Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Penguin
From Simon and Schuster

From Scholastic Canada
Won
Won From Indigo Teen Blog on Twitter (Signed Book by Melissa De La Cruz & Signed Rachel Caine Bookmark - I'm donating to Spina Bifida Raffle)
Won from Penguin Twitter contest (also donating to Raffle - after I totally read it first)
Borrowed

Borrowed from Natasha


Purchased

Purchased from Indigo
Spina Bifida Raffle

See Won section for more Info

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crash Into Me: A survivor's search for justice by Liz Seccuro: Book Review

Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice
by Liz Seccuro
Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1-59691-585-5
Buy From Indigo


Description: In September 2005, Liz Seccuro's world turned upside down when she received an apology letter from the man who had raped her twenty-two years earlier. The rape, which occurred when she was a seventeen-year-old freshman at the University of Virginia, was reported to the campus police, but their inquiry led nowhere. The man accused of raping her left the university soon after and Seccuro tried to put the incident behind her, but like all survivors of trauma, the memory was never far from the surface. The letter brought it all back. Seccuro bravely began an e-mail correspondence with her rapist to try to understand what happened, and why. As the correspondence continued, Seccuro found the courage to do what should have been done all those years earlier—prosecute him. She began appearing on national television and radio to talk about the case. Several crime dramas and a John Grisham novel, The Associate, were based on her experience. She had found a way to end a terrible story, but once judicial proceedings began she found that what she thought occurred at that UVA frat party was only the tip of the iceberg. She now has reason to think there were two other assailants, neither of whom has been brought to justice. Liz Seccuro's inspiring, unflinching memoir is about experiencing terrible trauma—and the power of justice to heal.

The Good Stuff
  • Brutally honest and powerful
  • Books like this one help give power back to those victims that have had their power forcefully taken from them
  • Refreshing to hear of helpful police officers dealing with rape victims/survivors
  • Admire the authors strength of character
  • Absolutely disgusted by the lack of support from the University and its archaic need to protect its reputation (Makes me wonder what Humber & Guelph-Humber would do in a similar situation)
  • Also truly disgusted by the legal system (Not just U.S. - Canada is no better) that treats rapists so leniently. In my opinion rapists are rapid dogs and should be put down.  They are sick and cannot be cured -- sorry if that is brutal, but it is something I truly believe
  • See 1st quote - helped me understand the abandonment of  friends/family when they learned about Jake's disability and my postpartum depression - doesn't make it hurt less, but it helped me to understand and forgive
  • I think this will inspire many more women to speak out about their own rapes and to also inspire more women to go into the law and/or education to help bring change to these archaic institutions
  • Actually has some of the court transcripts in it -- trust me you will shake your head at the absurdity of it all
The Not so Good Stuff
  • I am now truly terrified of sending my kids to University
  • It really is disturbing to see how society spends so much time/money on defending the rapist and blaming the victim -- really what the hell has the length of a skirt have to do with rape
  • I won't lie, its a tough book to read at times, often felt sick to my stomach, sad and angry
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Perhaps some people feel that tragedy is contagious and to see it happen to a friend is to acknowledge the possibility of its entering one's own life. Regardless, it hurt deeply to lose friends I had considered a part of my support system."

"I think in recovery they don't really teach you about how your admission now causes turbulence in the victim/survivor's life. From my discussions with people in the program, I hear taht addicts on your "step" just want forgiveness, neatly tied up in a bow."

"Does it really give you a 'story' following a rape victim home? With her child in the car? Have some grace and class and get off my property."

What I Learned
  • How horribly frequent rape still occurs at Universities and how it is still suppressed by these Universities in order to protect their reputations
  • That many of these institutions are more willing to cite a student for underage alcohol than rape
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Everybody! It does have brutal descriptions of the rape, so I would suggest not for younger than 14 - but if you do have a younger child I suggest talking over with them about the book.
5 Dewey's


I  won this from GoodReads and wasn't required to review it

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Read-in-bed-athon - Forster's Book Garden - Bolton, Ontario


It is so worth the drive to Bolton 

Abandon by Meg Cabot: Book Review

Abandon (The Abandon Trilogy #1)
by Meg Cabot
Point (Scholastic)
ISBN: 978-0-545-28410-3
Suggested Ages: 13 +
Buy from Indigo

Description: Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

The Good Stuff
  • Intriguing and different storyline, root of story based on the Persephone/Hades tale and I love me my Greek and Roman Mythology
  • The beginning really grabs your attention and hooks you into the story right away.  It is also very hard to put down which is the reason I am so feckin tired this morning -- since I was up till 1am finishing it. Yup read it in one day -- thanks for putting Jesse to bed hubby!
  • love Meg's writing, it is sort of Whedonesque, and that is a compliment
  • Look forward to finding out more about some of the secondary characters who are intriguing
  • John is a fascinating darkly tortured hero type and you know us library girls dig that sort of thing
  • Lots of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat and second guessing on what is going on and who people really are
  • Love the cover it is so stunningly beautiful
  • Each chapter has a quote from Dante's Inferno, so now I can say I actually have read some Dante LOL!
  • Some of Cabot's trademark humour, would have liked a little more, but that is just me being picky
  • Great chemistry between Pierce and John
  • Can't wait to read the next story in the trilogy
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Story doesn't flow smoothly, there is some jumping around and it can be a bit discerning. The structure of story just seems a little off
  • Pierce is a little too naive (but she does grow) and John can be a bit too controlling (and slightly stalkerish) which is sort of creepy for the target audience
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I'm pretty sure the people who call Isla Huesos paradise never met my grandma."



"The more attractive people were, the more nervous I tended to get around them."


"That's why I don't really mind so much that those friends of yours ma'amed me.  I guess your old mom's still got it."

"What did any of it mean.  Where could it go? He was a death deity. I was a senior in high school.  This was never going to work."




What I Learned
  • Some interesting facts about NDE
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Obviously fans of Cabot's other works
  • Those who like stories with a mythological twist 
  • Not too much angsty stuff so both adults and teens will enjoy
4 Dewey's


I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review - thanks Scholastic!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen: Mini Book Review

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-1-44340-629-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.


Mini Book Review: An absolutely delightful engrossing novel. One of those perfect stories that you pick up and just cannot bring yourself to put it down. A compelling story, intriguing characters and some wonderful historical information about train circuses thrown it - absolute perfection. I also fell totally in love with Rosie the Elephant and for the first time in my life have a sudden urge to join a circus -- well except for the fact that they have clowns and Stephen King and Tim Curry have scared me for life when it comes to clowns.  This is the perfect book to read while snuggled under the covers on a cold night or on a dock overlooking the water on a perfect summer day. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, you won't regret it.  I haven't decided whether to see the movie yet or not.  I'm not the biggest Pattison fan and I just cannot see him in the part of Jacob. As for Witherspoon, who I do enjoy, I equally don't see her in the role of Marlena. I also would have loved to have seen the older Jacob being portrayed by James Garner instead of the equally talented Hal Holbrook.  

5 Dewey's


I borrowed this from my boys daycare provider, Helen. Thanks Helen -- good call, loved it. But I still don't think I buy Robert "sparkly" Pattinson as Jacob. I will give it a shot though -- when it comes out on video.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Review: Natasha of My Disorganized Ramblings reviews Land of Painted Caves


The following review comes courtesy of my best bud Natasha at My Disorganized Ramblings.  I always read multiple reviews of books I am interested in, since we all have different opinions, so I thought you all might be interested in reading another opinion on the travesty that is The Land of Painted Caves.

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

To give you some background....
The first adult book I ever read was The Clan of the Cave Bear. It is the first book in Ms. Auel's Earth's Children series. I was hooked. I read books 2, 3 and 4 very shortly after that. I was 9. No, I completely agree that these books (at least book 1) was not appropriate for most 9 year olds!
Then, we had to wait 12 long years, until 2002 before we finally got book 5. Again, I devoured it within hours of having purchased it.
Nine years later, book 6 finally hit the shelves. This was it. This was the end of the series.

And I was so incredibly disappointed. Where was her editor? I guess she can get away with it because she is so popular and has made her publisher crap-tons of money, right? Either way, I was disgusted.

In fact, I was so disgusted with the repetition in this book that I in fact made a drinking game. Yup, you read that right.
So grab your drink of choice....
I'm flexible, you can either do a shot, or take a drink of your cocktail.
The rules are:
Every time Cave is mentioned, take a drink/shot
Every time Ayla's accent is noticed by new character, take a drink/shot.
 I'll have you know, that I would probably be toast by the end of the first chapter. Ayla's accent was mentioned once. Cave? It was mentioned 23 times. While the  second chapter didn't mention her accent at all, it did mention cave 60 times.
So yeah, drunk out of my gourd by the second chapter!!
Over all?
Ayla's accent was mentioned a total of 41 times throughout the book. Forty-one times, a character remarked upon Ayla's manner of speaking.
Want to know how many times the word cave was written in this book? I'll tell you how many times.

1,579

(Thank god for find and replace in Word, or else this would have killed me)

I almost could have overcome that, but then the ending sucked. There was no resolution (not that there was really any conflict). The characters got super stupid. And the book just ended.

The amount of rage I felt at the end of this book was amazing.

I implore of you, beg you, if you have any love for this series? Pretend that book 5 is the last in the series.

1/5 My first ever.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From HarperCollins

Borrowed
Borrowed from Natasha
Miscellaneous
A Christmas present from Natasha that she just found LOL!

Yup she even got some of the pics signed, this one made me LMAO!
My adorable heathens at the Zoo on Good Friday

For Spina Bifida Raffle

A Signed Edition - Thanks Jess!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

There's Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon: Book Review

There's Lead in Your Lipstick
by Gillian Deacon
Penguin Canada
ISBN: 9780143172505
Download Wallet sized card here:
Buy From Indigo


Description: By the time she heads out the front door, the modern woman has spritzed, sudsed, and slathered herself in more than 127 different chemicals, many of them more toxic than beautifying.
So how can you look and feel great while safeguarding your health? Get smart and go green from head to toe with the help of eco-expert Gillian Deacon. In The Green Body Guide, you'll learn how to read the ingredients to identify and understand the preservatives that are bad for your body and damaging to the earth, including formaldehyde in deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, and shaving cream; coal tar in hair dyes; lead in lipstick; and many more. This is an indispensable handbook of personal-care choices that are sustainable, both for your health and for the earth.

The Good Stuff
  • Really makes you think about the products you are using, and I will definitely be doing a check of my products and seeing which ones I will have to change -this makes me a little nervous let me tell you
  • Authors self deprecating humour makes some of the dryer technical information  lot more fun and interesting to read
  • Information presented in a non granola eating hippy way, which is very refreshing for the subject matter. Not at all preachy either, just gives you the facts and encourages you to do plenty of research into what you put in and on your body
  • This will be a book that I will keep readily available to consult before purchasing cosmetics, etc
  • Practical advice and some fabulous recipes for making your own skin care products
  • Fabulous Index and Reference section - hey I'm an anal Librarian, these things are important to us
  • Plenty of resources of products that are better for you and the environment. I'm a little concerned with the availability of these products in my area, may have to do some downtown shopping
  • There is a chapter on natural and environmentally friendly sex toys and lubricants -- yup we Canadian's are a hip and kinky Country

The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little repetitive 
  • Personally would have organized the Where Can I Find Stuff once at the end of the book instead of at the end of each chapter
  • No mention of Lush, which concerns me, I love their stuff and always thought it was free of chemicals and toxins - now must research them -- I will be totally pissed if they are being less than honest
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"We may be complex enough to know that true beauty  comes from within ... but we'd like to look the part on the outside, too."


"I must admit that as a teenager, I once tried a tanning bed. I guess I thought I could impress Shaun Cassidy on the off chance he rang my doorbell if I just had a suntan in the middle of February."

"He probably reads a full page about world politics and culture before I've even managed to finish moisturizing"

What I Learned
  • About Pinkwashing and Greenwashing -- this is really eye opening
  • Obviously tons of stuff about the horrific amount of unsafe chemicals in the beauty products I use
  • Tons of practical advice, especially for switching from a regular toothpaste, to a natural toothpaste
Who should/shouldn't read
  • This is a must read for everyone
  • A definite must for all libraries
4 Dewey's

Don't forget to enter my contest to win a copy of There's Lead in Your Lipstick
Details Here (Canada Only and ends Today at Midnight)


I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Mini Review

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Scribner Classics
ISBN: 0-684-83042-6
Buy From Indigo


Description:  F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, stands among the greatest of all American fiction. Jay Gatsby''s lavish lifestyle in a mansion on Long Island's gold coast encapsulates the spirit, excitement, and violence of the era Fitzgerald named `the Jazz Age''. Impelled by his love for Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby seeks nothing less than to recapture the moment five years earlier when his best and brightest dreams - his `unutterable visions'' - seemed to be incarnated in her kiss. A moving portrayal of the power of romantic imagination, as well as the pathos and courage entailed in the pursuit of an unattainable dream, The Great Gatsby is a classic fiction of hope and disillusion. 


Mini Book Review: A truly beautiful written novel of heartbreak, deception, excess and  infidelity, set in the decadence of the 1920's.  Fitzgerald's descriptions are so lifelike you feel like you could reach out and touch the landscape and he sets the mood and tone like no author I have read before. It is very much a critique of the shallowness of the supposed American Dream and done in such a brilliant way.  That being said, I did find myself frustrated at the excessive descriptions and a little bored at times.  I disliked most of the characters and I was disgusted by the parental neglect of Tom and Daisy's child.  This quote sort of sums of the story


"I couldn't forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made ..."


4.5 Dewey's


I read this as part of the BBC Top 100 Books Challenge. I borrowed this copy from the Humber College Library

Vanished (Books Three & Four) by Meg Cabot: Book Review

Vanished (Safe House & Sanctuary)
by Meg Cabot
Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0631-5
Suggested Ages: 13+ (Some mild violence and sexual inuendo - nothing objectionable)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Safe House: JESS MASTRIANI was on vacation when Amber went missing. Most people blame Jess for Amber''s brutal slaying, but how could Jess -- even with her psychic ability to find anyone, anywhere -- have stopped the cheerleader from turning up dead, without having known she was even missing? When yet another cheerleader disappears, Jess has a chance to redeem herself. If she can just find the girl before it''s too late, maybe Jess will finally have a chance to be part of the in crowd. Except that it''s starting to look like being "in" might just get you -- not to mention your loved ones -- killed. So much for popularity.

Description: Sanctuary: JESS MASTRIANI Knew she wasn''t going to be able to hide her psychic powers from the U.S. government forever. But she never thought that she and Dr. Krantz, the special agent brought in to convince Jess to join his elite team of "specially gifted" crime solvers, would have something in common. When a local boy''s disappearance is attributed to a backwoods militia group, it turns out that Jess and Dr. Krantz have the same goal. Suddenly Jess finds herself collaborating with one enemy in order to stop a far worse one. In an atmosphere of hate and fear, Jess and Dr. Krantz must work together to unite a community and save a life...without loosing their own.

The Good Stuff
  • Jessica is one of my favorite literary characters. She's spunky, snarky, funny, and a huge heart
  • Love her relationship with her friends and family is is very true and honest
  • Great storyline in both books - funny, exciting with lots of twists and turns and funny as hell quips by Jess
  • A little more dark (nothing too dark tho) than the first two stories, which gives it a bit  more of an edge
  • Just go get a copy of this (and Vanished Books One and Two) you will fall in love with them
  • The relationship between Jess and her brother Douglas is so wonderfully written
  • Love the scenes between Jess and Rob - hilarious
  • Nice moral lesson snuck in so you barely notice, sign of a gifted author
  • I know I am repeating myself but the dialogue is awesome! She could write for Whedon
  • You lose yourself in the story and feel sorta sad when you finish the book
  • I would recommend reading the first two books in the series first, but you really don't have to

The Not so Good Stuff
  • Jessica's mom is a bit of a b***h -- I just can't seem to like her
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Who would strangle a cheerleader, and dump her body at the bottom of a limestone quarry?  I can certainly understand wanting to strangle a cheerleader. Our school harbors some of the meanest cheerleaders in North America. Seriously. It's like you have to pass a test proving you have no human compassion whatsoever just to get on the squad."

"Hey, I know its uncool to be scoping on boys at the same time as I was trying to solve a murder. But Nancy Drew still had time to date Ned Nickerson, didn't she, in between solving all those mysteries? Except of course, Ned wasn't on probation."

"I mean, sex is a big enough step in any relationship without doing it in an old barn. Um, no thank you. I am willing to wait until the moment is right - such as prom night."

"Can you imagine having that blowhard in your living room the day after your brother got murdered? That has to be one of those circles of hell Dante was going on about. We are doing Inferno in English. Well, everyone else is. I am mainly playing Tetris on my Nintendo DS in the back row with the sound off."

"Not because I had anything to say to him. What can one say to someone like him? He is never going to realize that we were right and he was wrong. People like Jim  Henderson are incapable of changing their ways. They are going to believe in their half-assed opinions until the day they die, and nothing and no one is ever going to convince them that those beliefs might be mistaken."




What I Learned
  • That I wished I was as cool and fun as Jess when I was a teen - she's such a little spitfire
  • I have to read more Meg Cabot YA stuff

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Perfect for YA's and even preteens as there is nothing really objectionable
  • Not for those who need angst y dark stories, this is light fun.  Really reminds me of Buffy
  • Fans of Kiersten White will enjoy
  • Adults will enjoy just as much as Jess is hard not to love

5 Dewey's

Canadian Book Signing Alert: Meg Cabot will be at Chapters Queensway on  Thursday May 12th at 7PM - deets here

I borrowed this from Natasha and did not have to review, just loved it so much and wanted you guys to go out and get it

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss: Book Review

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2)
by Patrick Rothfuss
Penguin
ISBN: 9781101486405
Buy from Indigo
Bring Patrick Rothfuss to Canada Group

Description: My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe.

In THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

The Good Stuff

  • Worth the wait (but it still was a long wait LOL!)
  • Incredible character development with Kvothe
  • Storyline picks up from where The Name in the Wind ended and it feels just like yesterday that you finished the first book
  • The effort Rothfuss put in to ensure each sentance is constructed without any words seeming out of place and having every paragraph flow smoothly throughout the book is evident right from the start. The man is a truly gifted writer
  • Light moments interspersed with introspective moments  - Rothfuss' humour shines throughout the novel
  • If you haven't read In the Name of the Wind first I think you will be quite lost, but if you have find a comfortable spot, crack the spine and and settle down into a wonderfully constructed and mesmerizing story
  • The characters are so incredibly lifelike and real -- no seriously
  • And once again I must mention I love the self-deprecating humor laced throughout the book
The Not so Good Stuff
  • a couple of times it was a little slow
  • I would really recommend reading In the Name of the Wind first and ok, how long am I going to have to wait for the next book -- I am not a patient women
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Sometimes leaving is the only thing you can do"



"You can divide infinity an infinite number of times, and the resulting pieces will still be infinitely large," Uresh said in his odd Lenatti accent. "But if you divide a non-infinite number an infinite amount of times the resulting pieces will be non-infinitely small, but there are an infinite number of them, if you add them back together, their sum is infinite. This implies that any number, is in fact, infinite."

"Wow," Elodin said after a long pause. He levied a serious finger at the Lenatti man. "Uresh. Your next assignment is to have sex. If you do not know how to do this, see me after class."

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Definitely for fans of quest and fantasy fiction
  • Not for those who enjoy a quick read, this is a big one folks
  • Those who are not necessarily fans of fantasy fiction will still enjoy this if they give it a chance (If in doubt, check out Patrick's blog to get a taste of  his humor)
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Winners of The Confession of Katherine Howard Contest

Sorry this is so late -- bad blogger : )

The Three winners of a copy of The Confession of Katherine Howard are

Missy Jane said...
I love historical fiction and historical romance, but have never read anything quite like this book. I would definitely love a free copy to expand my reading :-)
Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...
Oh, I love historicial fiction especially ones set around Henry VIII and I've had this one my GR wishlist!
Becca said...
I want to expand my reading past the horror and scifi genre. Please email me your snail mail address to jrayment AT rogers DOT com

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Book Review

Divergent
by Veronica Roth
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-202402-2
Suggested Age: 14+ (Due to violence and sexuality)
Publication Date: May 3, 2011

Description: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

The Good Stuff
  • It is hands down one of the best books I have ever read, I fear my review won't do justice to how wonderful the book actually is -- so just go buy it 'kay!
  • Awesome cover
  • Fascinating and unique idea for a story
  • The reps at the HarperCollins booth at OLA said I wouldn't be able to put it down, and boy were they ever right
  • Fast moving with tons of suspense and action and twists and turns that you don't see coming
  • Unique, real and just plain intriguing characters
  • Heartbreaking at times
  • Love Tris who is wonderfully kick ass and Four who I think I have a crush on
  • Especially for a dystopian story, everything feels true and real 
  • Wonderful moral tales in the story about the importance of choice and of balance, of human nature and also of the dangers of idealism
  • Trust me just go buy the book or if you aren't convinced, go check out goodreads and read other reviewers opinions
The Not so Good Stuff
  • So fantastic I didn't want to put it down -- sorry kids, Mommy is back now
  • Want more of Uriah
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."


"I doubt all the Erudite want to study all the time, or that every Candor enjoys a lively debate, but they can't defy the norms of their factions any more than I can."



"When I look at the Abnegation lifestyle as an outsider, I think its beautiful. When I watch my family move in harmony; when we go to dinner parties and everyone cleans together afterward without having to be asked; when I see Caleb help strangers carry their groceries, I fall in love with this life all over again. It's only when I try to live it myself that I have trouble. It never feels genuine."

"Four leaving makes me nervous. Leaving with Eric is like hiring a babysitter who spends his time sharpening knives."

What I Learned
  •  That I really have a thing for dystopian fiction
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Not for the overly sensitive teen 
  • Those who enjoy dystopian fiction 
  • Pretty much for everyone else -- hopefully there will be a well done movie of it, so that my book hating hubby will get why I liked it so much
10 Dewey's - Just go buy the thing, trust me I am a Librarian (ok, Library Tech, but really how many of you know the difference)

I picked this up at the OLA conference and didn't have to review it but I wanted you all to know about it -- and why the hell are you still reading this review -- go get the book already!

The Anti-Romantic Child by Priscilla Gilman: Book Review

The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy
by Priscilla Gilman:
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-169027-3
Release: April 19, 2011
Buy From Indigo

Description: Priscilla Gilman experienced childhood as a whirlwind of imagination and creative play. Later, as a student and a scholar of Wordsworth, she embraced the poet's romantic view of children—and eagerly anticipated her own son's birth, certain that he, too, would come “trailing clouds of glory.” Though extraordinary, Benjamin showed signs of a developmental dis-order that would require intensive therapies and special school-ing, altering the course Priscilla had imagined for her family.

In The Anti-Romantic Child, an incredible synthesis of memoir and literature, Gilman explores the complexity of our hopes for our families and ourselves. Using Wordsworth's poetry as a touchstone, she describes her journey through crisis to a place of peace and resilience. Gilman illuminates the flourishing of life that occurs when we embrace the unexpected, and shows how events and situations often perceived as setbacks can actually enrich us.

The Good Stuff

  • Beautifully writes about raising a child that has special needs and so wonderfully explains the need to let go of the dream of your child and love the child you have.  
  • Very painfully honest and real, she doesn't hide from her emotions and doesn't put blame on anyone
  • Her relationship with her ex-husband is one that I truly believe benefits her children -- now if more divorces couples would follow her path
  • She's a strong women who wouldn't take no for an answer and wants the best for her child
  • Benji sounds like a truly remarkable and wonderful child and I enjoyed reading about him
  • Loves both of her sons and fights like a tiger for them
  • Full text of all the poems quoted at the back of the book
  • Very inspirational at times
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Way too scholarly and romantic for my non scholarly mind which I really think takes away from the lessons taught in the book.  But please remember I am more of a plain spoken practical girl
  • Got irritated by the constant references to Wordsworth (yes I know that is the point of the book, but it really got on my nerves after a while)
  • I was having a tough time reading this and I couldn't put my finger on why I wasn't enjoying it.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact, that I am also raising a special needs child and I think things hit a little too close to home and to some of the issues I am denying or avoiding 
  • I found her a tad self absorbed at times  (Now no offense to author that is just how it comes across at times)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Anytime you get frustrated or irritated with him, try to remember how far he's come rather than how far you still want or need him to go. It helps. It helped us."

"That literature has the power to comfort and sustain might seem obvious, but as a professional scholar of literature, I had been made to feel that literature was there to be analyzed, debated or worked on, not to be turned to for consolation, solace or inspiration."

"My goal as a mother is to never stop fighting that battle for Benji's essential self and to teach him how to fight it on his own behalf."

What I Learned
  • That I really am not the biggest fan of poetry -- unless its The Highway Man or The Creamation of Sam McGee
  • Fascinating information about Hyperlexia
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Best for those who enjoy a more scholarly account of living with a special needs child
  • Would recommend it for anyone raising a child that has special needs because author does eloquently express the need to let go of the child you wanted and to love and accept the one you have
  • Obviously parents with children who have Hyperlexia will find tons of helpful and insightful information
3.5 Dewey's

I received this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, April 16, 2011

In My Mailbox

Review
From Penguin Canada


From HarperCollins

 















Purchased


For $10 from Friends of Caledon Library Sale

From Scholastic for Jake

Friday, April 15, 2011

Evermore by Alyson Noel: Mini Book Review

Evermore (The Immortals #1)
by Alyson Noel
St Martin's Griffen
ISBN: 978-0-312-53278
Suggested Ages: 13+ (For mild sexuality and violence)
Buy From Indigo


Description: Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste… 

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Mini Book Review:  This was such a pleasure to read after not enjoying the last 3 books I read.  A wonderful take on the "vampire genre" with fun dialogue and intriguing characters.  There are lots of twists and turns in the story and quite a few surprises you won't expect.  This is a book written for YA's so from an old mommy's perspective it is a little too angst y for me at times and I wanted to slap some of the characters upside the head for their stupidity.  The adult characters aren't just caricatures which is refreshing and I would like a little more story about Sabine. I adored Riley and the scenes between her and her sister were hilarious and very realistic, well considering Riley is dead and all. I have to be honest I was irritated by Miles being the stereotypical gay sidekick and hopefully as the series progresses he will develop into a character with a little more substance. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

4 Dewey's

I purchased this and had it signed at the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour at the Chapters in Brampton - I will be giving my copy away in my raffle for Spina Bifida

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward: Book Review

Heads You Lose
by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
G.P. Putnam's Son (Penguin)
ISBN: 978-0-399-15740-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: An innovative and hilarious new crime novel written collaboratively. The formula is simple: the authors write alternating chapters, each one picking up where the other has left off.

The novel stars Paul and Lacey Hansen, a pair of orphaned, pot-growing, 20-something siblings eking out a living in rural northern California. They each dream of escaping Mercer, with varying degrees of vigor. But when a headless corpse shows up on their property late one night, they obviously can't call the police. They move the corpse as surreptitiously as possible (utilizing skills learned on CSI), and wait for some good samaritan to find it. When the corpse instead reappears -- a few days riper -- on their doorstep, the Hansens realize they might be in over their heads.

Meanwhile, a puzzlingly handsome and urbane young doctor from San Francisco suddenly replaces the old town doctor under a cloak of darkness; something fishier than usual is happening at the local retirement home; and a private plane crashes inexplicably, and area residents flocking to the scene. The Mercer Police Department clearly has its hands full. So when, on second look, the corpse is revealed as Lacey's ex-fiancée, she can't help but launch her own investigation.

Lutz, a New York Times bestselling crime writer, just wants to tell a good story. Hayward, an obscure former poet (and Lisa’s ex-boyfriend) has loftier ambitions. When the collaborators start to disagree about how the story should unfold, Mercer's body count starts climbing, and potential victims—and prime suspects—keep coming out of the woodwork. They include Brandy, Paul’s stripper-genius fiancée, grizzled local sage Terry Jakes, and Sook Felton, a senior citizen who makes ends meet by selling the Hansen’s product to the staff of the assisted-living facility where he lives. Things take a serious turn when Lacey and Paul discover that the key to the murders might be tied to their parents’ “accidental” death a decade earlier. Soon both Hansens are doing independent investigations with perilous consequences.

And with the authors’ own turbulent past seeping into the plot, in the end, the biggest mystery might be how they’ll solve the murder without killing each other first

The Good Stuff

  • One of the most truly unique ideas for a book
  • Unusual and quirky storyline 
  • Love the notes from each of the author's after each chapter
  • Tons of twists and turns, you really have no idea what is going to happen next
  • Hilarious dialogue
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Overly quirky at times and it was like they were trying to hard for this
  • At times I thought the gimmicky idea for the authors letters back and forth saved a less than stellar and convoluted story - smart really 
  • Honestly I just expected a better story or at least more byplay between the authors
  • A little too mean spirited byplay between the authors at times
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"A quick note for your next chapter: Sometimes your vocabulary feels a little high-end for this kind of book. It would be great if I didn't have to Google as I read."


"You forget where you left your keys, that cup of coffee you were drinking earlier, but you remember things like where you dumped a headless body in the middle of the night."

"I bought you into this endeavor to improve it, not sabotage it. I just know James Patterson doesn't have to put up with this shit."


What I Learned
  • I'm intrigued enough to want to read The Spellman Files
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Those who like things a little bit different
3 Dewey's


I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel: Book Review

This is,  I believe,  my very first negative review on a book. Having a really hard time thinking of something kind to say about it.  I loved the first two books in the series, but the series has gotten progressively worse & this one-- well it was painful to finish it.  But I promised to review it and I ALWAYS keep my promises! 

Also I had other people review it for me, which I have included at the end of my review.  Natasha's review to follow when she is done her school work

The Land of Painted Caves
by Jean M. Auel
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-7393-7810-6
Buy from Indigo

Description:The Land of Painted Caves continues the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, taking readers on a journey of discovery and adventure as Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni—one of the Ninth Cave community’s spiritual leaders and healers.

The Good Stuff
  • Seems to be well researched
  • Love the sense of community between the women and the raising of the children
  • Had no problem falling asleep at night -- just read a couple of chapters of this and fell asleep
The Not so Good Stuff

  • The repetition in this book is unlike any book I have ever read before.  On many occasions I actually felt like throwing the book across the room in frustration -- but I could have hurt something since the book is so feckin thick (I received the large print edition -- hmm think someone is trying to tell me something)  You could have cut almost 400 pages out of the book and there still would be way to much repetition
  • I never want to hear about someone describing a cave again, and at the beginning I thought that bit was interesting -- but after the 15th cave -- I'm set for life
  • That  mother song written in its entirety over 5 times --  hello I get it  - once would have been fine. I will be singing the song in my sleep tonight & which might be a change from the Go Diego Go theme song
  • Laughable dialogue and plot points.  So Jondalar is the first modern daddy who likes to take care of his daughter while mommy goes to work and does drugs.  Ayla suffers from a sort of  post postpartum depression after losing her baby and tries to kill herself, but gets over it way too quickly -- which is an insult to anyone who has ever suffered from it -- trust me on this point.  Ayla can solve every problem, she is little miss perfect and guess what she can talk to animals too. 
  • Ayla has an accent -- yup got that - you didn't have to mention that so many times (hmm get the repetition comment now)
  • The constant long winded introductions that they go through every time they  meet someone new
  • Hmm, now I am repeating myself.  The constant repetition of stories from the previous books
  • Ok  I know this is getting picky but expected Ayla to somehow connect with her first born again
  • The book honestly really didn't tell us anything new or give us any closer about anything
  • I liken my experience of reading this to the dismay of seeing the travesty that was The Phantom Menace after loving the original Star Wars series so much - A total disappointment
  • All of a sudden the story jumps into an explanation of the ice age & it just comes across as a lecture and distracts from the story
  • Enough with the bodily functions --  NO ONE wants to read shit and piss (and by the way -- it is written about on many occasions -- yup repetitive again)
Favorite Quotes/Passages


"She knew that Jondalar was only appreciating; he had no desire to do more than look" (yup that is exactly how I feel about all the attractive men in this world)

What I Learned
  • Some interesting THEORIES about the origin of the species
  • Might have to change my thought that I will never give a book a DNF rating - and I am a stubborn one, unless there  is abuse to a child or an animal, I usually can finish a book no matter how bad it is
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Die hard fans who loved ALL of the books in the series might find something to like
  • Fans of Painted Caves -- this is your book!
  • Also highly recommended for insomnia
1 Dewey's


Notes from Joan and Ted
  • The most boring and awful ending to a book I have ever read
  • I understand that the Zeladoni is a fat old chick there is no need to repeat it so often
  • I loved the rest of the series and have bought this book to complete my collection, but I will probably never read it again
  • This was like the ramblings of an old women who is prone to repeating herself
  • Feckin (yup Joan is the reason I use Feckin all the time, but she says it so much better with her wonderful Irish accent) painted caves
  • Ted Hated it and kept falling asleep while reading it and he loved the series too

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review -- sorry guys I feel like I should apologize for my review, but had to be honest.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy: Book Review

An Atlas of Impossible Longing
by Anuradha Roy
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4516-0862-5
Published: April 12, 2011
Buy from Indigo

Description: The story is of three generations of an Indian family, brilliantly told, in which a sensitive and intelligent foundling boy orphan who is casteless and without religion and Bakul, the motherless granddaughter of the house, grow up together. The boy, Mukunda, spends his time as a servant in the house or reading the books of Mrs Barnum, an Anglo-Englishwoman whose life was saved long ago by Bakul's grandmother, by now demented by loneliness. Mrs Barnum gives Mukunda the run of her house, but as he and Bakul grow, they become aware that their intense closeness is becoming something else, and Bakul's father is warned to separate them. He banishes Mukunda to a school in Calcutta, where in the years after Partition he prospers, and whence in time he will return to rediscover all that he has lost.The novel begins in 1907 with the founding of a factory in Songarh, a small provincial town where narrow attitudes prevail. Amulya and Kananbala have two sons and as their family grows, and the house and their garden too, a microcosm of a society develops. It is scholarly, eccentric, hide-bound, fraught with drama, destined to self-destruct. The many strands of this intensely-fashioned narrative converge when Mukunda, by now a successful businessman, returns to Songarh years after he has been exiled from the only home he knew, to resolve the family's destiny.

The Good Stuff
  • Beautifully almost lyrically written. 
  • The landscape feels so real you could reach out and touch it.
  • You can feel the authors love for the countryside
  • This is not my sort of book, so please if you think you will like it, go get it, the author has talent.  Check out the more positive reviews from other people listed below
  • Some light humour - enjoyed the swearing bird
The Not so Good Stuff
  • This one was a painful read for me as I just couldn't get into it, but too stubborn to not finish it
  • Very slow
  • The men are self involved selfish misogynistic bastards and quite frankly just didn't give a rats ass about any of them. Mukunda had potential but he ended up hurting people due to his own selfish desires too
  • I don't understand the choices made by many of the characters and it is in a world I do not understand
  • quite depressing and bitter at times
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Submerged just beneath the surface of their talk was the sense that his departure was a scorning of their lives, the redrawing of a pattern that had already been perfected."

"Bitterly she muttered "God's ways are strange, that he should give children to those who don't care for them and leave me childless"



"But Nirmal could not disguise it from himself.  He had brought in the child when it was convenient for him, and now that Bakul was growing up it was no longer convenient."


What I Learned
  • That I really am not a huge fan of flowery prose
  • Seems I am a bit of a feminist after all
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Not for those like me who need a more exciting storyline -- if you like character pieces this may be for you
  • Probably better suited for those who are far more well read than I
2.5 Dewey's (This is based on MY enjoyment NOT on the talents of the author)

More  Positive Reviews can be found here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3942057-an-atlas-of-impossible-longing


I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review -- sorry guys wish I liked it more

Monday, April 11, 2011

There's Lead in Your Lipstick Excerpt and Earth Day Contest

There's Lead in Your Lipstick
by Gillian Deacon
Penguin Canada
ISBN: 9780143172505
Download Wallet sized card here:
Buy From Indigo


Description: By the time she heads out the front door, the modern woman has spritzed, sudsed, and slathered herself in more than 127 different chemicals, many of them more toxic than beautifying.
So how can you look and feel great while safeguarding your health? Get smart and go green from head to toe with the help of eco-expert Gillian Deacon. In The Green Body Guide, you'll learn how to read the ingredients to identify and understand the preservatives that are bad for your body and damaging to the earth, including formaldehyde in deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, and shaving cream; coal tar in hair dyes; lead in lipstick; and many more. This is an indispensable handbook of personal-care choices that are sustainable, both for your health and for the earth.

Review will follow on Earth Day


Special Earth Day Note From Gillian Deacon

Earth day shouldn't just be an annual tip of the hat to greener living. This year, make it the day you recalibrate your everyday patterns to be more earth-friendly all year long.

You don't have to be a treehugger to care about avoiding toxins in your everyday bodycare. Synthetic chemicals in personal care products contaminating groundwater and wildlife is alarming enough—but they’re also contaminating us. Those hard-to-read ingredients you squint at on the back of a product label? They’re building up inside your body and in your children’s bodies—on Earth Day and everyday.

Make today the day you start paying attention to that fine print. Turn a product over and read the ingredients label before you are seduced by the “green” imaging on the package. The good news is, there are lots of safer products on the market.

Good luck and I hope you’ll check out There’s Lead in Your Lipstick for more ideas on how to clean up your act!

Make It Yourself: Moisturizing Mask

Greek yogourt is also very moisturizing and can be used as a base for this mask.
1/2 medium to large avocado
1 to 2 tbsp honey 5 to 15 mL
Puree ingredients together in a blender or whip by hand.
For dry, sensitive skin, add one tablespoon of oatmeal and
on tablespoon of water.
Mix together into a smooth paste and apply to the face and
neck area, leaving on for about ten minutes.

From There’s Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon (Penguin Canada). Copyright © Backbone Inc. FSO Gillian Deacon, 2011

Gillian Deacon



Award-winning broadcaster and writer Gillian Deacon brings her informed and friendly style to the subject that has long been her passion. A busy working mom and host of CBC-TV's The Gill Deacon Show, she understands the challenges of trying to "do it all" with a smaller environmental footprint.

Blog Tour Stops - Check them all out

April 12 My Ever Expanding Library
April 13 Jacob’s Beloved
April 14 Bella’s Bookshelves
April 15 Cindy’s Love of Books
April 18 Rowangarth Farm
April 19 Lost for Words
April 20 Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
April 21 A Bookworm’s World
April 22 KimWerker.com
April 25 A Mom After God’ Own Heart
April 26 The Literary Word
April 27 Just a Lil Lost
April 28 In the Next Room

Contest Rules


Canada Only
Ends April 22nd - Earth Day
Comment on why you would like this book

Prize details: one prize pack of There’s Lead In Your Lipstick


and an Eco Kiss kit from Saffron Rouge  Retail value total is approx CDN $48.95.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black: Book Review

Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)
by Holly Black
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0339-0
Suggested Ages: 13 +
Buy from Indigo

Description:Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose

The Good Stuff
  • Love the cover (the one for White Cat was awesome too!)
  • Wonderful dry humour
  • Intriguing storyline, fascinating world the author has created
  • Cassel is such a wonderful rich character and he is even more well developed in this installment of the series. Very conflicted and tortured yet still somewhat hopeful and decent
  • nice commentary on prejudices and persecution of those that are different.  Sort of reminds me of the X-Men series and the persecution of the mutants (yes I am a nerd thank you very much)
  • Love Cassel's grandfather and I think Black needs to write more scenes with him
  • The character of Zacharov has been fleshed out and made more interesting
  • Hell of a cliffhanger -- guessing there is going to be another book in the series
  • Story will appeal to both males and females
  • Lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing
  • Got a kick out of the sly mention of the character from her writing pal Cassie Clare's series
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Cassel's family is pretty much incredibly awful and I find it hard that Cassel can find redeeming qualities in them - with the exception of his grandfather
  • Things jumped around a lot and I got lost a couple of times -- but this is just me and I am a Mom who doesn't get a lot of sleep
  • Honestly I was a little frustrated at times with the story, but can't put my finger or explain what bothered me - there was just something missing
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I just told him that Sam and I had a project to do together and that the common room was too noisy.  He said as long as we kept the door open and actually studied, he didn't mind."
"Nerds get away with everything," Sam says."


"I like that Sam doesn't lied to his girlfriend. I like that they are in love. I even like the way that Daneca gets on my case."


"That stoner dude, Jace, says he hooked up with someone over the summer," Kevin whispers. "But I hear all the pictures he's showing around are really pictures of his half sister. Fifty bucks says there's no girlfriend."

What I Learned

  • My family -- not so bad compared to the Sharpe's
Who should/shouldn't read
  • This is one that will definitely appeal to the YA crowd.  
  • Obviously those who enjoyed White Cat, will also enjoy this
4 Dewey's

I  received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In My Mailbox

For Review
From Scholastic

From Simon and Schuster

From HarperCollins and HarperCollins Children's (Thanks Roz!)

From Random House

From Dove and John Frieda

Won
From Indigogreenroom - for showing off my bookshelves - Follow Captain Awesome Cammy

Borrowed
Vanished from Natasha and Water for Elephants from Helen

For Spina Bifida Raffle
Andie donated her Indigogreenroom prize to the raffle - Thanks Andie that was outstanding
Donating my prize from Indigogreenroom to raffle

SIGNED MaryJanice Davidson

SIGNED Charlaine Harris