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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Fury (Fury #1) by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: August 30, 2011
Pages: 352
Source: For Review from Simon and Schuster Canada (Thank you!)
Rating: 4 Stars - I Loved It!

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems... 
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. 
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. 
Em and Chase have been chosen.

In short: Fury by Elizabeth Miles is an engaging and thrilling debut with realistic characters and a chilling storyline.
Karma is a bitch, and it comes in the form of three gorgeous deities from Greek mythology called the Furies. Fury follows Em and Chase, in alternating chapters, and the typical high school drama surrounding their lives. But both Em and Chase have done something reprehensible. Chosen by the Furies for their wrongdoings, they have to learn the hard way that what goes around, comes around.

From the start of Fury, Em and Chase were not likeable characters; I don't believe they were supposed to be. After all, they had to be guilty of a transgression for the Furies to want to take revenge. They were both obsessed with popularity. Em contemplates cheating with her best friend's boyfriend and Chase nonchalantly treats girls as though they're worth nothing to him.

Rather than be turned off by their faults, I found I could at least appreciate the fact that they weren't saints. They were definitely no Mary Sue and Gary Stu. They were authentic teens with authentic teen feelings and immaturity. It was strangely a breath of fresh air from main characters that are instantly likeable, if that makes any sense. As they realize and feel genuinely sorry for what they did and how they'll have to pay for it, you can't help but sympathize with Em and Chase and forgive them for their stupid mistakes.

A large portion of Fury was taken up by high school drama with only some paranormal occurrences happening in the background. It read like a contemporary novel at times and I would have preferred had it focused a bit less on the regular drama and more on the paranormal aspect. But once more and more creepy incidents start to affect Em and Chase's lives about halfway through the novel, it took me by surprise how involved with the story I became. I went from not liking the characters and high school drama in the beginning to being sympathetic towards the characters and totally caught up in the chilling and freaky storyline as it unfolded.

Overall, though I did not expect this when I first started reading Fury, I really ended up becoming engaged in the characters and storyline as it became creepier and more horrifying. The ending especially was so intense and filled with so many shocking twists that I hadn't been expecting. I eagerly look forward to how the story will unfold in this planned trilogy. Fury will be released August 30, 2011.

Other Review:
i swim for oceans

Stalk the author (not for serious):

*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It's just past 5:00am for me but I needed to see Jo make her announcement live. And what an announcement it was. A free online reading experience like no other. eBooks finally. Some additional information that Jo has been hoarding from us (more than 18,000 words). Interactivity: we'll get to have a wand choose us in Diagon Alley (one of 33,000 possible combinations) and be sorted into a Hogwarts House. Freaky cool figures coming out of books. Forgive me if I'm not thinking straight as I'm very tired. She also confirmed that she will never write another Harry Potter book (Aw! But understandable). According to Pottermore.com, a lucky few will be selected to enter the experience early starting on July 31 (Jo's and Harry's birthday). Everyone else has to wait until October 2011. The Chamber of Secrets storyline will debut 2012. I must follow the owl.

(Click to enlarge pictures)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: The Girl who Played with Fire (Millennium #2) by Stieg Larsson

Publisher: Penguin
Published: 2006
Pages: 724
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Auntie!)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. 
But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire. 
As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

In short: The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson maintains the same general layout as its predecessor but as a bonus, Salander's backstory is detailed extensively.
Uh, can I just say ditto? I have pretty much the exact same comments to make on this second installment that I had in my The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo review. Again, this book was an intelligent murder mystery cloaked in a bevy of unimportant details that were completely unnecessary to the plot. Why is it necessary that the reader knows about every single item that Salander buys from IKEA to furnish her new apartment? I just don't understand why things like this weren't edited out. It takes the entire first half of the book to set up the plot and action in the second half.

At least I wasn't as horrified by the plot this time around, now that I know what to expect and have become a bit more accustomed to the terrible and graphic abuse and violence that takes place. The Girl who Played with Fire still had the same disgusting, women-abusing type of bad guy as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I found that I could be - if still a bit horrified - very satisfied to see those sadistic pigs, perverts, and rapists get their comeuppance.

I am also extremely satisfied with the answers we got regarding the backstory of the one-of-a-kind Lisbeth Salander. I stated in my The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo review that she was the only character I developed any investment in and she was the main reason I wanted to continue with the trilogy. In fact, now that I've gotten a good understanding of her (well, as much as anyone can really understand Salander [in other words, not really]), I almost don't feel the need to continue on with The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Still, The Girl who Played with Fire ended with a bit of a cliffhanger that most definitely makes me want to read on to find out whether all the characters made it through that intense final sequence. But it can wait for a while. I'm suffering from some serious YA withdrawal and I need to get me my fix.

*Read as part of the Into the Old World Reading Challenge
*Read as part of the Book Series Completion Challenge

Monday, June 20, 2011

Muggle Monday (12): Harry Potter: The Exhibition

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I post a quote, a video, or a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this meme: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week, I thought I would continue extolling my appreciation of the movies (after all, the last one EVER is coming out in under a month!) by posting an overview of Harry Potter: The Exhibition:
Harry Potter: The Exhibition is currently in New York so you know I made time to visit it when I was there in April. In this incredible exhibition, you get an up close view of many of the props, costumes, and sets used in the movies. I talked about gaining an appreciation towards the immense attention to detail that goes into these movies in my Harry Potter: Film Wizardry review last week, and this exhibition supplies an equally profound appreciation for them as well. No pictures were allowed but my memory is plenty.

The tour begins as you and a group of people are ushered into a room with the Sorting Hat. Three youngsters got the opportunity to be sorted and proudly told the Hat that they were all Gryffindors and the Hat abided their wishes, of course. It's a shame that so few people ever want to be placed in the other three, well deserving, Houses.

There were several sets featured, including (among others) the Gryffindor Boys' Dormitory (where you can see Ron's homemade quilt!), the Herbology Classroom (where you can actually remove a screaming mandrake from a pot!), and Hagrid's Hut (where you can sit in his enormous chair with only your feet hanging off the edge!).

You can also get a close look at more obscure movie props, like Lockhart's ridiculous photos of himself, Ron's Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle comicbook, and Luna's Spectrespecs (again, among others). Even though some of these props were only on screen for a second, the crew on the movies still went to the effort of making them and in doing so, gave a little nod to the books, which is awesome.

I loved the interactivity of certain parts of The Exhibition. They set up Quidditch hoops for people to attempt to throw quaffles through and I scored lots of goals! You should definitely try this out and challenge yourself to make as many goals as possible. But it only counts if you throw the quaffle with one hand only! Because I figure you'd be holding onto your broom with your other hand.

And it all ends with a gift shop, naturally. I almost bought a wand, a broom, a time-turner, and a Marauder's Map but was somehow able to show incredible restraint that is way beyond my regular maturity level. Good on me.

If you have the chance, and you are a big Harry Potter fan, and you are trying to pass the time until some sort of secret new project is revealed, then I highly recommend you make your way to Harry Potter: The Exhibition. It is only in New York until September 5, 2011 and it is the last North American tour stop! Presumably our friends across the Atlantic will soon get the opportunity to witness the awesomeness themselves :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren (and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie) to showcase any books that I have received for review, bought, borrowed, or won to read.

For Review from Simon and Schuster Canada

Fury ARC by Elizabeth Miles
Witchlanders ARC by Lena Coakley
Dust & Decay ARC by Jonathan Maberry

I am so very spoiled by Simon and Schuster Canada. And so very appreciative, trust me. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the mystery that seemingly everyone is talking about and I can't wait to delve into it! Fury is presumably about a girl with very, very long hair (it continues right onto the back cover!) and Witchlanders is presumably about witches. I'm also looking forward to reading them. Dust & Decay is the sequel to Rot & Ruin, a zombie thriller, which I have yet to read. I've heard very good things about this series and I hope I can find time to read the first book before the second one comes out. All in all, a very good two weeks, if I do say so myself! I would love to know what's in your mailbox if you would like to leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

Publisher: Penguin
Published: 2005
Pages: 841
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Auntie!)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

In short: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson presents a damn good mystery and a fascinating enigma in the character of Lisbeth Salander, but could do with a fair amount of editing.
The original title of this book in Sweden is Men Who Hate Women, which, I think, sums up pretty well its truly horrific plot. After months of reading only YA, it was a nasty shock to read about the events that take place in this very adult book. Still, I very much enjoyed the well laid out mystery. With all the pieces of the puzzle in place, the revelation at the end was really well done.

The biggest problem I had with this book was its length. At 841 pages (albeit the mass market paperback version), there was a ton of extraneous and pointless information that could have been left out. I really don't need to read about all the intricacies of hacking and economics. With editing, easily hundreds of pages that were non-essential to the plot, mystery, and characters could have been removed. The two main characters, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, did not even meet until half way through.

Out of all the characters, Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, was really the only one who stood out for me. Maybe it was just because she was so peculiar that all the other characters paled in comparison. Salander is probably the most fascinating character I've read in years. An utter enigma. She is incredibly intelligent and introverted and violent. Why does she behave the way she does? What is her revulsion to turning to the police for help?

Though I suspect the other books in the Millenium Trilogy will also be just as long-winded, I would like to learn more about Salander and so I will continue on with the series. I also look forward to watching the movies, both Swedish and American alike. The American version trailer was just released and it looks very edgy and cool:

*Read as part of the Into the Old World Reading Challenge
*Read as part of the Book Series Completion Challenge,
*The Letter G in the A-Z Reading Challenge

Monday, June 13, 2011

Muggle Monday (11): Review: Harry Potter: Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I post a quote, a video, or a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this meme: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week, I'm posting my completely unbiased review of Harry Potter: Film Wizardry, by Brian Sibley. With just about a month left until Deathly Hallows Part 2, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with this behind-the-scenes look into the Harry Potter film franchise.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: October 6, 2010
Pages: 160
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars - Super Crazy Awesome!

Immerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series, and learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts are really "minted," how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, the inspiration behind Hogwarts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. Written and designed in collation with the cast and crew that brought J. K. Rowling's celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing film-making secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movies, this collectible volume offers a privileged look at the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.

This is not the only movie companion guide written by Brian Sibley. He is also the author of a companion guide for The Lord of the Rings. And I can see why Warner Brothers would have wanted to hire him for the job. Sibley has written a fully comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the Harry Potter films. Harry Potter: Film Wizardry gives an insider view of the amount of work that has taken place at Leavesden Studios (where the majority of scenes in the movies have been filmed) over the years by thousands of crew members. I really felt that I got a full appreciation of the scale of the movies, the attention to detail, and what goes into making the sets, creatures, and props. How Stuart Craig, the production designer for all of the movies, has never received an Oscar for his work in the movies is beyond me. I can't even begin to list the interesting tidbits I learned in this book. There are simply too many of them! Of special note are the interludes by producer David Heyman, the man responsible for bringing J.K. Rowling's books to the big screen and doing so respectfully, as a true fan of the books himself. Harry Potter: Film Wizardry is a must read for any Harry Potter super fan!

Friday, June 10, 2011


It's time to announce the winner of my Possession ARC giveaway! There were a total of 203 people who entered and 451 entries. And the winner, according to random.org, is:

Congrats! I hope you enjoy this book more than I did. Please email me with your address within the next 48 hours at ayleejaine(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Broadway Musicals

Please don't feel like you have to read and comment on this post if you really could care less about Broadway Musicals! But I'm really quite obsessed with them so I thought I'd write up a short review summary of all the musicals I saw during my trip to NYC, just in case anyone is interested.

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
An amazing production! This show really had the whole package: an impressive set, fun musical numbers, and fantastic acting performances. Dan Radcliffe is not the best singer, but what he lacked in singing, he made up for in sheer enthusiasm (and pretty impressive dancing) that was a delight to watch. John Larroquette was also brilliant with the most spot-on comedic timing. I was absolutely unable to stop myself from jumping out of my seat in applause after certain musical numbers. Highly entertaining and highly recommended!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
This musical was about three drag queens who travel from Sydney to the middle of the Australian Outback in a bus they've nicknamed Priscilla. Suffice it to say, it was probably the gayest thing I've ever seen. I loved it! It was totally fun! I still had glitter in my hair the next day from when it rained down on the audience. The costumes were definitely a highlight; they were absolutely outrageous and exaggerated and fun. It was also incredibly funny, though definitely not suitable for younger viewers.

Rock of Ages
Also very fun! (Although, a small disclaimer: I'm easily amused by all musicals). This musical's plot seemed to be taken directly from the song "Don't Stop Believin'" and was about a boy from Detroit and a girl from a small town who are trying to make it in the business in Hollywood in 1987. The music was all 80s rock music, and though I wasn't terribly familiar with it (it's a bit before my time), it was still incredibly entertaining. Also fun: those costumes. Oh, people from the 80s, what were you thinking?

I've already seen Wicked the last time I went to New York, but I just had to see it again. It is, truly, one of the best musicals of all time and absolutely MUST be seen by everyone at least once in their lifetimes (overly dramatic statement, I know). It really is the ultimate Broadway Musical, complete with setting, performances, musical numbers, and humour that is perfect for all ages. The amount of talent exhibited especially by Elphaba and Glinda is just beyond belief. A must see!

The Book of Mormon
Holy crap. Definitely my favourite show I saw during my trip. This musical was about two Mormon missionaries who get sent on a mission to Uganda. Created by the guys who created South Park and the guy who wrote Avenue Q, this musical had a very similar feel (Read: incredibly hilarious and most definitely offensive). I wouldn't recommend this musical to everyone... certainly if this kind of incredibly offensive humour is not your "thing" then I would not recommend it. Listen to a couple of the musical numbers here and here before buying tickets if you're not sure.

Billy Elliot
Good grief, the kids in this show were insanely talented. Like, way more talented than I will be at any age. Each major child role is played by multiple kids and rotated every night. I can't speak for the other Billys (though I'm sure they're brilliant too) but Peter Mazurowski was my Billy and he was awesome! He had it all: dancing, acting, singing, and the ability to talk with a convincing English accent, which is pretty impressive. This was a very well done adaptation of one of my favourite movies!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: Possession by Elana Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: June 7, 2011
Pages: 416
Source: For Review from Simon and Schuster Canada (Thank you!)
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself. 
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn. 
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

In short: Possession by Elana Johnson has an interesting concept and a likeable heroine, but ultimately, the novel's downfall is its extremely fast pacing.
If there is one thing I noticed about Possession by Elana Johnson, it's the novel's extremely fast pace, which can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it means non stop action and never a dull moment, but at the same time, things moved too fast for me to truly absorb the events that occurred in the novel and to get a feel for most of the characters. It also means that how the dystopian world in Possession originated was summarized in one paragraph, which is not nearly enough to suffice my curiosity.

The relationships between main character Vi and her two love interests in the love triangle fell flat for me, also because of the fast pacing in the novel. With Zenn, we get to see so little of him that I never got invested in his character. With bad boy Jag, things progress so unnaturally quickly that it seemed unrealistic and silly. I mean, they declared their love for each other only a few days after they met!

The world building was okay for a dystopian (world building is the number one must that I expect to be done well in dystopians). There were some interesting concepts but again, they were not given time to fully develop due to the fast pace of the novel. One thing that I thought Johnson did do very well was all the terminology that the reader has to understand to grasp the concept of the world: this could have easily been confusing with the fast pacing, but I thought Johnson handled it well and I found I could follow it fairly easily.

My favourite part of Possession would have to be the heroine, Vi, who was instantly likeable. A thief and a liar, Vi speaks and thinks in a very typical "teenage" way, with a very sarcastic tone that was enjoyable to read. Unlike some of the other characters, the reader will instantly get a feel for her personality and her rebellious nature as a "Free Thinker".

Overall, for me, the fast pace was really Possession's downfall. That said, just because this novel wasn't for me, doesn't mean I don't think someone else couldn't (and hasn't, from reviews I've read) enjoyed it a lot more. If you are someone who gets annoyed by very slow pacing in books, then I would recommend Possession to you; you would probably enjoy it more than I did!

Other Reviews:
The Bookish Type
Musings of a YA Reader
Supernatural Snark

Stalk the author (not for serious):

*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge
*The Letter P in the A-Z Reading Challenge

Monday, June 6, 2011

Muggle Monday (10)

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I post a quote, a video, or a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this meme: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week, I want to share with you a superb new interview with goddess author J.K. Rowling. In this interview with Words with JAM magazine, Jo talks about her favourite childhood book and the book that changed her life.

I don't know about you guys, but I love hearing about book recommendations from my favourite authors. If it's recommended from them, then it must be good, right? Unfortunately, Jo rarely openly recommends books to her readers so it's quite a treat to hear about these books from her:

What was your favourite childhood book, or books?

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. The tone is perfect: a seamless mix of the fairy-tale and the real. It also has a plain heroine, which delighted me beyond words as a child, because I was a very plain little girl and I hadn't met many literary heroines who weren't breathtakingly pretty. The opening paragraphs of The Little White Horse have stayed with me all my life. Goudge says that there are three kinds of people in this world: those who find consolation in food, those who find consolation in literature, and those who find consolation in personal adornment.
I know I read Little Women when I was eight, because we moved house shortly afterwards, when I was nine. Naturally, I whole-heatedly identified with Jo March, she of the burning literary ambition and short temper. My mother had everything Georgette Heyer ever wrote, so I whipped through those, too, when I was a pre-teen, and I FINALLY found a plain heroine there, too (Phoebe, in 'Sylvester', who also - hooray! - happened to be a writer).
Basically, I lived for books, and was sustained by literary characters with whom I could identify - I was your basic, common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles.

Is there a book that changed your life? If so, how?

Well, setting aside the obvious answer (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) I'd have to go for Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels. My great aunt thought that Jessica Mitford was a simply deplorable character (Mitford ran away from her upper class family to become a Communist and join the war against Franco in the 1930s), and I overheard her telling my mother all about her, when I was fourteen. I showed interest, so Auntie Ivy gave me an old copy of Mitford's autobiography, glad, no doubt, to get it off her respectable bookshelves. It was a most dangerous book to give to a dissatisfied, left-leaning teenager: Jessica Mitford immediately became my heroine. I read everything she'd ever written and ended up naming my eldest daughter after her.

So, I just added The Little White Horse and Hons and Rebels to my already monstrous TBR. I just love hearing about the literary characters that she has identified with in her life. I, too, get a little tired of the endless parade of "breathtakingly pretty" heroines in literature. I highly recommend you click here to read Jo's entire interview, in which she talks about ebooks, the publishing world, the Orange Prize, guilty reading pleasures, and her prehensile toes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren (and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie) to showcase any books that I have received for review, bought, borrowed, or won to read.

I haven't done an In My Mailbox in three and a half months! I have a lot to get through so let's get to it:

For Review from Simon and Schuster Canada

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (plus buttons and poster)
Possession ARC by Elana Johnson

Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada! They are so good to me. My City of Fallen Angels review went up on the blog a week ago (I loved it!) and my review for Possession should be up on its release day, June 7. There is still time to enter in my Possession ARC Giveaway, by the way.

Bought from The Strand

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
White Cat by Holly Black
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

It was just INSANE how cheap the books were at The Strand Bookstore in NYC. You would never be able to find prices like that here in Canada. I bought the ten books above at extremely low prices and then seriously had to restrain myself from buying any more. I wouldn't have been able to fit any more in my suitcase on the way home! I am officially on a Book Buying Ban now.

Bought (Not from The Strand)

 Divergent by Veronica Roth
Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

I also bought Prisoners in the Palace while I was in NYC, but from the Borders bargain bin. I broke down on my Book Buying Ban only a few days after it was put into effect and bought Divergent back at home. But it was worth it (as you can tell from my Divergent review)! And I swear I'm done for the year. I still have my birthday and Christmas left this year if I am dying to get more books, but no more book buying for me.


 Wither by Lauren DeStefano (from 365 Days of Reading)
Signed Across the Universe by Beth Revis (from Looksie Lovitz)
Signed Matched by Ally Condie (from the author)
Signed Breathless Reads swag (bookmarks, poster) (from Looksie Lovitz)
Signed The Faerie Ring swag (bookmarks, postcard) (from Kiki Hamilton)

So, as you can see, I am one lucky S.O.B. I'm thinking I should start buying lottery tickets with the luck I get. I mean, I won two separate, signed by the author, Breathless Reads contests! Yes, I admit I am a contest junkie. I can't thank the hosts of these contests enough! Seriously, you all made day. I hope to continue to give back by hosting at least one giveaway a month. Seeing as how I just passed 500 Followers, I think that would qualify as a good excuse for a giveaway once my Possession ARC Giveaway is over.


I borrowed these first two books in The Millenium Trilogy from my aunt and am reading the first one now. Thanks Auntie!