4/29/12

Book Haul [1]

During all of the drama last week, I spent a considerable amount of time reading through some of my favourite bloggers' posts on plagiarism and their thoughts on this whole incident.  It blew up into such a massive scandal quite quickly and I was saddened to see so many nasty comments flying around.  Yes, plagiarism is wrong, but so is bullying.  And, as one of my favourite bloggers so eloquently pointed out, there is no judge who can lay down a sentence in a case like this.  (Seriously, her post is amazing... click here to read it).  What is has come down to is individual bloggers choosing whether or not to participate in the IMM meme, or support her blog.

After considerable thought, I have decided to not participate in IMM (although I haven't been doing it for that long anyways).  Posting about what arrived "in my mailbox" in the first place didn't always seem to make sense, since most of my IMM posts were about what I picked up at the library.  I liked LC's Adventures in Libraryland's idea of a "book haul," which can have any origin.  So, with no further ado, here are the books that I've picked up from the library this week!


I flipped through Chopsticks at Chapters and thought that it looked like a really unique book, with pictures rather than text.  The Way We Fall sounds interesting, although I'm a little worried about the plot line of a deadly virus, since I love the Chemical Garden Trilogy so much.  And Everneath has SUCH a beautiful cover and I have no idea what it's about (I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised!)

Plus, I have to get started on my book club pick next weekend, during my 8 hour bus trip to visit a friend.  I might have to put my library books on hold for a bit so that I can get that one out of the way!
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April Re-Cap

It's hard to believe that April is almost over!  I swear, the older I get, the faster it seems that time goes by.  And what a busy month it's been!  I went to the Island to visit my family for the Easter weekend, saw Cats with hubby, celebrated our kitty's first birthday and hubby and I will be seeing Snow Patrol tomorrow evening!

First of all, I participated in Random Acts of Kindness, hosted by Book Soulmates, for the first time.  I started the month off by telling Sarah @ Workaday Reads that I would send her my gently used copy of Jim Butcher's Storm Front, then promptly got super busy and work and didn't make it home before the post office closed for two whole weeks!  I sent it off to her yesterday (so, technically, it's still an April RAK, right?!)  I'm looking forward to participating next month too!

It was a busy month for reading too -- upon reviewing my recent posts, I can't BELIEVE that I read this many books during the last month!  Here they are...

Pure - Julianna Baggot
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have -








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Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

Let me begin this review by stating that I've only read a handful of romance novels in my lifetime and my only point of reference for erotic literature is Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series.  This book was GOOD.  Really, really good.  The writing isn't exemplary (apparently, the story started out as Twilight fan fiction before it was published).  In some ways, the obsessive relationship aspect of Twilight was perfectly captured in this novel, although I felt that Ana had a much stronger backbone than Bella did.  I've read a few reviews on GoodReads that didn't like this book because it was repetitive, but I also learned that the book was originally published one chapter at a time (apparently, that is how fan fiction is published online ... in installments?)  So, in a way, I can understand where the repetitiveness comes from, since the story was published one chapter at a time.

If you're going to read this book, just make sure that you know going in that it's erotic literature.  I also noticed in a few reviews that people who didn't like the book mainly critiqued the fact that they'd heard a lot of buzz about it, but had no idea what it was about.  The content is explicit but I found it to be an entertaining read.  I read over 300 pages yesterday afternoon, and finished off the remainder of the book this morning, so it's an easy and captivating read.  And I can't wait for next book to arrive at the library, so I've decided to order to the set from Chapters.  Yes, they're THAT addicting.

Edit: OMG. I just became a fan of the author on GoodReads and discovered that she has a playlist for each book on YouTube.  One of my favourite things in books is when the characters listen to a particular song that I haven't heard before and I end up listening to it and the book just comes alive just that little bit more.  I loved all of the references to opera songs, and it's amazing that they're all linked up in one spot!  Plus, Tess of the d'Ubervilles has been on my TBR for a long, long time, and this book just reinforced my desire to read it sooner, rather than later.
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4/28/12

Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized, the second book in the Birthmarked trilogy, picks up where the first book left off.  If you haven't read the first book, I won't spoil anything for you, but this book is the next phase of Gaia's adventure.  I actually liked the second book better than the first one, probably because I was better prepared for O'Brien's writing style.  There are so many dystopians out there where the action happens at a breakneck speed.  The reader is madly flipping pages, dying to find out what happens behind the next plot twist.  While Prized (and Birthmarked, the first in the series) are not slow by any means, they're written differently than other dystopians that I've read.  It's hard to put my finger exactly on what it is about these books, but it almost feels like they're more about character development, and the plot and action are secondary.  The reader really comes to get to know the characters intimately and, although the story picks up in key moments, there's no mad dash towards a climactic ending.  Plus, Gaia is just such a unique, loveable and profound character.  It's really her that is the driving force behind this series and I will definitely be reading book three to find out how it all comes to a conclusion!
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4/25/12

Fracture - Megan Miranda

I included this book in my IMM post last weekend, and stated that I wasn't sure whether I would like this book or not.  I can safely say that I didn't like the book ... I LOVED it.

As I mentioned in my IMM post, sometimes it's better not to have any expectations when reading a book.  Sometimes I think that I read too many reviews prior to even putting a book on hold at the library, so by the time I start reading the book, it's almost like I've made up my mind what I'll think of it.

I loved both of Lisa Genova's books (Still Alice and Left Neglected), and this book felt like what her writing would be, if she wrote YA.  Megan Miranda has a background in science (and worked as a high school teacher -- yah teachers!).  This really comes across in the writing, as Ms. Miranda knows her stuff about brain injuries and comas. 

Eleven minutes might as well be eternity underwater.  It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness.  Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes.  And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs.  Death is possible at five minutes.  Probable at seven.  Definite at ten.

Dexter pulled me out at eleven.

And so begins Fracture, the story of Delaney Maxwell, a girl that not only lived after being trapped underwater after she fell through the ice, but also gained the ability to sense people who are dying.  She yearns to help them, ease their suffering or save them.  Her life has taken a different path, alienating her from her friends, until she finds solace in Troy, a boy who also emerged from a coma with the same "gift."

I won't give away any more of the story, but it's beautiful.  It's heartwarming and tragic, elegantly written and paced perfectly.  I read 3/4 of the book in one evening and couldn't wait to devoure the last quarter the next day.  Plus, as an added bonus, the author PERFECTLY wove in my absolute favourite musical of ALL TIME, Les Miserables.  And, as a teaser, how could you not love a book with these song lyrics woven into the story?

Take my hand and lead me to salvation
Take my love for love is everlasting
And remember, the truth that once was spoken
To love another person is to see the face of God.

 Goosebumps.  Seriously.
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4/23/12

Top Ten All Time Favourite Characters In Books

It's Tuesday and time for another Top Ten Tuesday post, hosted by the people over at The Broke and the Bookish.  I love this week's theme: top ten all time favourite characters!  In no particular order, they are as follows...

1. Hermione from the Harry Potter books ... because she made being book smart cool.
2. Astrid from White Oleander ... because my heart broke along with her struggles and I couldn't tear myself away from that book.
3. Marianne from The Gargoyle ... because a woman who loves a man through multiple lifetimes is just the coolest heroine.
4. Simon in the Mortal Instruments series ... because the story is supposed to be all about Jace and Clary, but I personally prefer Simon as the slightly geeky underdog competing for Clary's attention.
5. Ada in The Poisonwood Bible ... because of the way she sees the world in palindromes.
6. Stargirl in Stargirl ... because she's STARGIRL.
7. Rhine in Wither and Fever ... because her story and struggle is epically beautiful.
8. Macy in The Truth About Forever ... because, although I love all of Dessen's heroines, no one has quite stolen my heart like Macy did at the end of that book.
9. Edward in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ... because he has to learn how to LOVE.
10. Death in The Book Thief ... because no one else has narrated a story in quite the same way.
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4/22/12

Blood Red Road - Moira Young

There's nothing that I love more than serendipitous book recommendations.  I put this book on hold at the library, and it arrived at the same time that I saw a rave review on GoodReads, where the reviewer nailed it when she said that she was hesitant about reading this book because it looked like a Western.  I thought "Yes!" because that's EXACTLY what made me hesitate reading this book in the first place -- there was just something about the book that kinda reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, the one book in my life that made me want to vomit.  But it could have been because I was forced to read it as part of the worst university English class that I ever took.

So, moving on to serendipitous moment #2.  After I return home from the library, I receive a personal message on GoodReads from a former co-worker/Guiding friend/family friend/all-around wonderful person who suggested that, since I've been on a dystopian kick as of late, I might like this book.  How coincidental!  I had literally just picked it up at the library.

I'm also currently reading Dear Bully, but that book is just so crazy intense that I can't read more than a couple of pages at a time; therefore, I decided to start a second book (and this is completely unlike me).  Blood Red Road did not disappoint and, I'm sorry to say, I haven't read ANY of Dear Bully in the last few days, since I've had my nose buried in Blood Red Road.

The first thing that I will mention is that the style of writing in this book is very unique.  If you pick this one up, do NOT be put off by the fact that the characters speak in a uneducated, backwoods type of English.  I found myself reading it aloud for a little bit (while hubby looked at me strangely) until I got the hang of the writing style.  And, I've got to say, Moira Young is freakin' BRILLIANT for being able to write like this.  It must have been very challenging to make all of the character's speech just right.

I've already added the second book to my TBR list on GoodReads, and have noticed quite a few people critiquing the cover of the second book because it has a quote on the cover that says that this series is "better than the Hunger Games."  While I agree that it's not always beneficial to pitch one series against one another (and I don't know how many books that were supposed to "better than Harry Potter" just were NOT), I also feel that this book is in the same caliber as Hunger Games.  It has that same, heart-pounding, thrilling action feel and characters that you cheer for.  I was sad when I finished the last page, but also excited that the adventure will continue in another book.  And, at 459 pages, this is one of the lengthier YA books that I've read in a while.  It's good sometimes to have more pages to really get into the story before it all comes to an end.

And, final serendipitous moment -- when I finished the book and read the author's bio on the inside of the back cover... she's CANADIAN.  Oh yeah.
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4/21/12

IMM [4]

Just got back from the library ... and time for another IMM post, hosted as always by The Story Siren.  I can't believe that it's been a month since I last did an IMM post -- I feel like I've spent more time lurking around reading other people's IMM's, but I keep forgetting to share my own!

So, without further ado, here are my new library books:

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
I'm not sure what I'm going to think about this one, but there's so much online buzz about this book that I just had to put it on hold at the library.  I was kind of surprised at how long it is though -- 514 pages, and fairly tiny type!






Variant - Robinson Wells
I saw this book featured in an IMM post over at one of my favourite blogs, Rather Be Reading.  It came recommended to Magan by a blogger friend, who described the book as really awesome, but one that's a bit more under the radar.  I didn't have any idea what the book was about when I put it on hold at the library but I read the inside of the jacket aloud to my husband in the car on the way home and HE wants to read it now too!




Fracture - Megan Miranda
This is another one that I'm not sure if I'll like, but I thought I'd give it a shot.  The premise sounds interesting enough, and the cover is beautiful.  And sometimes it's better to NOT have any expectations for a book, right?







Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien
I loved Birthmarked and it was a story that stayed with me for a while after I finished the book.  My friend Sarika enjoyed the second installment in the series and, as we seem to have pretty similar views on books, I'm hoping that I enjoy this one too!






Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
I've had this one on hold at the library for EONS while it's been sitting in processing.  It's on audio and, lucky for me, I'm the first person to borrow it, so there won't be any issues with skipping discs -- there's nothing that annoys me more than being halfway through an audiobook only to discover that the discs skip too much to keep listening.

So, that's it for me this week.  Which books did you get?  Leave me a link to your post in the comments and I'll stop by and visit!!


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TBR Intervention [2]



TBR Intervention is a weekly challenge (although it's been a couple of months since I last posted), which is hosted by Dani@RefractedLight , Ayanami@Whatever you Can Still Betray and April@Books4Juliet

I did it!  I finally finished my first TBR Intervention challenge book!  Well, I actually finished it last week, but I forgot that it was my TBR intervention book until a post showed up in my Twitter feed this morning.  I read I Am the Messenger (my review is here), which has been sitting on my shelf for probably over a year.  I read The Book Thief YEARS ago, and ordered a copy of I Am the Messenger because I loved Zusak's writing so much.  While I liked I Am the Messenger a lot, it didn't wow and amaze me in quite the same way that The Book Thief did.

Next up for this challenge will be ... *wanders away to gaze at bookshelves* ... Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I signed up to do The Lit Bitch's Outlander challenge this year and, if I don't get started on the series, I won't be able to read more than one!  I've had this one sitting on my shelves for well over a year, possibly even two years.  Even my mom has read this book already!  Plus, Evie @ Bookish said that she might read this book with me =)  If she's got time in between her review books?
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4/18/12

WWW - April 18

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 just started Blood Red Road by Moira Young.  I haven't read much yet, but the introduction really grabbed my interest so I'm hoping that the rest of the book keeps up!  I'm also reading Dear Bully (which is VERY unlike me to read two books at a time).  It's a compilation of stories from 70 different authors.  I found that I had to have another book on the go because I can only read a story or two from Dear Bully without getting too choked up and/or crying so hard that I can't see the page.  The book will be a slow go, but it's such a valuable and important book.

What did you recently finish reading?
Legend by Marie Lu!  Amazing!  Incredible!  Add it to your TBR list!  And see my review here.

What do you think you'll read next?
I have to get started on my next book club book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.  I think I'm ready to jump back into an adult book for a bit, take a YA breather.

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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4/16/12

Legend - Marie Lu

I've been on quite the dystopian kick lately.  So far this year, I've read Pure, Fever, Wither, Birthmarked, Pandemonium, Cinder, Divergent (wow -- that is quite the dystopian kick!).  So, when Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner started RAVING about this book, I immediately put it on hold at the library.

A word to the wise: do NOT judge this book by its cover.  (Don't be afraid to admit that you do too.)  I mean, when you look at the cover, it honestly doesn't look like much.  Especially when you consider how many jaw-droppingly beautiful covers there are out there (although sometimes a pretty cover does not necessarily guarantee a good read).  But this book, despite its simple cover, IS jaw-droppingly beautiful.

After I posted my WWW last week, and noted that I was planning to read this book, someone commented that the book was based on Les Mis.  I literally yelled out "No way!" when I read the comment.  Les Mis is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favourite stories.  I love the musical (I've seen it four times) and I can be found belting out the songs in my car.  I haven't yet read the original, but it is on my TBR list.  When I picked the book up from the library, I was overjoyed to read the author's bio and see that she had been inspired by the story, but wondered what it would be like if it was set in a modern era.

With such extremely high expectations, I embarked on the adventure that is Legend.  Marie Lu did not disappoint with her modern, dystopian interpretation of Les Mis.  The world that she's created is totally believable, and my heart ached along with the characters during their struggles.  One of the things that I loved the most about this book is that there is no love triangle.  There is a love story, but this is the first book that I've read in a while that doesn't have a love triangle and, to be perfectly honest, I was getting a little tired of the "But I love them both -- how will I choose?"  I also found myself slowing down towards the end of the book (which is quite rare for me, as I usually read full steam ahead as I'm nearing the end), savouring every word and feeling sadder as I drew closer to the last page, mainly because I'm going to have so long to wait until the next part of the story!  I returned my copy to the library, but I'll be purchasing a copy for myself and will be waiting in line on the release date for part two for sure!!  Please, can it be soon?!?
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Top 10 Tips for New Bloggers .... or, my variation on this week's theme!

As a new blogger myself, I don't know if I fully feel qualified to give out tips for new bloggers, but as I was away for the long weekend last week and missed out on the last Top Ten Tuesday (hosted, as always, by The Broke and the Bookish).  I love Top Ten Tuesday so very, very much that I just couldn't skip a second week.  Instead, I'll make this a list of things that I have learned since I embarked on this journey.

1. Really think hard about your labels before you start writing any posts.  I've kind of added labels as I've gone along, but that's resulted in me going back through my older posts and adding labels to things that I've already posted.  At first, labels didn't seem important, but I read a post at one of my newest favourite blogs yesterday (Into the Morning) about labels being invaluable for searching through a blog.  And I thought to myself, that's exactly what I do on some blogs.  For example, clicking on the "five star" label can bring up a list of that blogger's favourite books, and corresponding reviews, making it easier to navigate through the blog.

2. Make a review list by author, rather than by title.  I've just realized that I should have organized my review index differently, since I've read multiple books by the same author, but they're no longer grouped together.  I hate that I'm going to need to reorganize the list by author, which is going to take some time.  Fortunately, I've realized this before I had an extraordinary amount of reviews!

3. Find your own style.  Originally, I found myself poking around other blogs and trying to think of ways that I could make my blog emulate the styles of other blogs that I love and that are popular.  But then I realized that there is no other blog out there like mine, so I should instead focus my energy on making my blog unique and what I would like it to be.  People are reading my blog, and leaving comments that they really like how it's organized and the way that I write my reviews, so I must be doing something right!

4. Interact with other bloggers.  I've been reading blogs for a few years, and only recently decided to join in on the fun.  I was a little shy at first to comment and say hi to these bloggers, who I had been admiring from afar.  But I've realized that they're all very nice and have commented back, sharing their words of wisdom and sometimes books or HTML hints.  There really is a blogging community, and it's super fun to be a part of it!

5. Write for yourself, before anyone else.  I originally joined GoodReads as a way of broadening my book journal and keeping track of my reading.  When people started commenting on my reviews and adding me as friends on there, I became a little more self-conscious about my reviews, since they weren't just about me and my thoughts anymore.  The internet is just a little more public than the pages of my journal, where I used to record my thoughts on the books that I read, and lists of titles in a series that I was working my way through.  But soon after starting my blog, I remembered that I needed to shake off that self-conscious feeling of wondering what people would think about my reviews, and just write for myself.  Yes, my writing is on the Internet for the world to see, and it can be a little scary at times, but at the end of the day I'm creating my blog for myself.  If what I write speaks to others and they enjoy it too, then that just makes the whole experience even better.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm a new blogger myself and really looking forward to reading everyone's top ten posts this week.  If you have any tips of your own to share, please leave me a link in the comments section and I'd love to swing by your blog!
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4/15/12

Between Shades of Gray - New Cover

I was just browsing around on Chapters (adding to my ever increasing list of books that I want to read) and noticed that Between Shades of Gray has a new cover.  It's so pretty that I almost want to read the book again.  Here's the new cover (left) and the cover that I read (right):


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4/12/12

Follow Friday [2]

It's FRIDAY!!!  I don't know about you, but this has been such a long week.  Post-holiday weekend weeks always seem to be longer, despite the fact that there were only four work days.  But it's the weekend now, and time for lots of reading time, plus my hubby and I are going to see Cats tomorrow night!  This should be interesting, since hubby doesn't care for musicals, but I talked him into this one and I'm hoping that he'll enjoy it!

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read & Parajunkee.  This week's question is: What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

My friend Sarika recently told me that Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall is being made into a movie.  I loved that book so very, very much and I'm a little nervous to see how the story translates into the big screen.  I have my fingers crossed that it'll be amazing!
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I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak

After being blown away by The Book Thief, I had extremely high hopes for this book.  While it didn't wow me the same way that The Book Thief did, Markus Zusak does have a certain way with words.  His stories remind me of a snuggly blanket that wraps itself around you, warming your heart as you flip through the pages.  He writes things like this:

Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.
The story is sweet, with odd but likable characters who really start to grow on you after a while.  I'll be honest and say that halfway through the book, I started to wonder where the story was going, as it meandered along in a seemingly aimless manner.  But Zusak is such a gifted storyteller and every word and phrase is placed just so, part of a larger whole.

If you've already read The Book Thief, don't read this book expecting a similar type of story.  I Am the Messenger is unique in its own way, but it's the type of book that will sneak up on you and crawl into your heart while you were preparing to not enjoy the story.  It's a story that I'll be thinking of for another day or two for sure, but I won't say any more for fear of accidentally spoiling something!  Just read it.  It's good.  It's really, really good.
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4/11/12

WWW - April 11

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 halfway through Marcus Zusak's I Am The Messenger.  I loved, loved, loved The Book Thief, and have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for about two years.  So far, it's decent -- no WOW factor like The Book Thief had, but Zusak does have a way with words.
 
• What did you recently finish reading?
I read Vampire Academy over the weekend.  My review is here.  It was... meh.  Not as impressive as I had hoped it would be.
 
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I just picked up Legend from the library last night.  SO excited to read that one!!!  Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner got me psyched to read that one, and I've been patiently waiting on hold for what feels like MONTHS.  Going to go curl up with Zusak now so that I can dive into Legend really, really soon...
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4/10/12

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

I feel a little bit bad saying this, but I didn't enjoy Vampire Academy.  I read SO MANY glowing reviews of this series on GoodReads, and so many people have recommended the book to me, but it just didn't do it for me.  Perhaps the series gets better as it goes along?  If anyone has any thoughts to share on this, I wouldn't mind hearing someone convince me to keep reading.

I just found that nothing much happened.  The writing was okay and the pacing of the story was a little slow for my taste.  Rose's character annoyed me, especially when she'd get super angry with lightning speed.  There seemed to be no middle ground with her; she'd be fine one second or livid and ready to fight the next.  Lissa's character also annoyed me and I found her to be completely spineless.  She seems completely dependent on Rose who, in turn, is either completely devoted to Lissa or completely focused on either getting drunk or making out with a boy.

All in all, not planning to read any further into the series -- unless someone has thoughts on whether the series gets better?  I know that some series take a book or two to really get going, but I just can't see this one getting much better.
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4/6/12

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) - Sarah Mlynowski

This book can be concisely summed up in one sentence from the GoodReads summary: 2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have. 

After having recently read several heavier books (especially Pure and Shine), this book was a breath of fresh air.  It felt good to shake off the heavier topics and just laugh out loud over the silly antics of a teenage girl.  I originally added this book to my TBR list after I read Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner's post about bookish theme songs.  Seriously, was that not the best Top Ten Tuesday of all time?  She said that the theme song for this book should be Young Blood by the Naked and Famous.  I love that song and crank it in my car with the sunroof open (or I did last summer -- it's still a little too chilly for sunroofs right now).  I wanted to read a book that would accompany that soundtrack, so I put it on hold at the library.

And the story PERFECTLY matches that song.  It's about the impulsiveness of teenagers, young love, parental expectations, making mistakes, learning to be independent, friendship and so much more.  This is the first of  Mlynowski's books that I've read, but I will definitely be hunting down the rest of her work.  I followed her on Twitter too -- and was pleasantly surprised to learn that she's Canadian too!  There's nothing better than an excellent Canadian writer, eh?
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Follow Friday [1]



This is my first time joining up with this feature, but I thought it would be a great way to meet some new bloggers!  Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee -- two bloggers whose blogs I have loved for a while now.  Check out both of their sites and join in on the fun!

Question: Have you ever bought a book because of a bad review?

No, I have not.  When I buy books, I usually choose those that have had the best reviews since, if I'm going to spend money on a book, I want to make sure that it will be worth it.  If it's a book that I'm not sure of, I'll usually just borrow it from the library.  That way, if I don't like it, I haven't wasted any money!  Although, if I end up LOVING the book, then I'll sometimes buy books that I've already read, since I just have to own a copy.  A prime example is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver -- after I finished reading it, I immediately ordered a copy from Chapters.  It's a book that's just too pretty NOT to own!

You can follow my blog via GFC in the right sidebar.  Please leave also me a comment and I'll come visit your blog!
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4/3/12

Pure - Julianna Baggot

I was a little apprehensive heading into reading this one, since there's a lot of mixed reviews on GoodReads.  A few of my GoodReads friends even read this several months ago and their reviews merely say that they're not sure what to say about this book just yet, and they'll have to think about the book for a bit before writing a review.  So, to be honest, I wasn't expecting too much when I starting reading this.  I thought I'd give it a shot and, if I didn't like it, I could just return it to the library.

But I did like it.  A lot.

Pure has a little something for everyone.  I think that the best way to describe this book is a cross between Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone.  I loved how Margaret Atwood created a futuristic world whose events were based on real historical events.  Pure is the same type of world: the Detonations are the equivalent of Hiroshima and this dystopian world's inhabitants are dealing with the destruction left behind.  The Pures are those who live inside the Dome, the lucky ones who were granted a place inside the Dome before the Detonations.  The people who live outside the Dome are fused with whatever objects, animals or, in some instances, people were nearby during the Detonations.  This part of the book is slightly horrific as the reader is exposed to the tragedy that unfolds after a major explosion.  I think that the book has been critiqued because of this factor, that it's just too icky, but I found that it had just the right ick factor to make it interesting, rather than turning me away.  Baggot's writing reminded me a lot of Laini Taylor's, flowing and elegant despite the dark subject material.  She has also published volumes of poetry and the poetess is evident in her prose.

I didn't realize that this book was part of a trilogy until I read the epilogue and saw that it was the end of book one.  I'm intrigued to see where the story takes off in the next part since this was an epic beginning to the story.
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4/2/12

Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

It's time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by the folks at The Broke and the Bookish (I always feel like writing ... brought to you by the letter B!  It's been a long, long, long day...)  It's not often that I can actually finish a book in one day, but these are the books that I've definitely devoured as quickly as possible, and usually in just a few days.

1. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Still one of my favourite books of 2012.  I stayed up late to finish the last chunk of the book, then had to stay up even later talking to my husband and getting him to make me laugh so that I'd stop crying.
 
2. The entire Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
No, not read ALL of them in a day, but these are all books that can be devoured quickly for sure!

3. Twilight Saga - Stephenie Meyer
As badly written as these were, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing each one.

4. The Hunger Games series - Suzanne Collins  
Again, up until the early hours of the morning because I just couldn't put the book down.

5. The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
I actually read almost the entire book in one sitting, on a beach, forgetting to flip over and apply more sunscreen.  Addicting book = nasty sunburn =(

6. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate DiCamillo
This is one that I KNOW I read in one sitting, then read again to my husband while we were driving to Alberta.  And I was in tears at the end each time.

7.  Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
I feel like this book is on every single one of my top tens.  But seriously.  One of the best books of all time.  I am about to buy my sister-in-law a copy, just so that she'll give me my copy back.

8. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
This was a book that I wanted to read in one day, but I had to force myself to read it slower since it's SO epically beautiful and deserves to be savoured.

9. The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
I read this in a couple of days, but I remember my then-boyfriend, now-husband coming home from work when we lived in Burnaby and asking how my day was.  I was reading out on the porch in the sunshine and told him to shush and go away because the book was so amazing and I couldn't put it down.  It was his recommendation and he fully understood.

10.  The Truth About Forever - Sarah Dessen
Now that I've reached the end of the list, there are about 50 more books that I want to include, but I'll have to go with the first Sarah Dessen novel that I ever read.  I read this while I was working at Bolen's and I'm pretty sure I read the whole thing in a day.  After finishing, I spent the rest of the summer reading everything else she'd ever written.

Which books have captured your heart and forced you to devour them in a single day?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll stop by to visit!
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4/1/12

A Quarter of the Way Through 2012 -- and looking forward to April!

Hard to believe that we're already 1/4 of the way through 2012 -- where is the year going?!?  Since I'm going to be taking the upcoming semester off school, I'm committed to diving fully into the world of blogging and, as always, whittling away at my TBR pile!  Here's hoping that there will be lots of free time during the next four months, without pesky school assignments getting in the way!

In April, I'm going to join Book Soulmates in Random Acts of Kindness for the month of April.  I've already found one book on someone's wishlist that's just sitting collecting dust on my shelf -- this is SUCH a cool idea and a great way to share books!  I'm working on putting together a wishlist on GoodReads and you can click here to find me on GoodReads.

I'm close to halfway through my GoodReads reading challenge, and I've started my TBR challenge.  Still have three more challenges to attempt this year, but I'm amazed by how much I have already read!  


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