TGIF [2] - June 1

Happy Friday everyone!  It's been a slightly nutty week in my world, and I am totally looking forward to a relaxing weekend ahead -- time to put my feet up and get some reading done!

TGIF is hosted, as always, by Greads.  This week's theme is Issue Books: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

I love issue books.  Some of my favourite books have been ones that dealt with very heavy issues.  I just finished The Mockingbirds, which dealt with date rape, and will have a review up this week.  Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which was also about rape, was extremely powerful.  Actually, she's written several other heavy books, Catalyst and Wintergirls immediately jump to mind -- both books were phenomenal.  In adult literature, I loved Janet Fitch's White Oleander (foster family experiences), Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible (missionary work in Africa) and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things (the caste system in India).  I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that. 

Have you read a great issue book?  If so, please leave it in the comments!  I love book recommendations (although my TBR list might beg to differ).  And TGIF everyone!  Hope that you've all got a fun (and reading filled) weekend planned!
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May Re-Cap

It's seems like just yesterday that I was working on my April re-cap post, yet here I am writing about the month of May.  It seems like this month has just flown by, but I'm happy to report that summer appears to have arrived early on the West Coast, which we usually nickname the Wet Coast, due the overwhelming amount of rain that we receive!  It's been gloriously sunny the majority of the month of May, which is great for walking at lunch time at work and, of course, reading outside in the sunshine!

I took two mini-trips this month.  One by bus to visit one of my bestest friends for her 30th birthday, and the second by ferry to visit my parents (my dad's birthday and Mother's Day were on the same day this year!)  June is shaping up to be a little quieter and it'll be nice to have some weekends at home for a change.  While I received my copies of both Insurgent and City of Lost Souls last month, I STILL haven't read either of them!  Hopefully, with us sticking around a little more next month, there will be time for me to read both.  I've also placed my very first orders with The Book Depository (this could become a big addiction!) and am looking forward to receiving my copies of Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson and Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout.

May was my second month participating in Random Acts of Kindness.  Due to my weekends away, I didn't jump in until later in the month, but sent a copy of Legend to Andra @ Unabridged Andra.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

I also did my very first guest post over at Into The Morning Reads.  Click here to read a bit about how I first fell in love with books and then, later, fell in love in a bookstore.  Jenny was also offering a giveaway for a blog makeover at her other blog, Inside the Kaleidoscope, and I WON!  I'm sure you've probably noticed my fancy new blog design -- I owe all this amazingness to Jenny and her incredible graphic design skill.  I have seriously spent the last day just staring at my blog and sighing happily.

And, finally, here are the books that I read this month (click on the titles to read my review!):
Not as many books as last month, but I feel like I savoured these ones a  little more.  Wonder was definitely the best book of the last month (middle great fiction that broke my heart, and then made me believe in the power of love and compassion all over again).  Both Everneath and Article 5 were also phenomenal -- beautifully written and books that I could barely put down.

Hope you've all had a wonderful month of May as well -- did you read anything un-put-down-able?  Are you able to read outside in the sunshine in your part of the world?  Thanks for stopping by my blog!
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WWW - May 30

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
Just started reading The Mockingbirds (thanks to Magan @ Rather Be Reading) for the recommendation -- I can't put this book down!!

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon last weekend, which was a book club read.  It's been quite a while since I read some adult contemporary fiction, but I really enjoyed it.  See my review here.

What do you think you'll read next?
I just picked up Amy & Roger's Epic Detour from the library last week -- words cannot explain how excited I am to start reading Morgan Matson's work.  I've already ordered Second Chance Summer, again based on Magan @ Rather Be Reading's enthusiasm, which was seconded by Hannah @ So Obsessed With.

What about you?  What are you reading?  What did you recently finish?  And what are you looking forward to reading?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!
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Tune in Tuesday [2] - May 29

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by GReads.  The theme for the month of May is random playlists; however, my iTunes isn't cooperating with me today.  I have WAY too much Christmas music and it seems to just want to keep picking renditions of "O Holy Night" -- not quite the right time of the year!

Instead, I have shuffled a playlist of all-time favourites and stumbled across a song that immediately brought tears to my eyes.  One of my bestest friends burned me a copy of Sade's Soldier of Love album right before my dad's accident.  You know how sometimes you can hear just the right song at precisely the right moment in your life?  Driving back and forth between the hospital and home for the first week, I had this song on repeat.  Your Daddy love come with a lifetime guarantee.  My dad is such an amazing and strong man -- even though he's now in a wheelchair after his bicycle accident, he always says with a smile and a shrug, "I'm still me, just me on wheels!"  There are no words to explain how proud I am of him and all that he has accomplished in the last two years.  So, without further ado, here's Sade's "Babyfather."

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Top Ten Books that I HOPE Are Still Cool in 30 Years

It's Tuesday, and time for another top ten, hosted by the wonderful folks over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is interesting ... and a little challenging!  Ten books published in the last ten years, which I hope will still be popular and avidly read thirty years from now... to narrow this down, I've gone with some of my favourite recently published dystopians, mainly because I hope that these dystopian worlds don't become reality, and that people are still reading these types of books in thirty years!

1. Wither & Fever - Lauren DeStefano
2. Legend - Marie Lu
3. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
4. Article 5 - Kirsten Simmons
5. Pure - Julianna Baggott
6. Birthmarked & Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien
7. Delirium & Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver
8. Divergent & Insurgent - Veronica Roth
9. Unwind & UnWholly - Neal Shusterman
(can I just mention how INCREDIBLY excited I am about UnWholly?!?!  The cover looks creeeeepy!)
10. Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
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The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

First of all, I have a confession to make.  When I pick up a book and see that "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" sticker, it almost immediately makes me dislike the book.  That's not to say that I dislike all award winners (I'm slowly working my way through the Printz award winners), but sometimes Pulitzer prize stickers just remind me of some of the terrible books that I had to read in university.  Although, there is an exception: I LOVED Middlesex, and it's a Pulitzer prize winner as well.

I won't say that I loved Kavalier & Clay as much as I loved Middlesex, but I was pleasantly surprised by the book.  It had its moments where I was mesmerized by the storyline, such as when Kavalier came up with an elaborate plot to escape Czechoslovakia.  Then there were other moments that I felt I was forcing myself to continue reading, anxious for the next part of the story that would draw me in and keep the pages turning.  In the book's defense, I started reading this book on a bus trip home at the beginning of May, then put the book aside in favour of finishing a pile of library books that had short loan periods.  When I returned back to the book, I had six days to finish the remaining five hundred pages.  This is probably a better book for savouring because of the pace of the story, rather than rushing to finish it, as I did.  Unfortunately, I was the only book club member to actually finish the book, so we didn't get the chance to talk much about it.

The book ebbed and flowed, like the tide, and held me captive in certain moments.  It was definitely a change of pace for me to read a "grown-up" book for a chance, after a diet of only YA over the last little while.  It was refreshing to reach for the dictionary now and then to look up the occasional word, but I think I have grown accustomed to the pacing of YA literature and I am now finding that books without that pacing are a more difficult read.   Regardless, Kavalier & Clay is a really great story of what is means to realize "The Great American Dream" and Chabon is a very talented writer. 
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TGIF [1] - May 25

I've seen this meme up on several other blogs, but have finally decided to join in!  Originally, I was doing Follow Friday, but I like that GReads posts the questions ahead of time ... because I'm organized like that =)

This week's theme is: Show Me Your Cover: What are some of the worst book covers, but hold some of the best stories inside? Don't be embarrassed, show us your cover!

I'll admit that I will fully judge a book by its cover.  In fact, I've been lured into reading some books purely because of their covers, only to be sorely disappointed by what's inside.  When I look through my favourites shelf, and my recently read books, two covers jump to mind.

While I wouldn't say that the cover of Legend is terrible or anything, I most definitely would not have picked this book up if it hadn't been for Jaime @ The Perpetual Page Turner's rave reviews.  And boy am I glad I did -- a dystopian loosely based on Les Miserables?  Oh YEAH!  This book was so, so, SO good! 

On a separate note, I've just seen the cover on Goodreads for Prodigy, book 2 in the series, and it's much, MUCH better.

I looked through all of the covers for A Fine Balance on Goodreads and they're all equally uninspiring; however, inside this book is a story of epic proportions.  This book was originally recommended to me by a coworker at Bolen's when we were swapping "best book you've ever read" stories one quiet evening, and I was just sorry that I didn't read it sooner when I still worked there and we could have discussed it afterwards.

How about you?  Have you ever picked up a book that didn't look all that exciting based on the cover, but found a hidden treasure inside?  Leave me a link and I'll come visit!
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WWW - May 23

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I'm about halfway through The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.  My book club meeting is this Sunday, so I've got lots of reading time ahead of me!  I'm enjoying it so far, and it's kind of nice to read an adult book for a while after so much YA.

What did you recently finish reading?
I spent the weekend finishing up books that I'd started, but not finished.  My "currently reading" shelf on GR was out of control.  Both Shatter Me and Dear Bully were excellent books!

What do you think you'll read next?
I hardly know where to begin ... hoping that nothing time sensitive arrives at the library, so I can dive into Insurgent!

What about you?  What are you reading?  What did you recently finish?  And what are you looking forward to reading?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!
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Tune in Tuesday [1] - May 22

I've been quietly reading other people's Tune in Tuesday posts, and discovering some great music as a result, but have finally decided to join in!  Music is one of my other passions, and I love sharing music with others and learning about new music via other people.

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by GReads.  The theme for the month of May is random playlists so I've shuffled my iPod and come up with this:

Alright - Kinnie Starr
This song has such meaning for me.  My husband and I heard it on the radio one night, shortly after we'd moved in together.  We'd left the Island, my hometown, and moved to the big city so that he could start his teaching career.  It was a scary time for both of us, searching for work, adjusting to living together (we'd only been dating for six months) and just trying to be "alright."  The words of the song hit home and it's still one of our favourites today ... now that we're more than just "alright."
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Top Ten Favourite Book Blogs

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted, as always, by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish!  I thought and thought and thought about this week's topic, which is supposed to be about blogs that I read that AREN'T about books, but the reality is that all of the blogs that I read ARE about books.  So, I'm cheating a little, but posting about my top ten favourite book blogs.

In no particular order, here they are:

1. The Perpetual Page-Turner
I love Jaime's voice, random bursts of CAPS and her random ranty gif-filled posts just make me laugh out loud.  I've been following her on Twitter for a while, and am so excited to see how her wedding turns out!

2. Rather Be Reading
Written by Estelle and Magan, these two girls are super sweet and write such amazing reviews.  I also love the story of how they met and started up a blog together.

3. So Obsessed With
I discovered this blog via a comment on Rather Be Reading, and never looked back.  Another super sweet blogger whose blog I love reading.

4. LC's Adventures in Libraryland
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I love Lea's reviews, especially her honesty.  I've followed her blog for a while, but truly became a fan after she recently posted about one-star reviews.  It's so refreshing to read someone's posts when they're not afraid to (eloquently) admit that a book just wasn't for them.

5. Into the Morning
I wish that I could write half as well as Jenny does.  I don't know how long she takes to write her posts, but it always seems like she carefully chose each word and edited and edited until her post was absolutely perfect.  I'm in awe of her style.

6. My Pathway to Books
Tess is possibly just one of the sweetest people that I've ever met.  I think we started our blogs around the same time, but hers has just exploded -- mainly due to all of her hard work and networking.  Hers is an indie blog and definitely worth checking out!

7.  CuppaLit
This is one of the very first blogs that I stumbled across while I was taking Library 1111 last fall.  Fawn and I bonded over Twitter, and books of course, and then actually met in person!  I'm excited to see what new content will arrive this summer, once the hecticness of a teacher year is behind her.

8.  Rainy Day Ramblings
Heidi is another blogger that has been incredibly helpful, answering questions and just being all-around-wonderful.  I'm excited to participate in her upcoming event -- watch her blog for details next month!

9. Auntie Spinelli Reads
Jessi, a.k.a. Geo, has such a beautiful blog, full of interesting posts.  She gave me my very first blog award, and I've been an avid follower ever since!

10. Bookish
Really, where would I be today without Evie?  I had just started blogging and was unsure of myself, when I befriended her on Goodreads and learned that we lived pretty close to one another.  Unfortunately, by the time we finally met up for coffee, it was the day before she was moving to Toronto.  She left me a pile of books that she couldn't take with her, and we've been friends ever since.  I'm hopeful that she'll return to BC one day =)

This is by no means a list of the only bloggers whose blogs I adore, as I have many, many more on my list -- although I haven't yet been a part of this community for a full year, it's been a fantastic experience thus far.  It's totally amazing to meet and bond with people who love books and reading as much as I do! 
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Dear Bully - 70 Authors Tell Their Stories

This book was an emotional roller coaster.  I know that I mentioned earlier that I don't usually read more than one book at a time, unless it's one print book and one audio book.  But with Dear Bully, I had to put it aside for a while and pick up another book, because the stories in this book were evoking such strong emotions that I couldn't keep reading through my tears.

With that being said, I am incredibly grateful to have read this collection.  As the title implies, the book contains stories from 70 different YA authors (including some of my favourites, like Lauren Oliver and Megan McCafferty) about their own experiences with bullying.  As a formerly bullied kid myself, it would have been amazing to read this book when I was 13 and know that some of my favourite writers had struggled with the same issues, and to know that I was not alone.  I can only imagine the strength that a book like this can provide to a teen that is currently being bullied.

The stories are divided into sections: Dear Bully, Just Kidding, Survival, Regret, Thank You Friends, Insight, Speak, Write It and, finally, It Gets Better.  The first section was the hardest for me to read, as authors penned letters to their own bullies, recounting their experiences.  Just Kidding and Survival were also equally heart-wrenching, and then regret told stories of kids who were bullies, and what they wish they'd done differently.  By the end of the book, the stories become quite empowering, encouraging teens to speak out against bullying and, stories of writers who took their bullied experiences and turned them into bestselling novels.

Dear Bully is a book that could really make a difference in a teen's life; however, if you've shared in any of the experiences in the book, have a jumbo box of Kleenex handy.  Trust me, you'll need it.
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Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

I had a love/hate relationship with this book ... unsure if I wanted to keep reading or hurl the book across the room.  But something in the book kept luring me back in and, once I passed the halfway mark of the book, I couldn't put it down and I'm so glad that I finished it.  Tahareh Mafi is an extremely talented writer and tells a wickedly wonderful story.

But let me back up a bit.  I was immediately drawn into Juliette's world, fascinated by the way that she saw herself and her surroundings.  Enter Adam on scene, and the book started to drive me crazy.  I just wanted to reach into the story, grab Juliette by the shoulders (although, in hindsight, that may be a little too dangerous) and tell her to get a hold of herself.  At the same time, Tahereh's writing is so beautiful, that I kept reading.  But then the over-exaggerations of the story started to annoy me a little (i.e. a million years passed before he spoke).  But then I remembered that Juliette is only seventeen and I admitted to myself that I used to write like that when I was a teenager.  Every emotion is felt so profoundly at that age.  I can recall writing in my journal that my heart broke a little more each day because the boy that I yearned for didn't even know I existed.  Once I realized this, I was able to enjoy the remainder of the book.  In fact, I applaud Tahereh for being able to so perfectly capture the voice of a teenager, without sounding like an adult who vaguely remembers what it's like to be a teen.

So, I flip flopped back and forth between loving and not loving the book, but finally settled on enjoying it.  The last half of the book positively flew by and I think I read the final 100 pages this morning, in one sitting, with my morning coffee.  I'm very excited to see what Unravel Me, book 2 in this trilogy, will entail.  And I also feel disappointed that I missed my chance to meet Tahereh Mafi when she was at Chapters in March.  Please come back to BC!!!!!
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Book Haul [3]

Happy Sunday Everyone!  This Sunday is particularly enjoyable, since tomorrow's a statutory holiday, so it really feels like it's only Saturday =)  But all my American friends will be saying the same thing for their upcoming Memorial Day weekend (I'm thinking that's next weekend?)

Without further ado, here's my book haul for the week...

Arrived in the mail from Chapters:

Can I just say how EXCITED I am to read both of these books?  Plus, they're gorgeous.  Confession: I may have spend an excessive amount of time just staring at them =)  But, as excited as I am to read both books, they're going to have to wait until I'm finished the stack of books that I'm currently reading.  Considering the fact that I don't like to read more than one book at a time (unless it's an audio book and a print book), I somehow have FOUR books on the go, and five if you count the audio book!  Yikes...

And finally, I bought the entire series.  Even though I've already read the first book.  They're so pretty.  And the line-up at the library was far too long.  As Magan @ Rather Be Reading just posted, books are my kryptonite as well.  But, honestly, we could have a much worse addiction, right?  RIGHT?

What did you get this week?  Leave me a link and I'll come visit you!  Happy Reading Everyone!
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Wonder - R.J. Palacio

The funny thing about writing reviews is that sometimes it's excruciatingly difficult to write a review about a book that you didn't enjoy, but sometimes even harder to write a review about a book that you loved with all your heart.  Wonder is one of the latter types of books.  I finished this one in a day last weekend, and have struggled to find the words to review it ever since.

I first read a review of this book on GoodReads, written by the wonderful Wendy Darling, whose opinion on books I hold in high esteem.  At the time, my library didn't yet have this book on order, since it was so new, but I immediately added the book to my TBR list.  Once my copy arrived in the library, and I devoured it in a single day, I will definitely be purchasing a copy of this book, since I think it's a must-have for any library.

Wonder is a middle-grade novel that would appeal to any age group.  I recommended it at work to a woman with an eight-year old son and to some of my much older coworkers.  As Wendy so eloquently put in her review, this book can be recommended to anyone with a beating heart.  It'll warm your heart, break it a little and then leave you with a feeling of absolute satisfaction and euphoria.  After finishing this book, I immediately told my husband that all elementary schools should have this book as a novel study.  If more kids read Wonder, I sincerely believe that there would be no more bullying.  It's the kind of book that touches your heart and makes a difference.  The kind of book that sticks with you long after the final words have been read.  The kind of book that makes your soul sing and makes you happy to be a reader.  The kind of book that comes around once in a while and reminds how profoundly we have an impact on the lives of one another.

I won't write anymore, since the slightest thoughts about the plot of this book have me tearing up all over again.  But let me leave you with this: YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.  If you read nothing else this year, read this one.  It's, hands down, the best book that I've read this year.
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WWW - May 16

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Only two more work days left ... and then we have a long weekend coming up.  I am SO excited for three days off work to rest, get some spring cleaning done and, of course, READ!

W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I've just started Shatter Me and ... holy moly ... she's such a good writer!

What did you recently finish reading?
I read Wonder in one day on Sunday -- that book tore my heart apart and I still haven't found the words to write my review.

What do you think you'll read next?
I just picked up The Mockingbirds from the library (because I still have faith in Magan @ Rather Be Reading's recommendations!), which I'm excited to read, and my copies of Insurgent and City of Lost Souls arrived in the mail this week! 

What about you?  What are you reading?  What did you recently finish?  And what are you looking forward to reading?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!
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Everneath - Brodi Ashton

Holy freakin' moly.  After having read a couple of disappointing books lately, (Variant and The Way We Fall, which I couldn't even finish), I was eager to jump into either Wonder or Shatter Me, both of which I fully expect to be phenomenal.  But I looked at my stack of library books and realized that Everneath is due back at the library next Wednesday, so I had to try that one before the other two.  I shoved it into my purse and set off for the ferry and a visit with my parents.  I figured that I could give the book a decent shot during the three hours of ferry riding and, if it hadn't wowed me by then, I could set it aside and pick up another book upon my return home.

Well, I honestly don't remember much about the ferry trip at all.  I think that my husband may have been attempting to chat to me, but my nose was buried in the book and I was so captivated by the world of Everneath that the rest of the world just melted away.  Even at my mom's house, I wanted to just curl up with the book and my mug of tea on Saturday morning, and I had to force myself to close it and visit with her, since we were heading back home that afternoon.  I sat with the book on my lap, chatting with her in the sunshine, but anxious to read just one more chapter of Nikki's adventure.

I really knew absolutely nothing about this book when I picked it up, other than the fact that it's a modern day retelling of a Greek myth.  And, while I do enjoy mythology, I don't really know all of the stories all that well.  So, fear not, you don't need to be a myth nut, or even know much about mythology, in order to be swept away by this story.  In all honesty, I think that I may have put the book on hold at the library because of the cover ... and just look at that cover; is it not gorgeous?!?

The story will grab you from the very beginning.  Nikki wakes from a hundred-year slumber in the arms of Cole, determined to hold onto a piece of her past that is trying to slip away.  Nikki is Cole's Forfeit, a human that he has taken into the Feed in order to take her energy and fuel his immortality.  Most humans emerge from the Feed as shells of their former selves, unable to remember anything, but Nikki has been unable to forget one face: Jack.  She returns to the surface, where she will live for another six months before her Return, either to the Tunnels, which are like the Underworld, or to be with Cole and rule the Underworld for all time.

The emotions that Nikki goes through in this book make her a character that is easy to relate to.  Nikki's reasons for joining Cole in the first place, to become his Forfeit, are revealed later in the story.  I don't want to spoil anything, but let's just say that any teenage girl in her place would have taken Cole up on his offer.  I'm sure that all readers of this book can remember the teenage roller coaster of emotions and hormones and, especially, the pain of heartbreak.  A quick look through my own teenage journals would reveal endless pages of longing, and tears, and moments of wishing that my heart would just stop hurting, just long enough that I could breathe.  This book relived some of those moments for me, and I found myself racing from page to page, savouring every moment of Nikki's journey.

The story as a whole is excellent, but I was surprised to learn that this book is the beginning of a trilogy.  Although the book ended in a way that it could continue, I thought that it was left so that the reader could imagine the ending, rather than actually reading the next part.  I am excited to see what the next stage in this journey will entail and will definitely be acquiring Everbound, when it is released next year!
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Variant - Robison Wells

There is seriously nothing more disappointing than being totally excited for a book that is going to blow your mind, only to have it kind of fizzle out.  I saw this book on an IMM post at Rather Be Reading.  Although I can't quite remember the exact description, the book was recommended to Magan by another blogger who said that this was the best book she'd read in a while.

Variant wasn't a BAD book, but it just wasn't as mindblowingly excellent as I had hoped it would be.  The plot was interesting, but I think that the writing style was what turned me off the book.  I found myself getting irritated with the main character and it made it hard to be rooting for him.  Many of my favourite books have female lead characters, as I usually find it easier to identify with a female character, but there are some lead male characters that I have enjoyed.  Benson, the protagonist in this story, was just too hot-headed for me and at times I just wanted him to shut up, rather than trying to run everyone's lives and tell everyone what to do.  There were several spots in the story where the description annoyed me and the pace of the story felt forced, rather than natural and flowing.

With that being said, the premise of the story is definitely an interesting one.  Benson arrives at a boarding school after securing a scholarship and he's eager to escape his previous experience of bouncing from foster home to foster home.  After he arrives at Maxfield Academy, the lone adult drops him off at the front of the building and speeds away.  He quickly discovers that there's only students at the school, but the school is controlled by some outside force that keeps the students in line through a system of punishments and rewards.

There's a sequel coming out in October, but I think I'm going to give it a pass. 
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WWW - May 9

Happy Hump Day everyone!  This week seems to be going by exceptionally slowly ... is it just me?  Perhaps it's because I'm so looking forward to the weekend -- a trip back to the Island for my dad's birthday / Mother's Day!  Which, of course, also means lots of ferry and reading time with the hubby!

W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I'm close to finishing The Way We Fall.  I honestly thought that this book was going to be much better than it is, but it's barely 300 pages, so I'm going to finish it anyways.  I'm also still working on The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which I'm really enjoying so far.  I haven't read much adult fiction this year so far, so it's an interesting break from the YA.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished Variant, which was recommended by Rather Be Reading.  It was a good book, but not as good as I was expecting it to be.  There's seriously nothing worse than being severely disappointed by a book =(

What do you think you'll read next?
Hmmm... I have picked up several intriguing books from the library over the last week, all with shortened loan periods too.  I'm thinking either Everneath or Wonder or Shatter Me.  Thoughts?

What about you?  What are you reading?  What did you recently finish?  And what are you looking forward to reading?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!
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Top Ten Favourite Bookish Quotes

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is SO HARD.  I have a notebook that I use to jot down quotes that tug at my heartstrings and it's just full of quotable bookish goodness.  Unfortunately, I haven't been very diligent on writing down quotes lately, so most of these are from books that I read quite a while ago.  Lately it seems that I've intended write down some of the great quotes, but I just get caught up in the story and forget.

So, in no particular order, here are some of the quotes that made it into my notebook...

And we loved with a love that was more than a love.
~ Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee"

"Think about the word destroy," the man said.  "Do you know what it is?  De-story. Destroy. Destory.  You see.  And restore.  That's re-story.  Do you know that only two things have been proven to help survivors of the Holocaust?  Massage is one.  Telling their story is another.  Being touched and touching.  Telling your story is touching.  It sets you free."
~ Francesca Lia Block, Baby Be-Bop

People just wanted to be loved.  That was the thing about words, they were clear and specific -- chair, eye, stone -- but when you talked about feelings, words were too stiff, they were this and not that, they couldn't include all the meanings.  In defining, they always left something out.
Janet Fitch, White Oleander

Stories are light.
~ Gregor in the Jailer in Kate di Camillo's Tale of Despereaux

I wanted to forget the past, but it refused to forget me; it waited for sleep, then it cornered me.
~ Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle

A collective memory has risen from the land and settled over the Triangle like a cumulus cloud.  Memory breeds memory, draws it out of new arrivals, takes it in.  The soil so rich, water so abundant, the bounty so green; it has absorbed us many times over, then breathed everything out again, so that the very air is made of memory.  Memory falls in the rain.  You drink memory.  In winter you make snow angels out of memory.
~ Ann-Marie MacDonald, The Way the Crow Flies

As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.
~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your Hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~ William Blake

My Heart is Broken.
My mouth closed on the words, and then I swallowed.
~ Carol Shields, Unless

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~ Polonius, in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

A little bit of a mixture of everything -- I've had this quote book on the go since I was in university (hence the poem quotes!)  Really must get back into jotting down those quotes that make my heart sing.  Please leave me a link to your list in the comments and I'll stop by to visit!!
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Book Haul [2]

It's Sunday, I'm back from my bus trip (tired, but had a GREAT time), all caught up on my reviews and it's time for another Book Haul post!  Here's what I picked up from the library this week:

Spells - Aprilynne Pike

I read the first book in this series, Wings, almost two years ago, but my library finally ordered the second book in the series.  I remember the book being interesting, and walking the fine line between being good and cheesy, so I'm interested to get back into the story, and see if I like it.

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

I have been wanting to read this book for SO LONG.  I was going to break down and buy it when she did a signing a couple of months ago, but then hubby whisked me away to Harrison Hot Springs for the weekend, and I didn't go.  So then I had to wait on hold at the library.  And wait and wait and wait and wait.  But the waiting is OVER.

Wonder - R.J. Palacio

I have serious respect for Wendy Darling's reviews, but my library seems to be a few months behind her reviews.  I read her review of this one a while ago, and was overjoyed to see my library put it on order.  I'm ready to have my mind blown.  Bring it on!

In other exciting news, my copy of Insurgent will be shipped on Tuesday, along with City of Lost Souls!  Here's hoping that they both arrive this week, and can be included in next week's Book Haul.  Sooooooooo excited for both of those books, which means that I'd better get busy reading some of these library books!  Please leave me comments and links to your own book haul posts (or whichever reincarnation you're using) and I'll stop by to visit!
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Article 5 - Kristen Simmons

Before I start my review of the book, I have to set up the backdrop for how I read the book, since I think it contributed to what made the book so amazing.  I was curled up on a bus set (I had two seats to myself, since the bus was only at half capacity).  I devoured the first two thirds of the book, as the bus zipped along the Trans-Canada Highway, through windy mountainous roads.  The sky was dark grey with rain threatening to fall at any moment.  Then, I arrived in Kamloops and trekked across the street to Starbucks, where I read the last third of the book, sipping a chai latte, and waiting for my friend to pick me up.

Sometimes the best way to fall in love with a book is when you have uninterrupted time to read the entire thing from beginning to end.  I've been dying to read this book since I read LC's Adventures in Libraryland's review of it a few months ago.  When my copy FINALLY arrived at the library, I just knew that it was the perfect book to accompany me on my weekend bus adventure.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that it's fairly lightweight, despite the fact that it's a hardcover (weird, I know).

The storyline in this book is AMAZING.  Basically, the American Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.  Anyone who doesn't comply with these Moral Statutes can be fined, imprisoned, or worse.  The story begins with a bang when Ember's mom is arrested for violating Article 5, which states that "Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife."  Ember herself is sent to a reformatory school to learn how to become a "valid citizen," since she's come for such an "immoral" family unit.  But, here's the best part, the arresting officer is none other than Chase Jennings, the first boy that Ember ever loved.

And that's just the first 30 pages or so.  What follows is a story that is told at breakneck speed, as Ember hurtles from one adventure to another.  I found myself barely able to tear my eyes away from the pages, and only did so when I needed to shift position to stop my foot, or my butt, from falling asleep in the bus seat.  GoodReads says that it's "Article 5 #1" and I'm hoping this means that there's going to be another one, since I loved the characters so very, very much.  Lately, I've been growing tired of books that are just the first in a series, but this is one book that I just wanted to keep reading.  It's incredible that it's Kristen Simmons' first novel too -- I'll definitely be watching for more of her work!
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Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

As I posted earlier this week, I took a bus trip this weekend to visit a friend for her 30th birthday weekend.  Part of the stress of packing for a trip is trying to decide on which books to pack.  Then, compound that with the fact that half of my hold list at the library arrived all at once, and I had way too many pretty books to choose from =(  What a tough life I have, hey?

So, I narrowed it down to three books and actually polished this one off during my public transit ride TO the bus station / waiting until it was time for the bus to leave, since I arrived WAY too early.  Yup, this one's a quick read, but I really enjoyed it.

It's a love story told in photographs, with just a smattering of text (postcards, IM chat messages and just a tiny bit of dialogue).  But the photos are quite striking and the story was easy to follow, even with the absence of text.  Chopsticks is definitely a unique book, since I haven't ever seen anything remotely similar.  The story is sweet, kind of a Romeo and Juliet type love story.  At the very beginning of a the book, Glory, who is a world famous pianist, disappears from a rehab clinic, where she seems to be going slightly crazy, playing nothing but "Chopsticks" for hours on end.  Then the story flashes back 18 months, and we see the love story between Glory and Frank develop.

The tale that's woven through the photos is really teenage love in its essence.  It's pure, raw and defies adults telling them that they're "too young" for such feelings.  The emotions evoked in this book really brought back memories and I really enjoyed reading it.  It's a quick, easy read and well worth the time spent reading it.
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WWW - May 2

It's Wednesday -- happy hump day everyone!  I'm lucky this week that tomorrow is my Friday, since I'll be heading out of town to visit one of my bestest friends for her 30th birthday!  One of the best parts will be the 8+ hours of my bus trip, which means ... uninterrupted reading time!!!  (This is me putting a positive spin on the fact that my butt will likely be falling asleep / creepy strangers will try to talk to me / hopefully I won't be sitting near the bathroom on the bus).

W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I'm reading Variant by Robison Wells.  I saw this book posted on an IMM post over at Rather Be Reading.

What did you recently finish reading?
I spent all weekend with my nose buried in Fifty Shades of Grey.  I still can't believe that I read over 500 pages in less than 24 hours, but that's how addicting that book was.  My review is posted here.  And, needless to say, I've ordered the trilogy from Chapters, which will be arriving with my copy of Insurgent and City of Lost Souls ... so excited!

What do you think you'll read next?
As mentioned above, I'm heading out of town this weekend by bus.  I have to be reasonable (for once) on my book packing, since hubby isn't coming along (usually he carries the luggage, as I've usually hauled a minimum of three books along ... just in case I finish one and then the other one that I brought to read doesn't interest me ... you know?).  So, I'm only packing ONE book, and it's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, my book club selection for this month.

What about you?  What are you reading?  What did you recently finish?  And what are you looking forward to reading?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!
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Top Ten Books I'd Like To See Made Into A Movie

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted, as always, by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm a little hesitant doing this week's theme, since a book being translated onto the big screen can be done really well, or really, really badly.  Many of my favourite books have already been made into movies (seriously, sometimes it feels that Hollywood's running out of their own ideas, so they're just making book after book into movies these days).  Some I've loved, and some ... not so much.  But, with that being said, here are some books that could make interesting movies ... if they're done right.

1. Wither - Lauren DeStefano
This series could be transcribed onto the big screen really well, if the beauty of the world is properly captured.  It would have to be a director who specializes in visually spectacular movies.

2. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
Apparently, this one is being made into a movie in the not too distant future.  I just hope it doesn't turn into a Groundhog Day Part II.  There's so much heartbreak in the book, which is going to have to be transcribed into the movie.

3. Delirium - Lauren Oliver
All of Oliver's books would make spectacular movies, but I'll just limit it to two on this list.

4. Airborn - Kenneth Oppel
I read this for a YA services course a couple of years ago, and I think with the air pirates and giant balloon travel and cloud cats, it could make for a very interesting movie!

5. Silverwing Series - Kennth Oppel
My previous choice instantly made me think of these books, which are about bats.  This would have to be animated, or Dreamworks type animation, but it could work really well on the big screen.

6. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate di Camillo
The Tale of Desperaux was well done in film version; therefore, I think that this book could be equally great in a movie.

7. Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
This was such a great book, with such a great moral.  It could be an excellent story and would probably reach even more teens than it does in book format.  Be yourself, and others will love you for who you are.

8. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
Seriously -- Cinder would be awesome.  And her little sidekick (whose name I can't remember at the moment) would be just like Wall-E, but even cuter.

9. The Mortal Instruments Series - Cassandra Clare
I'm surprised that these books HAVEN'T been made into a movie thus far, considering the success 
 and craze over Twilight and the Hunger Games movies.  It would be amazing to see the world come alive on the big screen.

10. The House of the Scorpion - Nancy Farmer
One of the most amazing YA books that I have ever read.  And this book would be EPIC in movie format!

That's it for my list -- what books would YOU like to see made into a movie?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll come visit!  Thanks for stopping by!
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