Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween with lots of candy! My daughter is going as Daphne from Scooby Doo this year! Yesterday I took her to the zoo for early trick or treating, but we're going to go out tonight as well. Can't wait TO EAT ALL THAT CANDY! NOMNOMNOM! ;) 

P.s. After my trip to the zoo I've decided that I really wish red pandas were domesticated BECAUSE THEY ARE SO CUTE AND I COULD LOVE ONE FOREVER! 

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Published: March 10th 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: Hardcover, 470

Source: Library Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book:  
Book Depository

Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. - Good Reads
For some reason I have this morbid thing for books where people die. Maybe it's because I love a good tearjerker or maybe it's because I have this horrible fear of what will happen after I die and reading books about it gives me some sort of hope that there will be something there for me (which doesn't make sense because they're fictional, I know). Either way, when I read the summary of Before I Fall I knew I had to read it. That teamed up with the fact that it was written by Lauren Oliver who I'm in love with after reading Delirium made it a must-read and it ended up being a must-read. 

Lauren Oliver knows how to write with such a realistic tone. And such detail is given to the surroundings and characters that you can literally just get right in there and feel it - but the detail is given subtly, not to the point where you want to yawn and skip.

I think my favourite part of this book was seeing how Sam grew throughout each of her chances. She started out as such a bitch, she was just such a frustrating character, but as she re-lived the day each time she slowly started to change and by the end you truly felt for her and her eyes started to open about how all the little things you do can affect yourself and others and sometimes the blatantly mean things that you may do. It also was a good lesson in motivation: what motivates hate or meanness and it was interesting how each of the characters tied into the story in different ways and to see their individual motivation. I also loved how sex and attraction was spun in this book. That aspect alone made it a book that I'll definitely be handing to my daughter in her teens, because I liked how it was portrayed. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It's got a hint of fantasy to it, but it reads like realistic contemporary fiction and there are a lot of good lessons to be found inside. If you love books that make you think, you'll love this.
Heads Up: There are sexual references and there is a smidgen of swearing. 

                          4 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Books I'm Thankful For!

Beth Revis is hosting an AMAZING and GENEROUS giveaway! All you have to is make a post about books you are thankful and link it in rafflecopter. That easy! I can't wait to these posts popping up in my feed! 

Now I'm thankful for a lot of books, so this is going to be REALLY difficult for me to narrow down. I'm even thankful for books I don't really like, because I know somebody else will treasure them and I think every person deserves that feeling you get after you've read an amazing story, because to me, that is the best high in the world, well, apart from how I feel when I look at Henry Cavill. ------------------->

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: I freaking love Anne spelt with an E, her red hair and feisty attitude. She's the one who taught me how to go balls to the wall and hold a grudge for real. Unfortunately or fortunately, I've never quite made it to her level of stubbornness.

I'm pretty rushed for time at the moment, so I'll probably be updating this tomorrow when I get back from work after my morning shift (school bus monitor yeeee, I have to wake up in like 5 hours), but if you see this and decide to do it yourself, I'd love to see links to your posts! Or you can share what books you're thankful for in the comments! 


Random Acts of Kindess: October 2011 Wrap Up

I hope everyone had a fantastic October! I certainly did! I'd love for you to leave me links to your RAK wrap up posts if you post them! I always love to see what people get! 


The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers #1) by Jana Oliver 
It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell. - Good Reads
Amber at The Musings of ALMYBNENR sent me a kindle copy of The Demon Trapper's Daughter at the beginning of the month! Funnily enough I had almost bought it earlier that day in a used book shop I went to, but decided against it because I already gone a little wild. I came home to check my e-mail and baaaam there is was! :)


Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready 

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.Well, sort of.Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift. - Good Reads
I sent this to Anna from Literary Exploration. After hearing she hadn't read one of my favourite books and series of ALL FREAKING TIME I had to intervene by buying her a paperback copy! I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Friday: Weekly Recap, Follow Me Friday {#12} and TGIF

TGIF at GReads! 
This Friday's Question:

Spooktacular Reads: Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

I don't read a lot of "scary" stories honestly. I guess I read a lot of paranormal books that could be considered scary, but I don't really feel frightened by the majority of them. I guess I'll go with my classic choice, which is actually the first book I ever checked out at a library! It actually caught my interest and I begged them to let me borrow it from the school library which didn't actually let kindergartners take books home... they finally let me though and I took it home and was totally freaked out after reading it. My favourite story inside was about the girl who wore the green ribbon are her neck....

It's Follow Me Friday over at Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!The question this week is:

Q: If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would eat with and what would you serve?
Oooh, very good question. I guess I would invite Dimitri from Vampire Academy and make him lots of Russian food! And as a fellow Siberian, of course there'd definitely have to be pelmeni! Pictured below is some I made a while back to give you an idea! ;)

Cover Reveal: Shadow Bound (Unbound #2) by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: June 1'st 2012

KORI DANIELS is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else… 
The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him. 
Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister. 
Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they’ll have to choose between love and liberty…. - Good Reads

OH.MY.GOD. I loved the Blood Bound cover, but this cover is TOTALLY GORGEOUS! I'm just in lovelovelove. I have an e-mail subscription to Rachel's blog and when I got the new blog post with the cover my mouth literally dropped! Which is funny because after finding out the next book in the Unbound series was going to be about Kori I was a little upset and wasn't sure I'd continue the series. Kori totally rubbed me the wrong way in Blood Bound and I didn't really think I'd want to read a book about her. But with a cover like that... well, my mind has been changed! 

Giveaway: 300 Followers Giveaway!

Wow! I've reached 300 Followers! I can't believe that I've made it to this many followers in such a short amount of time. Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog and an extra thank you to those of you that comment! 

  • This is International, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. 
  • The winner(s) get to choose 1 book of their choice from the books pictured below.
  • The winner can choose any book in a series if the other books are out and available for purchase, so if you've read Lola and The Boy Next Door, but haven't read Anna and the French Kiss, you can choose to receive Anna instead.
  • This contest is going to run until the 18th of November, which is my next payday! I feel bad for running to giveaway so long, so if I get 400 followers before then, I'll add a second winner! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Waiting on Wednesdays is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It puts a spotlight on upcoming releases we're anticipating! 


Release Date: March 20th 2012
Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance... 
When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel. 
Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal. - Good Reads

I *loved* Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy and I am dyyyying to read this! She writes beautifully! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cover Reveal: Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire

Release Date: June 12th 2012

I'm sure the majority of you have seen this cover floating around the book blog community today, but I had to squee a little on my own, because I'm exxxxxcited! I liked the first book in the Hourglass series quite a bit and I'm really excited to see that the cover of the second novel Timepiece is finally revealed! It makes it feel so much closer to coming out -- pfft June is so far away! AAAAARGH! But I'm loving this cover! I think it goes really well with the first book Hourglass!

What do you think??? :) 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review: Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Published: October 25th 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Page Count: Hardcover, 240
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book: Amazon
Book Depository

Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air. - Good Reads

The cover of Between the Sea and Sky is absolutely beautiful. I actually have the Kindle version of the cover pictured - the hardback cover is much more bluer than this one, but both are equally beautiful. I'm such a sucker for a beautiful cover!

I've read three mermaid novels now and I think I enjoyed this one the best out of the ones I've read so far, but I'm starting to feel worried that perhaps mermaid novels aren't exactly my cup of tea. This book was beautifully written though. With the third person perspective it did make me feel a little distant from an already distant feeling Esmerine. I did admire what I could see of her: she had a sweet disposition, a little on the innocent side, but she was strong willed and determined and had a fierce love for her family that I loved to see. 

The love story fell a little flat for me though. I think it warmed up more towards the end, but it still didn't grab a hold of me like I was hoping it would. 

Between the Sea and Sky basically was a story of a girl getting to know herself and the family and friends she thinks she knows and learning to live with her own expectations, not the expectations of others. I was definitely satisfied with the ending though. No cliffhanger and it looks like this is a stand alone. WOW, right? A stand alone!  

I definitely think Between the Sea and Sky would appeal to certain people. Especially those who love mermaids. There is a nice, clean romance, an interesting fantasy world and a sweet lesson as a reminder to stay true to what you want to do. 

                                    3 out of 5 Hello Kitties

A e-ARC was provided by NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA! Thank you!

GIVEAWAY: Spooktacular Giveaway Hop: Vampire Academy Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead + Swag (Int)

Hello friends! I'm taking part in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm. For my Spooktacular Giveaway prize I'm going to be giving away something I've been really wanting to get myself! 

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel #1) by Richelle Mead 
After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It's filled with intrigue, danger - and even romance. Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

Also included is some swag I've collected. Including this SIGNED Born Wicked bookmark! 

<-- That's a picture of the front & back. 

This is INTERNATIONAL! As long as The Book Depository ships to your country you're welcome to enter! You can see if The Book Depository ships to your country: HERE

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In My Mailbox {#8}

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren! It's a chance to share what books you've gotten in the past week, whether in your mailbox, from the store or the library! 

I'm super excited to dive into The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater! I pre-ordered on the 12th of this month and It arrived on the release date - right on time! 

I also bought these books for my Kindle:


I was incredibly lucky and won a signed ARC of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. I've been wanting to read this SOSOSO bad, so I was over the freaking moon to win this! I also won an ARC of The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg, which I'm also very excited to read. Though I'm totally heart broken, because when I read the summary on the back I realized how similar it sounded to my current work in progress. Goodbye work in progress, say hello to the Windows trash bin! I also won some signed bookmarks and a few stickers! Aren't they gorgeous? Thank you so much to Jessica Spotswood for hosting the giveaway! 

E-books I've Received

For Review for Blog Tour

What did you get this week?! :D 

Review: Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1) by Derrolyn Anderson

Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1) by Derrolyn Anderson 

Published: March 19th 2011
Publisher: Self Published
Page Count: Kindle Editon, 261
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood Reads

Buy This Book: Amazon Kindle

Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... and maybe even find true love along the way. - Good Reads
This was sent to me by the author for an honest review. 
I'd seen the covers of the Marina's Tales series floating around blogs for a while now and have read nothing but good reviews, so when Derrolyn Anderson e-mailed me I was excited that she invited me to read and review the series for myself. I'm interested in mermaids, but I haven't found a mermaid novel I've been able to really enjoy yet, so I was hoping this would be the one. And I'm happy to say I enjoyed it much more than I have enjoyed other mermaid novels I've read. 

The premise was interesting, the characters enjoyable, there was a sweet love story and there was an intriguing storyline. And I only saw two typos throughout reading, so those who have complaints about independently published books having a lack of good editing: this isn't one of them. Two typos is comparable with the typos I find in novels put out by the big boys. But there were a few issues I had:

1. The language sometimes felt very out of place and unnatural. Here are a few examples of quotes from the book:

"He was the handsomest boy I had ever laid eyes on."

"I had to find Lorelei, for now I was truly desperate to know more about my mother."

"The more I got to know Ethan the more impressed I was, for he was totally unlike any of the other boys at school."

"I felt terrible, for now he knew that I had lied to him. Lies of omission."

"I beamed at him, for his joy was infectious, and delighted me as if it were my own."

which leads me to what else bothered me:

2. Marina. She was a lovable character, but felt a little pretentious at times. I've lived in numerous countries and I've travelled to quite a few as well. When I was 16 I spent a summer in Thailand doing volunteer work, when I was 14 it was the Darien Jungle in Panama and the list goes on. I was also taught at home. It in no way caused me to talk like I jumped out of the 19th century like it was shown to affect Marina. The only way my life experiences have affected my speech are silly things, like I mix Arabic in quite a bit and my normal speech is a  mix between Russian and English or when I go to the supermarket and see the girl from Thailand we greet each other in Thai or I see the Turkish man who sells mobile accessories in the mall, I say "Marhaba!" My daughter started out with an English accent, but now has an American accent. I have an American accent, but I've been known to pronounce certain words the English way, usually because I learned to pronounce them that way. I also say things like lift instead of elevator, fringe instead of bangs, boot instead of trunk, etc. So, no, in my experience and from what I've seen of my other friends who grew up as expats: we do not talk as if we've time travelled out of another century. I actually even feel a little pretentious right now. 

But other than that, the book was actually good. The love story was very slow developing. It's funny because I always bitch about instalove and this time I was like GEEZ YOU GUYS, YOU LOVE EACH OTHER, YOU WANT EACH OTHER GOGOGOGOGOGO! -- It developed at a snail pace and I didn't exactly feel the sparks I hoped for, but the development did feel realistic and I still was able to enjoy it.

The mermaid side of the story moved a little slow throughout the book, but reared its head majorly towards the end. I really liked the descriptions and the background that we did learn in this installment of the series and I look forward to getting to know more about the world of the mermaids in future books and I definitely plan on reading more! 

I definitely recommend this for mermaid lovers or anyone who wants a clean, slow growing young adult romance mixed with some fantasy. It only costs 99 cents for the Kindle edition and I can honestly say that's a steal! 

                                           3 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Friday: Weekly Recap, Follow Me Friday {#11} and TGIF

TGIF at GReads! 
This Friday's Question:

Book Blogs That Make You Smile: Pick 5 book blogs you visit often & think others should, too.
Oooh, I love this question. I'm very new to blogging and over the past few months I've found some amazing bloggers, so this is going to be tough to have to narrow it down. 

BJ at Dark Side of the Covers: I love her reviews and her Let's Talk About... posts. She has a way with words and she's funny, which I love! She was also one of the first people to ever comment consistently on my blog and her comments are always very thoughtful. GOOD PEOPLE? She's definitely one. 

Wendy at A Cupcake and a Latte: Wendy has a beautiful blog and she really works hard with consistant updates. If I want to know about new books, cover reveals or interesting reviews I go to her blog. And I go to her blog every day anyway to see what she's posted. There is ALWAYS something new. I also love that she pays attention to the lesser known and independently published titles. On top of that she's a total sweetheart. I spam the hell out of her on twitter sometimes and she puts up with it like a champ! Yeeeeah, Wendy! (p.s. She has an awesome giveaway ending soon: check it out!)

Lisa at A Life Bound by Books! I recently discovered her blog, we got to talking on twitter and then had an awesome late night chat. She's got a really fun blog and obviously puts a lot of work into as well. She also turned me on to Kings of Leon! Check her out!

Jenny at Supernaturnal Snark is a total sweetheart and an amazing blogger. I love her reviews and she's just awesome. Check her out.  

Kate at Nomalicious Reads: I do like "professional sounding" reviews on occasion, but usually my favourite kind of reviews are the kinds when people sound personal. Kate's reviews feel personal and they're detailed, but quick to read. And I really like her layout. It's very simple and easy on the eyes! 

Anna at Literary Exploration is totally as cool as her sunglasses. Her and I are twitter buddies and I think that is actually how I found out about her blog. I think. I can't remember. But I do know that I love to go lurk her blog and I love to pester her on twitter. Join me in pestering her! 
I honestly read and love A LOT more blogs than just 5 and it was horribly difficult to narrow it down. I've been thinking about doing a bi-weekly feature where I bring attention to blogs I like, so keep an eye out. 

 It's Follow Me Friday over at Parajunkee and Alison Can ReadThe question this week is:
Q: What superhero is your alter-ego?
I debated back and forth on this and was thinking about putting either Gabrielle from Xena, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie (she is practically a superhero, okay?) or Buffy. I chose Buffy.