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Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of Year Book Survey: 2011

I can hardly believe that it's the end of the year already! Like really?!?!?! It's amazing! I love thinking about all the books that I have read in the past year. So this End of Year Book Survey is one of my favourite things to participate in. You can find all the info about the survey over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

So onto the survey...

1) Best Book You Read In 2011?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, hands down!
One of the best books I have read ever, never mind just this year. It was incredible!

2) Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon.
I really enjoyed this book for the most part, however the end really ruined it for me. I really wanted to like this book more than I did. But the end ruined it for me.

3) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Witchlanders by Lena Coakly.
I am not usually a fan of high fantasy. Actually I usually find it a little boring. So when I read this book and loved it, I was SO surprised. The writing is beautiful and the two protagonists are fantastic. I really enjoyed this book. 

4) Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

a) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma.
This book tore me to pieces and I recommend it to anyone who has the strength to read it. but the writing it incredible.

b) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
As I said, this book was amazing. It was the book that I gave as RAK gifts the most, I raved about it, and I push it on everyone. It's FANTASTIC, go read it! 

5) Best series you discovered in 2011?

This is a hard one, because I haven't read to many series this year, I mean I have begun a series- many series. I also completed a trilogy (but it wasn't my favourite, so not worth mentioning).
But in the spirit of answering this question:

The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano.
I read Wither earlier this year and I loved it, and I recently finished Fever and it was amazing. So considering I am two thirds done the series and I think it's amazing.

6) Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

I hate to sound like a broken record and everything but...
Melina Marchetta- I have read three books by her this year and I have loved every single on of them. She is a phenomenal story teller. Really.
Ellen Hopkins- I love her writing style. When I first read it I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But I do, I love it, and her stories always leave me in tears.

Alms Katsu- I read her debut this year, The Taker, and it was fantastic. I loved every minute of it. I can't WAIT for The Reckoning to come out later in 2012.

7)  Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Wither by Lauren DeStefano.
believe it or not, but I was not a fan of Dystopian novels before I read this book. In all honesty, I hated them. I thought they were horrible and hopeless. But Wither was really good, and I loved the world that DeStefano created. It was fascinating.

I have since read many dystopians and there have been some that I have not liked, but others that I loved. I don't find them so hopeless anymore!

8) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
If you have read this book, you know why. This book had me on the edge of my seat from page one. I had no idea what was going on, who was Mara Dyer? What happened? It was insane, and I loved every minute of it. Truly I did. Once I started this, there was no way I was putting it down.

9) Book you most anticipated in 2011?
We'll Always have Summer by Jenny Han.
I loved this series. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a book I loved reading. I loved the story and the characters. I loved it all. So the conclusion to this trilogy came out this year and I was eager to get my hands on it. I was insane for the last half of April, I needed to know who Belly ended up with. It was driving me insane.

10) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Collide by Megan Hart.
I love this cover, I think it's incredibly hot, and having read the book, I find the cover suits the story. I think the cover suggests a lot without being sleazy/raunchy. It's gorgeous.

11)  Most memorable character in 2011? 

Georgie Mackee from The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta.
Georgie is one of my most favourite characters from any book I have read. I loved her. She was a brilliant lady with real problems and she handle them with all the class that a normal individual would (which was with none at all). She fell into bed and didn't come out for a week. She was human and grieving and she worried about her family. She was amazing.

12) Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
What a fantastic book. Beautiful story, beautiful characters.

13) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
This book made me realise how much the actions of others (no matter how small) can affect the life of another. Some called Hannah selfish and petty, I don't think so. The actions of others hurt her, and it was how she perceived them; it's different for everyone!

14) Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
I know, I know.
But I finally got to it last month, and I plan on reading the rest of the series in the new year.

15) Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

This is where I fail. There are to many to name.

16) Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

The Taker by Alma Katsu.
This was such an amazing book and I can't wait to have the chance to reread it, I am hoping to before the sequel.

17)  Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The end of Mara Dyer was a huge WTF for me. Actually the biggest, the sequel is my most anticipated for 2012, I am dying to know what happens next. 

Well, that's been my year. I read many amazing books this past year. So many that I didn't name. I am looking forward to many more in the year to come!

~Happy Reading Everyone!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Thoughts: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

I first saw Don't Breathe A Word by Jennifer McMahon at the bookstore back in the fall. Upon reading the back I thought it looked really good and I really wanted to read it. I didn't buy it right then, I actually wanted to see what it had rated on Goodreads before I took the plunge. I did add it to my wishlist and was pleasantly surprised when I received it as a gift in the Fall Book Exchange. Even with my mountainous TBR pile this book quickly moved to the top of the pile. I was suprememly curious about the story.

The story is told by two different narrators- by Pheobe, Sam's girlfriend which takes place in present day time and by Lisa the missing sister, her story is told 15 years prior to the present day and it recounts the events leading up to her disappearance. This aspect of the book was ok, however I would often find myself becoming bored with Lisa's story. Mostly because I wasn't all that convinced about the faries. When I was reading from this 12 year old girls perpective I felt like it was very much make believe. That none of it was real. It was only when reading from the perspective of Pheobe and the present day realities did I wonder what was going on, and whether this really was a messed up fantasy.

There were a few things about this book that I wished were different. One being the end. I did not like how this book ended. Some people would say that is was brillant. I thought it was a misguided attempt at making this book a little more mysterious. To me, this book didn't end. I mean, it ended or I felt like it ended, and everything was winding down, but then all of a sudden you're not sure. I hate when that happens. For me if a book is not part of a series, there should be a definit end to things. To go along with the end, I thought that McMahon went a little to dramatic in places.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #21 (Vlog #14) - Last one for 2011

In my mail box is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and the beautiful button above comes from Laura over at All of Everything.

Books Mentioned


Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver


Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Bloggers Mentioned:

That's all for me. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and we'll see you in the New Year!

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Completely Contemp Challenge: Sign Me Up.

I didn't realize that Young Adult Contemporary fiction was "unpopular". I love it and was amazed that it's not read as much of some paranormal/dystopian novels out there. Some of my most favourite novels are contemporaries.


I am signing up for the Completely Contemp Challenge that is being hosted over at Chick Loves Lit. I am SO excited. I love being able to track the books I read and share them with others. Head over to this post to find out more about this challenge.

My Goals.

I am to choose a number for this challenge. So I am choosing number five. Five Contemps that were published in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This is a totally of 15. Which I think I can handle.

My List


1) The Duff by Kody Keplinger
2) The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
3) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and
4) The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
5) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John


1) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
2) Hooked by  Catherine Greenman
3) You Against Me by Jenny Downham
4) Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
5) Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik


1) Someone Eles's Life by Katie Dale
2) Isla and Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
3) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
4) Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
5) My Life Nextdoor by Huntley Fitzpatrick

So there you have it. I am pretty excited for this challenge. Make sure to head over to Chicks Love Lit, if you're interested in the challenge.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Thoughts: The Furture of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

** Finished copy received by Penguin Group Canada**

I was nine in 1996 so I feel like it's safe for me to say that I don't remember much about the invention of the Internet, nor AOL for that matter. I also should say that I can barely remember life before the Internet. What I know is that the Internet was a fairly prevalent role in the lives of many by the time I turned thirteen in 2000, and when I graduated high school in 2005 the majority of my friends were on Facebook, and it was the "cool" thing to have at the time. So to imagine a life where the Internet isn't all the important in the lives of teens a little difficult. Which is what I had to do in The Future of Us.

I had read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher earlier this year and it totally broke my heart. It was one of the most powerful books I have had the chance to read. The story Jay Asher told in that book was incredible as was his writing. So when I heard that he was collaborating with Carolyn Mackler in creating The Future of Us, I was excited, however, I was also a little disappointed. I was hoping for more from just him and I wasn't sure how I felt about literary collaborations. I hadn't read anything by Carolyn Mackler before (however I do have her novel Tangled on my wishlist/to read someday list). I have to say, I had nothing to be nervous about. The Future of Us was a fantastic read. I really, really liked it.

The Future of Us introduces us to Emma, and sixteen year old girl who has just received a computer for the first time and now had 100 free hours of Internet use. We also meet Josh, Emma's next door neighbour and one time best friend. When Emma log's onto the Internet for the first time, she discovers Facebook (which has not been created yet) and herself fifteen years in the future. After some initial confusion, Emma shares this discovery with Josh, and together they explore the site.

I found this concept to be refreshing and original. I loved the characters and how they interacted with one another. Some found Emma annoying and self serving, I found her hilarious and a little neurotic, but in a good way. I liked Josh and how he was able to handle Emma. Even when they weren't getting along he worried about her, and her well being. It was cute. The story itself had me laughing out loud a number of times, and I loved that. I really found The Future of Us really funny, and I frequently found myself wondering "what if?"

I was pleasantly surprised with The Future of Us,  as I loved the story that Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler created. Much thanks to Penguin Group Canada for the opportunity to read this book. The Future of Us is available now, wherever books are sold (do I sound like a commercial?).

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

IN My Mailbox #20 (Vlog #12)

Here we are again... In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren... Thanks Kristi! The wonderful button above was created by Laura over at All of Everything. I hope you enjoy my video, and please link yours below!

Books Mentioned

For Review
-The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (I know I say Karen- fail)

-Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison 

-Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
-Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill

Bloggers Mentioned:

Ames from Thrifty Reader
Ruby from Ruby's Reads

That's all for me...

~Happy Reading!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Thoughts: But I Love Him By Amanda Grace (Video Review)

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.
  At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

**I have chosen to do a video review on this book, due to the intense subject matter, and I couldn't write how I was feeling, I wanted to rant. I think I leave the ranting to a minimum in this video. I hope you enjoy... Video reviews are not going to be a regular occurance by any means.**

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (My Thoughts)
Stay by Deb Caletti (My Thoughts)
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn (My Thoughts)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Swap #1

Ruby's Reads

Well hello there, and welcome to the Saturday Swap hosted by Ruby over at Ruby's Reads. This is the first time I am taking part in the swap and therefore will share the rules with all you fine folk.

  1. For Bloggers: Make a post on your blog letting everyone know what books you have available for swap. I suggest linking to your wishlist as well (on your blog, Amazon, BD, Goodreads, wherever), for swifter swapping. For Non-Bloggers: Leave a comment listing the books you have available for swap. Include your email in the comment so interested parties can contact you directly.
  2. Grab the button or create your own, but please link back to Ruby's Reads. All the cool people are doing it.
  3. Once your post is live, enter your info in the linky so everyone can see what you've got. 
  4. The circumstances surrounding the swaps are up to the individuals. I'm not responsible for lost books. If you're nervous about swapping with someone you don't know, I suggest you ask for a delivery confirmation number. HOWEVER: please let me know if someone doesn't uphold their end of the bargain and I'll ban them from further swaps. 
  5. HAVE FUN!
Here's the deal- I have 13 books up for grabs. I want them gone. If there is something that I have that you really want please let me know- I want you to have it. Please provide me with a link of what you have to swap.

**Please note that I live in Canada and shipping is a tad more expensive then shipping in the US.**

  • Swoon by Nina Malkin
  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  • Choker by Elizabeth Woods
  • The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
  • The Girls by Lori Lansens

  • The Last Summer (Of You and Me) by Ann Brashers
  • Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (ARC)
  • The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (ARC)

  • Red Glove by Holly Black (ARC)
  • Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (ARC)
  • Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  • Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

So that's all that I have to offer. Feel free to comment below or email me (JstAnotherStory@gmail.com) if there is something that you see and you want. I'll link my Goodreads and Amazon wish lists- in case you want to look and see what you have that I might want. I'm new to the rules so...  

I look forward to swapping with you!

~Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Many Books in a Year & December TBR

November was a totally fail for me. I read a grand total of five books, and one of those books was an 89 page novella. For Shame! In my defense, November was insane at school and I barely had time to eat and sleep never mind read, so five books is ooook. This gets to me to a total of 79 books. 

** I have also added a video of what I plan on reading for the month of Dec. I have big plans so make sure to watch my video and wish me luck- I'm going to need it!!**

1) The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (My Thoughts)
2) The Twits by Roald Dahl
3) Stork by Wendy Delsol
4) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (My Thoughts)
5) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

December's TBR...

From the Library:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

To Review:

The Future of Us  by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

The Theme Pile:

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Haven by Kristi Cook
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

~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