Saturday, July 31, 2010

July wrap-up

I'ts hard to believe that we have finished our first full month of the blog. Christinabean and I are having a great time and hope that our followers are too. We wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who has left a comment. If we didn't get back to you, sorry. We do appreciate your comments and we're working on a system! There's more to this blogging than meets the eye, methinks.

We've been spending time trying to come up with something different, so we are going to bring back our 'Let's Hear It For The Boys' feature as a monthly meme. What do you think? Boys seem to be a bit low on the totem pole when it comes to YA book reviews, so we thought we'd give them their own corner, so to speak. So keep your eyes open at the beginning of the month. If you have any suggestions for us to try, please let us know.

One thing I have discovered is that Christinabean is definitely the 'techie' in this relationship. I get too frustrated when things don't go the way I want them to. She has the patience to work things through until they do what she wants them to! Then I just ask her to show me how! Thanks Christinabean. What would I do without you?

Another of the things we have found this month, is that reading for a blog is quite different than reading for fun. As librarians we are constantly letting people know about good books and convincing them to try something a little different, but we do this verbally and face to face. Writing it all down is a whole different matter. We have both come to the conclusion that note-taking is an absolute must. We have great ideas and mental comments while we're reading, but if we don't write it down immediately, we can't remember when we come to do the post. I think the problem for me is age, but Christinabean has a toddler!

Hope you enjoy reading with us, and thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop - July 30, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs that we may be missing out on! It is hosted by Crazy for Books and you can find other great blog links at her site.  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year? many to choose from!  I don't think I can choose just one.  Here are my favs so far this year -

My favorite new-to me authors are

Lauren Kate (Fallen)
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures)
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush)
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon)

Who are your favorites?  Have you had a chance to visit many blogs today?  Please browse our website, make yourself at home and feel leave a comment at the bottom of this post.  We'd love to hear from you!  I'll be hopping later tonight!  Have fun!

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Published: January 2, 2007
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 212 pages
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.

Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.

Today her time has run out.

This was a quick read, something to break up my Supernatural book run.  I wanted to read something that was going to impact my emotions and really set me off.  This was it.  Such a Pretty Girl is not a light-hearted read.  This book is about a man who abuses his daughter, goes to jail and then is released back into her life again.  It was so painful to watch the lamb return to the wolves.  Not only does Meredith have to deal with the possibility of her father harming her again, but someone she should trust (her mother) is emotionally unavailable and does not see the potential for abuse.

Throughout the story, you see Meredith flashback to times when her life was innocent.  She had unconditional love for parents who were meant to protect her, and it was heart-breaking to see this thin veil torn away and turned into something ugly.  I found it interesting to watch the ENTIRE neighbourhood rally behind Meredith and do subtle things to provide protection for her or indicate that they did not approve of her mother and father.

This would be a great ISU read for someone who is a reluctant reader.  It is short with a big impact.  Another book that is about abuse which could be used for comparison would be Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Same book, second look - The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

Same book, Second look
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

What's this you ask?  The Same book, Second look is a chance for both of us to review the same book.  Both Curlypow and I are librarians but we have different opinions when it comes to certain titles.  To each, her own!  We want the ability to express our own opinions whether they are similar or differ.  Same book, Second look allows the second person to do an additional review of a book that has already been posted. 

It's my turn and I'm going to chat about Sarah Rees Brennan's - The Demon's Covenant

Published: May 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 448 (hardcover)
Copy provided by : Library
Summary: Goodreads

Mae Crawford's always thought of herself as in control, but in the last few weeks her life has changed. Her younger brother, Jamie, suddenly has magical powers, and she's even more unsettled when she realizes that Gerald, the new leader of the Obsidian Circle, is trying to persuade Jamie to join the magicians. Even worse? Jamie hasn't told Mae a thing about any of it. Mae turns to brothers Nick and Alan to help her rescue Jamie, but they are in danger from Gerald themselves because he wants to steal Nick's powers. Will Mae be able to find a way to save everyone she cares about from the power-hungry magician's carefully laid trap?

I have spent some time on Twitter and have been exploring all things booky on the web.  Lucky for me, I have had some interaction with Ms. Rees Brennan (and what a lovely lady she is)!  Earlier this week I happened upon a chat with several Kiss Me Deadly authors (hosted by Coldwater High ezine).  Some of the authors present were - Becca Fitzpatrick, Sarah Rees Brennan, Richelle Mead and Michelle Zink.  If you haven't tried one of these before, I highly recommend you check it out.  What a great way to reach your fanbase.  Very cool to chat live with your favorite authors!

I finished reading the much anticipated sequel to The Demon's Lexicon last week and again, Ms. Rees Brennan managed to blow me away.  Where the first book did a good job of introducing the characters, this book gave them more depth and understanding.  The relationships between Nick, Alan, Mae and Jamie seemed to solidify and the reader can identify better with them.  I know that Curlypow is on the fence with Nick but I like him.  (Sarcastic good looking bad boys....mmmmm.....)  One of the things that really made a difference for me in this book was Sarah's sense of humor and wit.  I LOVE the quips between characters.  Two of my favorites -

Page 61
"Because I am a sweet and caring individual who is truly concerned about your welfare"
- Nick speaking to Jamie

Page 82
"Can't spell 'demon' without 'emo'.
- Nick

I love the sarcastic bits!  What a hoot!  This book seems to center around Mae and how she sees the situation unfold.  Her character really blooms but  I had to ask myself - When did she become the kissing queen? I won't elaborate much further but she sure seemed to be liplocked a lot in this many boys, so little time....

My favorite part of the entire series is the Goblin Market.  Want to hear a neat tidbit?  I was reading an interview from another blog with Sarah Rees Brennan and she said that the idea of the Goblin Market came from a poem by Christina Rosetti.  One of my favorite poets!  Cool!  I love how the market seems like a place to get away and where anything and everything is possible if you believe it to be.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the ending.  Right when you think you know what is going on, Ms. Rees Brennan twists it and turns it into something completely different!  Fantastic!  I love it when a book can take me on an adventure like this!

I don't recommend reading the Demon's Covenant before tackling the Demon's Lexicon first.  The story is a bit too complicated to jump right in but I definitely recommend this series.  It's a keeper!  Tweet tweet Sarah Rees Brennen, I'm lovin' your work!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To finish ..... or not to finish,

That is the question. (Sorry Shakespeare)

Author: Jenny Hale
Released: 2009/2010
Publisher: Scholastic
#Pages: 464
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Her mother was slain by werewolves when Jatta was three years old, and the palace has been haunted by fear ever since. Then Jatta wakes one morning, bruised and disoriented , soaked in sweat, to see her bedroom smeared with bloody paw prints …

When I started this book I thought it looked really interesting. The werewolf in this book is Jatta, a very naive 14 yr. old princess, who basically has no idea what she is. What she is in fact, is a ravening beast. This is no Twilight werewolf, with long soft hair you want to run your fingers through. She is a huge - and by huge I mean 3 times her normal mass huge - slavering, body ripping, murdering werewolf. Think Wolfman! We never really find out why she's a werewolf, but the implication is that it is because of magic. Her clothes certainly disappear by magic, they are absorbed into ?, I'm not sure where, but they do disappear. Jatta's brother Arthmael has been brutally savaged by Jatta's wolf form, but he never deserts her, following after her and trying to stop her from causing harm. When Jatta and Arthmael convince a boat captain to take them across the water to Dartith, to try to save their kingdom from the evil king, Jatta has another of her transformations under the full moon, and basically hold the ships crew hostage, but are they mad at her, no! As soon as they find out she's a princess, everything is just hunky dory.
"Good luck - though I swear the royal line's inbred, what with two reckless fools like your Majesties. And one a wolf, atop." (p283)
Am I sounding a little less than enthusiastic? Sorry, but I am. I'm really not sure where this story falls short for me, but I never really connected with the characters somehow. Riz, the evil kings evil son - and brother of the prince Jatta is supposed to marry - is definitely nasty, but I never felt he was real, more like a spoiled brat who needed a good whipping. I've read 315 of 464 pages - this is not a short book - but I really have no desire to find out what happens to Jatta and her brother and whether they save their kingdom. The promise of the first few pages never materialised - for me anyway. Do I want to find out what happens in the end? Well sort of - but I'd rather someone else told me what happens than finish it myself.
Does this mean it's a bad book - No. It just means that it wasn't the book for me. So to answer my original question - Not to finish! Now if there is anyone out there who did finish this book and enjoyed it, or not, please let me know what happens at the end. Thanks.

Great review Curlypow!  There are so many great books out there that you shouldn't be afraid to put something down if you're just not into it.  I don't think that I would have lasted 315 pages (although the summary does sound interesting).  I usually read about 20 - 50 pages before giving something the boot.  At least you can now use your time in a better trying something new from your stack of TBR!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Author: Lisa McMann
Released: Jan 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
# Pages: 248
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both. Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared....

This book is the follow-up to Wake. Janie and Cabe are in another undercover police operation, this time regarding teachers and students and inappropriate behavior. I love the interaction between the two of them and the fact that while Cabe struggles with allowing Janie to participate - he goes along with it and is there for her. He seems like such a genuinely 'nice' guy - sometimes I find myself wondering what his flaws are.

The story gets quite dark at one point and I found myself quite disturbed and inordinately grateful with the way things ended up. The tension was quite palpable and I was drawn into the situation completely. The information revealed in Martha Stubins diary was a real shocker. I felt as if I should have seen it coming, but I didn't have a clue. How would you handle that kind of information? I'm not sure I would have been so calm.

I do have one negative - I found some parts a little jumpy, with short , patchy sentences, but that is just my personal opinion, I've never been very keen on short sentences. All in all, I loved it, just as much as I did Wake, and I'm restlessly waiting for the list to go down at the library so that I can get #3 - Gone.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Hunger (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1)
By Jackie Morse Kessler

Summary (by Goodreads)
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?
Sounds interesting, yes?  I saw a few people with copies from BEA but so far, I haven't heard much buzz in the Blogsphere.  It is scheduled to be released October 18th.  Interesting way to represent Famine, don't you think?

Blood Feud

Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Released: June 22/2010
Publisher: Walker Books for Young People
# pages: 272
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.
This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

This story is the sequel to 'Hearts at Stake', which was about Solange and Kieran, and Lucy and Nicholas. While all those characters are in this book, they take a back seat to Logan and Isabeau, who were introduced briefly in Hearts at Stake.

I liked Logan, he's my kind of guy. Not afraid to be different - who else wears frock coats and carries a sword - yet still very likeable. The love element of the story happens fairly quickly, but it didn't seem forced or unbelievable. I think I fell for Logan myself, in fact. I just love the world building and the layers of society with rules and regulations, and I found it intriguing that vampires are not only made, but can be born and that they experience regular life for their first 16 years. The story is full of strong purposeful women and Isabeau is no exception, but she was nicely flawed, not too perfect. Her need for revenge on her maker almost overshadowing her duty. Although I have to admit that my favourite is still Lucy - she is a hoot.

My note to myself after finishing Hearts at Stake was 'very funny teen vampire story with a twist', and I would have to say that is exactly how I feel about Blood Feud. Lets face it, what's not to love about a story that has 7 handsome brothers who just happen to be vampires. All in all I just loved this one and I'm already looking forward to #3 'Out for Blood' which is due out on Dec 22nd, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pre-Order contest....

OK, so here is a Pre-Order contest run by Books Obsession.  Speaking of obsessed, I think I'm still coming off my obsession with entering book contests all weekend, thanks to Got Books.  What a great way to find new blogs though.  I can't remember how many I'm at right now but it certainly is high.  I love hearing about the newest releases and even older titles that I have not read yet. 

I digress....

So, Books Obsession is running an international contest that I suggest everyone enter.  She started out with three pre-orders and for every 25 additional followers, she adds another book.  For every 50 followers, she adds another winner.  This contest is of EPIC PROPORTIONS people.  Please enter then I won't feel so contest obsessed because you all seem very nice and I'd like for someone whom I know to win.  :D

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Added 7/14)

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (Added 7/18)

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (Added 7/22)
It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?  I'll try to update this post as more items are added.  BTW, the contest ends August 18th so hop to it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On a book-buying ban? Learn to Mooch, trade or spend budget-wisely...

Are you on a self-inflicted book-buying ban?  Do you find yourself spending too much on books?  Think about donating your extras to your favorite book blogger.  Try Mooching them instead. 

Sometimes while reading IMM (In My Mailbox) memes from other bloggers, someone will mention Paperback Swap.  This is a very cool site where you can list the books you are willing to give away and books you wish to swap for.  You receive points for listing and sending books (receiving more points if you send internationally) and can "spend" your points when you ask other swappers for their trades.  Sounds great, right?  Well, unfortunately it is limited only to our American friends (lucky buggers!). 

I wanted to find a similar outlet for Canadians and came across BookMooch.  I actually saw this site a few years ago but it was still fairly new and I wasn't sure how long it would last.  I joined a few weeks ago and it's easy to use.  The interface is not fantastic but participation is open internationally.  I've sent quite a few books already and am building up my points.  I have only mooched one title so far but you can create a wishlist and receive an email alert as soon as a book on your list has been added to the inventory.  The only cost is the postage you incur sending a book to a moocher.  You can also give "smooches" which are additional points to say thank-you to someone.  My first moocher asked for 4 titles and lived nearby so she came to pick up the books to save me postage AND gave me extra points.  Lovely lady!  Try it out and tell me what you're mooching!

Another way to save a bit of money when you're purchasing books is to use the Book Depository.  They ship to most countries for free and right now they are offering an additional 10% off your purchase price.  I find their pricing extremely competitive with Amazon.  Most books are lower in price and I have seen huge 25 - 50% discounts on pre-order titles.

The last resource I want to share is Bookcloseouts.  This is a discount booksite from Canada but payment is in US funds.  As a Canadian, I HATE paying for duty and huge shipping costs.  I love getting things from the USA but if shipping + duty is too much, I prefer to buy locally.  I ordered a HUGE list of titles about a month ago from Bookcloseouts.  Eleven books (yep.)...and it only cost me around $65 CND.  (woo hoo!).  This was such a steal that I have a constant wishlist going at Bookcloseouts.  I was following a fellow blogger and she raved about the site so I thought I'd give it a try.  So glad I did!  Right now there is a scratch and dent sale going on which will pull some book prices right now to about $2.49.  Just to entice you to visit this site, I'm going to give you a sneak peak of some of the books I ordered -

Evernight by Claudia Gray- $2.49
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - $2.49
Wings by Aprilynn Pike - $4.99
Shadowland - Alyson Noel (hardcover) - $4.49

Good deals huh?  The only downfall to this site is that it is not great to 'browse'.  Have a list of your favourite authors and titles present and it will make your searching much easier.  If you do order, please drop us a line and let us know whatcha got!  I love sharing great book bargains!

- Christinabean, book-buying shopaholic

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Contests in the Blogosphere

I have a problem....I think I'm addicted to Blog contests. No, seriously, I think I am.

It all started earlier today when I came across The Got Books Blog Event. I had been tracking it for awhile now because I'm always looking for good blogs to follow and a variety of different genres. Yes, I do prefer YA and paranormal but it is always good to have variety. As a librarian, you need to keep up with your Reader's Advisory skills for all types of books, not just the ones we always tend to gravitate toward.

So I came across Babbling Flow and just had to share this. She is giving away 7 ARCS!!! Not only that but they are ALL on my wanted list. Now, I could just not tell anyone about this but I do believe in sharing so you really should check it out. Oh, and if you do happen to win. Please let me know so I can be COMPLETELY envious!

Check out these titles

  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (of course everyone probably knows by now that I am dying to read this before it comes out)
  • Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  • Torment by Lauren Kate

It is now after midnight and believe it or not, I have been checking out new blogs and entering contests for at least 3 hours...if I were posting a regular review, I would put up pretty pictures. For now, I will have to just tell you to check this out and enter so at least one of us can read happily into the sunset....Curlypow, please enter this contest so at least if you win, I can borrow them....

Update....It is now Saturday morning and I woke up way too early. Must have been dreaming about ARCs (hahaha!) I thought I'd post the pictures for some eye candy. Have a great weekend everyone. Don't forget to check out the Got Books Blog Event (link is at the top of this post). It ends tonight at midnight!

Update ... Curlypow here, I went and entered the contest, just like you asked. Love, love, love it. What fantastic titles for the give-away. Well found, Christinabean

Friday, July 23, 2010


Author: Aprilynne Pike
Released: May 4/2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
# Pages: 359
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever. When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

Ok, you can call me a dork or whatever else you would like, but I am officially in love with Tamani. Check these out:

"He was leaning against the front gate, a long black cloak hanging from his shoulders, his knee-length breeches tucked into tall, black boots." (p264)
"Tamani stood and offered her his hand. He had relinquished his cloak but still wore the black breeches and boots, paired with a loose white shirt with the string loosened in the front, accentuating his tanned chest. He looked like a hero out of a movie; Wesley from The Princess Bride or Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo. Laurel smiled and took his hand."(p297)
" 'I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't 'steal' you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you'll ask,' Tamani said. 'And if I don't?' Laurel said, her voice barely above a whisper. 'Then I guess I'll be waiting forever.' "(front blurb)

I don't know about you, but my imagination was working overtime after reading those. (They just happen to be two of my favourite movies, what can I say?) If Twilight can have team Edward and team Jacob, this series can have team David and team Tamani - me, I'm Tamani all the way!

If you haven't already read the first in this four volume series, 'Wings', do yourself a favour and go and read it now. Then try this one. Without giving away too much of the story, Laurell is still trying to come to terms with her fairy side and goes to spend time in Avalon to learn some of her heritage. When she gets back, her Mum is less than friendly, and there are still nasties - read trolls - out in the world to be dealt with. There are some new characters introduced and Klea in particular raised a lot of questions in my mind - I look forward to her development in the next book. David is such a 'guy' in this book. You'll understand what I mean when you get to the bit about the guns. It was quite funny actually and I enjoyed it.

I grew up reading Andrew Lang's fairy books and I know I just aged myself terribly by admitting that, but it gave me a life-long love of all things fairy. Ms Pike has just added to that love. Her version of Avalon is well crafted and her four tiers of fairy society are really wonderful. If I'm honest, the only thing I didn't like about this book was the fact that it ended! I may just have to go out and buy my own copy of this one.

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.


I am currently reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I don't know why I waited so long to start it! I will have lots to say when I do my review later.

I'm also reading Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon (started that last night and stayed up reading it for WAY too long).

Last but not least, I'm reading Heist Society by Ally Carter. Hey, doesn't everyone multi-task? I multi-read...

Make yourself at home and take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and events we are commenting on. Thanks for stopping by!! (and don't forget to check out the rest of the blog hop via Crazy for Books! There are some fantastic book blogs out there!

Hey Christinabean, I know what you mean about Shiver. I hate to admit that I have taken it home from the library 4 times now and I still haven't read it. Can't get past the cover. May'be I should try closing my eyes next time I take it off the shelf! I promise tho', if you like it I will read it next time.

Indigo Teen Read Awards - only a few days left to vote!

Indigo is hosting a Teen Read Awards program and voting runs until July 25th.  I've been meaning to post this for AGES but keep forgetting. 

There are only a few days left to vote on your favorite teen tiles in the categories (current leaders in brackets) -

Best Read - Catching fire - Suzanne Collins
Best All-Time Fave - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
Best Series - Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
Best Book to Flick - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Best New Writer - Fallen - Lauren Kate
Best Hero - Heist Society - Ally Carter
Best Villain - Prophecy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink
Best Hottie - The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare
Best Liplock - Captivate - Carrie Jones
Best Canadian Read - Darklight - Lesley Livingston

Unfortunately, for our American friends, the voting is only open to Canadians.  The prizes are only open to peeps between the ages of 11 and 18 too.  Which (ahem) excudes some of us....we can still vote anyway though.  Since it is limited to us Canucks, we'd like to hear who YOUR picks would be!  Comment on this blog and tell us your favs!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Short Second life of Bree Tanner

Author: Stephanie Meyer
Released: June 5th, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
# pages: 178
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.
Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire. All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.
Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth

The story was interesting as it gave a glimpse into the life of a newborn. For me it helped to explain the 2nd storyline in the movie version of Eclipse. I'm sure there isn't a twilight fan out there who hasn't already read this one, but just in case ... it won't mean an awful lot to you if you don't already know the Twilight saga, but it might give you a taste for it.

To be honest I quite liked Bree. She was clever and questioning. Wasn't happy with just accepting things - in fact I liked her more than Bella. I found myself wishing that she hadn't been killed off at the end of Eclipse. I find Ms Meyer's style of writing fascinating. Bella is, for me, one of the most irritating and annoying heroines I've ever read about. I get angry and frustrated at her single-minded devotion to Edward and I'd like to slap her and tell her to get a back bone.

But - I never once considered not finishing the books. In fact I own all 4 of them. I guess that just shows what a clever writer Ms Meyer is. I had to finish the books to see what would happen. Same thing happened with Bree Tanner. I've read the books, seen the movies, know what happens to her - but I just had to keep on reading.

Well done, Ms. Meyer!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deja Vu Book Cover

Deja Vu - defines it as "the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time." That's what I was feeling when I saw these covers.

(OK, so the Buffy cover was from a DVD, not a book but still....)  Have you ever experienced a Deja Vu Book cover?  (I know that the Dark Divine by Bree Despain has a similar book cover...I just can't think of the title...)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Clearing by Heather Davis

Hi, Curlypow here. Christinabean and I are excited about our new blog and we'll try and keep things interesting for you. I know summer is about to start and the last thing on your mind is English and ISU's, but no-one said the books you use for your ISU have to be boring. There are many wonderful books out there that you can enjoy for themselves and 'recycle' for your project. I thought I'd start you off with a book I finished just a few days ago, so here goes -

The Clearing by Heather Davis

(Borrowed from the library)

What happens when you wish for something hard enough that it actually comes true? You have to live with-in the limitions set by the miracle - or at least that's what happens to Henry, his Grandfather and his mother. Henry is stuck in a time loop and the same summer just keeps occurring again and again, but only he is aware of it. Henry is prepared to live with it for the sake of his mother, but after so many years it's getting tiring and he's beginning to question whether he did the right thing. So what does he do when someone from the present suddenly appears in his world?

Amy has been sent to live with her great-aunt Mae in the North Cascade mountains, which is a far cry from her old life in Seattle. She trying to get away from an abusive relationship and is hoping that finishing her senior year in high school in a new town will give her the peace that she needs to re-invent herself. While walking with the dog, she comes upon a strange mist and discovers things are very different on the other side of it.

Henry and Amy spend time together and help each other out in unexpected ways and their relationship makes each one strong enough to accept the past and face the present with hope.

This was a quick enjoyable read, with believable characters and a satisfying, if slightly unexpected, conclusion. I found it reminded me a bit of Tuck Everlasting, an old favourite of mine. I think the two titles would work well together for a comparison essay.

Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden

Released: June 1, 2006
Publisher: Bt Bound
Copy Provided by: Library
# of pages: 277
Summary:  Goodreads

When Ellie and six of her friends return home from a camping trip deep in the bush, they find things hideously wrong -- their families gone, houses empty and abandoned, pets and stock dead. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in the town has been taken prisoner. As the horrible reality of the situation becomes evident they have to make a life-and-death decision: to run back into the bush and hide, to give themselves up to be with their families, or to stay and try to fight. This riveting, tautly-drawn novel seems at times to be only a step away from today's headlines.

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time and when I first started, I was also reading the Mortal Instruments series so obviously, I got stuck on Cassandra Clare (can you tell that I'm a fan?).  There were several things that I found difficult to identify with in this series - the slang (language), and there are 6 major characters to follow.  However, there is a glossary for us non-Aussies...and after I saw the poster previews for the movie, I was able to identify much better.  Yes, I did say it.  There is a movie coming out based on the book.  It is coming out September 2, 2010.

Overall it was a great book.  I enjoyed how quickly the teens were thrown into a threatening and violent situation and had to learn how to think like guerillas in a war but they were still innocent at heart, young and naive.  Certain decisions were difficult to make even though they wanted to be independent.  It made me think about how much the entertainment business has changed.  During the 80s and 90s, movies were geared more towards experience, coming of age, less emphasis was placed on sex and violence (Karate Kid, Goonies, Pretty in Pink).  I've often wondered if teens in the current generation are more numb to sex and violence than 20 or 30 years ago.  If placed in a situation where you needed to take a stand, would you be able to do it?  Would you be able to disconnect yourself emotionally from the possible violent choices you make to survive?

If you enjoy this book, you may also enjoy Gone by Michael Grant or The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer

Let's hear it for the boys!

Author: Holly Black
Released: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Copy provided by: Christinabean
# of pages: 310
Summary: Goodreads

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

The main protagonist in this story is Cassel, the only 'normal' in a family of curse workers. His mother is in jail, his grandfather is a deathworker, - with the fingerless hand to prove it - and his brothers are goons for the local crime family. At the beginning of the story he is sent home from school for sleepwalking - out on to the roof. Cassel's main goal is to con his back into school, but along the way he encounters problems. When Cassel becomes aware that things are not quite as they seem, his confusion was realistic, and you appreciate his hesitation about involving non-workers to help him solve his problems. You know what it's like when you are sure something is wrong, but you just can't quite put your finger on it? While the family dynamics were not anything I am used to I found them to be believable within the context of the story. I enjoyed the pacing and managed to finish the book fairly quickly.

I am sure that this will appeal to the guys out there. While there are female characters, they are in the background and the mob parallels I'm sure will be a hit. Cassel is a bit of an underdog, and we all root for the underdog, right? It was an interesting take on magic and I quite enjoyed the mystery - great twist at the end. Don't get me wrong though, girls will enjoy this too. The cover shows that this is the first in a series, so I'm looking forward to further adventures with Cassel and his friends.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In My Mailbox (Christinabean) - July 19, 2010

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren in which bloggers post about the books they have received for the week. Books may be bought, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

This week I had WAY TOO MANY from the library so I thought I'd just pick a few of my favs -

What I received from contests -

A huge thankyou to Tynga's Reviews and All Things Urban Fantasy for their Paranormal Summer Fest contest!

What's in your mailbox this week?

The Evil Within by Nancy Holder

Released: June 10th 2010
Publisher: Penguin/Razor Bill
Copy Provided by: Library
# of Pages: 310
Summary: Goodreads

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder’s Possessions, Lindsay finds out that she, too, is possessed, and must return to creepy Marlwood Academy in order to rid herself of the spirit. Lindsay’s afraid of what the spirit is telling her to do—kill Mandy! But the secrets of Marlwood go much deeper than Lindsay thought. Sometimes the girls who seem like enemies are actually on your side. And the voices you trust the most—the voices that come from within—are the ones that want you dead.

How many of you out there like ghost stories - seriously creepy, unsettling ghost stories? If you do, this book is the one for you. Marlwood is the school of nightmares. Broken down buildings, tangled woods, black lake, eerie fog, everything in fact that can be found in the best ghost stories. The mean girls in this tale are seriously nasty - full of their own importance and sense of entitlement. Add in some seriously demented and vengeful spirits and you have a recipe for terror. I haven't decided yet which are worse the living girls or the dead ones!

Mandy, chief mean girl, has a brother who was only spoken of in the first book and in this one he is introduced in the flesh, so to speak. If you thought she was bad, wait 'til you meet Miles. He gives me serious shivers. Lindsay has a crush on Troy, who says he's going to break up with Mandy, but never seems to quite get around to it. Is he really as nice as he seems or is there more to him than meets the eye?

Ms. Holder has taken the very relevant themes of bullying and popularity in schools and has given them an amazingly dark and scary twist. What happens when pranks go wrong? People die - only in this story, very few people seem even remotely sorry about it. This is the second in what appears to be a series ( no 3 comes out Spring 2011) and I would recommend reading the first one 'Possessions' before tackling this one - it will just make more sense if you do. You'll love the gothic feel to this very modern ghost story.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-For-Books.  After visiting our blog, please leave a comment here (if you like it and join us) and then return to her page for more blogs to visit.  It's tons of fun and I've found tons of new blogs out there because of this wonderful weekly hop!

The weekly question -


Well, there are many but let me just mention a few of my choice pics -

Wow...I didn't realize that they were all pretty dark colours...gee, what does that say about me?  Maybe I'm colourblind??  Notice how they are all part of a series.  I'm a sucker for series....Hope you enjoy our blog!  We'd love more followers!!