Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And yet another tangent...

So I was browsing YouTube last week and came across this video.  It was so hilarious...

and then I looked for it again this week and found this

And after watching, I just HAD to follow it up with this one

Notice how EVERYTHING really is pink/Barbie?  Hilarious!  Sophia Grace has so much personality.  I wonder if she'll go on to do something in television....

Monday, November 28, 2011

In My Mailbox - November 28th

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 won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

This week I received an ARC 

I haven't heard much buzz about this one in the media lately.  It comes out in January and the premise is interesting - (Summary by Goodreads)

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't?
Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Published: October 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 528
Copy: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

Ok, I'm still crying.  I can't believe the ending of this book.  I knew it was coming, but I just didn't believe it.  I loved the book, which is not really a surprise considering how much I enjoyed the other two - I still haven't got around to reading Dream Dark, but I will, eventually. 

Same wonderful characters, lots of twists and turns and surprises. But, if you haven't read the first two, it's not going to make an awful lot of sense to you.  There is some back story included, but certain events and characters just won't make sense, like John Breed, Ridley and Link.  Sorry guys I refuse to put spoilers in here, so what can I tell you.  The writing is beautiful and very descriptive.  The characters grow with each new book,  It's a very serious series, but there are patches of humour throughout that help to reduce the tension a little, and Link is such a dork, you just can't help but smile at his antics.  Ethan - well, I wish I had someone care for me at that age the way Ethan cares for Lena.  Sigh!  My advice? If you haven't already read it, why not!

I do have one question though.  Is there another book, or not?  I will understand if there isn't, reluctantly, but I will understand, but it seems to me that Kami and Marg just can't leave it where it is.  I couldn't find anything to say there was going to be a fourth full length novel, but I also haven't found anything saything 'conclusion', so if you've heard anything - let us know.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Published: September 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 372
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

I'm surprised I haven't heard more about this title.  I mean, who doesn't like a little slash and kill Rippermnia to break up the dystopian, supernatural, apocalyptic reads?  I have to admit that this was my first book by Maureen Johnson.  I follow her on Twitter and I'm not sure how she fits writing books into the time she puts into her Twitter conversations.  She's like a Twitterholic.  Hilarious gal with lots of spunk.  This seemed to take a bit of a turn from her regular teen literature/contemporary/coming of age titles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this title novel.  Every once in awhile I love reading books that are a little creepy and I must admit that this did have a decent creep factor. On a side note, I kept picturing John from Sanctuary (TV series) every time the Ripper was mentioned.  Did anyone else experience this?  (BTW, Sanctuary is another great series if you're a little sci fi closet geekish like myself).  If you are a bit squeamish, there are a few scenes that are not appropriate for the more graphic imaginations.  Overall though, I found that Ms. Johnson's writing was descriptive, humorous and entirely entertaining.  Two thumbs up for me on this read!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Double header

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is a double header

I've been looking forward to this one for awhile since I really enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  Carolyn Mackler is another author that I have seen but unfortunately, I haven't read any of her titles yet.  Key word is yet...

Looks interesting eh?  

Here's the second title I've been waiting for 

I have enjoyed reading the Crusade series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie so I'm hoping that this series is just as enjoyable. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Musings by Knitwits - Fabric-by-fabric One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and patricia Hoskins

Published: December 16, 2011
Publisher: Storey Publishing
ecopy: Courtesy of Netgalley and Publisher
Summary: Goodreads

The best-selling authors of One-Yard Wonders are back with another all-new amazing collection of 101 sewing projects. Responding to the increasingly diverse range of fabric weights and types now available, Fabric by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders is organized by fabric type. From home dec to knits, wool to flannels, corduroy to cottons, these patterns show how to make the most of each fabric’s unique characteristics.

Sewers will love the affordability and ease of these patterns, each requiring just one yard of fabric. There’s something for every skill leveland interest. Waterproof coated cotton fabrics are perfect for a gym bag or set of bicycle panniers, wool makes a warm cap for the outdoor enthusiast, knit jersey whips up quickly into a ruffle scarf or sassy dress, corduroy makes a sturdy farmers’ market tote, lightweight cotton voile is perfect for a little girl’s smocked sundress, and cozy pink fleece makes an irresistible mother pig and piglets stuffed toy set. The perfect blend of fabric and function is evident throughout this wide-ranging collection.

Before I say anything else I have to get this off my chest - I WANT THIS BOOK!  Ok, that's it.  Now I can talk about it.  I used to do a lot of sewing when I was younger, for myself, my kids and as gifts for friends, but I haven't done a lot in the last 10 years or so.  I think I got bored with it really. 

Well, when I saw this amazing book on Netgalley there were about 5 things I wanted to make immediately.  Then there were all the other things where I was thinking 'so and so would like this', 'that would be perfect for what's her name', oh, that's just what my mum was talking about'  Do you get my drift?  There are so many fantastic projects in this book I can't imagine anyone not wanting to make at least 4 or 5 minimum.  To be honest, if I had an actual copy in my hand I think there are 4 projects I would have finished already.

There are projects for babies - stroller tote, dresses, overalls, toys.  Projects for girls and boys - clothes, toys, superhero costumes, apron and hat.  Projects for teens, sleep set (so cute), skirts, purses.  Projects for men - bottle bag (holds 8 bottles!), garment bag.  Projects for women - aprons, scarves, shopping bags, purses.  Projects for the home - blinds, cushions, chaircovers, hassocks, lampshades, picnic sets.  Oh my goodness, I could go on and on for ever. there is just so much choice, over 100 in fact.

The book is set out with projects grouped by type of fabric, and they all can be finished with only one yard of said fabric - nifty, isn't it.  None of the projects are too long or complicated, altho' some are definitely harder than others, but you could pick and choose according to your skill level.  I honestly don't think there is anything in that couldn't be tackled by an advanced beginner and many that could be tackled by a beginner, as long as you take your time and read the instructions. The beauty of it is, by using only 1 yard of fabric a lot of us could go through our stash and use up those pieces of fabric that are 'just too big to throw away' - you know what I mean, don't you? 

I really am very excited to see this book in the flesh, so to speak.  I seriously think it might be responsible for
getting me back to my sewing machine for more than just a tote bag. I think I'm going to put Fabric-by-Fabric, One Yard Wonders onto my Xmas list.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  And keep an eye on it for yourselves.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In My Mailbox - November 19th

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 won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

I was incredibly lucky to receive two awesome titles in my mailbox recently.  Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!  I have been waiting on this one for so long!!

And thank you to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of 

Ironically Curlypow had done a review of this recently and also discussed receiving a copy of The Pledge on Galley Grab only to have it disappear from her reader.  The same thing happened to me with Every Other Day.  It had expired before I had a chance to finish the title.  I'm so excited to have a paper copy of it now! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 336
E copy: Courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
Summary: Goodreads

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

'Every Other Day' by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is fast paced and incredibly exciting, and had me on a roller coaster practically from page one.  It was a surprisingly complex story line, with wonderful characters and amazing creatures and it took me places I haven't been before. 

Kali was so well written, I felt I was able to get into her skin and feel her needs and desires - at times it was quite creepy actually.  Without giving anything away here, I love the nod to Stargate.  (At least I think it was a nod to stargate, if it wasn't, oops! ) I also love Kali's name - I'm sure it's deliberate that she is named after the Indian Goddess of Death.  You'll have to read the book to get the significance. There's some psychic ability, preternatural creatures all over the place, and a family of hunky boys that I would love to have been a part of.  There are also some very surprising twists and turns in the plot line that had me gasping.

If you're expecting the usual school, friends, supernatural creatures type of story, you'll be disappointed - but if you're looking for a taut, well-written thrill ride, try Every Other Day out for size. Well done Ms Barnes, another exceptional read.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ramblings on November 17th

Ever been in the middle of reading something and lost the book? I have. That's kind of what happened to me with The Pledge, the new book by Kimberley Derting. I didn't actually have a physical copy of the book - I had downloaded it from the Simon and Schuster galley grab. But I forgot one very important thing. It expires the day the book comes out.

I lost track of time - life has been pretty busy lately - and when I went back to finish my book, it was Gone! Lost! No More! I feel like I want to cry. I was really enjoying it too, and I would love to find out what happens to the characters, but it's not there any more. It's disappeared into cyberspace, never to be seen again. Ok, that may be a little bit of overkill, but you know what I mean.

The real reason I am rambling on this way is that it has made me aware of how lucky I am, and to say thank you to Netgalley and publishers, like Simon and Schuster, who allow bloggers like myself access to advanced copies of these wonderful books, for no charge. Well, they like a review from us, but we don't have to hand out cold hard cash, and I really feel very privileged to have this. I think I sometimes just take it for granted that the books are going to be there whenever I want them and I forget that I have access to them for just a short while - before other people get to see them.

I wish I had time to read them all and review them all, but if I'm honest I probably only have time, and inclination, to review about 1 in 4. I do recommend a great deal of them for purchase at work though - it's so much easier to know what to order when you have seen the book - so I don't feel I'm taking advantage too much. I thought when I started using Netgalley that I would buy fewer books, NOT! It has just made me ultra aware of how many really great books there are out there and I am one of the world's worst book hoarders (I'm talking 10 bookshelves here guys) and I think I probably buy more now than I did before.

So, I'm off to Chapters tomorrow to pick up a copy of The Pledge, so that I can finish what I started and hopefully get a review out before too long. And in the meantime, I'll try and finish some more of those wonderful arcs that are made available to me. Thank you, I really do appreciate it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Movie - Immortals

This weekend my hubby was visiting so we had a chance to see a movie.  Before we had kids, we used to see movies almost every weekend.  I hate to say it but the last time I was in a theatre was this past summer.  So we had a babysitter on Saturday and jumped to see Immortals in 3D.  I had not heard much about this movie but I was in need of an action packed drama and this was it.  I think the trailer convinced me.  Yes, not only am I a book snob but I can be truly swayed to purchase, watch or participate in an event if the trailer is interesting (pathetic, right?).  

If you are looking to be entertained and wowed by action, here's the movie for you.  The producers of 300 gave us yet another cinematic beauty.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  Frieda Pinto was the actress who surprised me most.  Who would have thought that she could be such a temptress??  She was incredibly sexy and did a great job as the Oracle.  I'm not sure that I'd have her and her sisters over for a Ouija board sleepover party though...TMI.

Be forewarned, there is a lot of brutality in this film and although it is not necessarily all violent in nature (just most of it), the things mortals do to one another is incredibly inhumane.  King Hyperion was played by Mickey Rourke and as much as I hate to typecast, I have to say that he sure makes a great villain.  He's a pretty slimy character, manipulative, devious and with no sense of morality.  Mr. Rourke had me believing he truly was King Hyperion.  Plus, I enjoyed the storyline and how the story evolved around Theseus and the Greek gods.  I'd actually like to take another look at some of the myths revolving the Titans and Zeus.  

Anyone going to catch a midnight showing of Breaking Dawn this week?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)
Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

I read The Replacement by Brenna last year and I enjoyed it.  You can find my original review here and Curlypow's review from the audio edition here.   Looking forward to reading this one!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dasner

Published: October 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 322
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.

Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

I love it when a good trilogy ends well, don't you?  I really enjoyed 'The Maze Runner' and 'The Scorch Trials', so I was anxious to see what James Dashner would come up with for the final installment in the trilogy.  If I'm honest, I don't think 'The Death Cure' was quite as adrenaline filled as the first two, but the tension level remained fairly high right through the book, and I for one, was not able to work out what WICKED wanted Thomas for.  Of course once I got to the end I thought Duh! It seemed so obvious, in hindsight.  Perhaps that's the sign of a good book? Or may'be my synapses just weren't firing right - like the cranks!

All our favourite characters are back - Thomas, Brenda, Minho, Teresa, Newt, Frypan, I could mention more but that would be spoilers.  The things that these poor kids have to go through!  I wouldn't want to be  in their shoes for anything. There were some interesting twists in the plot that I didn't see coming and others that I did, but really upset me anyway.  Mr Dashner manages to write in a way that grabs the readers attention and doesn't let go.  None of the characters were over the top, and, to me at least, seem incredibly real and plausible. Their reactions are many and varied but never seem contrived.  There is so much mental manipulation going on that it is surprising any of them come out of the ordeal unscathed. In a nutshell - exciting, action-packed, emotional and riveting. A great final chapter to a great trilogy.

All in all, a trilogy that I would recommend to anyone who likes excitement and dystopian/apocalyptic fiction, but especially to any reluctant male readers - you will change your mind about reading after this trilogy.  I'm even going to add an ISU tag because there is so much going on with the different characters and how they handle tenuous situations.  Enjoy - I know I did.

Fantastic Fairytales - Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

Published: June 2011
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 336
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day!

Although not technically a 'fairytale', 'Fairy Bad Day' does have fairies in it, so I thought it would count - and what an enjoyable tale it was.  I love it when a book doesn't take itself too seriously.  Let's face it, any book with 10" high fairies who like to hang out at the mall, wear GAP khaki's and eat ice cream and skittles, is not taking itself seriously.

Who wouldn't want to go to school to learn to be a dragon slayer, or goblin or demon slayer? A fairy slayer, not so much, that is until the giant, nasty fairy shows up, with a hankering to take over the world.  In amongst all the fairy high jinx there is a gentle love story, that was only a little predictable and very sweet.  Ms. Ashby's humorous look at supernatural slayers was laugh out loud funny and totally captivating.  I loved it, and I'm sure my fellow fairytale fans will too. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

In My Mailbox - November 14th

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 won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

This weekend I decided to check out all of the goodies that NetGalley has to offer.  Here's what I snagged - 

God I love NetGalley....what's in your mailbox?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Grimm legacy by Polly Shulman

Published: July 2011 (July 2010)
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 325
Copy: from library
Summary: Goodreads

Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository - a lending library of objects, contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And secret, too - for in the repository's basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages - handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron - are suddenly caught up in an exciting, and dangerous, magical adventure.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman came as a great surprise to me.  I don't recall having seen anything about it at all, although it was originally published in July of last year.  I have also just discovered that it was one of YALSA's Best Fiction for 2011 list.  You'd think I would know that since I work in a library!  Anyway, that said, it was a marvellous read and I loved every minute of it.

Elizabeth - and don't you dare try to shorten her name - is a little lonely and trying hard to fit in to her new school.  When she is recommended for a position as a page at the New York Circulating Materials Depository her life takes an interesting turn for the better and the fun starts.  The other kids at the depository - Marc, Aaron and Anjali - are all very well written and believable. There were constant little details that  would occur that made me suspicious of each one in turn.  The adult characters are all wonderful and varied and I had no trouble picturing any of them in my mind.  Elizabeth is a genuinely caring person and I loved her personality.  She seemed like such a deserving character.

There is a little bit of romance that was just so sweet - Marc or Aaron, I'm not telling.  You'll have to read to find out which is the more successful.  There is a fun mystery that the four kids try to solve by themselves, of course, and they enlist the help of several magical artifacts - Snow White's stepmothers magic mirror is just hilarious - and two younger siblings, Andre and Jaya.  There was lots of fun magical mischief, nasty bad guys, and girls, and even a magic carpet ride.  Lots of fun to be had in this great read that is suitable for younger teens as well.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book News

So this might not be news to some of you but it is news that I've been hearing about this week...here are some exciting new titles coming out AND their covers.  

Rapture is Lauren Kate's 4th book in the Fallen series.  Will Daniel and Luce finally be together and stay together?

Fans of Graceling and Fire will be ecstatic to learn that Kristin Cashore has finally come through with Bitterblue, a much anticipated accompaniment in the Seven Kingdoms series.  Endlessly is Book #3 in the Paranormalcy trilogy.  I love, love love Kiersten White's humor and this is a kick-ass cover, don't you think?  

Beauties, aren't they?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Published: May 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 396
Copy Provided by:  Won from another blog
Summary: Goodreads

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. 

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up? 

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

What did I love about this book?  I LOVE the cover, it is smart, sassy and witty.  Libba Bray is entertaining as hell and has a sense of humor that is ridonculous.  What I didn't like is that I really could not get into this story.  I tried.  No, I really, really tried but I was about 150 pages in when I finally threw in the towel.  Have you ever done that?  You look at your bookshelf and see that lonely bookmark begging you to move it forward...but ever so covertly, you shift your eyes to something that seems a bit more appealing?  That is what I have been doing ALL MONTH.  Its horrible and I feel awful.  I really wanted to love this book and I enjoyed the humor and the sarcastic quips throughout but then I felt that that was all I was reading.  Sassy comebacks from spoiled, ditzy girls who were all starting to get on my nerves and after about 150 pages, I had yet to figure out if there was a story to Beauty Queens at all.

Dear Libba.  

I hope you don't take offense to my criticism and that others will see more in your book than I have but Beauty Queens, I'm just not that into you.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to initiate a book breakup. Good luck in your next relationship.

All the best, 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

I really enjoyed Jay Asher's - Thirteen Reasons Why and I'm excited to see what he has to bring to readers with this new title - The Future of Us.  It takes place in 1996 when only about 1/2 of all teenagers are using the internet.  What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Winner of Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Congrats to Vivien P!

You have won a copy of Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast!  The publisher will be sending your copy to you shortly!  Thanks to everyone for entering!

Let's Hear It for the Boys - The Search for Artemis by P D Griffith

Published: March/June 2011
Publisher: Gryff Publishing
Pages: 404
e-copy: from publisher for review
Summary: Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Landon Wicker is psychokinetic, but the tragic unleashing of his abilities forces him to run from everything he knows. Alone, terrified and unable to remember the events that compelled him to flee, Landon fights to survive and understand what’s happening to him. He finds solace, however, in the company of hundreds of psychokinetics like him when he’s brought to the Gymnasium.

Forced into a life where people don’t just see — but control — the world around them and teenagers lift city buses with a thought, Landon struggles to accept his new reality and the guilt over his painful secret. But everything changes when a chance encounter with a mysterious girl propels him on a hunt for answers. Uncovering dark truths the Gymnasium would do anything to keep hidden, Landon must choose where his loyalties lie.

Will Landon accept his past—and his future? Will he discover the truth? What’s hidden in the Restricted Tower, and who is Artemis?

First off, I just have to say I LOVED 'The Search for Artemis' the first book in the 'Chronicles of Landon Wicker'.  It was such a wonderful surprise.  I had received a copy from the publisher and thought it sounded OK for our Let's Hear It For the Boys post, but I was not expecting to completely fall into Landon's life at the Gymnasium.  The book starts with a rather heartwrenching bang and really did not let go of me until the end.  In the final 100 pages or so the suspense became almost palpable and I could feel myself reading faster and faster so that I could find out what was going to happen sooner.

The characters were very easy to become attached to - Landon is so lost and despairing I just wanted to give him a big hug.  The development of his powers happened slowly and seemed more realistic for that.  In many novels powers are instantly understood, but not so in this case.  Landon struggles to access his potential and is frightened about what may happen when he does, which I liked.  Riley was a wonderful best friend - obsessed with how to climb the social ladder, but with a kind heart non-the-less.  His strategies for the First Frost Frenzy were superb, if ultimately flawed! 

Katie Leigh was fun. Much younger than the others and therefore over-compensating all the time. Celia too, although we don't learn quite so much about her in the beginning. Oh, and Brock was well done - a typical jock, drunk on privilege and entitlement.  He was very easy to dislike.  There were several adult figures, Dr Brighton, Doctor Wells, Serena, to name a few, who seemed to offer a positive influence - but not everything is always as straightforward as it seems.
At times I was reminded of Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series, or Horowitz' Alex Rider, but also the GI Joe movie - that scene where Landon puts on his suit was great - and a little bit of X-men at Xaviers school.  I was also reminded of Percy Jackson a little bit, but I'm not sure why - perhaps it was just the names of heroes.  Altogether it  was really a complex group of disparate characters, melding together to form a cohesive and believable story. Exciting, tense, mysterious and just plain fun.  The ending was amazing - very nicely wrapped up, but with so much left unresolved that I just can't wait for number 2. 

'The Search for Artemis' should appeal to anyone who enjoyed any of the above mentioned books, but also if you enjoy adventure, suspense or just great storytelling. and please, if there is anyone out there looking for an idea for new movie or TV show,  option this book.  I can already see it in my minds eye.

Monday, November 7, 2011

In My Mailbox - November 7th

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 won, taken out from the library or bought from a store.

I couldn't help it...after finishing off the Vampire Academy series, I just had to run out and get my hands on this...

Can't wait to dig in...what's in your mailbox?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ontario Book Bloggers get together

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to the Ontario Blog Squad (Jen, Jackie and Liz - thanks for the T-sihirt - if there are others I don't know your names) for all their hard work in putting together our first (hopefully) annual meeting in Toronto.  We met for a late lunch at the Duke of York and proceeded to talk up a storm.  It was so wonderful to meet some of the bloggers I follow on a regular basis. 

Sometimes I (we)  feel that I am alone in my corner of the world, so it was amazingly cheering to meet so many like enthusiasts.  I know that there is another book blogger who lives just around the corner from me - Hi Liz - and two who live just down the road in the next small town - Hi Jackie and Mel - Jen, I'm really looking forward to that workshop in May, - Chandi, you really made me think about 'The Book of Eli' and I have reluctantly come to the conclusion you were right after all :) - and many others within a relatively small area.

Many thanks to Jennifer, Natasha, Terri and all the others whose names escape me right now, who made me feel so much a part of the community, and to the publishers who donated lots of goodies for our goody bags.  I wish I had a photo to post, but in true Curlypow style, I forgot my camera.  I'm already looking forward to next year.

Oh and a big thank you to our long suffering server who was incredibly patient with such a large group of very noisy women.  Sorry you couldn't make it Christinabean - we'll shoot for next year, right? Now I'm off to have a look at some of those great books I got - Fever here I come!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Published: December 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 594
Copy Provided by: Bought
Summary: Goodreads


Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

If you are a loyal follower of this blog then you must know how much I LOVE this series.  I think it ranks right up there with Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series for me.  Last Sacrifice is the final installment of the Vampire Academy series.  Ms. Mead takes this (nearly) 600 page book and makes it feel like a walk in the park.  As the final book in the series, it is jam packed full of adventure, action, murder, romance and Richelle wraps everything up neatly when she's finished.  I couldn't have asked for a better ending.  Normally it would take me a long time to finish up a book of this length. I don't have many opportunities to read, just here and there when I get a chance but I flew through this title in a matter of days.  I can't emphasize how much I enjoyed the Vampire Academy series.  If you haven't tried it, you really should give it a shot.  You need to start at the very beginning as the story has many characters who develop and grow with each book.  Ms. Mead is an excellent storyteller and has layered her characters, world and plot extremely well.  Bravo Ms. Mead.  I will be seeking out Bloodlines shortly...gotta keep an eye on Sydney!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Upcoming movies

Now that I have your attention, I just wanted to remind all of you that we are giving away a copy of Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast.  You can find the information HERE.  Right now the number of entries is low so your chances of winning are good!!  

Instead of doing a Blog Hop Friday, I thought I'd share some of the new movies coming out that I'm excited for...here are the trailers...

I know that Tom Cruise had that "jumping on Oprah's sofa" incident many years ago but I still think he makes an awesome Ethan from Mission Improssible.

Looks awesome...but some of the scenes reminded me of 300.

Very excited about this one.  I love Kate Beckinsale as a vampire.  

Who doesn't like superheroes?

Last but not least.  Will you be there at the midnight showing?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Published: August 2011
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 306
Copy: From Library
Summary: Goodreads

"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which as they kiss consume."

—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

Juliet Immortal was one of those books that ended up surprising the hell out of me.  I really wasn't expecting anything very special - not sure why - but what I got absolutely knocked my socks off.  I LOVED it.  Oh my goodness, this is not your normal Romeo and Juliet, not by a long shot.

Romeo is Evil, with a capital 'E'.  He just drips venom - there are no redeeming qualities to him at all - at least for 98% of the book - oops, is that a spoiler, I'm not sure?  This Romeo is a really nasty piece of work - concerned only with himself and getting in the way of true love.  Juliet on the other hand is Good. She is working to keep love in the world and is totally selfless.  Well, may'be not totally.

The interesting thing about the story is that from very early on I knew exactly what was going to happen - but I didn't have a clue how it would happen, and that made me read at a furious pace.  I just didn't want to put the book down.  Yes, it is a story about the power of true love, but there are so many surprises in it, that I was never quite sure what was going to happen next, or to whom. I now want to go and read the play again, just to remind myself about "true love's kiss" and wonder again about the power of love.

Good vs Evil in a very unexpected package.  Highly recommended for those who enjoy a love story with a difference.  Lovely cover too, but doesn't have a thing to do with the story.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Crossed by Ally Condie

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

It has been some time since I first read Matched by Ally Condie.  Are you Team Ky or Team Xander?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Case You Missed It - The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Published: May 2010 (First published 1977)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 688
Copy: Bought
Summary: Goodreads

The Barnes & Noble Review

Family secrets, forbidden love, and the struggles of working in a hard new land intertwine in Colleen McCullough's bestselling romantic family saga, now in a 25th anniversary edition. This is the story of the Cleary family, who moved to Australia in the early 1900s to work Drogheda, a vast sheep station. Employing on a large canvas that encompasses two world wars and the Great Depression, McCullough lets the main characters take turns telling the story from 1915 to 1969. But the heart of the book is the forbidden love between Meggie -- Fee and Paddy Cleary's only daughter -- and Ralph de Bricassart, the handsome parish priest. It is a love with tremendous consequences for the future. When published, this novel received rave reviews; it holds up just as well for new and returning readers. Ginger Curwen
I first read 'The Thorn Birds' back in 1977 when it was first published.  I loved every minute of it.  There was even a TV mini series starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward (ok I'm showing my age again, I didn't have to check IMDB to get those names!)  This is forbidden love to the nth degree.  Beautifully written and wonderful to read.  Try it again, or for the first time, and give yourself a huge treat. Perfect for older teens who like an involved and angst ridden story.