Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's edition is here to showcase our winter TBRs and boy is mine sky high! Here goes nothing.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale- This book has a lot of hype and I just recently started it. Thus far I am loving the quirky narrator and I can't wait to finish it.
Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook- I really enjoyed Cook's previous novel The Almost Truth and I'm looking forward to reading this one.
The Treatment by Suzanne Young- I really enjoyed The Program and I'm excited to see what happens in the second novel.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge- A re-telling of Beauty and the Beast? Yes, please! Plus look at this cover!
Panic by Lauren Oliver- I quite enjoyed the Delirium series and I am looking forward to seeing what Oliver does next.
Four Seconds to Lose by KA Tucker- I binge read Tucker's previous 2 novels so I'm looking forward to seeing this one.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov- Well since I read Tampa by Alyssa Nutting I've wanted to read this one. Tampa is compared to this classic and I'm curious to see if the comparison is a good one.
We Are Water by Wally Lamb- Lamb is one of my favourite authors and I'm excited to see what he has come up with this time.
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens- I first heard about this book during an ARC Party from Epic Reads during the summer. I can't wait to get into this one.
Be With Me by J Lynn (a.k.a. Jennifer L. Armentrout)- I have been on a bit of a NA kick lately so this one looks just fine to me :)
Well there you have it. My Winter TBR. I can't wait to see what's on yours.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Publishing Date: December 31st, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 384 pgs
Source: Received for review via Edelweiss
Summary from Goodreads:
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
I was excited when Harper posted this novel on Edelweiss and I was able to download it to read before it's release. To begin, let's discuss the cover appeal alone of this. I love the font. I love the stance the guy is making in his old man sweater with the elbow patches. I love the look on the girl's face and I also love the hint of sunshine peaking in through the trees. I am a bit of a cover whore and will often forget the titles of novels but I never forget a cover.
I have to say that I had high hopes for this novel based on the cover appeal alone and I have to admit that while I found the story to be cute, I didn't find it exceptional.
The story is told in two different points of view and while I usually like this for some reason I didn't quite like it as much this time around. Wren is a girl who doesn't quite know where she fits in with her family, her friends and in school. Grayson is a bit of a bad boy who wants to turn his life around and he thinks that Wren may just be his second chance.
I think that my problem with this novel is that I wasn't a huge fan of Grayson. He is a bit of a downer and never fully takes responsibility for his actions. He admits to the things he has done wrong but that is mostly because he is caught with his hand in the cookie jar so to speak.
I did really like reading Wren's sections. She is tenacious and has a good moral compass. She is also trying to find herself and make her voice heard. She often falls in the background and throughout the novel she seems to find her voice.
I found myself laughing at some of the shenanigans that happen in the book. Some of them seemed a little far fetched but they were still amusing to read. Overall I would say this book is cute. It is a fun read but it doesn't necessarily stick with you after reading it. I would recommend it if you need to read something a little lighter.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This weeks edition is Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign. There are so many books that fall under this category and it was difficult to narrow it down but here we go:
The Vampire Academy Series: I may not be popular after this but these covers are not good. They are a tiny bit cheesebag and I'd love to resign them into something more hip.
The Anne of Green Gables series: These books still have covers that resemble what they did when they were first published in the early 1900s. I think it's time for an upgrade.
The Stephanie Plum Series: The covers for this series remind me of the 90s. Even the new covers stick true to the original. Please update.
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready: Well this is the third book in a series and they redesigned the cover for the last book. I have to say that I really dislike what they did with them. I think this may be part of the reason I haven't picked this book up despite having read the other 2.
Under my Skin by Charles de Lint: I wouldn't normally pick this book up based on the cover but the story is so great. I think that if there was a cover redesign that more people might read this novel.
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling: I just think this is too plain. It could be a bit more exciting. I do like the cover for the soft cover though.
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin: I LOVE this book. I would say that it is in my top 3 for the year. That being said, if I saw this cover in the store I don't think I'd necessarily pick it up.
Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout): I quite enjoyed this New Adult pick but the cover is slightly embarrassing to cart around in public. We don't need to be quite so obvious.
Well there you have it. Do you agree or disagree? Happy Reading!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Publishing Date: June 18th, 2013
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Paranormal
Pages: 181 pgs
Source: Won at the Ontario Blog Squad Event
Summary from Goodreads:
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
Well I have to admit to something. As a book nerd, I have only ever read one other Neil Gaiman book and that book was Coraline. Gaiman is a legend in writing circles and I was a little red faced to say that I hadn't really read any of this novels. That being said, last weekend at the Ontario blogger meetup I was lucky enough to win a signed ARC of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I mean a signed copy! What luck! As soon as I finished my current read, I dove head first into this story. It is a magical work involving alternate worlds, monsters and enchanted kittens. I really enjoyed this story and since it is so short I pretty much read it in a day. The characters are so enticing and you can't help but fall in love with them. I especially loved Lettie Hempstock. She is a precocious, wise beyond her years, 11 year old who takes the narrator on a journey that is beyond his imagination. Her mother and grandmother are also a part of the story but it seems that the two are often interchangeable. In fact, Lettie seems to fall into this interchangeable category as well. Since magic is at play and the book was full of metaphor, I had to wonder if all three were really the same person but from different eras or times of their lives. The three hold a tremendous amount of power in the novel and come to be the saviours for the young protagonist.
The book is cleverly written and the idea of memory is often brought up. How accurate are our memories and how do they shift and change over time? It is fascinating to think that what we remember of one event may not be how someone else remembers. It is also interesting to think that our perception of what occurred may change as we age. This story explores that through the lens of magic.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that at times it was slightly confusing. Different situations would pop up that were out of the norm and as a reader I was expected to piece together what was going on. I think that with a little bit more explanation/background information that the story would have been bang on. While it was quirky, it was unique and I would definitely recommend this to others. Great work Gaiman! I will have to pick up your other novels now to add to my ever growing TBR pile.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's edition is creepy covers. I'm just going to post the covers because they speak for themselves.
And there they are. I'm looking forward to seeing yours. Happy reading and Happy Halloween!
Monday, October 28, 2013
Publishing Date: October 10th, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 323 pgs
Summary from Goodreads:
Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.
Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....
When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .
The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.
**** This review contains spoilers as this is a companion book****
Well I have to say that I have been waiting for this book for soooo long. Just One Day was one of my favourite books last year and I was dying to see how it concluded. There was a lot of debate about Just One Day among our Ottawa bloggette group. Many felt that Willem must have had a very good reason for disappearing but that being said, I was of the opinion that there is no way he should have left Lulu alone in an unknown city especially after recently being attacked. I get that he was going for breakfast but this was a very poor choice if you ask me.
That being said, going into this book I felt that Willem had a lot of making up to do. I will say that while I was slightly annoyed at Willem's short sighted decision to leave Lulu, he still won me over in the end. You can't help but like this character. He is charming, but flawed and I really liked to see him in his relationships with his friends and mother. I like how Forman shows Lulu's point of view in the first book and Willem's perspective in the second book. It gives us a well rounded view of the situation. I love how close Lulu and Willem come to meeting each other at New Years but it just wasn't the right time. Willem had more growing to do before he was ready to see Lulu again. You have to wonder if things would have worked out if Lulu and Willem kept going from that one day. Willem still had a lot of growing to do and Lulu still had to figure out who she was before things could work.
Overall I quite enjoyed this novel but I have to say that I was slightly disappointed that it ended right when they meet each other again. I want to know more about their relationship together not just as two individuals.