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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The All Male Review Giveaway Hop

Hop! The All Male Review Challenge is a month long event hosted by Bewitched Bookworms, Books and Things, In the Closet with a Bibliophile, Supernatural Snark, and The Unread Reader as a way of highlighting YA reads that are either written by male authors or feature a male protagonist. And the whole thing kicks off with a giveaway hop running from July 1st to July 7th, 2012. I prefer to read books narrated by a male protagonists, myself, so I am always eager to feature my favourite male protagonist reads.

For this blog hop, I'll be giving away one of the following of my favourite male protagonist reads, via The Book Depository:

Note: Featured above are only the first books in the series. Should you win, you can of course choose to win one of the sequels instead.

1. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below
2. Open Internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you
3. Ends July 7 at 11:59 PM EST
5. Entrants must be at least 13 years old
6. The winner will be sent an email and will have 48 hours to respond with their address.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(If the Linky doesn't work, click here to see the list of other participants in this giveaway hop)


It's time to announce the winners of my Clear Your Shelf Giveaway and Midsummer's Eve Giveaway! And the winner of the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway (a choice of 2 of 4 books from my personal shelf) is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Gigi C.

Congrats Gigi! Gigi has already emailed back with her choices of Dark Inside and XVI and has been shipped this prize.

And the winner of the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway ($15 CAD to The Book Depository) is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congrats disincentive! Please email me with your full name and address and choice of book (either an old release or preorder) within the next 48 hours at ayleejaine@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 28, 2012
Pages: 375
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 Stars

I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

In short: Though Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is a much different book than its predecessor, the change in tone is a welcome one.
I was a bit apprehensive about reading Pandemonium because I loved Delirium so much and from all accounts Pandemonium was going to be very different book. A new locality, new friends, a new boy, and a new Lena. I didn't want change if it meant doing away with all the things that I adored about Delirium. Why fix it if it ain't broke? I think it's because of my doubt that it took me a while to become fully immersed in Pandemonium. Thankfully, Lauren Oliver's charm worked on me as it always does and it wasn't too long before I found myself appreciating the change in tone.

I remain astounded at Lauren Oliver's writing ability and talent in character development. To have such a drastic change in the story, a huge development in Lena's character, and a completely new love interest and have all of this be actually believable - now, that takes talent. I like the new Lena no more or less than the old Lena from Delirium, but I wholeheartedly appreciated seeing such growth and maturity in her character, rather than have her remain static for the entire series. Same goes with the new love interest, Julian - I was prepared to be offended at the introduction of this love triangle, but was quickly won over by him. It is a true love triangle for me because I honestly couldn't say which boy I like best for Lena.

Unfortunately however, I found that I wasn't held quite as captivated with Pandemonium as I was with Delirium, though the reason why is unknown to me. It's surprising that I would feel that way because in a way, Pandemonium was faster paced than Delirium. Pandemonium certainly had a few surprising twists that were quite interesting, and yet I found my attention drifting a bit more than I would have liked. For me, Pandemonium seemed to lack a lot of the magic of Delirium. I did still love Pandemonium, of course - by this point, I can't imagine not liking a Lauren Oliver book. I will be  anxiously awaiting the third and final book in the trilogy, Requiem, to be published March 2013.

Previously, my review for Delirium.

Other Reviews:
All of Everything
Logan E. Turner
Shooting Stars Mag

Author Links:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Hop! Welcome to the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Uniquely Moi Books and running from June 20 to June 26, 2012.

For this blog hop, I'll be giving away:

Any Book worth up to $15 CDN from The Book Depository!

1. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below
2. Open Internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you
3. Ends June 26 at 11:59 PM EST
5. Entrants must be at least 13 years old
6. The winner will be announced on the blog and will have 48 hours to send me an email with their address.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase any books that I have received for review, bought, borrowed, or won to read.

For Review
Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin (Thanks to Tanglewood Press/NetGalley)
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo (Thanks to Random House/NetGalley)
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schultz (Thanks to Candlewick Press/NetGalley)

I may need to impose a book request ban on myself because I've had very little restraint lately and it's becoming a bit overwhelming. So these are the last requests I'll be making for a while (hopefully)! I loved Ashfall and therefore needed to request its sequel, Ashen Winter. I've heard good things about Love and Other Perishable Things (previously released in Australia as Good Oil) and I've really been trying to read more contemporary, so I needed to request it as well. I don't actually know anything about Splendors and Glooms except that it's published by Candlewick Press, is written by a Newberry Medalist, and is a gothic fantasy, so I can't go wrong, right?

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Finally, I own Cassandra Clare's latest book, City of Lost Souls! I wasn't over the moon about City of Fallen Angels, to be honest, but I love these characters so much that I would read pretty much anything so long as I got to spend time with them.

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsh
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

In case you haven't heard, SYNC will be giving away one free YA audiobook and one free Classic audiobook for every week this summer! I have picked up some really great free audiobooks from them for the past few summers that have led to hours and hours of listening pleasure. Head on over to SYNC's website to pick up this week's picks, The Eleventh Plague and The Grapes of Wrath, but only until Thursday when they'll giveaway another two audiobooks.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

Hop! The Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. It is a giveaway hop specifically designed for clearing up shelf space by giving away gently used books that I have read, but do not plan to ever reread.

For this hop, I will be offering to one winner a choice of TWO of these FOUR books, from my personal shelf:

Between the Lines ARC by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Changeling ARC by Philippa Gregory
Dark Inside ARC by Jeyn Roberts
XVI by Julia Karr

1. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below
2. Open to US/Can (Sorry International readers! To make it up to you, I will also be participating in the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop on June 20, 2012 and will have it open worldwide)
3. Ends June 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST
4. Entrants must be at least 13 years old
5. The winner will be sent an email and has 48 hours to respond with their address to accept their prize. Failing this, another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: May 1, 2012
Pages: 525
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

In short: Insurgent by Veronica Roth is a solid and enthralling sequel to its predecessor.
Hmm, what's that? You've been dying to read yet another Insurgent review? Oh good. I was hoping you'd say that.

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent leaves off, leaving no time for exposition and rehashing of the events that took place at the end of Divergent. I would have been completely lost if it had not been for Veronica Roth's Catch-Up Guide, which I read just prior to starting Insurgent. As it was, I actually quite liked that Veronica Roth didn't waste any time going over all the details of the previous book as it would have slowed the pace down considerably and Insurgent is the kind of book that you want to devour as fast as possible. And devour I did, even though Insurgent is over 500 pages long.

I am just endlessly fascinated with the world building of the Divergent trilogy, specifically the Faction System, that is so expertly developed by Veronica Roth. I swear I could read about even the most mundane aspects of the Factions and still be interested. Lucky for me, Insurgent was the perfect book when it came to finding out more about the specific processes, cultures, and backgrounds of the Factions - Tris and Tobias visit all five Faction Headquarters over the course of Insurgent. And I am dying to learn even more secrets about the workings and history of the Faction System, especially with how Insurgent left off.

Though I didn't like Insurgent quite as much as Divergent and though it wasn't without its faults - Tris and Tobias got on my nerves a few times, for example - there is no way I could not give it 5 Stars considering how much I enjoyed myself while reading it. Everything else in Insurgent - the pacing, the action, the world and character building - more than made up for any minor pet peeves that I had. Insurgent is truly a solid and thrilling follow-up to what has become one of my favourite series of all time. I can't believe we still have to wait a year for the as yet untitled Book 3 - though does anyone else suspect it will be named Convergent?

Previously, my review for Divergent.

Other Reviews:
Hughes Review
Once Upon A Quote
Xpresso Reads

Author Links:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Hachette Summer 2012 Catalog

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, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the Hachette Summer 2012 Catalog:

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Date: September 4, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.
Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.
When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

I haven't read any of Jackson Pearce's other fairy tale retellings, Sisters Red and Sweetly, but I have heard good things about both. I love the story of the Little Mermaid - both the original and the Disney version - so I think I'll enjoy Fathomless.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Date: September 18, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

I have never read any of Libba Bray's books before, but I understand she is quite the well loved author. I love the time period in which The Diviners takes place and I'm loving the dark overtones of the synopsis and cover.

Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Date: September 18, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Reese and David don’t remember what happened to them after a bird flew into their headlights on the Extraterrestrial Highway--not the resulting car accident and certainly not a bit of the 21 days of care at the military hospital in Nevada. It’s a good thing, the doctors and colonels tell them, that they crashed on a military base, but they won’t tell Reese and David what the extent of their injuries were, or how they were healed. They do tell them they’re not going home, though, until they sign a confidentiality agreement.
When they get home, Reese can’t help but find everything a little weird. Worldwide bird strikes resulting in plane crashes have grounded air travel, David won’t talk to her, and she could swear she’s seen her military doctors around the neighborhood. It’s only when she meets Amber Grey that things in her life begin to really fall apart, and the mysteries of the bird strikes, the military, and her own treatment come together. Reese realizes that she must find out what they did to her in that hospital, but her search for the truth threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.
What if we aren’t alone in the universe? What if the alien is inside us?

Mysterious bird strikes and a vast global conspiracy - sure sounds like aliens to me. Although the last line of the synopsis for Adaptation throws me for a loop: "What if the alien is inside us?" Sounds freaky!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Hachette Summer 2012 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Hachette Summer 2012 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase any books that I have received for review, bought, borrowed, or won to read.

For Review

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (Thanks to Random House/NetGalley)
Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Thanks to HarperCollins/Edelweiss)
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (Thanks to HarperCollins/Edelweiss)
Seriously, Just Go to Sleep by Adam Mansbach (Thanks to Akashic Books)

I've been gazing longingly after Unspoken, Defiance, and The Other Normals for a while so I was super excited when I got them for review! I read and reviewed the R-rated version of Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, Go the F--k to Sleep, almost a year ago and loved it so I'm curious to see how this G-rated version compares.

Bought Used

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
The Giver by Lois Lowry

It just so happens that I live within walking distance of five different used/independent bookstores, so believe me when I say I have amazing restraint as it would be so easy to go on a crazy shopping spree while surrounded by all those cheap books. I did end up buying these six though, because I've been wanting to read/own them for a long time.