Friday, September 30, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Title: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is--no easy tai on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping ears of blood…and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together--and trying to tear them apart.

Starcrossed is another one of those books that has a pretty cover and this is what originally drew me in. But as it often happens, this book was a lot more than just that pretty cover. As much as I was unsure about how the premise would work, it turned out to all be pretty awesome.

Helen has always felt like she was different from everyone around her and has spent her whole life trying to hid it. As she grows older, Helen has found doing so is becoming more and more difficult, especially when she starts having nightmares of a painful journey across a desert. Not only that, but when Helen wakes up all signs seem to indicate she actually did the journey. So when she starts hallucinating three weeping women, Helen starts to really question what is happening to her. When the Delos family arrives in town, things take a turn in an unexpected direction when Helen finally begins to understand what is going on with her. And when she starts to have feelings for Lucas Delos, their relationship sets ancient forces into motion that may cause Helen and Lucas to repeat a tragedy that has gone on throughout history.

When I first heard this story was a retelling of the story of Helen of Troy crossed with Romeo and Juliet, I wasn't really sure how the whole thing was going to fit together. But then I started reading and it all fell into place. And I fell in love with the story Josephine Angelini wrote. She wrote in a way that captivated the reader and at times it almost felt like I could be a part of the story. I was completely drawn in and I became so invested in the story, hoping against all hope that Helen's and Lucas' story wouldn't end as tragically as it was destined to. And everything that led up to the ending was absolutely heartbreaking and I cannot wait to read the sequel and find out more.

Helen had so many endearing qualities and that made me like her so much. I can't imagine what it's like to go through your whole life knowing you're different but not knowing why. And then when everything starts to go really well for her, it all goes down the drain because the Fates have other plans for her in mind. And where her relationship with Lucas is concerned, it definitely wasn't insta-love at first, but when it did turn into that it worked and was fully justified. But if anything, their relationship was tragic. The Delos family was very interesting to say the least. All their personalities were so different but they all fit together so well and the dynamic there was just incredible. But Lucas was definitely my favorite. I was rooting so much for him and Helen to work out no matter how much I knew there were other forces at play there. And you, he was pretty swoon-worthy so that definitely didn't hurt my opinion of him. 

Starcrossed was a fantastic debut from Josephine Angelini. It made two stories that shouldn't work together fit perfectly, and topped it with a beautifully tragic story. I definitely cannot wait for the sequel.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Excited for Silence

As many of you may be aware, Silence, book three in Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga will be releasing soon. I've read the other two books in this series, and I have to admit that I am pretty excited for this one.

When I first read Hush, Hush (my review) last year, I wondered why I had waited to so long to pick up this book. I was completely drawn into the story and I felt like I could relate to Nora on multiple levels. Plus, Patch wasn't so bad once I figured him out. Then earlier this year I read Crescendo (my review) and once again wondered why I had pushed off reading it for so long. It was a great story, but I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I had liked the first book. Not that it was a bad read by any means, I just didn't like the story as much.

Now with the release of Silence looming, I can't wait to get back to this story, especially after the way the last instalment left off. I couldn't believe it just ended that way and already I was looking forward to this book. 

And now, to make things even better, Becca Fitzpatrick has just announced that there will be a book four to this awesome saga. It doesn't have a title yet and all I know is that it will be coming out in the fall next year. I haven't even read Silence yet and I'm already looking forward to it. 

Now if you are Canadian, things are getting even better for you. Simon & Schuster Canada, who publishes Becca Fitzpatrick's books in Canada, is having an awesome Silence Sweepstakes Contest. Check out the prizes in the picture below and follow the link above for your chance to enter. Let me just say, if I lived in the Toronto area, I would be all over this.

So if you are Canadian, be sure to hurry and go enter before it's too late!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (27)

For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.


Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

As of late, I've seen this book popping up around the blogosphere and every time I see it I think of just how interesting it sounds. The premise for the story sounds absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to find out for myself if it will be just as good and interesting as it sounds.

Slide by Jill Hathaway will be published March 27th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

If there is one book I couldn't escape hearing about, it was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Everywhere I turned, I was hearing about how awesome it was or how excited someone was to read it. Let me just say it blew my mind, and even now, a couple of weeks after I've finished reading it, my mind is still reeling.

When she wakes up in a hospital bed, Mara Dyer has no memory of how she got there. When she it told she and three of her friends were caught in an old building when it collapsed, she has no memory of that either. To makes things easier on her, her family decides to move to Miami, but Mara still doesn't remember anything about the night of the accident. But as time goes by, she starts to remember more and more of what happened. At the same time, she meets Noah Shaw, the mysterious attractive boy at her new school. And though Mara doesn't understand why, he seems to be interested in her. But the more Mara is getting settled in Miami and enjoying her time with Noah, weird things start happening everywhere she goes. And that's only the beginning.

This book messed with my mind so much. Every time I thought I understood what was going on, something happened an I was confused all over again. Even now, I'm still not sure I've completely grasped everything that's going on. But in spite of all this, I absolutely loved reading this book. Michelle Hodkin is a fantastic new writer and she most definitely knows how to play with people's minds but to be honest, that's in large part why I kept reading. I just wanted to understand what was going on, and so I just kept turning page after page. And by the last page, I think I had it all figured out. But with the way the story went, I might also be completely off.

I don't really know what to make of Mara, mostly because I was never really able to figure her out. But that made her more mysterious and interesting and because of that I liked her. Though I wasn't able to figure her out, I was still able to understand some of what she was going through and a lot of it obviously couldn't have been that pleasant or easy. Noah Shaw on the other hand was absolutely amazing. I may have just found a new literary crush. I don't even really know how to describe him, except to say again that he was amazing. I loved the way he was with Mara and how he took care of her. And their relationship was great, and no only because for once it wasn't insta-love. But I don't want to give too much away.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was a phenomenal read and Michelle Hodkin is a fantastic writer. This is definitely a book that will mess with your head and leave you reeling. But all of that is totally worth it.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Smart Chicks Are Coming to Ottawa!

Last year, a group of wonderful YA authors came together and went on tour, hitting a number of different cities in the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, the closes they came to me was over 5 hours away and I didn't have the means to get there. Lucky for me, this year they are doing another tour and this time around they are coming to me. So on October 3rd, I will have the pleasure of meeting Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl and Charles de Lint (who has been made an honorary Smart Chick for this stop). I really can't wait!

But the point of this post is to make a call out to all the other bloggers from Ottawa and the area around the city and find out who is planning on being there. I also wanted to ask if anyone would be interested in meeting up before hand or if you wanted to get together at the event itself. Let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail at

I hope to see some of you there!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (26)

For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series.

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

So obviously this one is not coming out for quite some time since Bloodlines just released about a month ago but I still cannot wait for it to be out and available. Bloodlines was as fantastic as I had hoped it would be and the end definitely left me hanging and wanting more. June and The Golden Lily can't come soon enough.

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead will be published June 19th, 2012 by RazorBill.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

Title: Original Sin (Personal Demons #2)
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn't feeling as demonic as usual lately--thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can't desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc's allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn't the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn't long before Gave realizes that being around her is too...tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears--and they're not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won't give up and Heaven won't give in. Frannie's guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell's grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.

After I finished reading Personal Demons last year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Original Sin so I could find out what happens next. I had highly enjoyed the first book and Original Sin definitely did not disappoint.

Frannie's soul may now be tagged for Heaven but that still doesn't seem to be stopping all these demons from showing up in town and coming after Luc. Because Hell wants Luc back...except, thanks to Frannie's Sway, he's now human. And what's even better, Gabe has tagged his soul for Heaven. Just when things were starting to go well with Luc and Frannie strange things start happening in town, some demonic in nature, some not so much. Plus, there's Frannie's new guardian angel doesn't seem big on the idea of Luc and Frannie being together. And just when they all need Gabe's help the most, Gabe goes away, finding it more and more difficult to resist Frannie and her Sway. Not that he's trying so hard to resist her. Frannie will now have to fend for herself, especially when her guardian angel keeps getting distracted. But Hell is bringing all its got to the table and Frannie and Luc may be in more trouble than they thought.

Original Sin was nothing if not incredibly hot and sexy. Lisa Desrochers definitely knows how to write those steamy parts. But the book is so much more than just that. The story is incredibly well-written and those mini-cliffhangers at the end of the chapters only served to make me keep reading even when I knew I had to stop. Though what I love best about Original Sin were the alternating points of view. Lisa Desrochers definitely figured out how to make it so no matter who was speaking, I was never even close to bored. Basically, she did no wrong in this book, if you ask me.

Frannie was just as great as I remembered. She definitely doesn't let people walk all over her and that is one of the things I like best about her. But most importantly she wasn't the "damsel-in-distress" type and could actually defend herself when it came down to it. Even though Frannie seems to have chosen between Luc and Gabe, I still can't make my mind up. I loved seeing Luc as a human an reading his thoughts on the subject. Most of the time he just made me crack up or actually start laughing out loud. Once again, I wish I could have seen more of Gabe. But what I did have of him, I enjoyed a lot. What I particularly like is that he's always there for Frannie no matter what. That just made me like him that much more. An Matt was very interesting to say the least. I liked him at first but as the story moved forward I started to have my doubts about him. And with that ending, who knows what's going to happen next.

Original Sin was a most excellent sequel and if anything, it was even better than Personal Demons. Lisa Desrochers is an incredible writer and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book in this series.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week was another great week for books. I visited my bookstore quite a few times during the course of the week and got a book for review. I've even read a few of them already and I look forward to diving in to the rest. So here's what I got this week.


- Firelight by Sophie Jordan (HarperTeen September 7, 2010) - I’ve been meaning to read this book for the longest time. With the second book coming out last week, I’ve been hearing a lot about it again and decided to finally pick it up. Plus, it’s about dragons, so how bad can it really be?

- As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (HarperTeen September 1, 2009) - I have yet to read anything by Jackson Pearce but I now officially own all three of her books. So now would be a good time to pick one of them up and read it. But, like I’ve said before, if her writing is anything like her videos I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy reading them.

- Fateful by Claudia Gray (HarperTeen September 13, 2011) - This book is about werewolves on the Titanic. That alone was enough to get me to pick up the book. Plus a lot of other people have said that this book is really good. I didn’t really need anymore reason than that to pick up the book.

- Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski (Delacorte Press April 27, 2010) - This book is part of my attempts to read more contemporary books. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and I look forward to jumping right into it.

- The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (RazorBill September 21, 2010) - I have been meaning to read this book since it first came out last year. Now I finally have a copy for myself and I absolutely cannot wait to start reading it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to dive into it soon.

- Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt September 14, 2009) - I love witch stories and even then I don’t read that many so I’m really happy to have picked this book up. I’ve heard really good things, especially since the sequel just came out recently. I can’t wait to be able to start reading it.

- Elixir by Hilary Duff (Simon & Schuster October 12, 2010) - I am always wary of books written by celebrities so I have been quite hesitant to pick this book up. I actually bought because I received its sequel for review. I’ve now read it and it was a lot better than I originally expected. You can expect to see a review for it in the very near future.

- Vanish by Sophie Jordan (HarperTeen September 6, 2011) - Since I bought the first book this week, I figured I might as well buy the second that way I will be all ready to go once I finish reading the first one. Much like with the first, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

For Review:

- Devoted by Hilary Duff (Simon & Schuster October 11, 2011) - I was offered a copy of this book for review and decided to take the offer despite my wariness of books written by celebrities. I’ve now read the first book and when I finished it, I couldn’t wait to start this one. Hopefully it will be just as good as the first one.

So that's all I got in my mailbox this week. Let me know what you got and yours and I'll go check it out!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 23, 2011
Source: Purchased

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir--the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir--is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. the last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside--and within--the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

I don't think I would be lying if I said that Bloodlines was the book I anticipated the most this year. After I finished the final Vampire Academy book, I couldn't wait for August to come so I could go back to the world I love so much. So you can imagine just how excited I was to finally be able to read Bloodlines.

When her father wakes her up in the middle of the night and tells her to get dressed, Sydney is worried the Alchemists have finally decided how to punish her for having helped Rose Hathaway escape from the Moroi Court. But it turns out that's not what they have in mind at all. Before she even has time to realize what is happening, Sydney is being told to pack her bags and she is on her way to Palm Springs, California. There she will be going to Amberwood Prep boarding school, rooming with non other than Jill Dragomir, sister of the Moroi Queen, who has been sent into hiding after threats on her life were made. But that's only the beginning for Sydney as she soon finds out she will have a lot more to deal with than just trying to keep the Dragomir princess safe safe and hidden. For someone who isn't particularly fond of vampires, Sydney will now be getting close to a lot more of them than she could have ever imagined. 

When I first started reading Bloodlines, I couldn't wait to go back to the world and characters I had first been introduced to in the Vampire Academy serie. I was also quite apprehensive because I was afraid the book wouldn't live up to my expectations. As it turned out, I was definitely not disappointed by Bloodlines even though I've heard of quite a few people who had the opposite reaction. I'll just say that if you expect it to be just like Vampire Academy, odds are you'll end up disappointed. As far as I was concerned, the story was fantastic and I enjoyed every page of it. In this book, Richelle Mead wrote a great story that is more than enjoyable with all the wit, humor and sarcasm that I've come to expect from her.

Sydney is no Rose Hathaway but she is awesome and kick ass in her own way. She if definitely a rebel, going against most of what the Alchemists stand for, especially when it comes to vampires. I definitely loved getting to know her better and finding out who she really is. I also really loved finding out more about Jill. It always felt like there was a lot more to her and I was finally able to see what it was. The same thing goes for Eddie. He was always there but I never really knew much about him beyond what I saw happening. Now that I know more about him, I'm definitely liking him more and more. And I was more than happy to have Adrian back. He made me laugh pretty much every time he spoke or did anything. What was even more amusing, to me at least, was everything that seemed to be going on with him and Sydney. I definitely can't wait to see where that's going to go.

Bloodlines was definitely everything I expected, and maybe even more. Richelle Mead definitely had the right idea with this spinoff series and I can't wait to see where she's going to take it next. June 2012 and The Golden Lily, the second book in the series, cannot come fast enough.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

For those of you that don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.


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.

I have read Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves and Trial By Fire and absolutely loved both books. She is an absolutely fantastic writer and I just can't wait to see what she has come up with in Every Other Day. Plus the premise for the book sounds really interesting. 

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes will be published December 27th, 2011 by EgmontUSA.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld + Q&A with Author

Title: Goliath (Leviathan #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Source: ARC from Publisher

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Alek and Deryn are aboard the Leviathan when the ship is ordred to pick up an unusual passenger. This brilliant/maniacal inventor claims to have a weapon called Goliath that can end the war. But whose side is he really on?

While on their top-secret mission, Alek finally discovers Deryn's deeply kept secret. Two, actually. Not only is Deryn a girl disguised as a guy...she has feelings for Alek.

The crown, true love with a commoner, and the destruction of a great city all hang on Alek's next--and final--move.

I couldn't wait to get started on reading Goliath and find out who the trilogy ended. This is a series I had enjoyed since the beginning, and if anything the final instalment was even better than the previous two. It was most definitely a great conclusion to an awesome trilogy.

After having played an important part in the Ottoman Revolution, Deryn and Alek are back aboard the Leviathan, which is now headed to the Far East. Alek's secret has been revealed to the entire world, and life aboard the airship has changed for him. At least he hasn't been declared a prisoner and can still roam freely on the Leviathan. Deryn has more than proven she is a great soldier and that she deserves her place aboard the great airship. But her secret has to stay hidden for that to continue. So when she reveals her true identity and her feelings to Alek, everything seems like it's going to fall apart. But this may turn out to be the least of her worries when things aboard the Leviathan take a turn for the interesting. With crazy inventors and reporters now on board the airship, Alek and Deryn will find out that keeping secrets may become more and more difficult.

I cannot even begin to describe just how much I love the story that Scott Westerfeld created in this trilogy. In Goliath, the story was taken to a whole other level, and there was never a dull moment. I just kept turning page after page. The story captivated me from start to finish and it was a truly great conclusion to the series. No matter how well I know the events and facts of World War On, Scott Westerfeld writes so well that I start having trouble distinguishing what he simply changed from what he made up altogether. That's just how good of a writer he is.

Oh how I love the characters in this series. Alek is so much more than an overprotected and spoiled prince. I have absolutely loved seeing him come into his own over the course of the three books. If anything, by the end of Goliath he was pretty much as far away from being a prince as he possibly could and his evolution and who he became just made me love him more. Though Deryn is the character that completely makes the book for me. Everything about her just makes her leap off the page and feel completely real. more than anything she just makes me laugh. What I loved more than anything was how the relationship between Deryn and Alek completely changed when the truth was revealed about Deryn, but at the same tim stayed the same. And that's how I could see they really cared about each other. I have to admit though, what amused me the most were the perspicacious loris; they just cracked me up every time they spoke. Too bad they don't really exist.

Goliath was a fantastic conclusion to an even more amazing trilogy. It was a truly incredible journey from start to finish. I know I will definitely miss these characters and this world. 

Q & A With Author Scott Westerfeld

You say in the afterword of all three books in the Leviathan trilogy that some elements of the story are true and others are fiction. How did you choose what to keep true to history and what to change or make up?

I keep the interesting bits and throw the boring ones away. The fact that the assassination of one aristocrat ignited the war is so tragic and strange, and the fact that Franz Ferdinand had a son (who might feel responsible for the entire war, given that his own family tragedy started it) was fascinating. So that was a keeper. The fact that armored vehicles didn't exist in 1914 was rather boring, so I ignored it and gave Alek an awesome walking tank.

Steampunk stories more often take place in Victorian Era Britain. Why did you choose to retell the events of the beginning of the First World War instead?

The Great War is a very strange era for technology. Many of the familiar components of modern warfare, like planes and tanks, appear in World War I, but the forms they took look quite odd to us now. (There are planes with three wings, for example, and the tanks looked like boilers on tractor treads.) So in a way, the fantastical machines of steampunk weren't too far away from the realities of that time, so this era makes steampunk more real, in a way. I also wanted to take the fanciful elements of alternate technologies and place them in a very serious context, a war that became the symbol of all that is wrong with war.

The way Goliath ends sort of leaves a door open and a possibility for more stories about Deryn and Alek. Do you think you will ever go back to their stories?

There will be a guide to the world called The Manual of Aeronautics, a full-color large-format collection of art from behind the scenes. Keith, my illustrator, created deck plans for the Leviathan, cutaways of the vehicles, and color rendering of all the uniforms and beasties. As for going back to Alek and Deryn as characters, I'm not sure. If I do, it will probably be in another medium, like manga or film.

Thank you to Scott Westerfeld for answering these questions and be sure to grab your own copy of Goliath, in stores today!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week I'm going to be showing two weeks' worth of books. These past weeks have be quite good for me book wise, though I didn't receive any books for review. But I still bought a fair amount. So here's what I got these past two weeks.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater (Flux October 1st, 2009) - I’m not going to say the same thing twice but I’m really existed to read this series and see how it compares with Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (Flux October 1st, 2008) - I absolutely love Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series so I decided to pick up her other series. I’ve heard some people say that they liked this series better than the Shiver series. I’ll have to see for myself.

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon (Hyperion September 21st, 2010) - I’ve been seeing this one at the bookstore for quite come time but never picked up. I recently heard someone talking this book up and it sounded really interesting so I decided to give it a shot.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic July 12th, 2011) - There is obviously a lot of Maggie Stiefvater in this In My Mailbox. This is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together and what happens to some of my favorite characters.

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (Walker August 16th, 2011) - I was so excited when this book arrived in my mailbox. I have been waiting for it since last year and I can’t wait to read it. Luis always seemed like the good brother so it will be interesting to see what’s going to happen to him and go back to see what happened to the other two Fuentes brothers.

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt (Simon & Schuster July 12th, 2011) - I’ve never really read anything by Lauren Barnholdt but every time I go to the bookstore I see her books and am tempted to pick one of them up. I finally gave in and got one so we’ll see what happens. Plus, I don’t read anywhere near enough contemporary.

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster April 26th, 2011) - Another final book in a series. This is a contemporary series that I really enjoy and I can’t wait to see what is happening with the characters. The biggest mystery has to be who will Belly end up with, Conrad or Jeremiah?

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (Poppy September 5th, 2011) - Kody Keplinger is a genius. I loved her first book when I read it last year, and if anything Shut Out was even better. I’ve already read it and it was so good I did so in the span of a few hours. You can definitely expect to see a review of this one soon.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (Aladdin August 30th, 2011) - I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade books, but every time I do I always enjoy them. I decided to pick this one up because I’ve heard a lot of great things about the book and its author so we’ll have to see. Plus it’s dystopian, how can it really go wrong?

So that's all for me this week. My classes are starting up again on Monday so I expect to be quite busy. But I'll always find the time to read. 

What did you get in your mailbox?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Title: Hereafter (Hereafter #1)
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
The only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead, trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. But everything changes when she finds Joshua drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

But as Amelia and Joshua struggle to keep their secret bond hidden from the living, a frightening spirit is doing everything in his power to drag Amelia back into the ghost world...forever.

I'll admit, what originally drew me in to Hereafter was the absolutely gorgeous cover. Of course the ideo of a ghost story also sounded really interesting, but it was truly the cover that got me to read the book. As it turned out, there was a lot more to this book than just a pretty cover.

There isn't much that Amelia remembers about herself. She knows her name and she knows that she's eighteen years old. And she knows that she died drowning in a river after having thrown herself off of a bridge. What she doesn't know is how long she's been a ghost or why she threw herself off the bridge. If that's even what happened. When one day a car falls in her rive, Amelia does everything she can to save the boy in the car, Joshua, from the same fate she suffered. And then everything changed. Even though he is very much alive, Joshua can see Amelia. Not only that, but he can even talk to her and touch her. With Joshua's help, Amelia may finally be able to discover who she is and exactly what happened on the night that she died. But as the two work together to uncover the mysteries of Amelia's past, more than just secrets may come to light.

I absolutely love ghost stories and it was no different with this one. The story was mesmerizing and pulled me in right from the first page. I just had this need to know more about the characters, especially when it came to finding out exactly what happened to Amelia on the night that she died. And the way Tara Hudson writes just made me want to keep reading until there was nothing left to read. Her words just flowed on the page and were absolutely wonderful. I loved her way of telling the story and especially the voice she gave Amelia as the narrator. With Hereafter, the writing was definitely a large part of why I enjoyed the story as much as I did.

Amelia was great as a narrator but I sometimes had trouble with her as a character. At times she came off as a bit whiny, but eventually I came around to her. I guess if I had been all alone with no one able to see me for an indefinite period of time I would do a fair amount of complaining myself. What I did like about her was all the mystery surrounding where she came from. As for Joshua, I didn't really like how easily he accepted that Amelia was a ghost, but other than that I liked him. What I especially liked about him was that he was ready to stand up for Amelia when the time came to do so, even if he wasn't sure how everything going on as possible. As for the relationship between Amelia and Joshua, I really liked it. The way it was done didn't feel like overkill, it was just right.

Overall, Hereafter was a very enjoyable read, one I would recommend to those who enjoy a good story with a ghost. I now look forward to reading whatever comes next from Tara Hudson.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Forgive My Fins (Fins #1)
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 19, 2010
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it's not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you're a normal teenage girl, but when you're half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there's no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily's mermaid identity is a secret that can't get out, since she's not just any mermaid--she's a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn't fell quite at home in Thalassinia, and she's been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems--like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbour, Quince Fletcher--but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren't really the casual dating type--the instant they "bond", it's for life.

When Lily's attempt to win Brody's love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Why I waited so long to read Forgive My Fins is a complete mystery to me. It was such a fun, light read and I enjoyed every page of it. I knew a mermaid story would be fun, I just had no idea it would be this fun.

Of course everyone in high school has secrets, but Lily's secret is bigger than most. The thing about her is that she's half human and half mermaid. That only makes high school that much more complicated for Lily, because she has a lot more on her plate than just being a mermaid. Her crush, Brody, doesn't really seem to return her affections she is determined to take him to her father's kindgom, Thalassinia, and make him her mermate for life. But not everything goes quite as planned. And the reason for that is Quince Fletcher, Lily's annoying next door neighbour, who just seems to butt in everywhere he's not needed. And now he has screwed up all of Lily's plans. What starts out as a simple case of mistaken identity ends ups completely changing the outlook of Lily's love life and causing a lot more drama than she ever thought possible.

This book was nothing if not absolutely adorable. And how could that not be when it's about a half human, half mermaid girl going to a regular high school. All this to say, I just loved this story and everything that came along with it. The story was nothing extraordinary or deep, but it was the perfect light summer read. One of my favorite aspects of the book was how real all of the settings felt, whether it was on land or in the water. It was amazing how easily I could picture Thalassinia and the whole world under the sea Tera Lynn Childs created. Though my absolute favorite part was all the sea related vocabulary Lily used in her expressions. It just made me laugh every time.

Lily was so much fun. I loved her right from the start though at times she really frustrated. Especially when it came to Brody. She just seemed completely blind to the fact that he in no way returned her affections. But still, her crazy plans to win him over amused me to no end. That and her fish related expressions had me constantly giggling. Quince was also pretty awesome. To me, it was quite obvious right from the start that he had a thing for Lily and that whole situation kept me amused. But at the time time, I felt really bad for him because Lily was so oblivious to it all. Let's just say I was totally rooting for him the whole way through.

Forgive My Fins was a fantastic read and I enjoyed every page of it. I can't wait for more of Lily's mermaid adventures when I read the sequel, Fins Are Forever.

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