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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #14

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

"His eye glinted in the sun. He touched his nose to my brow. He tilted his head.  All my fears and worries about monsters, all my concerns about my older brother, all my questions about Daniel melted away as I stretched up on my toes to meet him."


Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Thoughts: Red Glove by Holly Black

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.
That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.
When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Red Glove is the second book in the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. I read the first installment, White Cat a few months ago and I didn't really like it. Therefore I was not all that interested in reading the sequel. However when the audio book became available I decided to give it a try. Jesse Eisenberg is the narrator and I like him so...

I got about a third of the way in the audio book before giving up to read it (I could read it faster then Jesse could).  I liked Red Glove WAY better then I liked White Cat. What I didn't really like about White Cat was Cassel's family. I did not like his brothers and how they treated him, they lacked family loyalty. I also did not like Lila very much in White Cat. I found her to be annoying and self centered. Having to prove herself as this tough heir to the criminal thrown. There was less of this in Red Glove.

What I did like about White Cat were Cassel's friends. They played a bigger part in Red Glove, and we got to see their characters evolve. That was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed seeing Sam get excited about being an accomplice, and Daneca and Cassel becoming better friends.  Lila's character was also different in this novel as well. Because of what happened at the end of White Cat her demeanor was a bit more docile, and I appreciated that. I got to see her as a fairly normal teenager, she made friends with Cassel's friends and it was also fun to see the relationship between Cassel and Lila change. Cassel's brothers played a limited role in Red Glove, which I also liked (one of them dies at the beginning so..), also his mother frequents this story more. I really like Cassel's mother, I find most of her scenes funny.

What I really liked about Red Glove compared to White Cat is how we get to see Cassel change. In White Cat, he's a little whiny, and fairly passive. In Red Glove he matures more, and becomes more assertive. I loved that, I loved seeing him do his little con jobs. He was meticulous in his planning and organising. Cassel is my favourite character and I really enjoy seeing his life play out. 

If you were like me and did not really like White Cat I could suggest giving Red Glove a try. It was better.  I am looking forward to Black Heart and discovering how this story ends.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (17) Follow Friday (16)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is...

When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?
I think I realized that reading was a passion early on in my life. I can remember being in the fourth grade and we would get 15 minutes of DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read), and when that 15 minutes was up, I would be so sad because I always thought it was so short, I could have easily spent the rest of the afternoon reading, I knew then that it was important to me. So basically forever.  

Follow Friday is Hosted over at Parajunkee's View.

This weeks question is...

What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

I don't know that I have a favourite fairy tale that revolves around the fae- I don't know that I even know of one. But I do enjoy the stories of the fae tricking people into eating their food when they shouldn't. Those are my favourite stories.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Author Interview: Tabitha Suzuma of Forbidden

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

A few weeks ago I posted my thoughts on Tabitha Suzuma's controversial novel Forbidden. A story about a consensual incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. It was a heartbreaking story that I thought about for many weeks after I was done reading it. I had so many questions for Tabitha about Forbidden and her reasons for writing such a novel. So when I was approached about being apart of the Canadian Blog Tour for Forbidden I jumped at the opportunity. I have for you a Q & A that I hope will give you some insight in what Tabitha hoped to accomplish in this book.

1)  For me, reading Forbidden was difficult. Mostly because it was an emotionally taxing story, and I found it heartbreaking. Can you please describe how you felt writing this book?

I actually gave up on the book after writing the first few chapters because I believed that no-one would agree to publish a book for teens about consensual sibling incest. I was persuaded to keep going by my editor, however. But yes, the worry was there all along and the whole book was a battle between keeping the story as realistic as possible (i.e. not glossing over the sexual scenes) and writing a book that wouldn't be banned from every school and bookshop.
Writing the more explicit scenes was difficult because of the reasons mentioned above. But by far the hardest scenes to write were the ones where Lochan and Maya are suffering.

2) On that note. What was the most difficult scene for you to write? Did you ever have to take a break from writing a specific scene?

The hardest part by far was writing the end. By then, I was so caught up in the characters and the story that it began to feel like I was writing a book about something that had really happened. In order to portray the characters' emotions convincingly, I had to experience them myself, which was really painful and frequently had me in tears. As you can guess, the book does not end happily and writing the ending was one of the hardest things I've had to do in my life. I found myself spiralling into deep depression and would often end up in tears and have to take a break and pace the house alone at night, sobbing. I could scarcely bear to re-read what I'd written and it got to the point that I was so caught up in the book that the story became more important and more vivid to me than real life. This eventually led to me having a breakdown.

3)  I have read that Forbidden explores the question, "What circumstances could lead two siblings to develop romantic and sexual feelings for each other?  And how would such a relationship likely progress. . .and end?"' How accurate is this description? And what was your purpose in writing Lochan and Maya's story?

That's a fairly accurate description. Consensual incest between siblings is not common when the siblings are raised together and so I needed a special set of circumstances in order to make it plausible. My purpose in writing the book was to write a tragic love story, different from the others out there, and one that would hopefully stay with the reader, push them outside of their comfort zone, make them think and experience strong emotions. I hoped they would take away with them the realisation that things are not always as black and white as they might first seem, that everyone is different and it is often too easy and narrow-minded to dismiss something as disgusting or wrong. I hoped readers  would come to realise that in some cases, in some situations, something universally perceived as 'wrong' can actually be harmless. And that you don't choose your emotions, you don't choose who you fall in love with. I also hoped the book would make people more open-minded and less judgemental in general and would encourage readers to have empathy for others, particularly for those who are different, isolated or troubled and lead difficult lives.

4) There are a few fairly explicit sexual scenes in Forbidden, can you describe the process in which you decided to add those to your book? and why you felt they were necessary?

From the very outset, I made it clear to my publishers that I was very concerned about making the story as realistic as possible and therefore I was not willing to gloss over anything that might be deemed 'inappropriate' or doing any of tasteful fades to black. I had set out to write a story about consensual sibling incest and therefore, by definition, the book was going to have to contain at least one sex scene and several sexual scenes leading up to it. Anything less would have been unrealistic in my view. Glossing over these sexual scenes felt like a cop-out and completely unnecessary - they were not written to shock but rather to make the story more authentic. I simply wrote them with the same attention to detail and the same focus on emotions as the other key scenes in the book.

5) When I reached the part of Lochan's sacrifice in Forbidden, I thought immediately of Kit, and how this was going to affect his life. Any chance we'll be seeing Kit's story in the future?

I can't imagine writing a sequel to FORBIDDEN. I can only hope that eventually Kit comes to terms with the fact that what happened was not his fault...

Thanks so much to Tabitha Suzuma for taking the time to answer my questions I really appreciate it, and I appreciate Forbidden so much more now that I know what went into it's creation. Thank you also Simon and Schuster Canada for the opportunity to read Forbidden and being a part of the blog tour.

Forbidden is on sale in North American Tuesday June 28th, but you can read the first chapter here.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #13

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

"It was a big whiskey, and it starts to take effect somewhere between the staterooms and the coaches. I'm clearly not the only one under the influence either-now that "business" has been concluded, everyone connected to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth is letting off steam."


Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

Well I have caved and decided to participate in IMM this week, I received some really awesome books this week for review and I wanted to share them. As most of you know IMM is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The physical books I received this week:

For Simon and Schuster Canada I received
  • Witchlander by Lena Coakley
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dryer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Fury by Elizabeth Miles
  • Dust and Decay by Jonothan Maberry
  • Swear by Nina Malkin
Thank you to Michelle over at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me these books, I can't wait to read every single one of these books.

I Bought:
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen-Audio Book

I Borrowed:
  • Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh
  • Entwined By Heather Dixon-from the library.

I also received a few ebooks from RAK but I'll talk about those at the end of the month.

I had a great book week this week and I wanted to share.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (16) Followe Friday (15)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is...

How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile?

I don't actually know. I think maybe 50. So it's manageable. I could get 50 books read by the end of the year. However, like most TBR piles it is ever growing. But that's ooooook.

Follow Friday is Hosted over at Parajunkee's View.

This weeks question is...

Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

I have two favourite genres. Romance of any kind, and Young adult. My favourite romance novel is Dirty by Megan Hart, that story breaks my heart every time I read it. But then it puts it back together. I love it. Hunter's Moon by OR Melling had been my favourite YA as a kid, and it is still dear to my heart. But I have also read some really great YA books in the last few months. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is up there, The Summer I Turned Pretty  By Jenny Han is also a possibility. There are many.

Happy Reading Everyone! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Thoughts: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.  
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Believe it or not but I have never read anything by Megan McCafferty. Yes, I am totally admitting to having not read the Jessica Darling series, and after reading McCafferty's first official YA novel, Bumped, I am not sure that I will read the Jessica Darling series. It's hard to explain my exact feelings on this book. I liked it, sort of, there were some things that I did not like, and that could have possibly made me not like the book at all, almost to the point of thinking it wasn't a very good story.  I should mention that I have not read very many dystopian novels, as I am not a huge fan of the genre. But I have read a couple that I have enjoyed, and seeing as dystopian novels are growing in popularity in YA fiction, I will keep giving them a try.

The issues that I had with this novel stemmed mainly from the language. I did not like how complicated some of the language was, using words like reproaesthetical, I was sometimes confused with what the characters were talking about. This really irritated me. The language that McCafferty created for Bumped came across as very immature and trite to me. The vocabulary that was used by the characters did not add to the novel in any way, it actually cut into how I read the book. I would get stuck on a word and have to try and figure out what it meant. Which was hassle.

I thought the characters were ok. Not great. I liked Harmony (even though many thought she was annoying), I thought she was kind of funny, and endearing, regardless of her being incredibly naive. She was earnest and I enjoyed that about her. I was not fond of Melody, I found her to be very spoiled, which did not sit well with me. The guys in the story left me wanting. Although Zen was kind of funny. But again he was nothing special. Mediocre characters is what Bumped was filled with.

I did appreciate McCafferty's attempt to show that teenagers are not mature enough to be having babies. With all the television shows out there these days glamorizing teen pregnancy, this book showcases that having kids is a big responsibility, and that it's not something teenagers should have to take on. I also liked the idea of once a baby is there that you can't take care of, give him/her a couple who wants it SO badly but can' conceive themselves (although Bumped said this a little differently I think it was the general idea). I felt like this book was pro-adoption in it's own way.  I also liked how McCafferty brought to light how some faith groups can be so fanatical that they forget their grass roots, and what some people will do in the name of God-and how off they can be.

There were small things in this book that I appreciated however I don't think the execution was very smooth.  I am curious about what happens next in this series which is the only reason why I am considering the next book. But I don't know that I will read it. We'll see.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (15) Follow Friday (14)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is...

“Who is the ONE author that you are DYING to meet?

I would love to meet Megan Hart. I think she would be really fun to have a conversation with. We could talk Supernatural and music. That would be cool.

Follow Friday is Hosted over at Parajunkee's View.

This weeks question is...
The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

Isabelle Culpepper (The Wolves of Mercy Falls series)--I think she is one great character. She's got a hot attitude, but  at the same time she is also fiercely loyal. I love that about her. She's got wonderful friends, and a love interest (eh|?), that is pretty freaking hot (I am totally a Cole girl, and I can't wait till Forever to find out more about him).  I think it would be great to be here for a day.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cover Love-All Fall Down by Megan Hart

In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced out into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger’s name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.

Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albright’s doorstep claiming Liesel’s husband Chris is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they’re stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven’t just left the compound–they’ve been left behind. Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.

How incredibly gorgeous is that cover?

It is no secret that I love Megan Hart's writing. That Dirty is one of my most favourite books. She writes mostly romance/erotic fiction, however, it is tastefully done, and it doesn't feel raunchy. I love her style of writing and her character and plot build up. Her books make me happy. 

This year Hart ventured into what she termed "mainstream contemporary fiction" with her novel Precious and Fragile Things. I received the opportunity to read PAFT before release day and I loved it. Everything that I appreciate in Megan's writing could be found in PAFT. The plot, the characters, the dialogue. It was great. To read my thoughts go here

So I am very excited to see that Megan is again coming out with another contemporary novel-All Fall Down- and this one sounds even more intriguing then PAFT.  All Fall Down is set to be released in early 2010 (exact date has yet to be determined). I know I'll be first in line to buy it.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (14) Follow Friday (13)


Follow Friday is hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is...

“Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us why it’s close to your heart!”

Last weekend I read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. It was a pretty intense novel and I reviewed it this past week. I don't know if it's my favourite post, but it was a hard book for me to review. If you would like to read my thoughts on it please feel free. Or look it up on goodreads. This is a novel that everyone is going to be talking about for a long long time.  I would really encourage you to check the posts out.


Follow Friday is Hosted over at Parajunkee's View.

This weeks question is...
What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)
Absolutely nothing. When the zombies come. I plan to join them. I like to be on the winning team.
Happy Reading Everyone!

Many Books in a Year: May

Wahoooo, I had an amazing month of reading. Once school was let out (I am taking a spring course but that's only one class) I was all about spending my extra time reading. I am working full time now, but all my friends have left the city/country this summer so I have LOADS of time to get lost in some far away land. I read eight books this months (YES!) and it feels good.  There were no audio books this month. I have a big paper due in June so I don't know that I'll have as good a month, but we'll see.  This puts me at 38 books this year. Not to shabby.

1) Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (My Thoughts)
2) Across the Universe by Beth Revis (My Thoughts)
3) Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
4) Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
5) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (My Thoughts)
6) Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
7) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (My Thoughts)
8) Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness.

Book Soulmates

WOW, what a month. This was the second time I participated in RAK hosted by Book Soulmates and boy was I spoiled! I sent out six books and received six. Compared to last month it was insanity.
I received:
From Bella at Cheezyfeet Books
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.
Thank you SO much Bella I can't wait ti read this one! Sierra also sent me an eBook of Paranormalcy.

From Sierra I also received

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.
I am so stoked about this one. Thank you!

From Stephanie at Once Upon a Chapter

Desire Unchained by Larissa Unchained
I've read this and enjoyed it. Thanks Stephanie.

From Ruby at Ruby's Reads I received

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Whoop Whoop!
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
I've been coveting this book for a while now! 

I would to thank every single one of you for sending me these amazing gifts, I am speechless. And so totally excited! I can't wait to get these read.

I sent out:

To Bella at Cheezyfeet Books
  • Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
  • Darkness Becomes her by Kelly Keaton
To Ruby at Ruby's Reads
  • Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
To Cindy at Princess Bookie
  • Three to Tango (an anthologie) Feat-Emma Holly, Megan Hart, Lauren Dane, and Bethany Kane 
To Ashley at Book Labyrinth
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I loved sending these books out and I am excited to keep going. I am planning on participating in June's RAK. You can find my wish list here or in the navigation bar above. I am eager to take a look at everyone's wish list to post a link below and I'll take a look.

Happy Reading Everyone!
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl