September 29, 2012

In My Mailbox/ Stacking the Shelves

In My Mailbox (hosted by the Story Siren) and Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga) are weekly memes where we are invited to post about the books we received via mail, store, friend or library. I haven't participated in weeks! So I thought it was time.-links go to GoodReads :)

For Review:

Seven Wonders by Peter Lerangis
Destiny Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Pivot Point by Kasie West

Jinx by Sage Blackwood
The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LeZibnek

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Foster

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Taken by Erin Bowman
Mind Games (Huzzah!) by Kiersten White

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer (I bought this one)
Cat Tale by the amazing Michael Hall

Thanks so much to my amazing book fairies at Harper Collins!

The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell (love this one)
Thank you -Hatchette

How Does Sleep Come? By Jeanne C Blackmore
Thank you-Sourcebooks!

Crazy week!!!! I have lots of reading to do! There are so many fabulous books coming out!

What was in your mailbox?

September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week-Hop 2013

Banned Books Week is event which celebrates the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September it reminds us of the importance of the freedom to read what we want, and to express ideas. The week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types.

Banned Books week ( in the states) begins this coming week. The Canadian version of Banned Books Week called "Freedom to Read" and is usually in February. 
Books are empowering, freeing, address issues, start conversations and often remind us that we are not alone. Books are not dangerous. They are memory makers and life savers. We have the right to read what we want and we should always have the freedom to choose and ensure that others have that freedom as well. 

For more information check out this

To bring awareness to Banned Books Week I'm participating in the Banned Books Week Giveaway! Special thanks to Jen from I Read Banned Books and Kathy from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting the hop. The giveaway opens today (September 28th) and closes October 6th with one winner chosen at random and announced on October 7nd. For your chance to win- enter below. 

The winner will be able to select one book from the list of top ten banned books in 2011 below. 

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

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Be sure to visit the other participating blogs

September 19, 2012

My Inner Warrior

I was thinking about my favourite books and characters in them as well the television shows and movies I love to watch and I began to see a common thread. It seems I love stories where  girls kick butt.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)  Divergent (Divergent, #1) 
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)
(If you haven't read these titles, I highly recommend you check them out)

   All of the books above -aside from being fantastic reads, feature girls (women) who are strong willed, brave, and can fight for themselves. Katniss, Tris, Celaena & Keladry…are their own heroes and are among my favourite characters in literature for that very reason. I like to think of myself as a strong woman. I can be brave except in the presence of spiders. I don’t give up easily. I’m willing to stand up for others- but I don’t know how to wield a knife, or throw a punch,  shoot an arrow or scale a wall. But none of those skills are absolutely necessary right?  I love that these heroines have mastered their “physical” selves through endurance, through pain, through sheer will power. I admire that and wish it was something I had. Perhaps its just that I have yet to uncover it in myself.. though I hope it doesn’t take something like The Hunger Games or the End of the World for me unleash my inner warrior.


One of my favourite things about reading is disappearing into the characters and for a while feeling like a hero. TV on the occasion can inspire me too. Shows like Xena (I know a little corny)and especially Buffy  the Vampire Slayer allow me to believe that stopping a sword with my hands, or do a jumping somersault on to the back of a horse is something I could do even if it’s just for a little while. 
My hope is that authors and writers will continue to create stories about women who overcome their circumstances through bravery, will and a few sword fights and arrows. Who knows maybe archery isn't too far off in my future but I'm definitely thinking scaling walls and jumping somersaults is far far far away. 

September 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday- Bookish People I Want to Meet


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous The Broke and The Bookish.
Each week we post our top tens on a variety of book related topics- 
This week- Top Ten Bookish People I want to Meet!

My List: (How do I narrow to Ten?)
I am so fortunate to have met wonderful “bookish” people over the years, at expos, 
author events, meet-ups…
These are the people I have yet to be in the same city as let alone meet…
  • John Green- Love everything he’s ever written. I mean fiercely love.
  • JK Rowling-I bet she’ll be on many many lists.
  • Kimberly Derting- I am such a fan-I’d love to be able to tell her in person
  • Janice Hardy- Not only am I a huge fan of her books, but I have to tell you that she has been a wonderful supporter of my blog
  • Maria from Cari’s Book Blog –Love this girl-love our chats!
  • Ginger from GReads. Such fabulous gal, I would be lost with out her amazing graphic skills and her willingness to always give me a hand. 
  • Jamie from The Broke and the Bookish -  can’t wait to hug you in person someday
  • Carla from The Makeshift Bookmark – Carla-can’t wait to meet you and tell you how fabulous you are.
  • Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games, Gregor the Overlander, Hunger Games
  • Jeanine Frost- Author of the Night Huntress Series… <3
Love to know who made your lists! Leave a link below.

September 17, 2012

Review: Wonder by R.J Palacio

Wonder by R.J Palacio
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 14th 2012 –313 pages
Source: Reviewed from personal copy


“I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse” 
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

My Thoughts:

  Firstly, I can not believe this is a debut. Wow. just wow. What a powerful, unforgettable  story.  There is not too much to say other than this is a book for everyone. Within the pages we meet the the beautiful soul of Auggie as he experiences and adjusts to his first year going to a regular school. Told through various perspectives, as readers we learn so much about humanity, cruelty and kindness through the eyes of this young boy. If you share one book with your children, family, or friends –let it be this one.

September 13, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Published September 18th 2012
Scholastic Press –390 pages
Source: ARC provided by the publisher

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” 

   It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts:
    It should be no surprise that Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors.  The Raven Boys received a lot of buzz before the ARC release at ALA, and BEA and rightfully so, Maggie is a gifted storyteller.  She has this amazing ability to reinvent herself as a writer each time she begins a new series or writes a new book. The feel of The Raven Boys is completely different from her other novels, the pacing a little slower but from the beginning you know that it will build to something great.

I loved the premise of the novel and was immediately drawn to Blue’s matter a fact way of dealing with people and the world around her. Though Blue is the main character, Gansey is really at the centre of the story and is what propels the reader forward. He is obsessed with discovering the location Welsh King Owain Glendower, believing he rests along Ley Lines…areas with paranormal activity. *I became fascinated with the idea of Ley Lines and when I finished reading the book I began to research whether ley lines can be found in Ontario…apparently there is one about 4 hours away. One day I plan to take a road trip to see if I can locate it*

As much as I loved Blue and Gansey, I have to say that Adam was my favourite character. He’s the steadfast friend, who stands behind Gansey, adores Blue but has his own painful back story. There was just something about him that I could relate to.

Beautifully written with so many wonderful surprises throughout; there were twists that I definitely did not see coming. A riveting first book in an expected series of four.

September 11, 2012

BBAW #2 - About Me

My interview swap partner and I didn't really have time to exchange questions so I'm going with the alternative:

Do you snack while you read?  I don't snack but I drink a lot of coffee or tea (chai or green)

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? Horrifies me absolutely!!! 

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? I use book marks or write down the page number.

Laying the book flat open?  AHHHH! only if there is no change of breaking the spine.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both? Both

Hard copy or audiobooks? Hard Copy -sometimes audio

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point? Any point

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? Nope...I keep reading.

What are you currently reading? Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

What is the last book you bought? Just Bought "Something Like Normal"

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I've tried to read more than one book but I always lose interest in one of them if I do

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read? Sunday Morning/ Couch in living room

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books? I like both. 

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? Maggie Stiefvater, Lauren Oliver, and Ami Mckay. Always.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?) By author usually, though lately I've been organizing my stand alones by colour....

September 10, 2012

BBAW 2012 -Day 1 Appreciate!

This is my first year participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week! 

Today is all about sharing the love! Here are a few of the blogs I would be lost without!

I love Midnight Bloom Reads -fabulous reviews
Love the Sash & Em Combo:)
So much to love about G's blog. Especially her Tune In Tuesdays...I never miss them. 
She's also the reason I have Safety Suit on my Ipod.
Lost At Midnight Reviews
A new blogger but a fabulous one...I always look forward to reading her posts.
Anna Reads 
 Anna cracks me up. She is so creative!

Love this girl and her blog!

September 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday–Fall 2012


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
Each week we post our top ten’s on a variety of book related topics.
This week’s list:  Top Ten Fall on my Fall TBR

My List: (all titles link to GoodReads)

1.  Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s no secret that Maggie is a master storyteller and one of my favourite authors. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on her new release.

2. Venom by Fiona Paul. “ Courtisans, Killers and Secret Societies” set in Venice…. yes please.

3. Fang Girl by Helen Keeble. This one sounds hilarious…. definitely check out the summary.

4.Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. I really liked her Demon’s Lexicon series and early reviews for  Unspoken have been outstanding.

5. Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1) by James Dashner. It’s already released but I plan to read in September. James Dashner is a fantastic writer and I’ll be interested to see his style writing for Middle Graders. The other authors slated to write for this series are also incredible.

6. The Peculiar by Stephan Bachmann. Love how this book is described “THE GRAVEYARD BOOK meets JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL in this gothic steampunk page-turner for readers of all ages”

7. Spindlers by Lauren Oliver. Oh how I love this author. Seriously, I would read anything as long as she is the writer. I was really moved by Lisel & Po and I’m excited to read another middle grade by her.

8. Golden Door by Emily Rhodda. Rhodda has brought us a number of fantastic books for the middle-grades. Rowan of Rin, Fairy Realm, and Deltora Quest to name a few. This one sounds equally good.

9.  The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodgkin. I bet this will be on many lists. I’m also ready for more Noah.

10. What’s Left of Me? by Kat Zhang. Amazing premise…

Are our lists similar? Leave your link in the comments below…

September 3, 2012

Review: Envy by Elizabeth Miles

Elizabeth Miles
Envy by Elizabeth Miles
Published by Simon Pulse –September 4th 2012
Pages: 320
Source: ARC provided by the publisher

The Furies are back in the second book of a chilling paranormal trilogy where revenge rules the day—and “sorry” isn’t going to cut it.
Spring is coming, and the ice is slowly melting in Ascension…revealing the secrets buried beneath.

     Emily Winters knows the Furies have roots in Ascension, Maine—but she’s about to discover that they’re deeper than she ever imagined. With the help of her new friend Drea, she vows to dig them out. But it’s hard to focus when she’s desperate to make up with JD, and to figure out why Crow, a mysterious Ascension High dropout, seems to be shadowing her.
     Meanwhile, new girl Skylar McVoy is determined to leave her own dark past behind. So she’s thrilled when popular Gabby takes her under her wing, and the stunning and sophisticated Meg offers to give her a major makeover. But everyone knows what happens to the vainest girl of all…
     It’s tempting to be naughty. But beware: the Furies are always watching, and their power grows stronger by the day.

My Thoughts:

  I was thrilled to receive Envy in my mailbox. I enjoyed Fury so much that I have been anticipating the release of Envy for some time.  It did not disappoint. Emily, Drea, Gabby and JD are back and we are also introduced to Skylar and Crowe. The story begins almost where Fury left off and unlike some “second” books, the transition is seamless.  The Furies are back as well and are more evil than ever (is that even possible?). There is something so sinister about how they are described. Breathtakingly beautiful but absolutely ruthless. I had this creepy feeling wash over me more than once while reading.

    Skylar is a fascinating character. New to Ascension she believes she now has “a chance to build a new life, to build a life”. We’re not told what has happened in the past to Skylar –just given glimpses-but we certainly get the sense it was anything but good. Skylar  becomes obsessed with Gabby and being popular, which leads her to making terrible choices. Though I didn’t agree with how she acted, I could totally relate to that feeling of wanting to be someone. To be important. I think many will relate to that feeling.
Envy was well paced and gripping. I couldn’t stop reading until it was finished and  I can not wait to revisit Ascension again in the 3rd and final novel even though the Furies scare the heck out of me.
Definitely Recommended!

add to GoodReads

I’m thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Miles back to the blog for a Q&A about Envy:

1. I know the series is a planned trilogy- but is there a possibility that you might continue and write more in the series?
 I'm glad you want more! However, I don't think it's gonna happen, at least not right now. I've got a few other projects simmering on the back burner of my mind, and while it'll be bittersweet to bid farewell to the Furies (and more importantly, to Em, JD, Gabby, and the rest of the bunch), I'm excited for a new adventure.
2. Is the character of JD based on anyone you know? What about the character of Crow (my new fav)?
        Like I say in the acknowledgements of ENVY, I used to think a guy like JD was too good to be true -- and then I met my *fiancee* (!?!). JD isn't based on him, per se, but I can't help but think that a lot of the love and warmth that surrounds JD's character is influenced by the love and warmth I feel about my man, who happens to also be a) a little kooky, b) sometimes self-righteous, and c) cool with being a sensitive dude (three characteristics I'd definitely peg to JD).
As for Crow...He's an amalgamation of lots of bad boys I've known over the years (or wished I knew!), plus some classic TV guys like Sawyer from Lost, Dylan McKay from 90210, and Caleb from Pretty Little Liars. Now that I think about it, Crow also reminds me a little of an ex-boyfriend of mine, one who was a little angry at the world and took it out on himself.
3. I had a couple of revelations while reading, and I was taken by surprise by how much I related to the character of Skylar.I think many teens will understand where Skylar is coming from. Do you have any advice for teens on how to build confidence?
That's great to hear! Skylar is obviously very troubled, but I'm happy that her story resonated with you. Honestly, there were times during high school when I felt a lot like Skylar (though I obviously never took that angst to such an extreme). I think there are lots of young women who feel like the odds are stacked against them or that the social hierarchy is both arbitrary and unfair -- because it usually is! 
Lauren (Oliver, one of my closest and oldest friends) and I wrote letters to each other in the upcoming Dear Teen Me anthology (Zest Books, October); in part, they address the issue of building confidence and trusting oneself. I think it's important to remember that what happens in high school doesn't necessarily set the stage for the rest of your adult life. It's a time to try things out, discover what matters to you, make mistakes, and learn from them. It's hard to remember in the moment, but it's true: This too shall pass. The only way to lose your insecurities and gain confidence is to look inside yourself and find stuff you like. Affirmation sought from outsiders will dissipate; self-love stays the course.
4. I really felt the Furies "evil" intensify in this book, they were seriously creepy...anyway you can give us a sneak peak into what might happen next?
They really are so freaking scary sometimes, aren't they? The thing about the Furies is that they are totally ruthless. Once their evil is unleashed, they'll do anything to see it spread further. The battle reaches its final showdown in Book Three (ETERNITY, which I am currently finishing up)...Will Em lose the life she knows now? Can she fight the Furies on her own? Will she and JD finally make it? Are the Furies in Ascension for good?
5. I've become obsessed with author’s playlists for books recently- was there a song or (songs) that helped you while you wrote Envy?
The funny thing is, I cannot listen to music when I write -- I find it very distracting. However, as you know, I still like to create playlists for my books. Here's the one for Fury, and here are a few of the songs you'll find on my Envy playlist:
-- Blue Orchid by the White Stripes (Frantic energy and an orchid mention - it just clicks.)
-- Living Room by Tegan and Sara (First of all, I just love this song and Tegan and Sara in general. Also, there is something just a little creepy about this song...It's very intense.)
-- Myth by Beach House (I picture this being a song Em and Drea would listen to in the car.)
-- You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift (Obviously, this is like Skylar's theme song.)

Look for the full Envy playlist at (where you can also find the dreamy story of my recent engagement!).

Thanks so much Elizabeth!!