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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Thoughts: Pantomime by Laura Lam

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

*ARC received from NetGalley* 

This is going to be a mini review- Pantomime is a difficult novel to speak on, as there are a number of things I could not say without spoiling.

When I first read the synopsis for Laura Lam's Debut Pantomime I was intrigued but uncertain if it was truly something I would enjoy. You must understand that I do not particularly like fantasy novels. I often find myself bored with them and they are just not my thing. However, Pantomime drew my interest, partially with the cover (because it is absolutely gorgeous), and the circus aspect really had me curious.

While Pantomime was not completely what I was expecting, I did know what was coming. I had read a few spoilers while I was looking into the book (which were disappointing to find out). However, I cannot say that I was incredibly shocked to discover the major twist that makes up this novel. I will say, it is slightly shocking, but you kind of see it coming. It is not an extreme revelation, and after reading the first few pages, you would most likely guess what's to come.

While some would describe Pantomime as a fantasy, I am not sure I would describe it as such. While it does have a fantastical feel to it, I would say it was more of a coming of age story. A story about coming to terms with who you are, and accepting it. I think this is the major theme of Pantomime. Both Gene and Micah both find themselves in Pantomime and it was magical.

Laura Lam does a wonderful thing with the characters in Pantomime. They are great. Gene and Micah are strong individuals, both with trials of their own. The secondary characters also add to the story. Often these characters can sometimes feel like they are just filling space. I did not get this feeling.

Overall, I really enjoyed Pantomime and I am looking forward to future books in this series. Because yes, there will be future books, and I am incredibly excited to read them.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday auto-buy authors

I am really excited about this week's TTT. I hope you are to. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List 
(basically an auto-buy list is no questions asked..you love this author so much that no matter what they wrote next you'd buy regardless of genre or subject matter)

1) Melina Marchetta (Author of Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son)- I will buy everything this woman puts out there. She is a genius. I have not read a book by her that I did not like. If you have read anything by her you know the reason for my obsession. 

2) Megan Hart (Author of Dirty and Precious and Fragile Things)- I have been hooked on Hart since Dirty and I have bought any and everything by her since then. I don't even need to look to see what the book's about or how it was received by other readers. I am a loyal fan. 

3) John Green (Author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars)- I knowwwwwww. But after TFiOS, how could I not? John Green could write about unicorn killing astronauts and I would buy it, read it, and find it the most influential book the decade. 

4) Lauren DeStefano (Author of The Chemical Garden Trilogy)- After read The Chemical Garden trilogy I have fallen deeply inlove with Lauren's writing. It makes me SO happy. It is rather beautiful. So, I will buy her books so that I can read them and support her, so she can feed her cats. 

5) JR Ward (Author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and The Fallen Angels series)- I know that I can sometimes sound like a broken record, but... I will probably read anything JR Ward decides to publish. Why? Because I am obsessed. I have never been so invested in a story/characters like I have been with the vampires of her series. It's ridiculous, I know. Shoot me. 

6) Alma Katsu (Author of The Taker and The Reckoning)- I have read and loved both of Alma's books. I find them incredibly well written and the stories are fascinating. I am very excited to see what she has in store for us next. I am certain it will be great. 

7) Anne Stuart (Author of Fire and Ice and Shameless)- I have been reading Anne's books for years. I want to say since I was 12 years old (that is inappropriately young). I have been addicted ever since. I buy her books without shame, and without fail (although now I do it from the comfort of my own home). 

8) Rachel Gibson (Author of Not Another Bad Date and Nothing but Trouble)- I love contemporary romance, however I find that some people just know how to do it well. Rachel Gibson is one of them. I love her stories and they never let me down. 

9) Cynthia Hand (Author of the Unearthly series)- Although I haven't finished the series yet. I know that I am a HUGE fan of this woman and I will always buy her books. How can I not? However this may change once I have read Boundless

10) Huntley Fitzpatrick (Author of My Life Next Door)- I absolutely loved Huntley's debut My Life Next Door. I loved it so much that it put her on my auto-buy hands down list. If you have not read that book, I don't know what you are waiting for. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Thoughts: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Hello, and welcome to another Audiobook review. 

I was late to the Shatter Me party. I'm not sure why it took me SO long to read this book. It may have been partially due to the influx of dystopian novels being published last year and I was kind of over them all. But when I saw the audiobook for Shatter Me on sale on Audible for $5.00 I thought, why not. It still took me months to "read" it though. 

The audiobook of Shatter Me is a little long, at just over nine hours. But, I was sucked into the world that Tahereh Mafi created immediately. There was absolutely because Shatter Me is a fantastic novel, but also because the Narrator- Kate Simses did an incredible job narrating the story. If you've read Shatter Me (as I am sure you have, as everyone and their cousin has read this book), you know that this book is full of stressful intense scenarios. Kate Simses does a great job of telling the story through those scenes, her voice speeds up and you feel like it's Juliette telling you the story herself. She does a good job of demonstrating the panic Juliette feels at the thought of touching someone, the sorrow she feels when she recalls what she has done and how she had caused another pain. I really enjoyed experiencing this book though audio. For those of you interested Kate Simses also narrates Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie. 

Things might get a little spoiler-y here: beware.

While I really enjoyed this novel, I am not sure that I would have been as impressed with it, had I read it instead of listened to it. For me, there were few things I found incredibly unique about the story other than Juliette's inability to touch anyone. That, however, was pretty cool. I was not at all surprised that she was to be used as a weapon of sorts, I wasn't surprised that Adam was put into her jail cell as a decoy, nor was I surprised that he was faking the whole loyal soldier thing. 

What I really liked about Shatter Me though, was how Juliette waffled between liking and hating Warner. He was a malicious and selfish individual, however with Juliette he displayed a measure of kindness and caring. It was crazy. I didn't mind Warner- I wanted Juliette to get away from him, but I thought he was a tad misinformed and had potential to be good. And from I have been seeing in the reviews for Unravel Me, others are rooting for him to. 

What I kind of also really liked was the end of Shatter Me, when Adam and Juliette were at the compound with the other mutants. I say mutants cause that is was it screams to me. It's mutant school. It was a total X-Men feel. I am not judging, I absolutely loved this aspect of the novel. I loved that there were other's with super powers and that they were all different. I am really looking forward to Unravel Me (which I think I will also listen to). To see what else comes from these X-Men like individuals. 

Overall, I really liked Shatter Me, even though there were times that it got REALLY predictable. The writing was fantastic the story was great and the narration was perfect. I am glad I waited a while to read it. I definitely appreciated it more because of that. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For the Love of Swoon Blog Hop

I love love, and I love swoon worthy books. So this blog hope is extra fantastic!! 

For the love of Swoon Hop is hosted at I am a Reader Not a Writer and The Book Hookup

I bet you're all wondering what you get to win?!?!?! 

I will be giving away a paperback copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- Noah Shaw, that's all I am going to say.

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

The Rules:

1) Open to Canada and US only (I'm sorry, but I'm shipping this myself and it cost more than the book itself to send overseas)
2) Fill out the Rafflecopter widget below
3) You DO NOT need to be a follower to win
4) Extra entries available
5) Giveaway runs from Feb 14th-21st

That is it- be sure to check out the links below for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday-Favourite Romances

So, who doesn`t love a little romance. I know I do, I love it. So this week`s Top Ten topic is pretty exciting to me.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Favorite Romances

1) Lizzie and Gabriel

Prince of Magic by Anne Stuart- This particular book has a special place in my heart. I think I first read it when I was in the seventh grade. I took it from my grandma's house. I LOVED this book. It introduced me to to beauty of historical romance, and Anne Stuart. I have read dozens of her books and I love her. Prince of Magic isn't particularly wonderful, but I love it. 

2) Belly and _______

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- This is the book that plummeted me into the blogging world. I loved it so much I needed to write about it. So I started blogging. Team Conrad all the way! The Summer I Turned Pretty is the most wonderful beach/summer read. The whole series is great, but not like this one. 

3) Elle and Dan

Dirty by Megan Hart- I have gushed about this book a number of times. And although it's not your typical romance novel it still fits into that genre. What makes me love this book so much? It's that the romance of the novel wasn't easy. The two characters had to work for their HEA. Elle did some major healing in this book. Beware though- this book contains some serious adult content. 

4) Taylor and Jonah

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta- Uh, Jonah Griggs. Nuff said. 

5) JM and Xhex

Lover Mine by JR Ward- Ok, so I love every book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. But Lover Mine is definitely my favourite of the bunch. It's John Matthew and Xhex's story. I had been eagerly waiting for JM's story and it did not disappoint. The book was grungy and raw, but romantic all the same. 

6) Clara and Tucker

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand- Tucker and Clara. It was perfect. It's the kind of romance every girl dreams of. 

7) Ana and Sam

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows- I love Sam. He makes me happy. 

8) Jude and Aidan

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts- How can you have a list of top romance novels without including good ole' Nora. This was one of my favourite series by her. 

9) Liberty and Gage

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas- This makes the list for the way the romance developed. It was slow and sweet. I really enjoyed this novel. 

10) Hazel and Agustus

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- Augustus. Water. 

Well, that's it for me. I love, love and I love reading about it. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Thoughts: Sever by Lauren DeStefano + a giveaway

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

**Arc received from Simon & Schuster Canada**

I don't know what to say. I have no words. I feel like it's an end of an era. That's how I felt upon finishing Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden trilogy. I felt like something very big had ended and I didn't know how to go on. But alas, I must.

If you have read my review of both Wither and Fever, the first two of the trilogy you will know that The Chemical Garden series has a special place in my heart and you will know that I am a huge fan of DeStefano's writing. None of this has changed. None. Sever, the final installment in the above mentioned series was brilliant. Absolutely.

Like it's predecessor's Sever is a testimony of DeStefano's creativity. It stuns me that what was part of this series was in someone's head and that someone had to amazing ability to write it in such an amazing magical way. There are not enough good things I could say about Lauren DeStefano's writing that I haven't already said.

Sever begins right where Fever left off. Rhine is in the hospital after having been recaptured by Housemaster Vaughn and suffering his wrath. Both Linden and Cecily are with her and she is about to be released from the hospital. At this time Linden takes both Rhine and Cecily to his estranged uncle's rural estate- it is here that Rhine is able to evaluate what she needs to do in order to find her brother.

Sever is great, I don't think it's as good as Wither, but I think it's better than Fever. I really loved Linden's uncle Reed. He was a wise man and so loving. It was incredible. Reed was the type of person Vaughn should have been. He loved both Cecily and Rhine without question- even if it was in his odd eccentric way. He was generous and kind. He truly cared for the people around him. Reed was a wise character and he definitely gave Rhine some great advise. What was the most interesting things about Reed was how easily it was to forget how intelligent he was. He comes off as flighty and all over the place, but every time he said something my opinion of him changed.

One of the many things I appreciated about Sever was seeing the relationship between Linden and Rhine become an actual genuine friendship. It was beautiful. I have always liked Linden, but I wasn`t always sure of him, and if I quote myself from my review of Wither, "Linden is portrayed as this weak man who is so naive it’s painful. He comes off needy and dependent. I wonder if we will see that change in future books."  I got exactly what I wanted from Linden in this book. His character development was phenomenal. While I didn't love him by the end of Sever I really did appreciate him. Cecily also surprised me in this one. She grew up and matured greatly. It was fantastic. While there were times when her age would show itself, which is natural. She wasn't nearly as irritating. Regardless, Cecily was my favourite in Wither and this continued throughout the trilogy.

It's hard to talk about the plot in a sequel. But, I will say this. Sever ended the Chemical Gardens trilogy very well. It did what it needed to do. There were some serious tears and moments of complete shock, followed by more tears. It was an emotional roller coaster. I think if you are a fan of the series you will not be disappointed with how DeStefano wraps things up.

I am also super excited for Lauren`s utopian series, which she says will be out next year.

**Sever hits stores this Tuesday Feb 12th..

But wait...

I have a brand new/never been read ARC or Sever to give away to you guys!! 

Here are the rules:

1) Open to Canada and US only (I'm sorry, but I'm shipping this myself and it cost more than the book itself to send overseas)
2) Fill out the Rafflecopter widget below (please note this is my first time using it, so if it doesn't work let me know)
3) You DO NOT need to be a follower to win, but if you do/are you get extra entries
5) My YouTube channel link (in case you want that extra entry).
6) Giveaway open until Feb 21st.

Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 4, 2013

January Wrap Up

Wow, can you believe it's already February?!?! I certainly cannot. Where the heck did January go? I am pretty excited about February. I get a week off from school, I am going away to Edmonton to visit my bestie for a few days and will hopefully be meeting up with some of my blogging buddies while there, and February is a short month (I don't know why that's cool, but it is).

But that's not why you're here. You want to know how my month of books went. Well, I'll tell you. It went absolutely amazing! I read a total of ten (10) books during the month of January. Can you believe it? Ten books! That's more than I have ever been able to whip out in a month.

They Were:

1) Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Sioban Vivian
2) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
3) Anything He Wants by Sarah Fawkes
4) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
5) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
6) Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
7) A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
8) Veer by Alyssa Rose Ivy
9) Sever by Lauren DeStefano
10) Fated by Rebecca Zanetti


Reviewed this Month:

I only reviewed three books this month (which isn't very good, but look at how much I read!)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Veer by Alyssa Rose Ivy

*Clicking on those links will bring you to the reviews*


Debut Author Challenge- 0/20 (sad face)

Young Adult Audio Book Challenge- 1/12 (technically I "read" two, but only reviewed one), so I'm right on schedule.

2013 Reading Challenge- 10/75 (Boo ya gramma!)

That is my wrap up for the month, be sure to check back throughout the month as I may or may not be giving away copy of Sever and I may or may not be participating in an upcoming blog hop. You never know ;)

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (8)

Well, it hasn't been that long since my last Stacking the Shelves. But I just had so many books that I wanted to share with you. So without further ado....

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

Books Mentioned


On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves


Emma by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

For Review:

Perdita by Hilary Scharper
Golden Boy By Abigail Tarttelin

That's all- please link your hauls below so I can stop by and add to my ever growing TBR. 

~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