June 30, 2012

In My Mailbox-June 30 2012 -Epic Week & My "Two Cents"

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Each week we are invited to post about the books we received through the mail, library, friends or bookstore. This week was an epic week. In fact I'm going to list the books over the next few weeks instead of all at once. I am blessed by generous book fairies and am grateful for what they send. It helps with the blog yes, but also enables me to stay up to date and have great recommendations for my job.

My "two cents" -If there is one thing I've learned over the past two years of blogging is that I am extremely lucky. We as book bloggers are extremely lucky. Arcs/galleys are expensive -so is shipping:) and publishers put their faith in us that we will put them to good use. As bloggers we are not entitled to them (ARCS) or to (finished copies for that matter either). We are fortunate to have people/professionals who believe in us and what we do and I for one plan to never take that for granted. I know you won't either.


Inside Out and Back Again

 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Novel in Verse

 Audition by Stasia Ward Keho (signed)
Sent to me by the amazing Cari Blogs! Thank you so much!!!!

From the Library:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 
( a few of my favourite bloggers have raved about this one, I can not wait to read it!)
The List by Siobhan Vivian

For Review:
Dark Water by Catherine Fisher

Golden Door by Emily Rodda
Darkwater by Catherine Fisher

S. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Starling by Lesley Livingston
Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
Through to you by Emily Hainsworth
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Fang Girl by Helen Keeble
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

Special thanks goes to my Book Fairies at HarperCollins and Penguin- 
Thank you so much- this Fall is going to prove to be fabulous reading!!!!

What was in your mailbox?

June 25, 2012

Book Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Published by Viking Juvenile May 15 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by the publisher

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free—
and love comes at the highest price of all.
When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
My Thoughts:
Historical fiction isn’t my go-to genre but I am so glad that someone placed this in my hands and said “read”. The story centres around the best friend of Catherine Howard; Kitty Tylney and follows them as young girls wishing to be Ladies of the Court and their eventual arrival.  I turned the pages of Gilt quickly, I worried for Kitty and grew frustrated with her attempts at protecting Catherine, through it all she proved to be a loyal friend.
The author, Katherine Longshore takes us back to a time where the drive for power and status was all many cared about. Your family name was more important than what you looked like, or how you behaved. Gossip could land you in the Tower or worse. When I read books like this I am thankful that I am a woman in this time period and not one in the past. Women at this time were nothing,  just toys and decoration, easily picked up and easily tossed. I can’t imagine all the pressure and stress that came with being a member at court, though maybe the dresses and jewellery made it easier to swallow? (not likely)
Readers will enjoy this well written journey to the past. An adventure into King Henry VIII’s court has all the drama, mystery and backstabbing of a Gossip Girls, or Pretty’s Little Liar’s episode, but Gilt has much more heart. In it we learn about love, sacrifice and the true meaning of friendship. Highly Recommended!

Gilt on KOBO
Gilt at Chapters
(anytime you buy from Kobo 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.)

June 24, 2012

June 23, 2012

In My Mailbox–June 23rd 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, bookstore, friend, or library

For Review:

Debutantes by Cora Harrison from the Harper Collins Frenzy Event! (see my recap here)

A finished copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi –Now signedSmile
Grim by Anna Waggener,  Someday Dancer by Sarah Rubin 
and Devine Intervention by Martha Brokenbrough from Scholastic-Thank you!

Lost Girls by Ann Kelly from Little Brown-Thank you!

Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt –Thank you Random House!

What was in your mailbox?

June 22, 2012

HarperCollins Frenzy Presents-YA Blogger Night


I was unbelievably excited to receive an invite to the HarperCollins Frenzy night in Toronto this past Tuesday. So excited that I made the drive during rush hour to be there. It was totally worth it. Not only did I have an amazing time, I also got to connect with my favourite blogger gals too. 
The evening started as all evenings should…with pie. We found a seat and then Vikki VanSickle talked about her role at HCC and introduced the other members of the HCC team, including Editor Hadley Dyer.

We got a sneak peak at some fabulous fall titles: 

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Starling by Lesley Livingston

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Debutantes by Cora Harrison

 We were told in the initial invite that there could be a special guest at the event. I knew a certain someone would be in town so I was hoping it would be her and I was right! 

Tahereh Mafi


I was freaking out. If you are a follower of this blog, you know my love for Shatter Me (my review here) and for Tahereh. If you follow her on facebook, tumblr or twitter you know how incredibly awesome and funny she is. Meeting her in person was one of the highlights of my 2 years of blogging. She’s amazing!!
 It was my turn to get my book signed:  I went up, she hugged me:
She is the sweetest

We took pictures together:
 She sat down, and began to sign my book.

Remember when I told you that I always babble and can never get my words out when I meet someone I truly admire?
I meant to say: “You are a gifted writer”
What I actually said: “Gifted YOU are”
So I basically met one of my favourite authors and ended up sounding like…..
Yoda = Jen
 Soooo embarrassing-
Tahereh was so gracious though, look how she signed my book-

The evening was wonderful, HCC even sent us home with wonderful goody bags. Thanks so much to the staff at Harpercollins; especially Vikki, Shannon and Jessica for a great night!

June 21, 2012

And I pause for a moment to bring you this...

I know, people are over it. I'm not. Totally shouted woohoo! When I saw this....

Can't Wait:)

June 19, 2012

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
Each week we are invited to post a top ten list on a variety of book related topics.

This week: My Summer TBR List:

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)  A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3)

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)  Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Jellicoe Road  The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1)

Wonder  Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)

Team Human  The Land of Decoration

What's on your list?

June 16, 2012

Book Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffins

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1) 
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Published by Greenwillow Books April 24th 2012
Reviewed from ARC provided by the publisher.

Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her

My Thoughts:

   Dark and gripping, we follow Araby as she deals with a reality that is tormented by death.  People are dying in the streets from a contagion with an unknown cause and are only protected if they can afford the mask designed and engineered by her father.  A city ruled by a self absorbed and callous prince who holds her father like a hostage as well as the death of her brother lead her to escape through drugs and dancing where she meets two men who may lead her to salvation or her end. 
Griffin paints a dismal backdrop and life in the world she has created is not an easy one. Araby is strong though she doesn’t believe that she is, or that she is worth anything. Carrying the guilt of her brother’s death is a burden, a heavy weight which she deals with daily.  It isn’t until she meets Will, that something inside her sparks. And we the readers begin to feel hope. It’s a small change at first, but one that begins to snow ball into possible transformation. Strong character development and a subject matter which at times feels close to home makes The Masque of the Red Death a riveting read.

(It’s a world that hits close to home because the fact is that wide spread disease where thousands have died has happened in the past and could happen again and this is something that terrifies me.  Is it possible to have a world where only the wealthy have access to medical prevention, protection and treatment? (hmmm something to think about-cause this sounds familiar too))

June 11, 2012

48 Hr Book Challenge Wrap Up

I'm late to the wrap up party, last night was busy and so was work today. I didn't come close to accomplishing what I had hoped, but sometimes real life can get in the way of the best laid plans.

Reading: 12 Hours
Books Read: The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
                     No Safety in Number by Dana Lorentz

2 hours of Blogging/Social Networking
$ Amount for Reading is Fundamental: $15.00

Thanks so much to MotherReader for organizing. Looking forward to next year!

Exactly What I Pictured

Another year goes by and I have had to miss Book Expo America again. It falls at a time when work for me is becoming increasingly busy as I prepare for rush of kids coming to the library this summer...

I lived vicariously through the tweets, posts and instagram pictures of the people who went. I saw the many  tweets of authors I'd love to meet talking about spending time with their author friends. I've often pictured what that might look like....I had no idea that I was right....
Jackson Pearce posted this yesterday on twitter and I just had to share it in case you missed it...

Love it!!!

June 9, 2012

In My Mailbox- June 09

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Each week are invited to post about bookish things we received via mail, library, store or friend.

For Review:

Embers & Echoes

Envy by Elizabeth Miles 
Ember & Echoes by Karsten Knight 

Thanks so much Simon & Schuster!!!

Dear Teen Me

Blessed by Tonya Hurley -Thanks so much Simon & Schuster!
Dear Teen Me by Various amazing authors -Thank you Zest Books!


Picture Book


The Search for Wondla byTony Diterlizzi
Wonder by R.J. Palacio

What a fabulous week!!!! What was in your mailbox?

48 Hr Book Challenge Update


This year.....not going as well as I thought...working all day and then unexpected company has interfered with my reading plans....

5 hours of reading  accomplished...almost finished Masque of Red Death... at this rate I'll barely crack 15 hours...
It will be a late, late night:)

Next Book:

No Safety In Numbers

How are you doing?