July 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday- Characters I’d Love to Exchange Places with for 24hrs


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
Each week we post our Top Ten Lists on a variety of book related topics. 
This week:

Characters I’d Love to Exchange Places with for 24 hrs

1. Hermione Granger. Brilliant witch, best friend to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.  She’s one of my favourite female characters of all time.

2. Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (I know the original fairy tale may not be like the Disney one) Sure things don’t start out too well, but she eventually falls in love, the beast becomes the Prince, she gets to live in a castle and we all know how incredible her library is:)

3.  Violet from The Body Finder. Yes she can sense the dead, but she also dates Jay and he is the ultimate book boyfriend.

4. Bella from Twilight Saga. I know I know, I can imagine what you are thinking but Rob Pattison is not my Edward nor is K Stewart my Bella. The Edward in my head when I read these books is miles above the one that Rob Pattison attempts to embody. Also immortal life with my immortal family….. yes pls.

This was a hard topic!  When I look at my bookshelf, I see books filled with characters that I adore, but for the most part they have gone or will go through horrible events….. I think I would pass on exchanging places with them for that reason.

I’ll be interested to see who is on everyone else's lists ……

July 30, 2012

Book Review: First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci

Cecil Castellucci
First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci
Published by September 2011 by Scholastic Press
Reviewed from finished copy provided by publisher.

Summary
A startling, wonderful novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.
"We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe. Big nothings.
"I know what I am."
Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Yet loving the world -- or, at least, an idea of the world.
Then he meets Hooper. Who says he's from another planet. And may be going home very soon.
My Thoughts
  Mal is an outsider. He sits on the outskirts of activity at school. At home he is the care taker of his alcoholic mom. He also believes he was abducted by Aliens, left only with the scattered memories of those experiences. He’s alone in a world he feels he can not escape.
“There is a question that I always ask myself. I ask it many times during the day. How far away from here is far away enough? How far away would I be willing to go? My answer is always the same. You? I’d bet you’d think the moon was far away enough. I say the moon is still too close”pg16
  First Day On Earth is a short read; but it’s a powerful one. A mere 148 pages, it packs in such strength, and beauty and rawness. I think so many can relate to that feeling of not belonging, and the author captures it perfectly here. I love Cecil Castellucci’s writing style.
A book for teens and adults alike, there is much to experience and learn from this amazing novel.



July 28, 2012

In My Mailbox–July 29 2012

LostinLibraryIMM
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren. Each week, we are invited to post about books we’ve received through the mail,
from the library, from a store or from a friend.

For Review:
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Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead 
(I am so excited about this book-Thank you Random House!!!)

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Spindlers by Lauren Oliver (ahhhhhh)
Defiance by CJ Redwine
Thank you HarperCollins!!!!

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The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
Thank you Scholastic!!!
Purchased:
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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (can not wait to read this)
Once Burned  by Jeanine Frost (mmmmmVlad)
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

What was in your mailbox?

July 26, 2012

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

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Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
Published by Harper Collins May 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by the publisher 
Summary:
When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp: working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes. He sees prisoners marched to a nearby mango grove, never to return. And he learns to be invisible to the sadistic Khmer Rouge, who can give or take away life on a whim.
One day, the soldiers ask if any of the kids can play an instrument. Arn's never played a note in his life, but he volunteers. In order to survive, he must quickly master the strange revolutionary songs the soldiers demand--and steal food to keep the other kids alive. This decision will save his life, but it will pull him into the very center of what we know today as the Killing Fields. And just as the country is about to be liberated from the Khmer Rouge, Arn is handed a gun and forced to become a soldier. He lives by the simple credo: "Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down."
My Thoughts:
“Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down”. -This book is based on the true experiences of Arn Chon-Pond and his experience when the Khmer Rouge came into power. It is tragic, and disturbing. I am embarrassed to say that I had no idea this happened. I was young during this time period but still-while I was reading I kept asking myself –how did I not know about this? Sometimes I feel like I live with blinders on, which is one of many reasons why books like this need to be written, why we need to be reminded of the horror that can happen.  Books like this, like Sold or like The Boy and Striped Pyjamas, leave me shaken and upset but I think that's the point right? It's so easy to get caught up in our "western lives" that we can forget and/or ignore the atrocities that have happened and continue to happen.
What makes his story even more incredible is not just that Arn survived but that he has done incredible things with his life since. He continues to give back to his community and country.
I didn’t give this book a “rating” on GoodReads...how can I possible rate something like this?? Brilliantly written, this book is a reminder of how lucky I am to have the love of family and a roof over my head. A bed to sleep in. A silent night, without screaming or gun shots or fear of losing someone I love. It makes the worries of my day, small and insignificant.
An important read. Destined to be an award winner.

Other titles about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia: 
A Song for Cambodia - by Michelle Lord
First they Killed My Father - by Loung Ung
When Broken Glass Floats - by Chanrithy Him

July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday-July 25


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we are invited to post about the books we are anxiously awaiting.

My pick this week:
A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1)

A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner-Infinity Ring Book #1
To be published by Scholastic Inc September 2012

Summary:
Scholastic's next multi-platform mega-event begins here! History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right! 

When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel -- a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring -- they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course.Now it's up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak's missing parents while they're at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!

Aside from the fact that it sounds amazing, this middle grade book is written by James Dashner, and is the first one in a series of book written by other amazing authors-
Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Jennifer Nielson, Matthew Kirby....YES PLS! Can not wait for this series to begin!

Add to GoodReads

July 23, 2012

Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

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Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Published by Simon Pulse June 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by the publisher

Summary:
    Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
   Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.
My Thoughts:
    I am a fan of Jodi Picoult. I love her writing style, I love the characters she creates and her books have always given me something to think about; a new perspective and way of looking at the world.  I liked Between the Lines in the beginning. I thought the premise was interesting. Imagine if our dreamy book boyfriends could talk to us, or might even be able to leave the pages of their book behind. I know of many avid readers who would love that!!
   I thought Delilah was a believable and likeable character, and I saw a lot of myself in her. I just didn’t feel/believe the chemistry between her and Oliver. Oliver seemed spoiled, insincere and immature and there were a few moments where I felt Delilah should have just closed the book and left him in it.  The book has had mixed reviews..but debuted on the Best Seller list. It just didn’t work for me.


July 21, 2012

In My Mailbox–July 21 2012

LostinLibraryIMM
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. Each week we are invited to post about the books we received whether through the mail, library, or at the book shop.

For review:
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The Baby Lit Series of Classics by Jennifer Adams. Love them…you can read my review here
Thank you Gibbs M Smith Inc 20120714_192945_resized[1]

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke –gifted by the fabulous Christa from Hooked on Books-Thank You
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy-purchased at her book launch-
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Dead Cat Bounce by Nic Bennett
Rift by Andrea Cremer- both are gifted by author Joanne Levy at her event
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards –Thank you Harper Collins! 
What was in your mailbox?

July 19, 2012

If You Love to Read

I first saw this yesterday when Mermaid Vision Books posted it on Facebook and I had to share. I love the new lyrics, and this Librarian has an amazing voice!!!


L

Isn't it fabulous!?!!?

Small Medium at Large Book Launch and Book Review

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Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Published by Bloomsbury Kids July 3rd 2012
Reviewed from personal copy
Summary
After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her over-opinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.
My Thoughts:
    The character of Lilah is a fresh voice on the middle grade book scene and I adored her. She is quirky, and funny not to mention boy-crazy and I loved her fearless nature. A coming of age novel, Lilah is working out what’s important to her. When she gains the new ability to hear the dead after being struck by lightning, she still must work to discover who she is, but now she has the sweet voice of her grandmother (among others) to guide her. There were many great scenes in the book –one in particular brought tears to my eyes, but  I think my favourite moments were between Lilah and her Dad. Their relationship is a special one and without a mom regularly in the picture they really have had to learn to look after each other.  Lots of laugh out loud moments, the writing style is reminiscent of authors like Paula Danzinger, Judy Blume and Susin Nelson, I look forward to reading much more by Joanne Levy.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting the author Joanne at her book launch for Small Medium at Large. It was hosted by Bryan Prince Bookseller (a charming bookstore) and had a fabulous turn out. Joanne also gave out fabulous swag bags to all the invited bloggers.

Her podium, and delish cupcakes!
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Joanne doing a reading from her book (there is truly something special about hearing an author read from their own book) and my signed copy
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A pic of the fabulous Toronto Bloggers and Me

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Other recaps of the event:

July 17, 2012

2nd Annual Blogger Meet-Up!!!



It’s time to announce the details of our 2nd Annual Ontario Blogger Meet-Up! 
Come and join us for an afternoon of books, games, food and great conversation.  Meet your fellow bloggers from all across Ontario and finally put faces to blogs and twitter handles you frequently come across online.  Get a chance to win prizes, meet special guests, network and have an afternoon of great bookish fun.
Ticket prices are $35.00 and are available at: http://ontarioblogsquad2.eventbrite.ca/
Included in the ticket price is a three-course meal with complimentary coffee and tea.  Taxes and gratuity are also included. You can download the menu here.
Hope to see you there!

FAQ

Q. The event was free last year, so why are you charging for it this year?
A. The simple answer is the venue.  One of the biggest concerns we heard from attendees last year was the event space.  You wanted something bigger and better that provided more room to move about and mix and mingle.  Well we heard you.  This year we have a bigger and better venue and as such, there is a cost that goes along with it.
Q. What does the $35.00 ticket price include?
A. The $35.00 ticket price includes admission to the event, a three course meal, complimentary coffee or tea, and taxes and gratuity.
Q. Is there an official program of events?
A. While there are some things scheduled to take place at the event, there isn’t an official schedule like you would see at a professional conference.  The meet-up is still very informal allowing attendees to mix and mingle freely.
Q. Will there be any special guests and if so, who are they?
A. Yes there will be special guests.  But as for who they are, well that is a surprise.  In the weeks leading up to event there will be some teasers and hints posted both here on the blog and on twitter.  Make sure you are following @BlogOntario on twitter for all the latest news and updates on the event.
Q. Tickets are sold out and I want to go.  What do I do?
A. If tickets for the event sell out, and you would still like to attend, please sign up for the waiting list through the ticket sales page.  We will considering opening up more space at the event, but in order to do so, we need to know how many more spaces we would need to accommodate.  In order to do that, we need you to sign up for the waiting list at:  http://ontarioblogsquad2.eventbrite.ca/
Please email any questions or comments to: ontarioblogsquad@gmail.com
Hoping you'll attend!!! Let us know if you have any questions!

July 16, 2012

Book Review: Until I Die by Amy Plum

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Until I Die by Amy Plum
Published May 8th 2012 by HarperCollins
Reviewed from personal copy

Summary:
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.
As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.




My Thoughts:
  There is something special about a book set in Paris. Perhaps its the history, and the romantic atmosphere I always equate with that city, ( oh how I long to visit) it seems so magical.  This is the second book in the  Revenants series,and although I think that Die For Me would have made a great stand alone, I was excited to revisit the story and the characters of Kate and Vincent. I truly adore them as a couple. 

    Kate is determined and strong, yet has already dealt with so much in life. She and  Vincent seem made for each other except for the fact that Vincent is immortal and Kate is not.  They meet their challenges head on, despite the reserved support of family and friends. The book was a bit slow in the building though in hindsight I can see the how the plot was laid out before us. I had my suspicions of who the new enemy would be and kept shouting it out to Kate but it seems characters in books never listenSmile

  Overall, a good follow up, but the ending left me yelling NO!!!! When will the next one be out? How does Amy Plum expect me to wait?

Until I Die - Kobo
Until I Die -Book Depository
Add to Goodreads

July 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday–Free Choice


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
Each week we are invited to post our top ten lists on a variety of book related topics.
The theme this week is: Bloggers Choice
My List: 
The Top Ten Bookish Things I Wished I Owned/Wish List

1. Penguin-Classics – Threads Collection –I am in love with these new classic editions. There are six in total.

Penguins Classics
2. Then there are these Penguin Classics- Cloth bound- I have 5 so far. Can you imagine how gorgeous my shelves would bewith these collections?

reassuring
3. This, in poster size, framed and on my wall. 3 things I need to remind myself of everyday.

Jk Rowling
4. A signed first edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but the dedication would have mine name instead of course.

5. Love this necklace!

Stamped Harry Potter Solemnly Swear No Good Custom Silver Metal Thin Cuff Bracelet
6. A Handstamped bracelet with a book quote-It would be the quote above from The Help or one from Perks of Being A Wallflower- “And in that moment. I swear we were infinite”

7. Recognize this? Belle’s amazing library from Beauty and the Beast

8. Love this book case!


 
9. I am in love with these minimalist posters


10. This is me-summed up.

What’s your Top Ten List about this week?

July 7, 2012

In My Mailbox -July 7th 2012


In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from the Story Siren. Each week we are invited to post about the books we received through the mail, from the library, from a store or a friend.

Last week I mentioned having two marvellous book fairies and this week I'll continue showing what they generously sent me...

For Review:

Venom by Fioan Paul

Elemental by Antony John
Venom by Fiona Paul

Jane Yolen


Thank you Penguin!!!

The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

Whats Left of Me by kat Zhang

Breathe

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Thank you Harpercollins!!!!!

A fabulous week, I'm very blessed and am looking so forward to reading these!!!

What was in your mailbox?

July 5, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #104

The Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read where we answer a book related question and follow links to visit other blogs and read their answers too. It's been a while since I participated but I really liked the questions this week.


Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? 

Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.


I enjoy poetry and have a few anthologies of my favourites, but I've never been particularly fond of novels in verse. I tend to lose interest after the first few chapters. 

I picked up Love and Leftovers based on the cover:

Love and Leftovers

And I loved it. The story had the right combination of  heart break and dreamy boys. But ultimately it was the language and the authors way with words that hooked me.

Have you read it?


July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (WOW)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
 Each week we are invited to post about the books we are excited to read.

My Pick this Week:

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
To Be Published by Henry Holt September 2012

Summary:
With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?
Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.
But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

I loved the first one "Hold Me Closer Necromancer", I mean loved! Can't wait to get my hands on this title.

What are you waiting for?

July 3, 2012

#Daily Book Pic- A Bookish Photo Project

I love twitter and this is one of the reasons, while scrolling through my feed I came across a tweet and a link to a post by Book Riot about the #Daily Book Pic!
For the month of July we are invited to post to Twitter/Pinterest a daily book themed photo-I'll be posting to Facebook too. Here is a list of prompts:

Photo project

I am so excited about participating! Hope you will too! Watch my twitter/facebook feed for the photos and I'll be posting a summary post at the end of the month as well!


July 2, 2012

Book Review: No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz

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No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
Published by Dial Books May 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by the Publisher
Summary
A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it's even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there's no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.
These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising styles, changing in ways they wouldn't have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly.
This is a gripping look at people and how they can--and must--change under the most dire of circumstances.
And not always for the better
 My Thoughts:


    Aside from the fact that this title was highly recommended to me, I definitely would have been pulled in by the book comparison “ Life As We Knew It, meets Lord of the Flies in a Mall”.  The story opens and we meet Marco, who is on the run from two determined bullyish jocks from his school. Attempting to hide in a the HVAC closet he stumbles upon something even scarier than the bullies who pursue him.
The bomb has released something in the air and soon the mall is over run in chaos as the people inside the mall  become quarantined and unable to leave.  We follow 4 teens (the narrators) as they attempt to make sense of their surrounding, their situation and each other.  I enjoyed reading the perspectives of each of the 4 teens especially as they realized their worries from earlier in the day ie. what shoes to buy, parent issues, and the latest computer game became unimportant in the face of trying to survive. Themes of sacrifice, helping others or yourself, and the importance of family are laced through out. No Safety in Numbers reads like a stand alone novel. It wasn’t until the last two chapters that I began to accept that the book would not come to conclusion in the next 100 pages. Twists and turns and the voices of the narrators propel the book forward to the inevitable cliff hanger ending. Enjoyable read. (love the cover too) I can also see this becoming a popular recommendation for reluctant teen readers.

No Safety in Numbers Kobo
No Safety in Numbers at Book Depository
(anytime you buy from Kobo or the Book Depository through a link on my blog, I’m given a small commission which helps fund the book giveaways I host and shipping costs. Thanks for your support.)