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Friday, November 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (6)

I have another book haul for everyone!! I love sharing with you the books that make their way into my hands. I hope you enjoy. 

Stacking the Shelves in hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews

Books Mentioned 


Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Thanks so much to Claire from Claire Reads- I am pretty thrilled- Haha. 


For Gifts

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

For Myself

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

For Review:

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada!!

Bloggers Mentioned:

Fall Book Exchange hosted by Ruby at Ruby's Reads and Amanda from Letters Inside Out.

That is all I got this time around- be sure to leave your links below I can check out your hauls.

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From Book to Movie (11)- Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.

In their world frivolous liaisons are commonplace, but Anna and Vronsky’s consuming passion makes them a target for scorn and leads to Anna’s increasing isolation. The heartbreaking trajectory of their relationship contrasts sharply with the colorful swirl of friends and family members who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a touching bond as they struggle to make a life together. Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.

I may have mentioned this once of twice before, but I have a serious obsession with Russia and everything Russian. I dream of the day that I can visit St. Petersburg and Moscow. I can't say exactly what it is, but I am fascinated by Russian culture. In saying all that I have never read anything but a Russian author before. This is shameful I know, as there are a number of wonderful Russian classics that I am missing out on. Such as Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

My Housemate read this novel a number of years ago and I have wanted to read it since then. I loved hearing about the story, and the characters. It sounded like a wonderfully heartbreaking story. 

The movie- I hear it is a very abstract interpretation of the novel, and although I am curious about it, I think I am going to wait till I have read the book to see the movie. I don't want my perception of the novel to be tainted. I will already see Kiera Knightly as Anna, and I am not sure I am ok with this. 

I love movies and not seeing this one will be very difficult for me, but I'll survive. Has anyone seen it? Have you read the book? How does it compare? Should I even read the book? I eagerly await your replies. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Thoughts: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

When I was thinking about reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, I tweeted two fellow bloggers- Ashley from The Bookish Burnett and Evie from Bookish- both have read it to get their opinions. One loved it and had nothing but good things to say about the novel. The other, while she enjoyed it, was not all that impressed with the message it sent. With these two opinions in mind I hopped in.


I am not sure what to say about Beautiful Disaster. I am conflicted because there were some things that I liked but there were a number of things that I had a HUGE problem with.

Initially I thought Beautiful Disaster was a young adult novel, albeit a more edgy YA novel. However, when I was on one of my many field trips to the bookstore there was a giant sign- "For People Who Liked Fifty Shades of Grey"- and there was Beautiful Disaster alongside novels by Sylvia Day (Bared to You) and Megan Hart (Tempted, Broken, Switch), all of which have extreme adult content. Therefore I thought it was erotic fiction. But, so many YA blogs/bloggers were reading/reviewing it. So I was confused as to what category to put it in.

Therein lies problem number one.

 Beautiful Disaster reads like a YA novel with a more adult theme. If that makes sense? While I reading the novel I was noticing that the drama of the story felt very juvenile the dialogue felt like something I would read in a contemporary YA book. However the setting wasn't a high school it was a university, and the two protagonist were both over 18 (I think Travis was even 21). They were adults and would do adult things. This really irritated me. I had a hard time determining who this book was for.

The biggest problem I had with Beautiful Disaster was Travis Maddox. What a terrible boy.

The thing is. Teenage girls are going to read this and maybe they are going to think that the way Travis acted, how possessive and controlling he was is normal behaviour. I have said it before and I will say it again- when an author is writing for young people, I believe they have a responsibility to tell their readers what acceptable behaviour looks like or make it clear what acceptable behaviour isn't. McGuire made it look like the relationship Travis and Abby (the female protagonist) had was your typical relationship.

Abby was a pushover, in the beginning I liked her, I liked how she resisted Travis-or tried to. I liked how she was snarky with him. But she lost that. I can't really put my finger on it, but she lost that. She became Travis' shadow, his puppet. All in the name of love. Give me a break.

I could go on and on about what I think of this book and why I found it so lacking. But I won't. Jamie McGuire is a good writer, although she needs to be more clear on who she is writing for. Her story was interesting, but her characters killed me.

I had thought that I wouldn't read Walking Disaster, but after perusing Jamie's website and seeing all the hype about the novel, I will admit I am curious to read the story from Travis' point of view. I would like to see if McGuire has the ability to make me like him more. We will see.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

I totally dropped the ball last week and forgot to say that Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

This weeks topic is...

Top Ten Books  I'd Want On A Deserted Island

I have split this into categories. 1- Classics/books I have had every intention of reading, however have been unable to fit them into my busy life, and two- books that would get me through my days of solitude, in other words, books I could not live without. 

Classics I want to read:

1) Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy- I have an obsession with all things Russian. However, I have never read anything by a Russian author.  This one would be long and keep me entertained for a day or two.

2) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- This is over a thousand pages long. Again this would take up some time. I have heard that this is a really fantastic novel and I have wanted to read it for some time.  

3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- I have been dying to read this for SO long, I just haven't had the time. I think the deserted island would give me time. 

4) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- I have not read a single novel by Austen- this is pretty bad I know. Again, there are so many books to read and not enough time to read them. I would think on a deserted island I would want a full volume of her works (is that cheating?).

5) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov- Again with my Russian obsession. This one has been on my shelf for some time. I am dying to read it.

Books I couldn't live without:

1)The Hunter's Moon by OR Melling- One of my most loved novels. I loved this book. There is nothing incredible about this novel other than my love for it. I could read it over and over and over again. 

2) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson- I love how much this book makes you think. I could read it over and over again and find these deep and intense philosophical questions and I could contemplate my life for days reading this book. 

3) Lover Unleashed by JR Ward- My favourite of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I loved this book and I could spend the rest of my life rereading it. 

4) Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling- I could not live without Harry Potter. At all. I need him in my life. And book four is eons long. 

5) Dirty by Megan Hart- One of my favourite novels. How can I not have it with me? 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Thoughts: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

**ARC received from Simon and Schuster Canada**

First, let me say- writing reviews for sequels is really hard. It's hard because you don't want to spoil anything, it's hard because there is so much background from the first novel that you refer to and sometimes those details are a little hazy, and it is especially hard because in most cases- including this one- the sequel is the second in a series of three. First books in a series are easy to review; they introduce characters, develop plot and generally gives you the stories background. It is not that hard to form an opinion on. The third book also, isn't that hard to review. It wraps the story, and it's pretty easy to say whether you liked the way the story ended, if you felt satisfied. With the "dreaded" second novel, not so easy. What is there to say?


The Evolution of Mara Dyer was one of the few novels that I was MOST anticipating this year. Upon finishing Michelle Hodkin's debut The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I was genuinely stunned and I NEEDED to know what was to come. The cliff hanger in the novel was unbelievable. I remember being very impressed.  With that said, I had high expectations for The Evolution, I expected to have some answers, I expected to have more questions and I expected to be ok with that. looking back, that is exactly what I got. What I didn't expect is to be as confused about where the story is going as I am now.

Throughout the novel there is this question- Is Mara crazy? Is everything she is experiencing or has experienced in her head? Is she developing schizophrenia, PTSD or something else? Is she really just paranoid? or are there supernatural elements that need to be considered? I will say I waffled back and forth between the two theories. There were times when I was sure Mara was just losing it, that all she was going through were symptoms of some mental malady. There were other times that I thought-no way- there has to be a more sinister explanation to what's going on. Hodkin definitely kept me on my toes in terms of what was happening to Mara. When I was sure I had things figured out, something would happen and I wouldn't be so sure anymore.

I have read a few reviews that have said that readers liked Noah more in this novel than it's predecessor. while I can agree and say that Noah went through the most character development and evolved the most in The Evolution, I found nothing incredibly wrong with him in The Unbecoming. I appreciated him and his role more in The Evolution, I liked how supportive of Mara he was and how he believed what she was saying. He also didn't coddle her. Go Noah

There is a falshback/vision segment to this novel and while we have no idea what is means and where it is leading, I really enjoyed those parts. It was fun trying to figure out their connection to the overall story. Again, it was another, you think you've got it all figured out, but really, not so much.

The end of The Evolution of Mara Dyer confused me a little. My first response to read it, "I don't get it."  I think because I was expecting something completely different than what I got.I don't know that I would call it a cliff hanger as more of a "what just happened?" kind of ending. I am very much looking forward to the final installation to this series. I have really enjoyed what Michelle Hodkin has created and I want to know what is actually going on, and how it's all going to pan out.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (6) Freebie Week

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! Your time to pick whatever topic you'd like- This is pretty exciting for me I have been thinking about this for a couple months now.

My freebie topic is...

The Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry 
(either silent weeps or ugly sobs)

**Be warned- Both John Green and Melina Marchetta make an appearance on this list- Sorry Aylee**

1) Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart- It was the end of this book that broke my heart. Gilly-a woman who had been kidnapped and help hostage in a remote wilderness cabin for a few months- had no other options and it hurt her to do what she did. Todd (her kidnapper) has a story that is also incredibly hard to read. There was nothing terribly happy about this Precious and Fragile Things. I remember when I finished this book I threw it to the floor sobbing it was BS and not fair. I then went to bed and cried myself to sleep.

2) If I Stay by Gayle Foreman- The first time I read this I actually listened to it. I was at work and spent eight hours filing, I remember having to sit up and blink a number of times while listening. At one point I had to run to the washroom and let it out. This is actually a heart breaking story, about a girl who gets into a car accidnet with her family and she's left suspended between life and death and needing to make a decision, it's utterly heartbreaking. I get SO sad thinking about. But it was a wonderful story, and I am glad I read/listened to it.

3) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Neffenigger- Again, it was the end of this novel that made me cry. For obvious reasons. Death is sad, in this case it was really sad. I cried, my heart hurt.

4) Hallowed by Cynthia Hand- The sequel to Unearthly was very different from it's predecessor, very different. Clara is confused in this novel and experiencing so much. Hand did such a good job of making me love Clara, that every time she cried I wanted to cry, and at the end when her vision becomes a reality I wept with and for her.

5)6) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- If you've read this novel you know why it's cry worthy. I have read a number of John Green's books- actually I have read all but An Abundance of Katherines. The characters in the TFiOS are fantastic. Augustus Waters is amazing, he is everything good a girl would want in a boy. But there's more, he's also a great friend. This, in turn gives him some great friends.  There is one scene in TFiOS that kills me- the living eulogy scene when Issac gives his speech. I cried so hard that it was hard to keep reading.

6) The Pact by Jodi Picoult- This was the first Jodi Picoult novel that I read, and it brought me to tears. A Story about a boy who is on trial for his girlfriend`s death. He claims it was a suicide, but no one is really sure. But, Chris loved Emily so much. He loved her so much he was willing to die for her, in the end he was willing to let her die, and it hurt him. Picoult is an expert at writing intense novels that provoke strong emotional responses. This is the first of two books on this list.

7) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma- This is one of the few novels that actually had me ugly cry. There was nothing pretty about me the day I finished this novel. Suzuma is a powerful writer, and Forbidden was a powerful novel about a brother and a sister who fall in love. Therefore, there is no way this is going to end well. What a story. It was beautiful and hopeless. If you don't experience heart break from reading this novel... I don't know, I just don't know.

8) Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult- Like many of Picoult novel's, there is a grand revelation at the climax of this novel. This revelation answers a good number of the burning questions, it does this by painting a picture, taking you to the scene. It was this part of the story that caused me to blubber like a baby. The whole thing was SO unfair. Injustice and when things are unfair makes me sad. This is exactly what happened. A chain of events caused by unfairness and injustice.

9) Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill- This whole book made me cry- it`s a story about a little girl who lives with her heroine addict father and their life. It`s not an easy life and this little girl makes some out of this world decisions, it`s unbelievable. There is a moment in this novel between the protagonists and her father, a moment where he realizes he can't be what she needs, where he tells her that he does love her but he can't care for her. It's beautiful and I bawled. It was a deep moment and it really made the book.

10) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta- This was a beautiful novel. I loved it SO much. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read. There were a number of scenes in this novel that made me cry. There is so much of Taylor`s story that makes my throat clog and my eyes water. There is so much guilt and confusion and sadness is Jellicoe Road, but it is also hopeful and full of joy. But I cried a lot in this novel.

"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