Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: July 31, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

A funny and uplifting debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood while taking (or not taking) the advice of the women who've gone before you. Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a writing career that’s gotten about as far as penning an online lawn care advice column, and a small hometown in Oregon that’s her last recourse if she can’t make next month’s rent. So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. Not only is she being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women, but she’s also sharing office space with “Secret Agent Romance,” Charm’s resident dating columnist, and he just happens to be giving her butterflies. As Dawn gets to know the life stories of these former winners, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. And even more importantly, she’ll find that though those who have gone before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to carve our own way. Both an insightful look at the trajectory of female experience over the past fifty years and a witty coming of age story, Ten Girls to Watch introduces an unforgettable new voice in women’s fiction.

My Review:

Going into this book I felt like I was reading another chick lit novel, it definitely has all the aspects of that genre. The ex-boyfriend that is still in her mind and the new guy that just shows up in her life. But going through this was much more than any old chick lit, this book was definitely an inspirational novel to a younger generation just coming out of school.

I really enjoyed parts of this novel because I connected so well to Dawn, being in the exact position she is in throughout this book, working hard to make money in a field that is very difficult to break into, Shumway really highlights the challenges that face someone just out of school, trying to make money wherever you can while always questioning if you chose the right path (I actually have a conversation with family members at least once a month wondering if I did the right thing...)

I was a bit disappointed with the story all together though, I felt that Dawn's own story was placed in the background and that there was not much character development. Everything was focused on the winners of the Ten Girls to Watch contest. I understand that this story was supposed to be about the women throughout the years but I still felt that it should have been Dawn's story as well.

This definitely was an inspirational story and I would recommend it to people who are in school and just out of university/college. It was interesting to see these stories of women who had big dreams, some were achieved and others weren't. But how these women got to where they were in the present was beautiful.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Publisher: Viking
Pages: 584
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

My Review:

I have always had a weird fascination with witch stories since I was a teenager so this series really interested me when it first came out. Sadly it took me awhile to get to reading the first book A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (I only got to it so quick because of the chance to read this one). And I'm glad I read these books so close together. SHADOW OF NIGHT picks up right where Harkness left us in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, I love when books do that because I feel like I am still with the story, and I don't have to try to put together a puzzle of what happened before.

Harkness does a beautiful job pulling her readers in to Diana and Matthew's story from the beginning, but I did find this book was able to pull me in to the pages more than the first one did. So much happened right from the beginning and we continually meet new characters throughout. What I really enjoyed was how Harkness added in little glimpses of what the other characters were dealing with back in the future while Diana and Matthew have their problems in the past to get through.

This book gives readers the history of Matthew throughout his years and more information on his family. It was interesting to get more information on what Matthew was like in the past and to find out many of his secrets. Though the biggest thing I loved about the book was the historical aspect added in. Learning something about the School of Night group really kept me gripped to the pages, I really enjoy when there is some historical added in with the magical, it gives history a fun kick.

The only thing that I disliked about the book was its length. I felt like there were a few added scenes that just came across as more filler than anything pertinent to the story. In the end I believe that this book still could have been just as good, even 100 pages shorter. I felt like the story was being dragged on a little longer than need be and at times I just wanted to be done reading it, though I didn't want the story of Diana and Matthew to be over.

Harkness definitely drew me in with her first book and I liked that the second book explored a new direction of the story, and I cannot wait to see where this story will end.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: One Good Hustle by Billie Livingston

Publisher: Random House Canada
Pages: 288
Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 24, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

From award-winning writer Billie Livingston, an unsparing novel of loyalty and survival that is fierce, sharp and funny even when it's breaking your heart.

The child of 2 con artists, 16-year-old Sammie Bell always prided herself on knowing the score. But now she finds herself backed into a corner. After a hustle gone dangerously wrong, her mother, Marlene, is sliding into an abyss of alcoholic depression, spending her days fantasizing aloud about death--a goal Sammie is tempted to help her accomplish. Horrified by the appeal of this, Sammie packs a bag and leaves her mother to her own devices.

With her father missing in action, she has nowhere else to go but the home of a friend with 2 parents who seem to actually love their daughter and each other--and who awkwardly try to extend some semblance of family to Sammie. Throughout a long summer of crisis among the normals, Sammie is torn between her longing for the approval of the con-man father she was named for and her desire for the "weird, spearmint-fresh feeling" of life in the straight world. Sammie wants to be normal but fears that where she comes from makes that beyond the realm of possibility.

One Good Hustle chronicles 2 months in Sammie Bell's struggle with her dread that she is somehow doomed genetically to be just another hustler.

My Review:

I have been eagerly expecting this book since I heard about it from Random House, the idea of a child of two con-artists trying to live a normal life was a really interesting and inspiring idea, I had to get my hands on it.

I really loved that everything was from Sammie's point of view, Livingston does a beautiful job showing the issues that Sammie has had to deal with throughout her life. I fell in love with Sammie, watching her struggle through everything and just wanting to be loved by her father, who is never around for her. As a reader you get an amazing view into Sammie's life. I found the way Livingston combines Sammie's past and present throughout the book was really interesting. We slowly learn how Sammie and her family came to the position they are currently in.

The one major thing I was not a big fan of in the book was Jill and her family. I felt that they were a little more self-righteous than needed to be for the story. In Sammie's eyes they are a normal family and that's why she chooses to stay with them in the book. I did enjoy that though it was an awkward situation this is a family that opens their home to Sammie so easily.

The other thing that left me a little disappointed was the ending. There were so many questions left unanswered for me about Sammie and her life with her family and her friends. Despite these questions this was a beautifully written book, that was very heartfelt. You will fall in love with Sammie from the beginning and you will not want this book to end.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: Shadow of the Blood Moon by Robin Waldrop

I am happy to help out Robin P. Waldrop with her cover reveal for the second book of her series. Her first book Ties to the Blood Moon was featured here when it came out last year. Her new book is called Shadow of the Blood Moon. The cover was done by Claudia McKinney who also did the cover for Robin's first book.

Here is the cover:

Genevieve Labreck is back with a score to settle. Her mom has been kidnapped by Zane, hybrid and all-around monster.  Rumors fly that Gen’s mom is holed away in Prague, a city recognized by humans for its serene beauty and intense culture, but Gen and Will know something humans don’t. Prague is haunted by dark, evil forces.

Can Gen and Will save her mom, or will they be too late?

Some will live, others will fall. At what price do you walk away from those you love?

What do you guys think?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 368
Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 17, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Summer seemed to arrive at that moment, with its mysterious mixture of salt, cold flesh and fuel.

Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.
Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena--with their children, Daisy and Ed--try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.
Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.

My Review:

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this novel, a part of me was expecting some mystery along with a family working through things together. The premise really drew me in, especially with telling this story from five different points of view.

I did have a few issues in the beginning following each character's view because each person has their own story to tell. But as I continued with the book I understood how each story connected with the story as a whole. It was interesting to see what brought each character to where they are at the end of the story. Klaussman does a beautiful job with her descriptions of everything, each character has a distinct voice throughout the story.

The family dynamic was interesting, the closeness of each character and how they fit in the family. I was really interested in the story of Nick and Helena, I wanted to know what brought them back together after all those years and why they were acting in such a way (especially the way Helena was towards Nick).

I definitely was not expecting what came out of this novel and how everything ended. It was a lot more emotional for me than I was expecting, and it was beautifully constructed. Klaussman definitely had me hanging on, leaving many questions unanswered and then moving on to another story, but as you piece together each story, all those questions are eventually answered. I felt like I was doing a puzzle while reading this book.

This book was very well written and beautiful for a debut book. With beautiful descriptions of each character, Klaussman has woven together an amazing story about family life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 294
Received: Received copy from Angel at Mermaid Visions

Release Date: June 5, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

My Review:

This book has been on my radar for quite some time. I loved the idea of all these kids trying to get through all these disasters together. I was sadly, a little disappointed by this book and felt like I just wanted to get to the end.

This book had great potential for me, especially hearing about these escalating disasters that tear the world apart, but it seemed that these disasters were not taken as far as they could have been. There were a few mentions throughout, mainly with the chemical weapons spill but then it was quickly forgotten about again, until the next time.

I will admit, I was engrossed in the story at many points throughout. Laybourne jumps right into everything coming apart and I was hooked. But I found myself pushing to get through sections because it slowed down a lot. Laybourne really brings out the creepy parts, but in my mind they were few and far between.

I felt like a lot of the book was the kids playing house with one another, learning to get by in a superstore and watching the older kids taking care of the younger ones. It felt a lot like teenagers being forced to grow up quicker because they have these young ones to care and look out for.

This book was definitely enjoyable at times and a very quick read (I finished it in a day). But I just felt like I wanted more from the book. I could see what was coming from the beginning (though I didn't completely expect that ending). I am a tad interested to see how Laybourne will continue this story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 451
Received: Received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

My Review:

This is a hard book to talk about for me. I fell in love with this book at first sight, and I have to say I was scared to dive into, I was thinking I may have hyped it up a little too much in my mind, I mean dragons, politics, and murder mystery all in one... But Rachel Hartman did not disappoint at all! Everything about this book was awesome, from the dragons to the courtiers. 

Hartman does a great job with her world building in this book, introducing readers to how everything came to how it is today. She describes the treaty in great detail and makes the readers understand why the treaty was the best plan. This definitely wasn't an action book, which I loved about it. There is mystery and a political plot throughout. I also really enjoyed the idea of the strength of emotions throughout the book. Hartman really delves deep into the idea that emotions are a nuisance to the dragons because it takes away from the logical side of things.

I loved the character of Seraphina, she tries hard to keep her secret and stay behind the scenes but she continually gets pushed to the forefront of everything. She was a strong character that fought for what she believed in.

The best thing I loved about this book was Hartman's writing. She writes in a very sophisticated manner, not writing down to her readers but rather using a lot of intelligence in her writing to show how the dragons value learning. And if you have any issues with some of her terminology, there is a great glossary in the back of the medieval terms she uses. 

This is a beautifully written book, that I will be recommending to many people! It's a different kind of YA book out there, and I'm excited to see where Seraphina takes herself in the next book!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 400
Received: Received from publisher from NetGalley

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns with an irresistible story about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood…

At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she’s hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear and eye for writer’s rooms, bad behavior backstage and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood rollercoaster and a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.

My Review:

I absolutely adore everything Jennifer Weiner! Her writing style is amazing, very sarcastic and funny. This book was inspired from her work on the short-lived television show "State of Georgia" where she had some of the same issues to deal with that Ruth does in this book.

I really love underdog stories, and that is exactly what this is. Ruth is not the most beautiful person in Hoolywood, she has some issues with scars over her body from an accident when she was young, making her very self-conscious of herself (especially living out in Hollywood). But Ruth makes a name for herself in the way she knows how. Despite all her problems, she knows how to come out of it on top. I connected a lot with Ruth because she is someone who would rather be in the background (writing the story) rather than out there acting, where everyone will know who she is.

I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ruth and her grandmother. It was nice to see characters who rely so heavily on one another, her whole inspiration for the show being her relationship with her grandmother. Weiner definitely adds in some of the quirkier scenes with Ruth and her grandmother.

I did feel a little disappointed with the ending of the book. I wanted just a little more to see where Ruth takes her life after dealing with everything. The ending leaves Ruth with a choice but it is not fully concluded and it just left me wanting more (even just a few more chapters about her life).

This book was definitely a fun read, nice to see the behind the scenes of how a tv show gets made. Weiner definitely brings out her amazing writing with this book, but it just left a little more to be desired. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: The Lost Souls of Angelkov by Linda Holeman

Publisher: Random House of Canada
Pages: 560
Received: Received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

From one of Canada's finest historical novelists, an intricately woven story of revenge, deception, love and redemption set against the turbulent social upheavals of 1860s Russia.

For Antonina, the wife of a wealthy Russian landowner, the world falls apart one cold spring afternoon when her husband takes her little boy, Misha, out riding. Set upon by kidnappers on horseback, the boy is stolen and the count wounded. Beautiful, musical and sheltered, Antonina is at first stunned and grief-stricken, then helpless as the count sickens and dies.

Desperate, and surrounded by serfs and servants unsettled by the collapse of the old order, Antonina turns to Grisha, the estate steward, for help in getting her son back. He is a man of relentless competence and ambition, and she is drawn to his strength, unaware that he is both driven and crippled by secrets he hoped he'd left behind him in the land of his birth, Siberia. In her search for her lost boy, Antonina faces betrayals that are literally murderous, and finds strengths she had no idea she possessed as she wanders the crumbling halls of Angelkov, pitting her wits against people turned erratic and cruel. In the end, her fate, and the fate of her son, hangs on the way love can sometimes transform even the deepest of hatreds.

My Review:

I haven't read a historical book focusing on the time of the Tsar in Russia in quite awhile, so when I was offered the chance to review this book I leapt at it. I was really taken with this cover, it's absolutely gorgeous (I love the colour of it), something that would definitely stop me if I saw it in a store.

This book begins with the child of a Russian Count being kidnapped at the time when Russian serfs are finally freed from the Tsar, but this book is about so much more than just the kidnapping. Right away, readers find out who the kidnappers are and what their plan is, but then things take a turn for the worst for different reasons, and you get to watch as everything slowly unravels itself. 

Holeman takes her readers on an exquisite journey throughout the book, slowly mysteries unravel as you journey through each character's life. Each small event in the present time will take a character back to what brought them to where they are now. Her writing is absolutely beautiful throughout the entire book.

Holeman does a beautiful job of describing the setting and each of the characters in the book. She really brings history to life with her writing. Throughout the book I felt like I was living these characters lives myself.  If you are a fan of historical novels, definitely pick this one up, the length is worth it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: So Close to You by Rachel Carter

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 313
Received: Received from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.

When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices--and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them . . . and herself.

My Review:

I love books that deal with time travel, add in a government conspiracy and I am definitely hooked. SO CLOSE TO YOU was a great mixture of these two, with an added bit of romance (not that it takes over the story). This story reminded me so much of BACK TO THE FUTURE (which is one of my favourite movies!).

I found this book a lot different than other YA books out there lately, because there is a large focus on family. Lydia's family is a huge part of the story, her parents are in the picture and she spends time with her grandfather. It's nice to see a character close with her family, and the focus of the book more on family relationships rather than boys.

I did find that in the beginning the story moved a little slow for my liking, but it picks up quickly as Lydia starts discovering many of the secrets and begins to investigate the Montauk Project more.  Carter adds in a little bit of science to make the idea probable, which was really interesting. I really enjoy the science fiction and conspiracy theory plot of the book, it gives readers something different.

The characters throughout were very well written. I really loved Mary, a character who is so full of life in a time of war. She always had fun with whatever she was doing and could always lighten up a dark mood. It's great to see characters who are so happy even in the worst of times, it always makes for an uplifting read. Lydia was a very inquisitive character, and was always searching for answers, I liked that she didn't let the romance get in her way. She is a character that really fought for what she wanted.

The ending really took me for surprise and I can't even imagine where Carter will take the next book. This was a really fun and enjoyable read. If you liked the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies you will definitely enjoy this one!

You can find more information on SO CLOSE TO YOU and Rachel Carter at the Harper Collins Canada's Page.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer

Publisher: Bold Print Press
Pages: 278
Received: Received from author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: May 19, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

Any other night, Ryan Mills would have driven his best friend, Michael, to Emily's sweet sixteen party at the Breakers Club. Instead, determined to win over the birthday girl, he goes to the party early and alone, setting off a chain of events that ends with a car accident in which Michael dies.

Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he's concerned, he doesn't deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend's unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man.

*This book was originally released under the title LOVING EMILY in October 2011*

My Review:

I was really excited when Anne contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing this, I'd seen a few reviews on it at some other blogs and was really interested in a story that deals with such a hard topic. I was really taken with the main character being a male, I feel like when a contemporary novel is written about emotional issues, it's usually a female character going through them.

Anne does a great job writing from a male perspective in this novel. She really hits home with a lot of the issues that males go through at this age, and then adds in a tragedy so that Ryan has even more to deal with on top of school, girls and family. Reading as Ryan goes through the motions of dealing with the guilt of Michael's loss is hard.

I did love how Anne wrote Ryan's character. He was strong and always there to help people. He wanted to be there for the people that Michael left behind. Ryan really grows throughout the book, learning how to become an adult, even though he's only sixteen.

The relationship between Emily and Ryan was a big part of the story but I really like that there is so much more going on around it that it's not the central part of it. Ryan has a lot of other things to deal with, like issues with school, his family, and his friends. I also really liked that the relationship was real, neither character knows what their future holds, they argue and talk about things.

This story was a great tale on growing up, from a male's perspective. Anne does a great job with this contemporary novel. This story will stick with you long after you've read it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cover Reveal ReAwakened by Ada Adams!

I am so happy to be taking part in the cover reveal of Ada Adams' second novel ReAwakened. I was lucky to be able to review her first book ReVamped, which was a great story, and I can't wait to see what happens with the characters in this new book.

So onto the cover! The theme of the the cover is Blood...

What do you guys think of the cover? I absolutely love the red! Here is what the cover of the first book (ReVamped) looks like for comparison:
The designer of the cover is Juliana Kolesova, you can find her at: www.julianakolesova.com

Ada is also doing an hour long Twitter chat as well today at 5pm EST. She will be talking about anything related to her writing, the characters in her book and the will be talking about the book itself (non-spoiler of course!), use the hashtag #ReVampedChat if you want to take part!

Check out the ReVamped website here: http://www.revampedbook.com/
And ReVamped on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/revampedbook
You can follow Ada on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/Ada_Adams
Add this series to Goodreads as well! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13495198-revamped

You can buy ReVamped at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/revamped-ada-adams/1109594714?ean=9781620953105
and on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/ReVamped-Ada-Adams/dp/1470068982/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1?tag=vglnk-c498-20

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Publisher: Macmillan
Pages: 368
Received: Received e-copy from Raincoast Books

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?

My Review:

After a fall when she is young, Jane ends up in a coma and when she wakes she doesn't remember anything about her childhood. She is now a foster child who has the opportunity of a lifetime offered to her. But this offer comes with some interesting strings.

The synopsis of this book does not give anything away about what happens in this story! I was completely surprised by what came about in this book (in a good way, of course). I saw the cover of this book and loved the dark feel, and the book definitely is dark. This book brings back the gothic genre to YA, everything about what happened was dark and mysterious.

The characters are a big part of what made this book for me. I loved how Jane knew how to defend herself. Though I had some issues with her naivete towards Lucky. Around Lucky, Jane became the typical I'm in love with the gorgeous guy and will do anything for him. Lucky is a jerk of a character, he's self absorbed and privileged, and it shows a lot. I hated how Jane was able to stick up for herself in certain situations, but then when it came to the gorgeous guy she melted.

Jack was absolutely adorable, I always loved when he came along, he also was one that made some great comedic scenes throughout this dark tale. And then there was Jane's friend Mary Violet. She was one of the best supporting characters of the book, I loved how she always spoke her mind, she was the complete opposite of Jane but they complimented each other.

Finding out what "Dark Companion" actually meant in this book was a huge surprise. And from there I loved finding out the mystery behind the disappearances at the school. Marta Acosta definitely keeps you hanging on until the very end with this book.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: God Save The Queen by Kate Locke

Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 368
Received: Received from Hatchette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 26, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.

The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.

Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.

My Review:

This story is an alternate history where Queen Victoria still rules and now the aristocracy has not only humans, but werewolves, vampires and goblins. Reading about how they all live together despite the fact that they all dislike on another is interesting. There is a whole hierarchy that is well explained, the book takes you back to the style of the Victorian era except in a modern world, with modern electronics. 

I love that Locke is able to explain how everything came about. Right from the beginning you are taken into the history of how vamps and weres came to be, and even how the goblins were created. It's nice to have a detailed explanation. There is even a glossary in the back of the book that details some of the slang words used throughout the book (I myself am not a fan of glossaries in the back because I hate flipping back and forth, but when the word is first mentioned, Locke does explain what it is).

Right from the beginning of this book I could tell it would be action packed, and it was! Xandra is a kick ass heroine throughout this book who fights to find out answers for all her questions. I do admit, for a lot of the beginning of the book I found Xandra to be a bit naive about everything going around, especially when she starts to uncover secrets, she still closes her eyes to what is happening. 

This book was a lot of fun to read. There is some romance to the story but it is more in the background which was great. I can see this being a great book for teen readers. It is what a lot of them are looking for, there is action, swearing and some romance. Definitely one to check out. 


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