Sunday, March 31, 2013

On the Topic Of...Finding a Balance

For many of us book bloggers, blogging isn't our main occupation, it's a hobby. A hobby that takes up a lot of our time, but a hobby all the same. For my part, I'm finishing up my last year of my undergraduate degree, I work two jobs and I read and review books. So if you want my opinion, it's all one big balancing act.

The whole time I've been blogging, I've been a university student. When I first started my blog, it was summer, I didn't have a job and was reading. Blogging just became a way to pass time, give me something to do with my days other than just lying around reading. Since I had nothing else on my plate at the time, I didn't realize just how much of my time blogging would be taking up once I started school again. That first year things weren't so bad since all I really did was go to school, read and blog. But then the second year, I started working while going to school. And now in this third year of blogging, I've been going to school and working two jobs. And as much as I love all those things, at times it's been hard to balance it all.

There are times when all I want to do is read and blog when really I should be focusing on my school work. At other times, once I've gotten through all my school work I want nothing more than to just sit on my couch and do nothing, but I hear my blog calling out to me because it's been neglected. I'm not going to lie, there are times when I just had to neglect my blog because I couldn't even think about forcing my brain to do more work. But through it all, I've somehow found a way to keep up with school, work and my blog. the key thing is to sort of find a balance between all the different things going on in my life. 

But through it all I have found ways to keep on top of it all…or more or less on top of it all depending on how just busy I am. For me, it came down to what my priorities were. As much as I love blogging, my main priorities are school and work. And from that point on things just kind of fell into place. Blogging is something I'll do when I have time and I learned to stop worrying whenever I went a few days without posting any new content. As for reading, there's no better time than before bed to read a few chapters to wind down after a long day. You just have to find a way to make it all work together. And as soon as something feels forced, that's when you have to take a step back and re-evaluate. That's what I did. And now I've been blogging for almost 3 years.

So what are some of the ways you've found that work to balance blogging and all your other commitments? I know what works for me, but I'd love to hear some suggestions!

 photo signature.png

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (25)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers showcase the book they received throughout the week.

Since I didn't post last week, this is two weeks' worth of books. Last week was relatively quiet, with only two new books, but this week I got a surprise package, borrowed some books from fellow bloggers and bought a few myself. So here's what I got!


- The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson - This book was on my radar even though I didn't really know all that much about it. At any rate, I'm excited to pick it up in the near future and see what it's all about.

- Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg - Though I haven't read anything by her myself, I've heard great things about Elizabeth Eulberg and her books. This one sounds like a particularly interesting read based on the synopsis.

- That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard - Right when I first heard about this book, I knew it sounded like something I would be interested in reading so I can't wait to dive into this one. Be sure to come back this week for a guest post from the author as a part of the blog tour.

- A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty - Jaclyn Moriarty is one of those authors whose books I've been reading since high school. When I heard she had a new book coming out, I was excited so I can't wait to start this one...once I have time that is.

- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that everyone has been raving about this book. I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten an early copy of it. I'm just 50 pages in and already I'm really liking it.

Thank you to Scholastic Canada and Penguin Canada for sending these books to me!


- Spellcaster by Claudia Gray - This is where I admit that despite owning many of her books, I have yet to read anything written by Claudia Gray. But I've heard plenty of good things about Spellcaster and it's about witches so I can't wait to read it.

- Tarnish by Katherine Longshore - I am a sucker for anything historical and I loved Gilt when I read it last year so I am excited to read more from Katherine Longshore. Plus Tarnish is about Anne Boleyn so I can't wait to read it.


- Requiem by Lauren Oliver - As much as I love Lauren Oliver and her writing, I had a love-hate relationship with Pandemonium when I read it last year. So I'm scared--actually make that terrified--of reading Requiem because I don't want it to disappoint me. Now i just have to work up the courage of read it.

- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - People--and by people I mean Ciara from Lost at Midnight--have been telling me to read this book and I still haven't. Since it's the book for my book club next month I figured I should probably get on that.

- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - Probably the book I have been the most terrified of ever. Not because the story is going to be scary. But because it is guaranteed to break my heart over and over again. I have been warned to have tissues close when I read it. I can't wait...but I'm absolutely terrified all the same.

These are the books I got in the last two weeks. I am definitely very excited about a lot of these and as soon as school I over I plan to dive right in. As usual, leave me a comment letting me know what you got and I'll come check it out!

 photo signature.png

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - Frigid by J. Lynn

If you've been following my blog over the last year, you'll know that I have become a big fan of anything Jennifer L. Armentrout writes. So today, I am happy to participate in the cover reveal for her upcoming New Adult book, Frigid. Just keep scrolling to get a look at the cover and the official summary.

About the book:
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playgroup and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the year, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

Sounds like something you want to read? Frigid will be available in digital formats on July 30, 2013 and in print format on November 5, 2013. In the mean time, be sure to add the book on Goodreads!

About the author:
J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a #1 New York Times  and USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories…which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and HarlequinTeen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the same J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find her on: Twitter / Facebook / Website

 photo signature.png

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive--this time in part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

If you've been following this blog for any length of time then you probably know by now that I absolutely love Richelle Mead's books. So I had been waiting for The Indigo Spell ever since I read the very last page of The Golden Lily last spring. So right when I got my hands on a copy of The Indigo Spell I couldn't help but start reading right away and I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Sydney Sage isn't sure where her allegiances lie anymore. After spending so much time int eh company of vampires, Sydney stars to think that maybe everything she's been told by the Alchemists isn't true. And after Adrian's declaration, Sydney really doesn't know what to do anymore. But she doesn't have time to think about that. Between worrying about her increased magic use an worrying about what the Alchemists might be hiding from her, Sydney barely has time to make sure Jill stays safe and hidden from those after her. But when Marcus Finch shows up in town, Sydney can't stay away, especially if it means finding out the truth about the Alchemists. But it might also mean turning her back on everything she knows and everyone she cares about. 

I had all kinds of ideas about what could happen in The Indigo Spell, especially since Richelle Mead is known for breaking her readers' hearts with the third book in her series. So I was prepared to pretty much have my heart wrenched out of my chest. And with every page I turned, I was afraid of what would happen next. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the story in the least. Right from the first page I was beyond thrilled to be back in this world I love, with the characters I have also come to love. There was so much happening in The Indigo Spell, with every page I turned something new was happening. And the romance was back in full force, leading to some majorly swoon-worthy moments. But I don't want to ruin those for anyone. As it turns out though, my heart wasn't completely ripped to pieces, but that only makes me that much more nervous for what's to come in The Fiery Heart.

I've said this before but I love Sydney Sage. I love how conflicted she is over everything because if I were in her shows I would be the same way. And I love who Sydney has become. She's changed so much since I first met her back in the Vampire Academy books and that change has mostly been for the best. And a lot of that chance has to do with Adrian. You really don't want me to get started on Adrian because as strongly as I believed Rose belonged with Dimitri, I always loved Adrian. And I absolutely love the person Adrian is becoming. he keeps on surprising me every time he does anything, especially if it's for Sydney. Let's just say if you weren't already, Adrian will make you swoon in The Indigo Spell. Marcus Finch on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment. He was so played up in the promotion for the book that I expected him to be so much more. He intrigued me for sure, but I thought he would be so much more than he ended up being. Who knows though, maybe he'll come back in future books.

Once again, Richelle Mead didn't disappoint me with The Indigo Spell. I loved the story from start to finish. And as is often the case with any book in this series, I was just begging for The Fiery Heart by the time I finished The Indigo Spell. And if you haven't picked up the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by this point, you really should. 

 photo signature.png

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers showcase the book they received throughout the week.

Things are quite busy for me at the moment, but I'm still finding the time to read. And to make things better, I have lots of new exciting books to read that showed up in the last couple of weeks. Some are books I've been anticipating for a long time, others were pleasant surprises. So without further ado, here's what I got in the last couple of weeks!


- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - Sarah Dessen is easily one of my all time favorite authors and I've loved everything of her's I've read. So you can imagine that I am beyond thrilled to have gotten an early copy of her newest book. Be sure to come back in late May/early June for my review!

- Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike - While I've never read anything by Aprilynne Pike, right when I first heard about Earthbound I knew it was something I was interested in reading. I can't wait until it gets closer to the release date so I can read this one. And be sure to come back in late July for my review!

- The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen - This book was a pleasant surprise. I remembered hearing a lot of good things about the first book in this series but never really picked it up. I have been getting more into fantasy lately so I will be reading this one for sure in the near future.

Thank you to Penguin Canada and Scholastic Canada for sending me these books for review.


- Starcrossed & Dreamless by Josephine Angelini - If you've been following my blog and my Twitter, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely love these books and any copies of them I get I am quite happy about. And of course if you haven't read this series yet, you should most definitely check it out.

Thank you to Epic Reads for these!


- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen - Since I received the sequel for review, I figured it would probably be a good idea to get myself a copy of the first book.

- Every Never After by Lesley Livingston - I absolutely loved Once Every Never when I read it a couple years ago and I was thrilled when Lesley announced it would be made into a series. I seriously can't wait to dive into this one!

That's it for me this week. Things are quite busy for me at the moment between work and the last month of my undergrad. I am still trying to post as regularly as possible but if a few days go by with nothing happening on the blog, don't be alarmed I'm probably just somewhere getting a handle on all my school work. And as usual, let me know what you got and I'll come check it out!

 photo signature.png

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmothers is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner
I absolutely adored Cinder when I read it last year and ever since then I have been impatiently waiting to be able to read the sequel, Scarlet. And despite having a copy of the book sitting on my shelf for a few months, it wasn't until recently that I finally found the time to pick it up. Let me just say that Scarlet was just as good Cinder, if not even better, and once again Marissa Meyer wrote a story I couldn't help but love.

Now that Cinder knows who she truly is, she is on the run from Queen Levana and her armies. She knows she has to get to Africa to meet Dr. Erland, but first she wants some answers. But getting answers means finding Michelle Benoit and that means teaming up with Captain Carswell Thorne because without him Cinder doesn't have much hope of getting anywhere. What she doesn't know is that Michelle has gone missing and her granddaughter Scarlet is doing everything in her power to get her back. Even if that means teaming up with Wolf, the mysterious street fighter who may have more going on than meets the eye. Soon enough, as the mysteries unravel, the duos meet each other and team up to stop Queen Levana, because they might be the only ones able to do so anymore.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Marissa Meyer has now become one of my all-time favourite authors and Scarlet is what confirmed this for me. Because Scarlet was simply amazing. From start to finish the story completely captured my attention and I was just so wrapped up in it all that I had no idea what was going on in the outside world. The story picks up right where Cinder ended, but it does so in a different part of the world with different characters who are just as interesting and compelling as the original ones. I loved just how much action there was in this story compared to Cinder. It just felt like something was constantly happening, something which might have to do with the multiple storylines at play. Right when I thought things were going to calm down, the focus would shift different characters and all of a sudden I would find myself right back in the thick of the action. 

I loved seeing the characters I had come to love in the first book. Cinder was just as fantastic a character and it was great to see her take on more confidence but at the same time I really enjoyed seeing her come to terms and deal with everything she learned about herself in the first book. Kai on the other hand I wished I would have been able to see more of. As much as I loved him in the first book, I feel like I didn't see him enough in Scarlet…and when I did he had the tendency to anger me but I can't really hold it against him considering the circumstances. But to make up for a lack of Kai I had Thorne and Wolf. And while they were no Kai, they weren't so bad. Thorne just made me laugh every single time he opened his mouth. And Wolf was quite the mysterious fellow and he definitely had his shortcomings, but he also had his moments where I couldn't help but swoon just a little. And of course there's Scarlet and there's just so much I could say about her. She was everything I hoped she would be and she took me by surprise on more than one occasion. She just wasn't afraid to run head first into whatever situation was in front of her. I can't wait to see more of her in the future. (Sidenote: I loved the fact that there was a character named Émilie in the book--it never happens that I find character with not only the same name, but who also spell it the same way.)

Marissa Meyer's Scarlet was a phenomenal read. I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough but then there was no more to read and I was begging for more. The Lunar Chronicles have quickly become some of my favorite books and Marissa Meyer one of my favorite authors. And I can't wait to see where she takes the story next in Cress.

 photo signature.png

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (75)

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. This week I have two titles I am particularly looking forward to reading.

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange
September 3, 2013
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
A riddle rarely makes sense the first time you hear it. The connection between Dane and Billy D doesn't make sense the second time you hear it. But it's a collection of riddles that solidifies their unusual friendship. Dane is a bully with two rules: don't hit girls and don't hit special kids. Billy D has Down syndrome. When Dane doesn't hit him, Billy sees a sign of friendship and reaches out for help. Billy is sure the riddles his missing father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him. Together, Billy and Dane piece them together, leading to unmarked towns and secrets of the past. But they're all dead ends. Until the final clue…and a secret Billy shouldn't have been keeping. 

As a journalist, Erin Jade Lange is inspired by hot button issues like bullying, but it is her honest characters and breakneck plotting that make Dead Ends a must read.
Right when I first heard about Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange I knew it was something I wanted to read. The story just sounds so different from what's out there in YA already and from the synopsis I gather that it deals with a lot of issues that don't necessarily get enough attention, whether in society or in books. So all that to say that I'm really excited about Dead Ends.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
September 24, 2013
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she'd like to forget completely. But when Callie's mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie's real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Dollar writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
I'll admit that I still have to read Trish Doller's Something Like Normal (it's on my shelf, I will get to it soon I promise), with all the good things I've heard about it, I can't help but be excited about Where the Stars Still Shine as well. The story sounds really interesting and like it has the potential to really do damage to my hear--and I love when stories do that.

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
October 1, 2013
Walker Childrens
Another year, another move--with a Dad in the military, starting a new school in the middle of the year doesn't faze Derek. But moving with his new step-mother to live with the father and sister she hasn't seen in years? Awkward. Even worse--his new step-aunt Ashtyn, is seventeen, hot--and the kicker for the high school's football team. A football prodigy, Derek has stayed as far as possible from the field since his mom's death--and not even an infuriatingly sexy housemate who talks stats and reams of a Division I scholarship can change his mind. But when Ashtyn's quarterback boyfriend bask out of their road trip to a prestigious summer football camp run by top recruiters, Derek and his car become Ashtyn's only route to making her dreams of playing college ball com true. Four nights. Multiple star lines. Football. Secrets. Sex. This is one road trip neither of them will forget.

In a steamy new series featuring a new, irresistible band of teammates, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles blends the romance and drama of Friday Night Lights with her signature explosive storytelling.
In all honesty I don't even need to know what this story is about, I just needed to know that Simone Elkeles wrote it in order to be excited about it. I absolutely LOVE Simone Elkeles' other books (Perfect Chemistry anyone?) so I'm beyond excited to have more from her to read. Plus Wild Cards sounds really awesome and is getting compared to Friday Night Lights. How could I not be excited about this?

As you can tell, I'm already getting excited about fall books and it's only March. It's a good thing there are plenty of awesome books coming out in the meantime--it will definitely make waiting for these ones easier!

 photo signature.png

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kate Ellison Giveaway!

Today I have the pleasure of offerring you some pretty awesome books for a giveaway. I have had the chance to read Notes from Ghost Town and absolutely loved it. So read below to find out more about the books and fill out the Rafflecopter for chance to win a hardcover of Kate Ellison's newest book, Notes from Ghost Town and a paperback copy of The Butterfly Clues.

The Butterfly Clues

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dads consulting job means she's gown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home. 

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind. 

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagine--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.

Notes from Ghost Town
They say first love never dies…

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it's only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There's a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there's a good chance she's losing her mind completely--just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn't really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It's the only way she can save herself.

Interested? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US & Canada ONLY. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 photo signature.png

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Title: Notes from Ghost Town
Author: Kate Ellison
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: ARC from Media Masters Publicity
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
They say first love never dies…

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it's only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There's a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there's a good chance she's losing her mind completely--just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn't really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It's the only way she can save herself.

While I hadn't read anything by Kate Ellison before, I had heard nothing but really great things about her previous book, The Butterfly Clues, so I was really excited at the prospect of reading Notes from Ghost Town. It just sounded like this great story with just a bit of a ghost twist and that's exactly what it was. And before long, I found myself getting completely wrapped up in the mystery of the story.

For the last ten months Olivia has been living in a world of grey. Ever since her best friend, Lucas Stern, was murdered and her mom accused of committing the act she hasn't been able to see a drop of color. And now with her mother's trial looming, there's just something about the whole story not sitting right with Olivia. She just can't bring herself to believe that her own mother would have killed her best friend. So when Stern's ghost appears to her, Olivia starts to think she might be going crazy, turning into her schizophrenic mother. But Stern wants Olivia to find the truth, to figure out who really killed him. And maybe in the process Olivia will be able to move on from her first love, no matter how painful this may be.

Notes from Ghost Town was different from what I expected. Though I had read the synopsis and it had really caught my attention, the story I read was not what I thought it would be. And that's probably a good thing, because Notes from Ghost Town ended up having a lot of what I like in a story. In this book, Kate Ellison had just the right mix of ghost, heartbreak and mystery. The whole time I was reading, I just wanted to know what had really happened on the night that Stern was killed. But my heart was also going out to Olivia. Because there was heartbreak in this book as well. Because my heart broke a little every time I read about Olivia's grief over losing Stern, over losing her mother. It also broke a little every time I thought about someone as young and with as much potential as Stern having his life ended so early. And it even felt like breaking a little every time someone dismissed Olivia, thinking she was on her way to becoming like her mother. At the end of the day, the story in Notes from Ghost Town moved me and made me think a lot more than I thought it would.

I really enjoyed reading this story from Olivia's perspective and learning about her in the way that I did. Early on, you find out that her mother is schizophrenic and as much as I wanted to believe that Olivia wasn't on the path to becoming her mother, there were moments where I couldn't help it. But that's what made Olivia such an interesting character. That and her heartbreak and grief which I could just feel while I was reading. I could see her pain in the way she talked and acted, especially when Stern's ghost was around. And Stern was surprising as well. Though he's only truly alive for the first chapter of the book, I feel like I really got to know him and understand who he was, if only through all of Olivia's memories of him. The character that puzzled me the most to an extent was Austin. I just couldn't tell if he truly cared about Olivia or if he was just playing her. And come to think of it, that's the impression I got of most of the characters. But at the same time, that's in large part what kept me interested in the story.

Kate Ellison's Notes from Ghost Town was a surprisingly touching read. Going in expecting a ghost story, what I read instead was a story that moved me in ways I didn't think it would. In this book, Kate Ellison wrote a story that deserves to be read by everyone. You can be sure this is a book I will be recommending a lot.

 photo signature.png

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (74)

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. This week I have two titles I am particularly looking forward to reading.

I'm With Stupid by Geoff Herbach
May 1st, 2013
Sourcebooks Fire
It's nerd-turned-jock Felton Reinstein's last year before college, and the choices he makes now will affect the rest of his life. That's a lot of pressure. So, he's going to make a list. What would he be if he weren't a jock? He'll try everything--comedian, partier, super student--and which ever identity he likes best he'll stick with. Poof. Stress gone.

Except not…Because the list leads to:
1. The whole state of Wisconsin hating him.
2. His track coach suspending him.
3. Hi mom moving out.

Before leaving home forever, Felton will have to figure out just who he is, even if, sometimes, it sucks to be him.
The other two books in this series made me laugh so much so I can't wait to be back in the world of Felton Reinstein. Seriously, if you are looking for some boy YA that will make you laugh while also tug a little at your heartstrings you should definitely check out Geoff Herbach's books.

How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler
May 1st, 2013
Sourcebooks Fire
There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.
Despite having a few of her books on my shelves, I have yet to read any of Janet Gurtler's books. But seeing as I've been on a major contemporary binge lately, I just felt drawn to How I Lost You. Maybe this will be the book that finally makes me pick up something by Janet Gurtler.

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
July 16, 2013
Sourcebooks Fire
Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."
This book sounds absolutely fascinating to me. Again, I love contemporary so this sounds right up my alley. But Truly, Madly, Deadly also sounds quite dark and mysterious which just makes me want to read it even more. July can't come soon enough so I can find out more about this book!

Sourcebooks Fire definitely has some exciting books coming out in the next few months. These all sound like they have the potential to be truly great reads so I can't wait to find out more about all of them!

 photo signature.png

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Series Catch-Up Challenge Month Three

And it's already month three of the series catch up challenge. And this time around, I can say that I have actually caught up on some series and my reviews should be coming soon! And I'm hoping to be able to keep at it this month as well. As usual if you are participating and catch up, link up your reviews below! And if you're wondering what this is all about, be sure to check out this info post.

 photo signature.png

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Title: Mind Games (Mind Games #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Source: Borrowed from fellow blogger
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her--except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other's lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other--no matter the cost. 
This is where I admit that I've only read the first book in Kiersten White's Paranormalcy trilogy despite owning all three. But despite this I was still excited when Mind Games was first announced. The premise for the story sounded so different and unlike anything I would have expected from Kiersten White. And after having read the book, I can officially say that it was dark, edgy and absolutely fantastic.

Fia has always known what she should do in any given situation. Having been born with perfect instincts she knows she can always trust her gut feelings. And because of those instincts, Fia makes the perfect spy. Annie is blind but has visions. And those visions allow her to help her sister stay out of trouble. The two sisters are kept at a school that uses them for their powers. And both will do anything in their power to protect the other. But what if protecting your sister means going against everything you believe in?

I knew just from reading the synopsis and from what others had said that Mind Games was going to be dark and different from Kiersten White's other books. However I did not necessarily expect it to be as dark as some parts of it ended up being. But just because it was a dark story it doesn't mean it wasn't an absolutely fantastic one. The story in Mind Games is twisted and the whole time I was reading I wasn't entirely sure about what I was reading. The way the story was written also made it difficult at times to make sense of what I was reading. Not only was it told from the perspectives of both Annie and Fia but there were also some flashbacks from both their perspectives included in the story. Those flashbacks added another layer to the story that was necessary. For me, at least, they helped understand where Annie and Fia were coming from, why they were doing the things they were doing and how they had gotten to where they were. As you can probably tell but this point, despite the short length of the book, it presents quite a complex story.

Fia is probably one of the most interesting characters I have read about in the last few months. There is just so much going on with this girl. For quite a long time I really did not know what to make of Fia. I could tell that she was conflicted, doing what she had to do to keep her sister safe. But the way her mind worked is what truly intrigued me when it came to Fia. The thing about Fia is that she has perfect instincts and that makes seeing what she says and does really interesting. She'll decide to wear certain clothes based on a feeling she has that turns out to be quite helpful in the future. Annie was more subdued than her sister, but that didn't make her any less interesting. And much like Fia, Annie would do anything to protect her sister. Now if only the two sisters weren't unknowingly working against each other while trying to protect the other things would work a little better for them. And then there was James who I'm not sure what to make of at all. At times he seemed like the most charming man ever, but at other times that charm almost looked like it was a cover for something else. And the same thing can be said for Adam. Hopefully I'll find out more about both of them in the future.

Mind Games was different from what I've come to know Kiersten White for. This book is dark and twisted and will leave you thinking for a long time after you are finished reading. Don't expect the Kiersten White from the Paranormalcy trilogy because you will be disappointed if you do. But just because it's different that doesn't mean it's any less fantastic.

 photo signature.png

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (23)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers showcase the book they received throughout the week.

These Stacking the Shelves post have become somewhat less frequent for me. I've been really good lately about not going crazy buying books so the only books I've been getting are ones for review. But this might be changing quite soon because there are so many awesome books coming out in the next few weeks that I am just dying to get my hands on. For this week though, I got some very exciting books so keep reading to find out what came for me this week.


- Goddess by Josephine Angelini - AAAAHHHH!!! There was major squealing and dancing around when I received Goddess this week. This is probably one of my most anticipated books this year and I will be reading it very soon. Major thanks to the lovely Shannon for going above and beyond for getting me this book in preparation for an event I will be running on the blog in May.

- Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland - As you may all know, I love contemporary and Nantucket Blue is one of those contemporary books that caught my eye right away. To top that off I've been hearing nothing but rave reviews of this book so you can bet I am excited to have a copy and to read it soon.

- This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith - Another fantastic-sounding contemporary read (I swear the contemps are making a comeback this year) that I am super excited about. I absolutely loved Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight last year so I can't wait to dive in to this one.

Big thanks to HarperCollins Canada (and Shannon!) and HBG Canada for sending me these books for review. 


- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - Do I even need to explain why I am beyond excited about this book? It's Sarah Dessen, that's the only explanation that is needed. Sarah Dessen is one of my all time favorite authors so I can't wait to read it. And thank you to the lovely Kathy from A Glass of Wine for lending this to me. 


- The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd - I have heard great things about this one and have been meaning to read it. What finally pushed me to get my own copy is that I'm joining a book club and this will be our first read. (Side note: if you're in Ottawa and want to join a YA book club, be sure to check out Lost at Midnight's post all about it!)

So that's it for me this week. Though it wasn't a super busy week, there are some books in there I am absolutely dying to get into...if only I didn't have school and the last month of my undergrad to get through...But as usual leave me a comment letting me know what you got and I'll be sure to check it out!

 photo signature.png
Related Posts with Thumbnails