these questions will be answered in subsequent books.

The other problem I had with the book was that I believe Linden is a little to naive for someone who has actually been out to the real world. The fact that he believes everything his father tells him makes him seem more of a child than he really is. Though I still loved him and thought he was adorable despite being too childish. And Lauren writes a great evil character (though I don't necessarily want to call him evil). Linden's father is the perfect creepy for this story and I really got the chills whenever he was described in a scene.

I really enjoyed that this book was about the characters and not a lot of action happening (usually I enjoy the action, but I enjoyed getting to know the characters). Rhine is a very strong character and I enjoy that she is the one that truly takes care of her "sister wives". She is very emotional but that's what makes her stronger in my opinion.

I could not believe the ending, and I am so excited to read Fever to see what happens next!

Similar books include: 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Red Means Run by Brad Smith

Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 320
Received: Won from Goodreads Contest

Release Date: January 10, 2012
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mickey Dupree is one of the most successful criminal attorneys in upstate New York, having never lost a capital murder case. That is the upside of being Mickey. The downside—Mickey has a lot of enemies and one of them drives the shaft of a golf club through his heart, leaving him dead in a sand trap at his exclusive country club.

The cops, led by a dimwitted detective named Joe Brady, focus their attentions on Virgil Cain. Just two weeks earlier Virgil told a crowded bar that "somebody ought to blow Mickey's head off," after the slippery lawyer earned an acquittal for Alan Comstock, the man accused of murdering Virgil's wife. Comstock, a legendary record producer, gun nut, and certifiable lunatic, has returned to his estate, where he lives with his wife, the long-suffering Jane.

It appears to Virgil that the fix is in when Brady immediately throws him into jail with no questions asked. In order to set things right, Virgil escapes from jail, determined to find Mickey's killer himself. Aside from a smart and sexy detective named Claire Marchand, everybody is convinced that Virgil is the culprit. When Alan Comstock is discovered with six slugs in his body the day after Virgil's escape, his guilt is almost assured. Now it is up to Virgil to convince everyone of his innocence—by finding the killer before he winds up being the next victim.


I found this to be an interesting crime/mystery book by a Canadian (something I have not read before to be honest). I really enjoyed the characters that we get to meet throughout the story, especially Virgil Cain himself. He is a sarcastic guy and brings a touch of humour to the book. I enjoyed the idea of Virgil trying to find the killer when everyone already believes for him to be the killer, it always makes for an interesting story.

The problem I found with this book, though, was that there was more focus on Virgil escaping police custody and him just trying to keep everyone off his track. The focus of the story is everyone trying to find him rather than anyone trying to find reason that he may not be the killer. It took too long to get around to anyone looking for clues for a different killer (including Virgil himself).

Another issue I had was that the main cop leading the investigation (Joe Brady) jumps the gun for a cop right at the beginning in arresting Virgil. I just thought there would be a little more search into another suspect but that doesn't come until closer to the very end of the book.

With that being said I enjoyed a lot of things about this book. The mystery of it was written well and Brad Smith does a good job of having you guessing throughout the entire story. I did enjoy the secondary character of Mary, who is a moral character and yet she is so adorable. At the beginning I found there were a lot of characters and different stories to follow, but I did understand they would all come together eventually (which they do at the end). And when they do come together it was actually a nice surprise.

Rating: 3 of 5 comfy couches

Also by Brad Smith

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 400
Received: Received from publisher

Release Date: January 10, 2012
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

My Review:

I was really excited to read this after reading some great reviews. I liked Across the Universe better than this one though. Check out my review of it here. I enjoyed this book quite a bit but there were a few things that took away from the story for me.

The storyline was really good. I really enjoyed the fact that there is all this chaos and revolt on the ship. I also really enjoy how Beth Revis is showing Elder trying to come into control (though this is three months following the end of the last book).

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was the characters, specifically Amy and Elder. I found for someone who was trained to be a leader Elder flip-flopped around with his decisions a lot. I felt that he needed to be more confident in what he was doing. And I found Amy was better in the first book. I felt that in this book she should have had more personality to her. Amy kind of relented easier than I would have expected to Elder and his choices compared to how she acted in the last book.

Amy was also a lot more protective of Elder and what he represented in this book compared to how she was so against the whole system in the last book. Despite these character issues I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book and flew through it wanting to know who was behind everything this time around. The ending also really threw me for a loop in this one. It didn't make much sense as to why it would end like that, but I will see where she takes it in the next book (which is called Shades of Earth). If you liked the first one, you'll still enjoy this one, Beth Revis still writes a great story and keeps readers at bay with mystery and action throughout the story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 comfy couches

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that lets us all show off what we are eagerly awaiting to come out so that we can read it ASAP. This week I'm anxiously waiting for:

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: April 2012


Everything is in ruins. 

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. 

So what does Araby Worth have to live for? 

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. 

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. 

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Does this book not sound amazing?! A plague that killed the population and a survivors trying to get by. I love the idea of this book and can't wait. Let's also add the fact that it is a retelling of a Poe story, this will be amazing! And the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous, I love the red throughout. 

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

I was invited to take part in the second annual Busting the Newbie Blues hosted over at Small Review. This is a great way to get into discussions of what it is like to be a new blogger (or even an old blogger). Here are my answers to the questionnaire for new bloggers:

When did you start your blog?
I started at the very end of October last year, so only been at this a few months. 

Why did you start your blog? 
I decided to start this blog because I enjoyed the idea of being able to discuss books with other people, and just getting to be able to talk books in general.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? 
My biggest challenge has been getting more views on my own pages rather than the memes that I take part in.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? 
The thing I find most discouraging is seeing how some bloggers are able to get so many reviews up and how they keep track of everything they need to read and when to review it. 

What do you find most encouraging?
 I find the people that stop by my blog and comment are the most encouraging, as well as getting tips from older bloggers.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? 
One blog I read Esther's Ever After has a great way of doing her reviews, she gives reasons to read the book, even if it isn't the greatest rating (but no I don't try to replicate that).

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Keep up with what you're doing and don't get discouraged. Also take part in weekly memes as well as visiting other blogs and commenting on their posts.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments. 
I would love to hear any comments people have, or even some more advice for a new blogger. I always try to check out people who comment and try to comment back as well. 

Start of 2012 TBR Challenge

So since it is the beginning of January it is time to start off on the challenge I am taking part of. You can read more about this challenge on my initial post here. I have a lot of classics on my shelf that I plan to read, along with some newer books that I got last year that if I don't read them for this it will be a lot longer until I actually get around to reading them (they are quite large books). So I think this month I am going to start with a couple of classics (my Charles Dickens books I have) and from there move on to some other books. Just a few on my list are:

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Watermelons by Marian Keyes
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

These are what I think I will try for now, though over the year they will most likely change. Good luck to everyone participating!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan
Pages: 387
Received: Won from Chapters/Indigo Contest

Release Date: January 3, 2012
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

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

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

My Review:

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, a modern retelling of Cinderella (which I loved the story as a kid). This story had so much more to it then the Disney Cinderella and is more appealing to YA readers than the other stories of Cinderella. This book is nothing like other books I've read, just read the synopsis and you can guess why. I also enjoy that though it is a modern re-telling (or I guess more futuristic) that it was nothing like Cinderella at the same time, don't expect to see any fairy godmother in this one! The Cinderella part of this story is a small background to the story as a whole.

This book has that strong-willed female character that I've been interested in reading a lot lately. But she also has a strong heart. I loved everything about Cinder, how her family drives her to wanting to get out of there but yet she has a great cast of characters that keeps her strong and keeps her feet planted where they are. The secondary characters are as enjoyable as the main characters (Cinder's friend Iko is adorable and so loveable, I want her in my home). The villain in the story is also amazingly well written. I can't go into detail without giving away the story, but Queen Levana is truly one menacing character and how she acts is interesting. I found the doctor to be an interesting character as well, I was a little disappointed I didn't get to read more about him. I kind of felt that in a way he was sort of the fairy godmother of the story without actually being that.

The setting of New Beijing was a lot like other dystopian worlds I have seen in other books but still interesting. I really enjoyed that the premise of the story was the plague that is taking out the population, I found it made for a more enjoyable story.

The story itself was also amazing. Though some parts were predictable there were a good many twists to this story that I did not see coming. The ending definitely leaves so much more to be desired. Marissa leaves readers with a great cliffhanger, definitely bringing everyone back for more of Cinder. I can not wait for the next one in the series (I'll just say I want it NOW!). This is a book to be read by all!

Rating: 5 of 5 comfy couches!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In My Mailbox Christmas/New Year Edition

Happy New Year everyone! This is my Christmas edition of IMM hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where we get to show off all the goodies we have gotten.

These last couple weeks have been good for me book wise, what with Christmas, and my birthday in the same week. So here is everything I have recently gotten over the past two weeks. :)

I won a Chapters/Indigo contest on twitter, that I got an advance copy of Cinder (which is amazing!) and the first two books of Sailor Moon (yay).

For my birthday my mom got me the greatest thing... The Hunger Games box set. I like all my series to match when I get books so this was perfect. And I've already read through them all, too good to put down!

I got some great books for Christmas as well. Diary of a Player by Brad Paisley (I'm a big country fan, and my sister did a cute theme gift with this and his newest CD). Nostrodomo by Joseph Conrad (haven't heard of it, but I'm really into the classics lately). 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (can't wait to read that, when I find time). And finally, the complete collection of Edgar Allan Poe (I think this one will be a great read, didn't ask for it).

I also got a lot of gift cards for Chapters/Indigo so I took advantage of the 30% off hardcover sale and bought these two pretties. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (which I will be reading very soon so I can take part in all those discussions with everyone).

The last (and possibly best gift) I got was a new bookshelf! Yay for my amazing boyfriend who got tired of hearing my complain about my books being double stacked that he went and got me this. It's so pretty and big!

I also got some great Netgalley titles:

What did you guys get in your mailbox?


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