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Monday, February 27, 2012

My Thoughts: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. 

As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret. 

The Secret Garden is one of my most favourite stories- I love it so much. I find that it is such an endearing tale that inspires hope in all.  The Humming Room by Ellen Potter is a modern day retelling of the much loved story and what a wonderful job it does of capturing the essence of the original story. 

The story begins under a trailer, where twelve year old Roo is hiding after the murder of her Father and his girlfriend. When she is found she is carted off to the house of her uncle. A man she didn't even know existed and has never met.  The house- which was once a hospital for sick children- is massive and sits by itself on an island. 

Potter does a wonderful job expressing how Roo is feeling. What is going through her head and why she decides to do what she does. Her frustration at being kept inside when all she wanted to do was run outside was something I could feel while reading the book.  Roo was a curious girl, but at the same time she was fairly cautious. She knew how to take care of herself and for a while it looked like she would have to. She was also rather lonely, but she didn't want to admit it. When she made friends with Jack I was rather pleased.  I loved Roo's character. She was strong and independent, however, it her strength and independence didn't get in in the way of her ability to trust others and invite them into her life. 

I really enjoyed Roo's passion for the garden. She knew that it was still alive and she wanted to make it live again. It was her purpose and she loved it. She wanted to make it something. This determination was something that she was able to pass onto Jack and together they made it something wonderful.  This was a beautiful part of the story. Roo's love for nature and her almost magical ability to know when there was life in something was incredible. Potter was able to convey this aspect so well. It really was beautiful. 

All the characters found in The Humming Room were wonderfully written characters. From Violent to Emmett Fanshaw, also from Philip to Mrs. Valentine. They were all wonderfully complex characters, who were witty and lovable or hardened and sad. There was a little of everything in the characters of this novel and they all added to its greatness. 

The Humming Room did end a little quick for me. I felt like I was finally getting into the meat of the story when all of a sudden it was the end. But I think this is partially due to how much I was enjoying the story. But I loved the end and I am definitely looking for more from this author. 

The Humming Room hits shelves this Tuesday (Feb 28th) from Feiwel and Friends- so go pick it up, you won't regret it! 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #26 (Vlog #19)

It's that time again! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and that beautiful man badge was wonderfully created by Laura from All of Everything

**My hair is a mad mess in this video, also I start mumbling and not making a lot of sense half way through. What can I say?**

Books Mentioned-All Links lead to Goodreads


Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood


Witchlanders by Lena Coakley 


Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Fever by Lauren DeStefano

That's all for me!! 

Make sure to leave links to your IMMs below. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Thoughts: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 

What a lovely little book. 

I had heard many good things about Jennifer E. Smith's debut novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight before it finally made its way to me. So I was glad when I finally received notice that it was available at the library.  It's not a very long book just over 230 pages and it took me no time to get it done.  It really was a pleasure to read. 

I love contemporary novels. They make me happy, and after reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I was reminded of just how much I love them and why. 

The story begins with Hadley (I just love her name), she's on her way to her father's wedding in London. A wedding that she does not want to be attending. Hadley is feeling incredibly emotional and dealing with a lot of things when she arrives at the airport- Anxiety over the wedding and guilt over a fight she's just had with her mother. So when she realizes she's missed her flight to London and is at risk of missing her father's wedding she's miserable. 

It is at this time that we meet Oliver. Oh Oliver. Sweet, funny,  sensitive Oliver, he was seated next to Hadley on the seven hour journey to London and he's exactly what Hadley needed to get through the flight and be at her father's wedding.  Oh Oliver. In case you didn't notice I rather liked Oliver. He was a great character. And I really loved the conversations that took place between the two. 

What made me appreciate this book more than anything was that it wasn't just about the romance between Oliver and Hadley. It was also about  the relationship Hadley has with her father.  It was broken and in much need of repair. Hadley hadn't yet forgiven her father for leaving her mother and inadvertently leaving her as well. She feels like he has this new life that she doesn't fit into. I could feel Hadley's confusion in this book. Her desire to have her father be a part of her life and her be a part of his,  the anger she felt toward him and the resentment she felt toward his new wife. There was a plethora of emotions filtering this book and every single one of them I could sympathize with. Oliver was also dealing with issues that we do not discover until later in the story (I don't want to spoil). All his conflicting feelings were well written as well, and I could understand why he did/said some of the things he did. 

I really liked how Smith was able to incorporate the wicked cute romance of Hadley and Oliver with dysfunctional family dynamics. I loved how Hadley and Oliver were able to garner strength from one another's situations and emotions. I like when books do that. When the story is about more than just the romance makes is a stronger book (in my opinion). That is what I found it The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. A wonderfully written tale about forgiveness and growth and more than romance. 

~Happy Reading

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #25 (Vlog #18)

Why hello and welcome to another In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren- the button comes from Laura over at All of Everything

Book Mentioned, all links lead to Goodreads


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

That's all for me,

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Thoughts: Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

**ARC received from Simon and Schuster Canada**

When I first read the synopsis to Dead to You by Lisa McMann I got really excited. It sounded amazing- Sort of like The Face on the Milk Carton or Deep End of the Ocean-esq. Both of which I enjoyed. You see, I am oddly fascinated with these types of plots. A child gets kidnapped and somehow by some miracle is returned to their families years later. The whole concept is interesting- maybe because I can't even fathom the thought of losing a child. It's to much to think about. However, Dead to You fell short for me. I did not like this book at all. For me there was so much wrong with it I don't really know how to review it.

Okay, so we the have Ethan. He was abducted when he was seven from his front yard while his younger brother watched. Nine years later he is miraculously returned to her family. Naturally the family is different as they have had to live through an incredible tragedy. Ethan's younger brother, Blake, who was the only witness to Ethan's abduction, doesn't trust his brother. He's angry and wants answers. But Ethan is unable to answer anything. Why? Because he can't remember what happened to him.

I read this book fairly fast. It's an easy read, and there are a few mysterious events/situations that I was really curious about.


The whole book felt a little juvenile to me. The targeted audience is fourteen and up. I would agree with this age group on some of the content and the language. However, the story itself was bland and lacked character, and I often felt like McMann was targeting a younger audience than what was indicated by Simon and Schuster. There was so much potential in the plot, and I felt like McMann failed in drawing me into the story. Conflict within the family felt a little superficial and while reading I felt like I was reading something intended for ten year old's. Ethan's relationship with Cami was an aspect of the novel that I thought didn't need to be included as it added nothing to the plot as a whole- if it had to be there, maybe it could have moved a little slower. The romance was not believable to me at all.

I think the biggest issue with this novel was the writing. All the emotions that I would expect from a novel that involves something as serious as kidnapping were not present in Dead to You. I felt none of the grief or joy, nor did I get a sense of the confusion that was said to be present in Ethan and his family. This was really frustrating for me. I also felt like things were moving really quickly with no real explanation as to what was going on and why.

 This is the first novel by Lisa McMann that I have read and I have heard that she is fantastic. Dead to You did not convince me of this. I am no will however to give up on her yet. I have Cryer's Cross on my shelf and I have every intention of reading it. Hopefully I will have better luck with that one.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday-Valentines Edition

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!

** I am switching it up a little today. I took some of my favourite lovey dovey lines from some of my favourite books and am sharing them here with you. Cause it's Valentines Day and I wanted to. So enjoy!**

In no particular order... 

'"What did the fish say when it hit a concrete wall?" he asked me. We're sitting on the bank of a stream and he's tying a fly onto my fishing rod, wearing a cowboy hat and red lumberjack-style flannel shirt over a gray tee. So adorable.
"What?" I say, he grins. Unbelievable of how gorgeous he is. And that he's mine. He loves me and I love him.
"Dam!" he says.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand 

"He stops and looks at me. 'I'm here because of you. You're my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don't think that will be happening in my lifetime.”' 

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

“I love Jere more than anybody. He’s my brother, my family. I hate myself for doing this. But when I see you two together, I hate him too.” His voice broke.
“Don’t marry him. Don’t be with him. Be with me.”

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han


“Dan smiled at me with lips still moist from mine. I have seen clouds part for the sun. I have seen rainbows. I have seen flowers in the morning, covered in dew, and I have seen sunsets so brilliant with fire they have made me want to weep.
And I have seen Dan smile at me, his lips still wet from my kiss, and if I had to choose which sight moved me the most I would say it was that one.”

Dirty by Megan Hart

“Her body and her mouth felt the way Lewis had held her and the way he has kissed her and how hard it was and how gentle. She felt different girl, but the same. She felt cherished.”

The Outcast by Sadie Jones 

I love love! 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Chat: Negative Reviews

Hello, and welcome to the second Book Chat that I have ever posted. Book Chat is monthly feature hosted by Misty over at The Book Rat- where she give us a topic and we get to talk about it. This month was Negative Reviews/Author Blogger Relations- you can check out Misty's video here. This was a touchy subject, and I am not sure that I really talked about everything. But I tried. 

** This is a little bit of a rant. But watch anyways.**

It was not my intention to offend anyone in this video. If I did I apologize. I just really wanted to share my thoughts on this issue. 

Thanks for watching. 

~Happy Reading! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Thoughts: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

**Earc received from NetGalley**

I don't really know how to start this review or where to go with it. When I first received Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi from NetGalley I was SO excited to read it. It was all the rage. Readers were loving this book. Saying it was the best book they had read and how amazing it was. I went into the reading of the novel expecting BIG things. I hate to say I was a little disappointed. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it like everyone else. There were a few things that I had issues with.

The story started off really slow. Which for me was not a good sign. If things don't start happening right away in a book, or the world building take to long I get bored and have no desire in finishing it, which is what happened in Under the Never Sky. It was to slow. However, when I figured this out I was already bored and not that excited about the plot. When the story picked up, my desire to read the book was gone and I only kept reading it because I had to.

The concept behind Under the Never Sky was interesting. Regardless of it's poor literary execution. The idea of people living in a virtual reality was fascinating. I also liked that there were two separate societies. Those who lives in pods and those who live outside of the pods. I enjoyed how they were pitted against one another. What I really loved about this novel were the "powers" the outsiders had and how they were used. This was a lot of fun. I enjoyed reading about how they are used and why they are important.

The characters were okay. Some were better than others. Aria was annoying in the beginning, but she grew on me. She was still annoying at the end, but not as much. Perry was whiny and I wanted to scream at him to man up. But, by the end I really liked him. He grew the most as a character. His relationship with Aria was interesting. I think it moved forward a little to quickly for me. They didn't like one another one second, and loved each other the next. It was sweet but a little to quick for me.

Overall, Under the Never Sky presents a good story, however, the way it was presented wasn't something I was horribly excited about. I wonder if future books in this series will be better- I think so. I have every intention of continuing the series. There were many interesting things that happened in Under the Never Sky that I want to try and figure it out.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

In My Mailbox #24 (Vlog #17)

Welcome, welcome (can you tell I've been watching The Hunger Games trailer?). Anywho... It's that time again- In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and the button is from Laura over at All of Everything

Books Mentioned-All links lead to Goodreads 

For Review: 

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
New Girl by Paige Harbison


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 


Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver 

That's all for me! I hope you enjoy. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

January Wrap Up

So I had a lot of fun last year sharing all the books that I read. So this year I think I am going to keep doing it. However I'm changing things up a little and add share the books that I reviewed and how I'm doing with my challenges. 

PS- If you're interested in what I am hoping to read for the month of Feb- go to my YouTube channel and check out my video. 

So here goes...

Books Read:

-Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver 
-Cinder by Marissa Meyer
-Hallowed by Cynthia Hand 
-Dead to You by Lisa McMann
-Incarnate by Jodi Meadows 
-Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
-If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
-Where She Went by Gayle Forman 

Books Reviewed:

-Fever by Lauren DeStefano (My Thoughts
-Cinder by Marissa Meyer (My Thoughts)
-Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (My Thoughts) 
-Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (My Thoughts

Random Stuff: 

-I participated in the Young Adult Giveaway Hop and gave away a copy of A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford and someone won a book of their choice. 
-I also participated in the Book Bully Week hosted by Ruby over at Ruby's Reads, I was bullying readers into reading The Pretty Series by Jenny Han. Check here for my reasons why you should read the series. 

Challenge Overview: 

-Debut Author Challenge- 3/25
-2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge- 0/25
-Completely Contemp Challenge- 2/15
-2012 Reading Challenge- 8/80 

And that is that. 

~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