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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog. This week Bumped by Megan McCafferty, coming out April 26, 2011 from HarperTeen:

Description (from Goodreads):  When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I'm really on a dystopian kick lately it seems. My first WOW was Matched (released today!) and my second was Delirium. All three of these seem like great YA dystopian reads with similar themes. Which one are you most excited to read, Matched, Delirium, or Bumped?


Review: Wildwing by Emily Whitman

Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: September 21, 2010
Pages: 359
Source: Won from HarperTeen
Author's Website: http://www.emilywhitman.com/
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars - I Liked It
Description (from the jacket): When Addy is swept back in time, she couldn't be happier to leave her miserable life behind. Now she's mistaken for Lady Matilda, the pampered ward of the king. If Addy can play her part, she'll have glorious gowns, jewels, and something she's always longed for—the respect and admiration of others. But then she meets Will, the falconer's son with sky blue eyes, who unsettles all her plans.
From shipwrecks to castle dungeons, from betrothals to hidden conspiracies, Addy finds herself in a world where she's not the only one with a dangerous secret. When she discovers the truth, Addy must take matters into her own hands. The stakes? Her chance at true love….and the life she's meant to live.

In short: Wildwing by Emily Whitman was an interesting look into 13th century England but I found I could not relate to the main character and her motivations.

Wildwing by Emily Whitman tells the story of Addy, a girl born out of wedlock in 1913 England. Because of this, she is mocked by her peers and is forced to be a lowly maid. When she finds a time machine in her employer's home she doesn't hesitate to leave her miserable life behind and go to live in the 13th century where she's treated as a grand lady. Once there she meets Will, the falconer's son. The actual identity of Will was very obvious. Although in the author's defense, I don't think she really meant it to be a big surprise reveal at the end or else I believe she would have tried harder to make his identity a mystery.

Throughout most of the book I wasn't sure what to make of Addy's personality. There were times that I felt sympathetic towards her and her crappy life as a bastard child in the early 1900's. But my empathy quickly dissipated once she assumed the role of Lady Matilda and became horribly selfish. Her desire to have people serve her and be rich was a big character turn off for me. In one scene, she decides not to stand up for a kitchen boy who was beaten and threatened because she worries it will hurt her position as a grand lady. Also, I found it strange that never once did she worry about the life that she left back home, her mother specifically. When she plans on spending the rest of her life in the 13th century, her thoughts are never that she will miss her single mother who raised her, only her concern that she won't be able to be with Will in the way she would like.

Two thirds of the way into the novel, the story starts to pick up and Addy redeems herself mostly when she realizes her priorities in life. I really did enjoy the last part of the story as the plot reaches a peak and the story becomes a bit more interesting. I really responded to Whitman's writing style; it was very strong I thought. I also really enjoyed the scenes where Will was teaching Addy the art of hawking. It was fascinating learning about how birds of prey were used to hunt in the 13th century. Speaking of which, Novel Novice posted an interview with Whitman in which she admits to some historical inaccuracies that she had to allow for the sake of the story. I found that I really don't have a problem with any of the changes she had to make. I understood she had to do what she had to for the plot to progress.

There's just one last nitpicky thing that I feel like I have to mention and yet it probably is only a big deal to me. When Addy travels to the past she lands in the same spot she left, just 670 years earlier. Whitman describes the land in the area and the bluff leading down to a river as being familiar to Addy, not having changed any. WTF? This would simply not happen. The processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition are ALWAYS in effect and the land and river and slope down to the river would be very much different almost 700 years later!!!! Sorry, this just really bugged me O_O

ETA: I've thought of something else that bothered me and the more I think of it, the more it gets to me. SPOILER COMING UP. My problem is that wouldn't the future have been altered once Addy returned from the 13th century (Back To The Future style)? Even just a small change can change the course of the future and more than just a small change was made. Addy's employer, Mr. Greenwood, also goes back in time to meet Addy when he finds out she's gone. Once there, he educates the people on technologies that are advanced for the time. How would this not change the future? ...I'm probably overthinking this, aren't I?.

Other Reviews:
Small Review
Novel Novice  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Muggle Monday (3)

It's time for Muggle Monday, which I may or may not be making a weekly "thing," 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.

This week I'm featuring those new UK editions of the books that were released by Bloomsbury a few weeks ago. What is it with the UK and pretty white editions of books? First those pretty new Twilight covers and now these:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Series Completion Challenge

This is definitely not a 2011 challenge because I guarantee I will not be able to complete all of these series over the next year (and of course, some of these books will not have been released yet). I just wanted to compile a list of book series that I've been meaning to read for a long time that I would like to complete eventually.

During my intense Harry Potter phase, all I really read was the Harry Potter books (over and over) and Harry Potter fanfiction (some of my favourite fanfics were the ones written by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). So, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of great book series that I've missed out on.

This is by no means a complete list. I'm sure I missed many more series that I would like to read. Indeed, I plan on updating this post as I read and cross books off the list.

Did I miss any that you feel should definitely be on the list and you would like to recommend to me? Let me know!

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman:
1. The Golden Compass
2. The Subtle Knife
3. The Amber Spyglass

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer:
1. Artemis Fowl
2. The Arctic Incident
3. The Eternity Code
4. The Opal Deception
5. The Lost Colony
6. The Time Paradox
7. The Atlantis Complex

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare:
1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass
4. City of Fallen Angels
5. City of Lost Souls
6. City of Heavenly Fire

Percy and the Olympians by Rick Riordan:
1. The Lightning Thief
2. The Sea of Monsters
3. The Titan's Curse
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
5. The Last Olympian

The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan:
1. The Demon's Lexicon
2. The Demon's Convenant
3. The Demon's Surrender

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey:
1. The Monstrumologist
2. The Curse of the Wendigo
3. The Isle of Blood

Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong:
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning

Darkness Rising by Kelley Armstrong:
1. The Gathering

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White:
1. Paranormalcy
2. Supernaturally
3. 3rd book

Firelight by Sophie Jordan:
1. Firelight
2. Vanish
3. 3rd book

Killer Unicorns by Diana Peterfreund:
1. Rampant
2. Ascendant
3. 3rd book

Haunting Emma by Lee Nichols:
1. Deception
2. Betrayal
3. 3rd book

Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade:
1. The Ghost and the Goth
2. Queen of the Dead

Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathon Stroud:
1. The Amulet of Samarkand
2. The Golem's Eye
3. Ptolemy's Gate

Graceling by Kristin Cashore:
1. Graceling
2. Fire (prequel)
3. 3rd book

Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima:
1. The Demon King
2. The Exiled Queen
3. The Gray Wolf Throne
4. 4th book

Everworld by K. A. Applegate:
1. Search For Senna
2. Land of Loss
3. Enter the Enchanted
4. Realm of the Reaper
5. Discover the Destroyer
6. Fear the Fantastic
7. Gateway to the Gods
8. Brave the Betrayal
9. Inside the Illusion
10. Understand the Unknown
11. Mystify the Magician
12. Entertain the End

Dragon Slippers by Jessia Day George:
1. Dragon Slippers
2. Dragon Flight
3. Dragon Spear

Pendragon by D. J. MacHale:
1. The Merchant of Death
2. The Lost City of Faar
3. The Never War
4. The Reality Bug
5. Black Water
6. The Rivers of Zadaa

The Children of the Red King by Jenny Nimmo:
1. Midnight for Charlie Bone
2. Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
3. Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
4. Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors
5. Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
6. Charlie Bone and the Beast
7. Charlie Bone and the Shadow
8. Charlie Bone and the Red Knight

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney:
1. Revenge of the Witch
2. Curse of the Bane
3. Night of the Soul Stealer
4. Attack of the Fiend
5. The Spook's Mistake
6. The Spook's Sacrifice

Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking:
1. Switched
2. Torn
3. Ascend

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher:
1. Storm Front
2. Full Moon
3. Grave Peril
4. Summer Knight
5. Death Masks
6. Blood Rite
7. Dead Beat
8. Proven Guilty
9. White Knight
10. Small Favour
11. Turn Coat
12. Changes

A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin:
1. A Game Of Thrones
2. A Clash Of Kings
3. A Storm Of Swords
4. A Feast For Crows
5. A Dance With Dragons


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
3. Mockingjay

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness:
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go
2. The Ask and the Answer
3. Monsters of Men

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld:
1. Uglies
2. Pretties
3. Specials
4. Extras

Maze Runner by James Dashner:
1. The Maze Runner
2. The Scorch Trials
3. The Death Cure

Matched by Ally Condie:
1. Matched
2. Crossed
3. 3rd book

Delirium by Lauren Oliver:
1. Delirium
2. Pandemonium
3. Requiem

Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix:
1. Among The Hidden
2. Among The Imposters
3. Among The Betrayed
4. Among The Barons
5. Among The Brave
6. Among The Enemy
7. Among The Free


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer:
1. Twilight
2. New Moon
3. Eclipse
4. Breaking Dawn

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead:
1. Vampire Academy
2. Frostbite
3. Shadow Kiss
4. Blood Promise
5. Spirit Bound
6. Last Sacrifice

Vampire Queen by Rebecca Maizel:
1. Infinite Days
2. 2nd book
3. 3rd book

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow:
1. Strange Angels
2. Betrayals
3. Jealousy
4. Defiance

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz:
1. Blue Bloods
2. Masquerade
3. Revelations
4. The Van Alen Legacy
5. Misguided Angel


The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater:
1. Shiver
2. Linger
3. Forever

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:
1. Nightshade
2. Wolfsbane
3. 3rd book

13 To Life by Shannon Delany:
1. 13 To Life
2. Secrets And Shadows
3. Bargains And Betrayals

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain:
1. The Dark Divine
2. The Lost Saint
3. 3rd book


Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:
1. Hush, Hush
2. Crescendo
3. Tempest

Fallen by Lauren Kate:
1. Fallen
2. Torment
3. Passion (prequel)


The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare:
1. Clockwork Angel
2. Clockwork Prince
3. Clockwork Princess

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld:
1. Leviathan
2. Behemoth
3. Goliath


Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa:
1. The Iron King
2. The Iron Daughter
3. The Iron Queen
4. The Iron Knight

The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black:
1. Tithe
2. Valiant
3. Ironside

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr:
1. Wicked Lovely
2. Ink Exchange
3. Fragile Eternity
4. Radiant Shadows
5. Darkest Mercy

Need by Carrie Jones:
1. Need
2. Captivate
3. 3rd book

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston:
1. Wondrous Strange
2. Darklight
3. Tempestuous


Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:
1. Beautiful Creatures
2. Beautiful Darkness
3. Beautiful Chaos
4. 4th book

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins:
1. Hex Hall
2. Demonglass
3. 3rd book

Curse Workers by Holly Black:
1. White Cat
2. Red Glove
3. Black Heart

Septimus Heap by Angie Sage:
1. Magyk
2. Flyte
3. Physik
4. Queste
5. Syren


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon:
1. Outlander
2. Dragonfly In Amber
3. Voyager
4. Drums Of Autumn
5. The Fiery Cross
6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes


The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson:
1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2. The Girl Who Played With Fire
3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

Books To Be Completed: 174/200

In My Mailbox (3)

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 bought or borrowed or won to read.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

13 To Life (13 To Life #1)
by Shannon Delany
Won from YA Book Reads Vampires vs. Werewolves week
Team Werewolf! :)

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing.  Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town.  It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

 These are the first books in two series that I've been really wanting to read. Can't wait to start!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 736
Source: Bought
Author's Website: http://www.danbrown.com/
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Description (from Goodreads): Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

In short: Angels and Demons is another formulaic read by Dan Brown with poor writing and characters but it does make for a good thriller with lots of fun twists.

This book has been on my TBR list for years! I had initially planned to read it right after I had read The Da Vinci Code but just never did. No particular reason why. But I'm glad to have finally read it, to scratch it off my list. Angels and Demons is the first book in the Robert Langdon series and follows the same formula as the second book, The Da Vinci Code, which was a little disappointing. The book starts off slowly with another gruesome murder of an old guy who's related to the foreign love interest of Langdon. The foreign love interest and Langdon team up to solve the mystery which involves yet another secret anti-Vatican society. I realize this book was written before The Da Vinci Code which is why my complaint about the repetitive storyline isn't so much about this book but the series as a whole. I have no idea what The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3) is about but hopefully Brown switched it up a bit with that one.

Dan Brown is not such a great writer and his characters are frankly boring. However, in this situation I feel like he can almost sort of get away with it because the strength of the book lies not so much with the writing but with the entertainment factor. It was a good thriller. I was happily surprised on numerous occasions reading the book thinking I knew exactly what was going to happen next and then being thrown for a loop in the next moment. I did not see the ending coming.

What I loved most about this book (and The Da Vinci Code) is that it is educational fun (the best kind of fun!). I loved learning about CERN, the bizarre traditions of the Vatican, churches around Rome, and religious iconology. That said, I have no idea if what I read is true, that Brown really did do his research, but I'm guessing not. Either way, I'm no expert so Brown managed to convince me almost completely that his knowledge on symbology was legitimate. What I did not fall for however, was the explanation that the creation of antimatter proves that God exists. Brown gave a very shallow explanation for how this works that really fell flat for me. He is most definitely not a physicist.

Like I said earlier, I'm glad I read it but I'm also glad it's over. It took me a long time to get through this one and it didn't always keep my attention. I'm looking forward to moving on and reading something else now.

So when will I get around to reading The Lost Symbol? Maybe in a few more years :).

Waiting On Wednesday (2)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog. This week Delirium by Lauren Oliver, coming out February 1, 2011 by HarperTeen:


Description (from Goodreads): Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Last week I featured Matched by Ally Condie so this week I thought I'd feature this book which has been drawing many comparisons to Matched. Both stories feature dystopian societies where couples are paired up by the government. So, which book are you most excited to read? I'm probably more excited to read Matched if only because its release date is much sooner (November 30, 2010) so there's less time to wait!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Muggle Monday (2)

It's time for Muggle Monday, which I may or may not be making a weekly "thing," 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 (which was the first book blog that I read that introduced me to the world of book blogging).

Let's be real though: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week I'm featuring a song from Hank Green of the vlogbrothers. Hank Green is the brother of John Green, the King of YA. This song basically describes my reading life. It may seem unfair but the thought is always in the back of my mind with each new book I read, I can't help but think "this is not Harry Potter." Confessions of a true Potterholic.

Has everyone seen the movie by now? I would love to know what you thought of it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (2): HarperTeen Goodies

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 bought or borrowed or won to read.

A couple weeks ago, HarperTeen had a twitter contest: their 9,000th follower would get a prize. Being bored that day and looking for a way to procrastinate on my studying I attempted to be that 9,000th person. Like a loser, I refreshed their twitter page every second for 15 minutes. Looks like it paid off though because I won. I had no idea what I had won but suffice it to say I wasn't expecting a prize this grand:

Wildwing by Emily Whitman (released September 21, 2010)
Invisible I (The Amanda Project #1) by Stella Lennon, Melissa Kantor (released September 22, 2009)
Secrets of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway (released September 1, 2010)
Darkest Mercy ARC (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr (to be released February 22, 2011)
Swag: 2 buttons from The Amanda Project Series, a USB Inkpop Bracelet, a HarperTeen tote bag

Crazy amazing! So many books I can't wait to read. Probably the most exciting book here is the Darkest Mercy ARC but unfortunately I haven't read the first four books in this series yet. Darn! I'm really happy about the USB bracelet because my dog ate my last one. I promise to keep this one well out of reach! Also super stoked about the tote bag which is definitely going to become my new bag that I buy and carry my books with. No more plastic bags for me; reusable is the way to go! :D
Thanks HarperTeen! (anyone reading this should definitely follower their twitter if you haven't done so yet already)

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Type: Audiobook read by Chris Patten
Source: Free from Brilliance Audio
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Description (from Goodreads):
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

In short: Beastly by Alex Flinn was a fun retelling of Beauty and the Beast but I felt I couldn't connect to many of the characters whom at times seemed too cliched.

Beastly by Alex Flinn is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast told from the beast's perspective, in this case one Kyle Kingsbury. In the beginning of the book, Kyle is not at all a likeable character, self-centred and egotistical. After his transformation into a beast by a witch whom he played a cruel joke on, more than his physical appearance changes: he matures and becomes a better person. While I enjoyed watching Kyle grow as a character throughout the book, I found that Flinn's characterization of him and other characters were at times cliched and two dimensional. The "Belle" character is played by Lindy, an average and bookish girl at Kyle's school whom he had never paid much attention to before. I've always adored Belle as a character and Lindy had a few moments in the book that endeared her to me but ultimately I never really felt a connection to her. I did however enjoy Will, Kyle's blind tutor, as a character very much.

Beauty and the Beast is probably my favourite fairy tale of all time so it goes without saying that I enjoyed the premise and plot of the book. However, I couldn't help but be hopeful that there would be a divergence from the plot just because the story was so predictable. Thinking about this now I realize that this is unfair of me to want this. After all, this is a retelling of another story, but I was at least pleased that there was a fairly significant plot twist right at the end that I hadn't seen coming. Won't tell you what though, obviously :).

What I enjoyed most about the book was the little intermissions in the plot where the Beast takes part in an online help chat group called "Unexpected Change," along with The Little Mermaid and the frog from The Princess and the Frog. Very amusing.

A note on the audiobook: This was the first audiobook I've ever listened to, believe it or not. I really enjoyed Chris Patten as a narrator. And I especially liked the ability to do other activities (albeit mindless ones) while listening at the same time. It made these mindless tasks more enjoyable and pass by quicker. I'm definitely going to continue listening to audiobooks in the future.

A note on the movie: So I guess there is a movie already made for this book that was supposed to be released last summer but now has been pushed back to March 2011. If you want, check out the trailer here.

Other Reviews:
Missy's Reads & Reviews
Tynga's Reviews
YA Book Reads

Stalk the Author (not for serious):

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

It's a week of "firsts" here, with my very first Waiting On Wednesday post hosted by Breaking the Spine! Waiting On Wednesday is yet another weekly meme in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is spotlighted on the blog. This week, Matched by Ally Condie, coming out November 30, 2010:


Description (from Goodreads): Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Ever since finishing and loving The Hunger Games Trilogy, I just can't get enough of these dystopian novels. Also, the hype for this book from the majority of blogs that I read is crazy! I'm actually nervous a bit that when I finally get to read it, I'll be disappointed because the expectations from so many amazing reviews is so high. Anyway, all I can do is wait to find out for myself!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (1)

First ever Teaser Tuesday! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:
  • 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'm currently reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (I know, I know. I'm really behind the times. I meant to read this years ago but just never got around to it. You know how it is :)). Here's my teaser, from page 159:

In 1857, Pope Pius IX decided that the accurate representation of the male form might incite lust inside the Vatican. So he got a chisel and mallet and hacked off the genitalia of every single male statue inside Vatican City. He defaced works by Michelangelo, Bramante, and Bernini. Plaster fig leaves were used to patch the damage. Hundreds of sculptures had been emasculated. Langdon had often wondered if there was a huge crate of stone penises someplace.

Hmm, well this was more than two sentences but it was just such an amusing excerpt I didn't want to leave anything out :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Muggle Monday (1)

So, I'm thinking about starting a weekly post wherein I post a quote, a video, or a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. I don't know if it'll become a "thing" for sure. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms (which was the first book blog that I read that introduced me to the world of book blogging).

Let's be real though: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

So, this week I'll be highlighting the 2010 Quidditch World Cup that took place this past weekend in NYC. 47 schools across America and Canada took part in the large-scale sporting event that drew in quite a crowd of spectators.

OMG. How nerdy. How fun. I wish I could have been there first hand to witness this. It looks very amusing.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

My first ever In My Mailbox! Exciting! IMM is hosted by The Story Siren every week to showcase to my lovely imaginary followers any books that I have bought or borrowed to read. Most of my IMMs will be probably showcasing books I have borrowed from the library but this week I bought a book! Actually, it's three books in one (819 pages total)! See:

I got The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong (including The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning) for only $16.99 (Canadian) from Costco! Great, great deal. Can't wait to read after hearing so many amazing things!

Description (from Goodreads, of the 1st book, The Summoning): After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Author's Website: http://www.cormacmccarthy.com/
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: September 26, 2006
Pages: 241
Source: Borrowed from my aunt (Thanks Auntie!)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Description (from Goodreads): A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

It's time for my first book review for the blog and I've picked a heavy one. Figuratively speaking of course; it's actually quite a short read. The Road has been on my TBR list for years and it feels so rewarding to have finally gotten a chance to read it, as terrifying and disturbing as it was.

The Road takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which everything is covered in ash from some event that McCarthy does not go into too many details of, and where there are few survivors. Of these survivors are the father and the boy (who have no names) who are travelling west across the country always looking for food, always following the road. Along the way, they run into some "bad" people who would do anything to survive, even becoming cannibals.

The reader spends the entire book with the father and the son, "each the other's world entire," and their immense love for each other that keeps them moving and surviving in a future of complete devastation. So moving. Especially the boy with his earnest, never failing goodness and the father's tenderness with the boy.

The ending was so beautiful and heart-wrenching. A book hasn't evoked such a powerful emotional reaction out of me in a while. I couldn't recommend The Road more! I haven't read a Cormac McCarthy book before but I'm sure as heck looking into it now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

R.I.P. My HP Laptop

My beloved HP laptop died last night. Totally fried. We had some good times. On the other hand, it has been acting up a lot for the past two years, needing lots of maintenance, and I only had it for a total of four years. Lame. So, I'm finally making the switch to a Mac. Hopefully it'll cause me less grief.

So, I just wanted to warn my imaginary followers that this new blog I'm trying out here might be put on hold for a bit (I'm posting this from the computer at my dad's house). Not that I've even posted a book review yet, so I guess a book blog can't really be put on hold if it hasn't even gotten started ^_^;;
And in the mean time I'll keep on reading :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

...Um, hi

So, I've decided to start a book blog. I've been going back and forth in my mind trying to decide if I should do this or not. I follow so many amazing book blogs who post multiple times a week, take part in memes, and get to share their love of the books they read with their followers. It seems so fun and rewarding. I'm not naive though. I do feel like I have a pretty good understanding of just how much work goes into making a book blog successful. This is where I hesitated initally. You see, I'm a very busy person (but who isn't really?), but mainly I'm a very slow reader (like EXTREMELY slow). Last month, during midterms and preparing for my first thesis talk, I read less than one book. Less than one. Seriously. So I'm concerned that I won't be able to update this blog with reviews as often as I would like and as often as most book bloggers do. I am, however, hoping that by having a blog, even one that no one reads, it will encourage me to find time to read more. Even just 15 minutes here and there to read can add up.

I have a monstrous pile of TBR books that I've been fostering for years. So, I'm going to get a start on that right now. I've created this blog during the break between midterms and finals when I get a bit of a breather so hopefully I'm going to be able to maximize my reading time in this period. I'm excited to get started and get reading! I feel like there are so many great books and series that I've missed out on reading just because of my slow reading style and lack of time. That is to say, great books and series that aren't Harry Potter :). I've always been able to find time to read and reread Harry Potter to feed my obsession. But I'm going to need new books to obsess over now that the Harry Potter franchise is coming to a close and no, I'm not a huge Twilight fan :D.