Monday, April 30, 2012

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe Blog Tour

Today, as part of the blog tour for Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe I have the pleasure of having author Shelley Coriell here on the blog to do some word associations. So here is what she had to say.

What is the first thing that comes to mind for each word/phrase...

Book: Venice. I'm working on my BIG book, a contemp YA set partially in Renaissance Venice. My desk is piled with Italian travel guides and history books.

Travel: Venice. Can you see a trend here? I love this Northern Italian city's sun drenched canals, crumbling old buildings, and elegance. Not to mention a history bursting with centuries of passion and intrigue.

Childhood: Animals. I spent my summers at zoo camps and wanted to be a vet until my senior year of high school. That's when our family vet invited me to scrub in for out family dog's surgery. At the first sight of blood, I fainted and decided to become a writer.

Winter: Snow skiing. My husband is a HUGE ski nut. Me? I like hot chocolate and cute ear muffs.

Computer: Pink hippopotamus. A tiny one made out of Model Magic sits on my computer.

Writing: Venice. Sorry. I've been working on this thing for two years.

"First thing in the morning...": I make a steamy cup of green tea and hug my dog. No, that's wrong. I hug my dog then make tea. My dog, a rescue weim, is very needy.

Twitter: We're at the casual dating/flirting stage.

Television: Downton Abbey.

Sunshine: Home. I live in central Arizona, home to 300+ days of sunshine a year.

"At night...": Before I drift off to sleep, I give thanks for five things. Tonight I will thanks for: the color green, my friend Susan, book bloggers, firefighters, and strawberries.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Emilie. May your world be filled with good books and great people. 

Thank you to Sherry Coriell for stopping by doing these word associations. To learn more about Chloe's high school radio and win a $50 electronic/radio store gift certificate or one of ten CHLOE swag packs, got to Shelley Coriell's website, Good luck to all! 

And be sure to also follow the rest of the blog tour through The Teen Book Scene.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nothing Special Blog Tour - Interview with Geoff Herbach

As part of the blog tour for Nothing Special, I have had the opportunity to ask author Geoff Herbach some questions about writing and his books. Here is what he had to say.

Why did you choose to write young adult books as opposed to other genres?
It really happened because my son sort of quit reading and I was freaked out. I didn't really know I was writing "YA"--I wasn't sure exactly what YA was. I'd done a lot of writing before for other audiences, but his one was aimed squarely at his concerns. I want the boy children to read! So, I started writing stuff for them.

Has your own background influenced your writing in any way?
Yeah, for sure. I am from a small town and I played sports as a kid. At the same time, I was a serious, natural dork. Jumpy as they come. There's a lot of me in the Felton character. I am not nearly as good at sports as he is, though.

Where does your inspiration come from? Even though they are in the same series, did it come from different places for Stupid Fast and Nothing Special?
Stupid Fast came in a flash. I sort of knew the story all at once and it flowed. I wanted Nothing Special to be a more thoughtful book. Once Felton gets going, it's hard to slow him down, so I really had to think through his changing perceptions more. Still, the initial idea, and the one I'm working on the third book, sort of flashed at the very beginning. I just really want people to be kind and forgiving and Felton has a lot to forgive. So, that initial inspiration is still at work.

Did you always want to be a writer or was there something specific that made you want to write?
Always. I wrote like crazy as soon as I could write. I wrote my high school career paper on "How to become a playwright." That's not easy. I tried to be other things after college, but writing is where I am. So, yup. Writer.

How would you describe your books to encourage people to read them?
They're funny ad sad and if you're into the voice (not everybody is--that's got to be okay), they'll make you all jumpy and happy.

Thank you to Geoff Herbach for answering my questions. Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour for Nothing Special through The Teen Book Scene.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (1)

In light of recent events, which I am not going to touch on, I am trying out new posts to showcase all the book that I receive each week. This week I'm trying out Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a post were we showcase the books we add to our shelves each week and a way for bloggers to discover new books. So here goes.

Just when I thought I was finally getting my pile of books to review under control, my mailbox kind of explodes. The week started out slow, with me buying a couple of books I have been waiting to come out and then the second half of the week got kind of crazy. At any rate, I'm really excited about all the books I received, so here's what I got this week.


- The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda - I've heard really great things about this one and it definitely sounds interesting. I've also heard that it can be quite scary so maybe I won't read it before bed when I read it.

- While He Was Away by Karen Schreck - Since I first heard about this one I have been wanting to read While He Was Away. I'm really happy to have a copy and you can be sure I'll be reading it soon.

- The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova - This is a mermaid book that sounds delightfully creepy, at least fromt the description. It should be interesting to read a mermaid story that sounds a little darker.

- The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond - This book is a contemporary that sounds like the perfect summer read, with just the right balance of light and serious. I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.

- Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter - I'll admit that I haven't yet read The Goddess Test but since I've heard great things I'll be picking that one and Goddess Interrupted quite soon.

- Surrender by Elana Johnson - I haven't read the first book in this series but I definitely will now that I have the second one for review. Hopefully it's as good as I have heard it is.

- Never Enough by Denise Jaden - I loved Denise Jaden's first book, Losing Faith, so I'm really looking forward to this one. I'm hoping it will be as good as her first book.

- The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent - I have heard nothing about this book but the summary makes it sound really interesting. It sounds like an interesting steampunk read and I'm looking forward to reading it.

- Envy by Elizabeth Miles - I had some issues with the first book in this series when I read it last year, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how the author continues so I'm looking forward to reading it.

- Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian - I've seen this one pop up here and there but since it doesn't release until September, I haven't head much. It sounds like a really interesting story coming from two really great authors.

Thank you to Raincoast Books, HarlequinTeen and Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me all these amazing books to review!


- Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris - I have been waiting for so long for this book to come out. I'm so happy to finally have a copy and be able to see just how amazing it is for myself. Hopefully I'll be reading it soon.

- Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - This is another one I've been waiting on for quite some time. And I have heard that it is a fantastic read so I'm really looking forward to picking it up.

So that's all for me this week. My TBR pile has definitely grown A LOT but I'm looking forward to all these wonderful books. If you haven't already, you can still enter my giveaway for an ARC of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. And as usual, leave me a comment and I'll try to come stop by your blog too!

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Spring/Summer Reading (4)

As the school year is drawing to a close (at least the Canadian university one), I have had some of my friends asking me for book recommendations for the spring/summer. As a result I thought I would offer up some recommendations here on the blog as well. Originally I was only going to have one post, but while compiling the list, I realized I have a lot more recommendations. So for the next 4 weeks, I will be having a recommendation post featuring a different genre of YA. This week I'll be recommending books that don't really fit in other genres or I don't have enough of the same genre to warrant a post.

(Links go to the Goodreads page of the first book in the series)

- Cinder by Marissa Meyer - This book is a retelling of Cinderella in a futuristic world where humans, cyborgs and androids all live together. It’s as awesome as it sounds. If you enjoy dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels, Cinder is definitely one to consider. It’s also the first in a series of fairy tale retellings all taking place in this same futuristic world. 

- Witchlanders by Lena Coakley - I’m not usually a big high fantasy reader but I found myself absolutely loving Lena Coakley’s book. The story was really great and the world she created felt incredibly real while I was reading. Even if you’re not usually a big fan of high fantasy, I strongly recommend giving this book a try.

- Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld - This trilogy by Scott Westerfeld basically retells the events of the beginning of World War One from the perspective of the fictional son of the assassinated Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and the perspective of Deryn, a British girl passing for boy in the British Air Force. And all this is done in steampunk. If you are a history buff, I strongly recommend these books because they will make you believe everything Scott Westerfeld says and take you on a crazy ride. 

- Rot & Ruin/Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry - I’m not usually a bid zombie fan, but these two books by Jonathan Maberry made me completely change my mind. These books take place after the zombie apocalypse and follow the story of two brothers who lost their parents the night everything changed. Despite the fact that these are zombie books, they are not as gruesome as the covers or subject matter would suggests. If you’re able to look beyond the covers, I definitely recommend picking these books up.

- Virals series by Kathy Reichs - This series is written by the same author as the books on which the TV show Bones is based on. The first one, Virals, was extremely fast-paced. If you are tired of stories that are driven by romance, I recommend this series since, at least in the first book, romance wasn’t even an issue and it was refreshing. The second book, Seizure, came out last fall and I look forward to reading it now that I have more times.

These are all the books I have to recommend if you are looking to do some summer reading. Be sure to also check out my posts recommending paranormal, dystopian and contemporary reads for more recommendations. 

Happy summer reading!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Right & The Real by Joëlle Anthony

Title: The Right & The Real
Author: Joëlle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: April 26, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, but she was too caught up in Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh, the most popular boy at school, was the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But when she began dating Josh, getting her dad involved in a cult and herself kicked out of the house was not part of the plan.

Homeless and scared, Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, especially when her dad gets himself in serious trouble. Will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgiven?

Until I read The Right & The Real I hadn't really heard of Joëlle Anthony and her books so I really didn't know what to expect. The premise sounded interesting so I decided I would give the book a chance and read it. The next thing I knew, it was 2 AM and I was still awake and reading The Right & The Real.

Even though she knew from the start that something was off about the church of the Right & the Real, Jamie still went along with it because it meant that she could be with Josh. And Josh was the first boy who wasn't a drama geek to pay attention to Jamie. What Jamie didn't expect was for her dad to become so involved in the church and to kick her out because she wouldn't join him. Now Jamie is alone, without a home and scared to tell anyone about what it going on. But Jamie realizes she may be stronger than she originally thought and she has to do something to help her dad get out of the cult. With the help of some unlikely allies, Jamie has to find a way to rescue her dad. But even once she does that, it might be a lot harder to forgive him.

I didn't know what to expect before I read The Right & The Real, but I definitely did not expect to like the book as much as I did. While I often read books in one sitting, it's not that often that I stay up into the early hours of the morning to finish a book because I simply can't put it down. The story was very different from everything I had been reading at the time, and kept me captivated from start to finish. The Right & The Real also deals with a subject that isn't really seen in YA novels, so it was really interesting to read. Joëlle Anthony really brought to life some of the more disturbing aspects of cults and how they can really take over people's lives. But I liked how she also showed that often people don't even realize what is happening.

I really liked Jamie and I really felt her pain throughout the book. What made me really like Jamie was how strong she was, but didn't even know it. And more than anything I liked that she didn't try to make people feel sorry for her. Thought I did get annoyed with how long it took her to realize that she deserved better than Josh. Because in my opinion Josh was a jerk, he didn't mean to be but he still was. Trent on the other hand I liked a lot more and I could tell that he was a genuinely good guy. Though the character that surprised me the most was LaVon. He was so not what I expected him to be, but that turned out to be for the best.

I'm very happy to have given The Right & The Real by Joëlle Anthony a chance because it turned out to be the kind of book I will be recommending to people for a long time. It's different from a lot of other YA novels out there and that turned out to be a very good thing.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daemon Invasion - Join My Street Team!

Over the last couple of weeks, you've heard us talking about the upcoming #daemoninvasion and we're so excited to finally share with you what is going on.

Really excited.

The beautiful and uber cool models, Pepe Toth and Sztella Tziotziosz, who grace the Lux covers, will be joining us in the United States! You heard right. They are flying here, from Hungary to spend a few days as Daemon and Katy! While they are here, they will be working with Vania, from VLC Productions (the team behind Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments, Melissa de la Cruz, Kimberly Derting, Moira Young, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Hilary Duff, Lauren DeStefano, and many, many more authors' book trailers), to film book trailers for the Lux Series.

During the filming in Atlanta, they will be accompanying us on tour! What does that mean? You get to meet them. In the flesh. They will be participating in the signings and events. At those signings, we'll be giving away signed posters, photos and other swag. There will also be meet and greet events you can join in on.

At each signing, there will be advanced copies of Onyx given away.

And to top things off (as if this isn't enough, but we don't do anything small), there's something very, very exciting in the works! It involves advanced copies of Opal, water, and a little destination known as the Bahamas.

I am not kidding.

This will be epic.

Are you excited? I am! This tour is going to be so, so much fun, and I'm so thrilled that Pepe and Sztella are a part of it. We owe them a huge thank you and a giant welcome making the 16 hour flight to meet the readers of the Lux Series. you!

Daemon Invasion Signing and Event Schedule

June 8th
FoxTale Book Shoppe
Woodstock, GA
3:00 PM

June 10th
Barnes and Noble
St Johns Town Center
Jacksonville, FL
3:00 PM

June 13th
Barnes and Noble
Waterford Lakes Town Center
Orlando, FL
3:00 PM

June 14th
Barnes and Noble
The Palladium at City Place
West Palm Beach, FL
4:00 PM

There are several #daemoninvasion street teamers out there and if you want to join a team to win exclusive prizes, search down the #daemoninvasion hashtag to join one of the teams!

Don't forget to visit Jennifer L. Armentrout's blog to win a signed set of Half-Blood and Pure in celebration of her adult romance release, Tempting the Best Man, under pen name J. Lynn. It can also be purchased here.

Now if this sounds like something you would like to be a part of and want to spread the love for the Lux Series while having a chance to win some awesome prizes, it's something you can do. If you want to join my street team just send me an e-mail or find me on Twitter to let me know. But hurry up, there are only 10 spots available.

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While He Was Away Blog Tour: This or That with Penna

As part of the blog tour for Karen Schreck's While He Was Away, I have the pleasure today of hosting Penna, the main character in the story. She was nice enough to answer some This or That questions for me and here is what she had to say.

Coffee or Tea?
Strong coffee, perfectly doctored. Most definitely.

Summer or Winter?
Winter. And fall. And spring. Because come summer, he's away.

Morning or Night?
Night. Mornings are for sleeping in afterwards.

Chocolate or Candy?
Ice cream. Shared right out of the carton.

Sweet or Salty?
The perfect combination of both. There's nothing like pretzels dipped in that ice cream.

Phone call or Text?
Not a big fan of so-called modern technology these days. At least, not for long-distance relationships. But when there's not static or lost connections, I'd take a phone call over a text. I mean. His voice. Come on.

Movies or TV?
Movies on TV. The chairs in the closest theater are smelly and sticky. Springs poke thought the torn seat cushions. I tore my favorite jeans one night, plopping down with a tub of rancid popcorn to watch some forgettable flick. Give me the comforts of my couch and my reliable, microwave, low-fat Orville-Redenbackers  any day.

E-mail or Snail Mail?
E-fail. That's what I call it (see Phone Call or Text). I am all about the handwriting. The doodles and drawings. The smell of his skin on the page.

Love or Friendship?
Like sweet and salty, the perfect balance of both is the way to go.

Thank you to Penna for answering these questions. Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour through The Teen Book Scene's website!

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Waiting on Wednesday (45)

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


When Charlotte comes to after being pushed onto the subway tracks, she is informed by a group of teenage girls that she is dead…they all are. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency. With the support of these dynamic girls--including fashionable Lorna, who can't wait to find out if the devil actually wears Prada, and nerdy Nancy, who insists on staying in limbo to help out other girls--Charlotte follows leads and tracks down clues to solve her own murder. With plenty of juicy mysteries and some pretty cute guys, readers are sure to fall in love with this fun and suspenseful page-turner!

Fans of Meg Cabot, Sara Shepard, and Ally Carter will delight in this exciting new paperback original.

This sounds like such a fun read. I love books that have mysteries and this book sounds like such an interesting take on the whole thing. I can't wait to find out more about this book and see if it's as good as the summary makes it sound.

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox will be published September 8, 2012 by HarperTeen.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially no around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

I love vampires, dystopians and Julie Kagawa so you can imagine how excited I was to have all that thrown together into one book. Let me just say that The Immortal Rules was absolutely fantastic. There was nothing not to love about this book, and I already wish I had more to read.

All her life Allison has hated vampires. Vampires are the reason her mother is dead and the reason Allison has been living in the Fringe and doing everything she can to stay alive. And she's barely doing so. But then she gets attacked by rabid vampires and is given the option either to die or stay alive as a vampire. And Allie, not wanting to die,  chooses to become everything she hates in order to stay alive. With the help of her new mentor, Allie learns what it means to live as a vampire. But soon enough, Allison is forced to run away from everything she knows and finds herself joining with a group of humans searching for a legend. And Allie will soon have to test just how human she is and how much of a monster she is.

I can't even begin to express how much I loved this book. The entire premise made me a little doubtful at first but Julie Kagawa definitely pulled it off. She presented a world that was dominated by vampires where humans lived in fear and that felt completely real. Everything Julie Kagwa described I could easily picture. The other thing I loved about The Immortal Rules is that despite the length, it never felt like the story was lagging. There was always something happening and the story really captivated me from start to finish. And let me just say that during the last 150 pages or so my heart just kept breaking over and over again. By the time I finished the book, I just wanted more.

A lot of the book focused on the idea of humanity and what it means to be human. That whole debate made Allison's character very interesting. At the beginning of the book Allie was a human teenage girl who lived a hard life, struggling to survive. Then she became a vampire and worried about becoming a monster. But then as the story progressed, it was almost as if being a vampire made Allie more human than she ever was as a human. It was like worrying about becoming a monster made her start to care more about the people around her than she ever did before. And I loved seeing that whole transformation happen in Allison, especially around Zeke, but I don't want to say too much. Just know that you will inevitably be rooting for Zeke and Allison.

The Immortal Rules was a fantastic read. Julie Kagawa wrote the start to what promises to be an amazing new series and I absolutely cannot wait to find out what will happen next.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Source: From Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
It was a beautiful day.
It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.

Jazz is a likeable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again. In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I am a huge fan of the TV show Criminal Minds so when I first heard about I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga I just knew I had to read it. It was everything I expected it to be and more. And it was definitely as creepy as disturbing as it promised to be.

Jasper "Jazz" Dent looks like a normal teenager, but that's only on the surface. Because as everyone in the small town of Lobo's knows, Jazz is the son of the world's most notorious serial killer. After his traumatic childhood and his father's arrest, Jazz has tried to move on and live a normal life, all the while trying to prove to himself that he's not like his father. But then a body shows up in a field and everything seems to be pointing towards a serial killer, especially when more bodies start showing up all over Lobo's Nod. in an effort to prove to everyone, and himself, that he's not the one committing the murders, Jazz joins forces with the police department. But in spite of all this, Jazz may still be more like his father than he would like to think.

I Hunt Killers was a really great read. Like I said, I have a minor obsession with Criminal Minds so this book was right up my alley. Let me begin by saying that this book was nothing if not creepy and disturbing. The story messed with my mind so much, and I think having it told in the third person only made it that much more creepy. But despite the fact that I've described the book as creepy and disturbing, as well as the subject matter the book dealt with, it wasn't gruesome. You get descriptions of the crime scenes and dead bodies, but it's all done very tastefully, which made me appreciate the book that much more.

Jazz is unlike any other YA character I have encountered. He definitely wasn't your traditional hero. He was pretty much as far from that as possible. Jazz doubted himself every step of the way, constantly worrying about turning out like his serial killer father. And that made him feel more real to me. Anyone who had a childhood like Jazz did would worry about something like that. How could they not? And realizing he wasn't like his father wasn't made any easier by the fact that Jazz keeps hearing his father's voice in his head. Jazz was a very interesting character, and sometimes I wish I could have seen more of what he was thinking.

In I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga wrote a deliciously creepy story that kept me on the edge of my seat, questioning everything that was happening. One friendly tip, don't read this late at night or before bed because it may not be really conducive to sleep.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring/Summer Reading (3)

As the school year is drawing to a close (at least the Canadian university one), I have had some of my friends asking me for book recommendations for the spring/summer. As a result I thought I would offer up some recommendations here on the blog as well. Originally I was only going to have one post, but while compiling the list, I realized I have a lot more recommendations. So for the next 4 weeks, I will be having a recommendation post featuring a different genre of YA. Up this week is contemporary books.

(Links go to Goodreads page of the first book in the series/author's page)

Before I get to the actual books, I will say that one nice thing about contemporary books is that they are often standalones, so you can just pick one up and enjoy the story without having to read more than one book.

- Anna and the French Kiss/Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - The two books are the most adorable things ever written. While there is a certain amount of cheesiness involved in both these stories, it’s just the right amount. You’ll pick these books up and find yourself getting completely engrossed in them. And when you finish you’ll want to do nothing but just smile and hug the books to yourself. 

- Perfect Chemistry trilogy by Simone Elkeles - These books will introduce you to the Fuentes brothers and you will then want the Fuentes brothers to be real people. These books have everything I ask for in a YA contemporary book. Though they have some parts that may not be appropriate for younger readers of YA, they are still really good books that I highly recommend.

- Anything by Sarah Dessen - Sarah Dessen is a fantastic writer and all her books are standalone contemporaries. Every story is different and I have loved every single one of them. Though I admit I still have to read her most recent one, which is something I’m looking forward to doing this summer. And if you’re looking at where to start, I recommend The Truth About Forever, it’s my favorite one.

- Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally - This story is absolutely adorable. It’s about football, but don’t let that discourage you. I could care less about football and I still absolutely loved this book. It was different from other contemporaries that I had read and that made it perfect. Be prepared to not be able to put this book down once you start reading.

- Shut Out by Kody Keplinger - Kody Keplinger writes fantastic books and I could have easily also included The DUFF on this list. Her books are captivating and are a little edgier than a lot of other contemporary books out there, but they can also be quite humorous, especially Shut Out. Also be on the lookout for her upcoming book A Midsummer’s Nightmare coming out in June.

- The Mockingbirds/The Rivals by Daisy Whitney - I absolutely loved these books that deal with very tough issues that need to be talked about more. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Daisy Whitney’s writing is totally addicting. If you’re looking for something a little different, I definitely recommend picking these two books up.

Others worth mentioning:
- Summer trilogy by Jenny Han
- Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
- Purity by Jackson Pearce

Come back next week for some more recommendations, and if you're looking forward paranormal or dystopian recommendations be sure to check out my other posts.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

In My Mailbox (38)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book blogger share the books they received for review, purchased, won, were gifted or borrowed each week.

So this week was a little slower and I have absolutely no problem with that. On top of that I finally have a chance to get decent handle on my TBR pile since I just wrote my last exam and I am free from school until next fall. Even if I only got three books, this week they're all books I'm really looking forward to. So without further ado, here's what I got this week!


- Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer - This is the part where I admit that despite owning a couple of her books, I have yet to read anything written by Jodi Picoult. But I've been really looking forward to Between the Lines so I'm hoping that with this one I will finally discover Jodi Picoult. This is definitely one I will be picking up soon, especially now that I have plenty of free time on my hands.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me this to review!


- Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale - I can't remember exactly when or where I first heard about Someone Else's Life but I do remember that I've been wanting to read ever since. Since then I've also heard nothing but great things about this book so I'm really excited to have a copy for myself. I'm definitely looking forward to picking this one up soon.

Thank you to Evie from Bookish and Random House Canada for this giveaway!


- Where She Went by Gayle Forman - I've been waiting forever for Where She Went to come out in paperback since that's how I own the first book. All that to say that when it finally came out in bookstores this week, I rushed over and grabbed myself a copy. Hopefully I'll be reading it soon since I keep hearing it's an absolutely fantastic read.

That's all I got this week. If you missed it earlier this week, be sure to check out my giveaway for my extra ARC of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. And as usual, leave me a comment and I'll come see what you got in your mailbox!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Title: Purity
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives--in other words, no "bad behaviour", no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision--to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby stars to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Despite the fact that I own all of her books, Purity was the first book by Jackson Pearce that I read. And of course I realized I was seriously missing out. I loved Purity. It was exactly the kind of book I needed when I read it, and it ended up being a lot more than I thought it would be.

Shelby has always tried to live by the promises she made to her mom before she died. That means Shelby lives by three rules: she listens to her father, she loves as much as possible and she lives without restraint. And until now, Shelby hasn't had any trouble keeping those promises. But then her dad wants her to participate in the Princess Ball, an annual even where daughters vow to their fathers to lead pure lives. Shelby finds herself torn because the Princess Ball would mean breaking the third promise. But not participating would also mean breaking the first promise. As she looks for a solution, Shelby realizes she may have had the promises wrong all along.

Purity was exactly what I needed when I read it and that's probably why I loved it as much as I did. Jackson Pearce wrote an incredibly touching story in this book, one that had more depth to it than I originally expected. When I first read the summary, I expected a fun and light contemporary read, which it was, but it was also a whole lot more. It was the story of a girl trying to make sense of her life and the world around her. Sure she may have taken a few wrong turns along the way, but eventually she made it. And despite what you might be led to think, religion wasn't that big in the book. It was a lot more about love and respect, both or yourself and others.

I really liked the characters in Purity, especially Shelby. She wasn't perfect by a long shot and that's what was so great about her. And it wasn't like there were some aspects of her personality that didn't annoy me. But at the end of the day, I liked the person Shelby became by the end of the book and I loved seeing the journey that led her to becoming that person. The other characters in the book were also interesting and I loved seeing the relationship they each had with Shelby. The friendship between Shelby, Jonas and Ruby wasn't perfect and that made it seem more real. And I loved seeing the relationship between Shelby and her dad become what it did.

Purity was an absolutely fantastic read. I love the story Jackson Pearce wrote in this book. There's so much more to it than meets the eye and that's what was so great about it.

For more information about the book, be sure to check out the HBG website.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (44)

For those of you who 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.


Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day.

As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

I can't remember exactly how I first heard about this book, but once I heard about it I just knew I had to read it. It sounds like a really interesting story and I can't wait to find out more about her. Plus that cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I'll admit that may have been what originally caught my attention.

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth will be published October 2nd, 2012 by Balzer + Bray.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Chaos Blog Tour: Q&A with Nalo Hopkinson

Today I am lucky enough to be participating in Simon & Schuster Canada's blog tour for The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson. I had the pleasure of asking author Nalo Hopkinson a few questions and here is what she had to say.

The Chaos is your first young adult novel. What made you decide to venture into the world of young adult fiction?

The idea just came to me with a young adult protagonist, so I went with it. Besides, I'd realised a few years ago that some of the more interesting titles I was seeing on the bookshelves were young adult titles. My first two novels (Brown Girl in the Ring and Midnight Robber) were written for an adult audience, but both of them also ended up on the New York Public Library's annual bibliography "Book for the Teen Age." That made me happy, so now I'm really pleased to have added a specifically young adult novel to my bibliography.

You are originally from the Caribbean and Scotch, the main character in The Chaos, has a similar story. How has that background influenced your writing?

I was born in Jamaica and spent most of the first 16 years of my life in the Caribbean, whereas Scotch was born in Toronto, Canada. One of her parents is black American, and one is white Jamaican. So she has some connection to both the U.S. and to Canada, but it's an indirect one. She wishes the connections were more direct, especially the Jamaican one. She thinks she'd feel more "authentic" if she could speak with a Jamaican accent (which I, by the way, cannot). But of course, she is entirely authentic just the way she is; a biracial Afro-Am Jamaican Canadian. It's just a different authenticity.

Not everyone would come up with the idea of having a volcano come out of Lake Ontario, sending Toronto in a total panic. Where did the inspiration for The Chaos come from?

There are indications that there's a fault line running through the bottom of Lake Ontario. As far as we know, it's rare for an earthquake to trigger a volcano, but people often link the two ideas in their minds. I certainly did. That got me thinking about earthquakes and volcanoes. I thought the idea of a volcano springing up instantly was completely impossible, but then I read the story of Parícutin, the Mexican village where a farmer watched a crack appear in one of his cornfields in 1943. It started spewing ash and lava that day. By the following week, it was over 500 feet high. Within ten weeks, it was over 1,000 feet high. Within a year, it had engulfed the whole village and was over 1,300 feet high. For comparison, the CN Tower in Toronto is about 1,800 feet high. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction! After that, a magical instant volcano didn't seem like such a stretch at all.

Are any of the characters in The Chaos, or any of of your other books, based on or inspired by people you know?

No, almost never, unless I'm fictionalising people who actually existed, and then I'll usually name them. Even when I do that, I will often invent events in their lives so that they work with the story I'm telling. Fiction is actually pretty orderly; a writer shapes the events, the characters and the images so that they will reflect each other and hold a shape as a story. It's kind of like making a pot out of clay. You have to form the clay into a specific shape, or else all you've have is a hardened lump of clay. Real life and real people are unpredictable. They're no fun to try to use in fiction. Karen Joy Fowler, a writer and a former writing teacher of mine, once said, "Real people don't act at all in a plotworthy manner." If I wanted to write about real people, I'd write non-fiction.

How would you describe The Chaos in one sentence for people who haven't heard about it?

You should know that I completely suck at doing this, but here goes; "A sixteen year-old survivor of slut-shaming at her school loses her older brother in a Toronto turned suddenly chaotic, and goes looking for him, despite being pursued herself by a creature that's literally out of her nightmares."

Thank you Nalo Hopkinson for answering my questions!

And thanks for your questions, Emilie!

Be sure to come by again later this week to see what I thought of The Chaos!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

The Golden Lily ARC Giveaway

If you have been following my In My Mailbox posts the last couple of weeks, you may know that I was lucky enough to receive two advance copies of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. Since I only need one copy, I have decided to give you all a chance to win my second copy. I've already read the book and it was absolutely fantastic. If you are a fan of Richelle Mead, you are pretty much guaranteed to love this book. There was definitely a lot going on, and some characters from Vampire Academy make a comeback. But you're going to have to wait for my review closer to the release date to find out more.

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Due to limited funds, this giveaway is open to US/Canada only.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers share the books they received for review, purchased, won, traded, were gifted or borrowed each week.

This week started off with a bang for me. I was only expecting one book from a publisher but then four showed and I got all excited. Which then caused my roommates to laugh at my excitement over getting the books/grown because I have that many more books. Otherwise, I was good and only bought one book this week. So without further ado, here's what I got this week.


- The Opposite of Tidy by Carrie Mac - I haven't heard too much about this one, but it sounds like it has a lot of potential. Plus I'm always in the mood for a great contemporary. This one also released this week so I should be getting to it soon, be sure to look out for a review soon.

- Gilt by Katherine Longshore - I've heard really great things about this one so I'm really looking forward to reading it. How could a book about Henry VIII and his wives not be good. Once my exams are over, this is definitely going to be one of the first books I pick up.

- Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti - I've actually only read one book by Susane Colasanti but I really enjoyed so I'm looking forward to reading this one. It definitely sounds like another great contemporary, but one that goes a little deeper. Definitely looking forward to reading it.

- The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead - So I got a second copy of The Golden Lily. Like I said last week, I've already read it and it was absolutely amazing. And since I now have two copies, I will most likely be giving one of them away so look out that in the coming weeks.

Thank you to Penguin Canada for all these amazing books!


- Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers (plus signed bookmarks) - I am so unbelievably excited to read this one. Lisa Desrochers' Personal Demons trilogy is easily one of my favorite series so I can't wait to be able to read this one. Once my exams are over, this is definitely one I will be picking up.

Thank you to author Lisa Desrochers for giving this one away on her blog!


- The Calling by Kelley Armstrong - I really enjoyed the first book in this series and it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm really looking forward to finding out what happens next in this one. Plus I've heard great things about this one so I'm really looking forward to reading it.

That's all for me this week. You still have a few days to enter my giveaway to win a hardcover of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, so be sure to enter if you haven't already. As usual, leave me a comment and I'll try to come by and see what you got.

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Spring/Summer Reading (2)

As the school year is drawing to a close (at least the Canadian university one), I have had some of my friends asking me for book recommendations for the spring/summer. As a result I thought I would offer up some recommendations here on the blog as well. Originally I was only going to have one post, but while compiling the list, I realized I have a lot more recommendations. So for the next 4 weeks, I will be having a recommendation post featuring a different genre of YA. Up this week is dystopian and post-apocalyptic.

(Links go to the Goodreads page of the first book in the series)

- The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins - If you haven’t heard of The Hunger Games yet you’ve kind of been living under a rock. This was just made into the movie, and I strongly suggest that you read the books before you see the movie. These are pretty intense books but you’ll also probably want to have all three books close by when you start reading because you’ll want to read them all one after the other.

- Divergent series by Veronica Roth - Divergent was a fantastic dystopian book and will keep you on the edge of your seat pretty much the whole way through. I’m really looking forward to the sequel, Insurgent which is coming out on May 1st. You can bet I will be at my bookstore that day to get myself a copy. 

- Dark Inside series by Jeyn Roberts - This book doesn’t take place after the apocalypse, it takes place while the apocalypse is happening. It’s dark and scary and hits pretty close to home. The way Jeyn Roberts writes this story you almost start fearing the your own world will just end suddenly the next day. 

- Delirium series by Lauren Oliver - Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer who writes even more amazing books. Her Delirium series will make you go through a whole range of emotions and ultimately leave you heartbroken but in the best way possible. The characters and the story will stay with you for a long time and will definitely leave you craving for more Lauren Oliver.

- The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano - This is another fantastic dystopian where women only live to be 20 and men to be 25. This leads to polygamous marriages and while that would normally make me uncomfortable, it just works in Lauren DeStefano’s books. And her writing just draws you in completely, leaving you with all these emotions when you finish reading.

- Matched trilogy by Ally Condie - While this isn’t my favorite dystopian series, it is still one that is very enjoyable to read. In this world, Society controls everything in people’s life, but some people are starting to question that control. While this isn’t a fast-paced stories, you still find yourself unable to put the book down. 

So these are my dystopian/post-apocalyptic recommendations. Be sure to check back next week for some contemporary recommendations.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers #3)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. And Kaylee is about to scream her head off…

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kinds that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends--one of whom is already hooked.

And so is someone else...
Once again, I will say that I am glad to have finally started reading Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series. It's a series I've come to really like and the third book, My Soul to Keep, only served to reinforce that fact. It was one of those books you start and finish reading all in one sitting.

Kaylee Cavanaugh has had a rough few months since finding out she's not human, but rather a banshee. What that means is whenever someone is about to die, Kaylee is the first person to know and then she starts screaming her head off. And with the way things are going at her school, Kaylee may have a lot of screaming to do in the very near future. Because some of her boyfriend Nash's teammates have gotten access to demon breath, a very dangerous and addictive substance from the Netherworld. Kaylee wants to do everything in her power to help them, but Nash seems more reluctant to help. Maybe there is more going on than meets the eye.

After having now read three of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers books, I can say witha fair amount of certainty that they are quite addicting. Had it not been for the fact that I was desperately needing sleep, I would have read My Soul to Keep all in one sitting. I loved the story in this book. To me, it had a different feel than the previous two books, and so far, I would have to say that it's my favorite. There was also a big part of the story that I saw coming and because of that I was a little disappointed, but soon enough I realized I was wrong. Sure, I figured it out pretty early on, but there was so much more to it that I hadn't seen coming. And that's what made the book so great for me.

If I didn't love Kaylee already, My Soul to Keep would have made sure I changed my mind. Kaylee was absolutely fantastic in this book and she didn't have it easy at all. So much happened to her and I am so proud of the way she handled it all. And if that wasn't enough, what she said on the last page of the book totally did me in. My opinion of the Hudson brothers definitely changed a lot in this book. Nash lost a lot of my respect. I understand where he was coming from but he took things too far and that made him lose a lot of points. Tod on the other hand gained a lot of points. He was really there for Kaylee in a way I didn't expect him to be. All that to say, I now have a major sof spot for Tod.

My Soul to Keep was most definitely not a disappointment. It was a book I sped through and loved every page of. Rachel Vincent has really hit the mark with her Soul Screamers series and I can't wait to pick up the next one.
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