Friday, July 30, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

What a great idea! I love following readers blogs almost more than I like blogging myself. What a great way to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests as you.

This Week's Question: Who is your favourite new-to-you author so far this year?

I would have to saw that my favourite new to me author is John Green. I know he’s not a new author, but once I read Looking for Alaska, he was on my radar. I love his ability to merge quirkiness with heart breaking honesty and his gift at crafting beautifully flawed characters and supporting characters. I know a lot of people think his books are too similar, but I like that when I pick up a John Green book I know it is going to be a pleasant reading experience. He is defiantly one of my favourite authors.

As a side note: I’ll be spending the next three weekends at my cottage so I wont be able to respond to comments as quick as I usually do or get out to as many blogs as I normally would. I’ll try my best, happy weekend : )

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s Book: Dark Song
Author: Gail Giles
Release Date: Sept 7 2010
Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing--even using his guns--to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them? (goodreads)
Doesn't this look interesting? I can't wait to read this.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wondrous Strange

Wondrous Strange
by Lesley Livingston
2009 (paperback)
336 pages

Summary: Kelley Winslow moved to New York City to become an actress and she has finally caught her break starring in an off-Broadway production of Midsummer’s Night Dream. Things are going well until she meets a handsome stranger in the park and then finds herself saving a drowning horse that follows her home to her apartment. If things couldn’t get any stranger, the handsome boy from the park, Sonny, starts following her, telling her she’s in danger. He’s a changeling – a mortal taken as an infant and raised among Faerie, and he’s saying that she is a princess faerie, stolen to live among humans. Kelley soon realizes those fairy tales she was told as a kid are true and that New York is a much different place than she thought. Kelley will have to decide whether or not to embrace her heritage and at what cost to her new love.

Review: Wondrous Strange is an enchanting novel that weaves magic, fairy tales, Shakespeare and modern day New York into a wonderful love story. For someone who doesn’t typically read fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed Wondrous Strange and found the language very accessible. I usually stumble on the world building and the language, but I think Livingston did an amazing job of combining the magical world with one that I recognize, making this book appeal to a wide audience. It’s not a very long book but it packs a good punch. There is a lot of action and quite a few surprises. I enjoyed all the characters and found Sonny quite endearing. I appreciated the fact that Livingston didn’t give too much of the romance away, building it up for the sequel, it definitely left me hooked.

Also by Lesley Livingston: Darklight

If you liked Wondrous Strange you might also enjoy: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Lament by Maggie Stiefvater, and Magic under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Additional Info: Wondrous Strange won the Canadian Library Association Award for best YA book in 2010. I couldn’t find any information on when the third book is going to be released

Non-Fiction Connection: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Author Website:

Rating: W3/4 C3/4 P3/4 O2.5/4 PP3.5/4 CR1/4 ( I think it’s really pretty, but it’s just not how I pictured Kelley, so it kinda throws me off)
Grade Level Interest: J

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Makeover

Hi Everyone,

If you came by my blog earlier and the place was a mess, I'm sorry. It took a while to get everything the way I liked it (although I still can't get my picture to show up). But I officially have a new look to celebrate my almost 1 year of book blogging. Thanks go to Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates.

Happy Monday everyone!

Two-way Street

Two-way Street
by Lauren Barnholdt
304 pages

Summary: What is possibly worse than your boyfriend dumping you for another girl? How about having to spend three days in the car with that ex-boyfriend as he drives you to college? Courtney is heartbroken when Jordan dumps her for some hussy he met on the internet, but she is horrified when her parents won’t let her back out of their planned road trip. Determined to not let it bother her, Courtney goes along on the trip. What she doesn’t know is that there is no hussy, Jordan made her up, and he still cares about her....a lot. This quirky road trip adventure highlights the ups and downs of relationships, the importance of forgiveness, and the often awkward hilariousness that comes from trying to hide your true feelings.

Review: Two Way Street is all over the place...literally. It’s told in alternating perspectives, from Jordan and Courtney both on the road trip and flashbacks from their relationship and their break-up. While this might instantly turn off some readers, I thought that Barnholdt did a good job of keeping it all together and felt this writing style added a lot of depth to a somewhat one dimensional story. The characters were a little stereotypical, and some readers might find it difficult to connect simply because the story jumps around so much. However, there were a lot of really great, funny and endearing moments that made this story an enjoyable read. Those who enjoy real-life fiction will find this fits in nicely.

Also by Lauren Barnholdt: Watch Me, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Aces Up, One Night That Changes Everything

If you liked Two Way Street, you might also enjoy: The Book of Luke by Jenny O’Connell, When it Happens by Susane Colasanti, Bloom by Elizabeth Scott and The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Author website:

Rating: W2.5/4 C3/4 P3/4 O2/4 PP2.5/4 CR3/4 (I like the wrap around)
Grade: S

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adult Fiction for Teens

While I primarily read YA fiction these days I do enjoy some adult fiction every once in a while. This feature looks at some of the adult fiction I am reading and examine its appeal for those who prefer Young Adult literature

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
Jack St. Bride comes to Salem Falls, N.H., after his release from prison. The former teacher and soccer coach wants to start a new life following a wrongful conviction for statutory rape. Unfortunately, Salem Falls turns out to be the wrong place to do it. He has no trouble landing a job at the local diner and winning the trust of the diner's eccentric owner, Addie, but the rest of the town is suspicious. Things get dangerous when manipulative 17-year-old Gillian Duncan, whose father owns half the town, gets interested in Jack and tries to seduce him with Wiccan love spells. Then Gillian is assaulted in the woods, and Jack is accused of the crime. As the courtroom battle unfolds, many secrets are revealed, and Picoult's characters are forced to confront the difference between who people are and who they say they are. (Amazon)

Salem Falls is a good fit for those who like read YA suspense novels. Picoult weaves a fascinating story of truth and lies, making it so that even the reader cannot decipher the truth. For those who like suspense and mystery, than this is a good fit. The characters are very dynamic, and I think that teens will find something to relate to in the teenage girls and possibly even the adults. The story is also told in multiple narratives and in the present day and the past, like in Another Faust.

YA Connection: Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz and The Uninvited by Tim Wynne Jones

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

What a great idea! I love following readers blogs almost more than I like blogging myself. What a great way to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests as you.

This Week's Question: Tell us about about the book you are currently reading.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for

I’ve been holding off on this book for so long, it just didn’t seem like the right fit for me. However, after months of reading nothing but positive reviews I thought I would give it a shot, and I’m not disappointed. I’ve just started, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a very enjoyable read.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s Book: Blank Confession
Author: Pete Hautman
Release Date: Nov 16 2010
Shayne Blank is the new kid in town--but that doesn't stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don't understand him. He's not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn't add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There's more to Shayne--and his story--than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne's story is clear at all. (amazon)

This sounds really interesting. A little suspense, a little mystery...sounds good to me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Secret Year

The Secret Year
by Jennifer Hubbard
208 pages

“I knew Julia, but nobody else knew that. We were good at keeping secrets. So after Labour day weekend, I was the only one who knew about us.”

Summary: Colt and Julia dated for a year, but no one knew about it. She was rich and had a boyfriend, and he was from the other side of the tracks. No one would have understood why they were together. It never mattered until Julia died in a car crash and Colt couldn’t openly mourn her. Things get even more complicated when Colt is given her diary, containing letters Julia never gave him. Going through the letters only reminds Colt how much he cared for Julia and it seems impossible that he will ever move on.

Review: I thought The Secret Year would be more about romance but it’s really about moving on with life and being comfortable with who you are. The story in and of itself didn’t contain a whole lot and I didn’t really connect to any of the characters, but I still thought it was a captivating read. I enjoyed the sub plot of the different groups and the lines that are drawn in high school between the haves and the have-nots. I also appreciated that Hubbard left Julia tainted and shallow and didn’t make excuses for her which made the story so much more compelling. The ending felt kind of abrupt, but I liked that it wasn’t tidy. Overall, I thought it was an okay read and I think that there is definitely an audience for this book.

You might like The Secret Year if you like books with: male main characters, story told through a mixture of present day and flashbacks, typical high school settings, some romance but not the main plot point.

This is Jennifer Hubbard’s debut novel

If you liked The Secret Year you might also enjoy: The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Snowball Effect by Holly Hoxter and Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Author Website:

Rating: W2/4 C2.5/4 P2/4 O2/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade Level: S

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan
416 Pages

Summary: Garby lives a quiet life in the lighthouse with her mother on the outskirts of the forest. While she is completely content with the borders that surround her life, her friends yearn for something more. However, when they all slip behind the boundary wall for a little fun, everything changes, and too much is lost. In order to protect those she loves, Garby must face her fears and enter the forest of her mother’s past, the forest of Hands and Teeth. A story of adventure, loss, strength, family and love. Oh and zombies.
Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves is a brilliant sequel to the dystopian novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth. While I did thoroughly enjoy Forest, I felt that Dead Tossed Waves was even better, it showed Ryan’s growth in writing and I thought it was wonderful. Once again this is a fast paced suspense novel, with a lot more action and developing plot than the first book. I thought Ryan did a much better job of maintaining pacing and keeping the reader engaged. I really liked that the story moved forward a generation, making the books so much more about the world Ryan created than just the characters. Ryan does a great job at mixing new elements with storylines from the past and readers will no doubt be captivated by the love triangle. Without giving anything away, I really liked the direction of this novel, especially the opportunities set by the ending and I can’t wait for the third book. I definitely recommend this book to those who like an exciting read.

You might enjoy The Dead-Tossed Waves if you like books with: suspense, fast paced plots, romantic triangles, a lot of action, strong female main characters, post apocalyptic storylines.

Also by Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

If you liked The Dead-Tossed Waves you might also enjoy: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong, Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines, The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Additional Info: The third book The Dark and Hollow Places is set to be released in Spring 2011.

Author website:

Rating: W4/4 C3.5/4 P4/4 O4/4 PP3.5/4 CR3/4 (It’s a unique cover, but I don’t LOVE it.)
Grade Level: JS

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
What a great idea! I love following readers blogs almost more than I like blogging myself. What a great way to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests as you.

For more Information check out Crazy For Books

This week's question: Right this instant, what book are you dying to get your hands on?

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters
Karen DeSonne is used to pretending to be something she’s not. All her life, she’s passed as a normal all-American teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing – this time, as alive (amazon)

I just finished the second book in the series Kiss of Death, and I'm dying to get my hands on this last one. Soooo good!

School of Fear

School of Fear
by Gitty Daneshvari
352 pages

"Everyone's afraid of something."

Summary: Madeleine is deathly afraid of bugs, Theodore is petrified of dying, Lulu is scared of confined spaces, Garrison is terrified of deep water; and for these four...things are about to get a whole lot scarier.

While everyone is afraid of something, very few let it control their lives like these four, so their parents decide to ship them off for the summer to the School of Fear, an apparent boot camp for phobias. However, when the four arrive they find that not everything is what it seems and if they are to survive the summer, they must unite and face their fears.

Review: While this book is technically for a younger crowed, I thought that some teen readers would really enjoy it, especially boys, reluctant readers, or just those looking for a fun light read. It’s quite long, but the chapters are rather short, and the pacing is fast which makes for a quick read. The characters are amusing, well developed and they each add a unique oddness to the group. For fun, each chapter begins with the definition of a new type of fear. However, what will undoubtedly draw readers is the witty writing. It is very tongue-and cheek and a few times I laughed out loud at the wacky ridiculousness of it. It was a lot of fun to read and I think it has a wide appeal.

You might enjoy School of Fear if you like books with: humour, wacky and crazy storylines, and multiple main characters, easy to read.

Also by Gitty Daneshvari: School of Fear: Class is Not Dismissed, a sequel available September 2010

If you liked School of Fear, you might also enjoy: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

School of Fear website:

Wikipidea article on Phobias

Author website:

Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P3/4 O3.5/4 PP3/4 CR4/4
Grade: M

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s Book: The 10 PM Question
Author: Kate D Goldi
Release Date: Sept 28, 2010

Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie’s worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school — a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own — Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, The 10 P.M. Question will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart. (amazon)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paper Towns

Paper Towns
by John Green
305 pages

Summary: Quentin Jacobsen is a quiet guy who enjoys having rules and plans for the future. The girl he has been in love with for ever, his next door neighbour Margo, likes anything but the rules. Margo is the kind of girl who disappears on wild and crazy adventures, not the kind of girl who would take notice of Quentin. Except one night she climbs through his window demanding he be her getaway car on a night of mischief and adventure and it’s a night that changes everything.

Review: John Green doesn’t disappoint. Paper Towns is a wonderful story about a regular guy finding his self and the crazy girl that shows him the way. I know that’s kind of a typical storyline for Green, but I love it none the less. Paper Towns highlights Green’s ability to write beautifully reflective storylines which are rich with layers and deadpan humour. The story is fast paced and readers will undoubtedly be drawn into the enigma that is Margo and the clues she leaves for Q. I loved how Green weaved the idea of paper towns and the theme of home into the story, and I loved that Margo and Q are such unfinished characters; it makes them raw and relatable. The thing that I think Green does better than anyone else, which makes his books exceptional, is his ability to write such beautiful and vibrant supporting characters. They add so much to the story and the reader ends up loving them as much as the main characters. Overall, I thought this was a wonderful book; it was funny but at the same time tugged on my heart strings. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to a wide audience.

You might enjoy Paper Towns if you like books with: a male voice, poignant observations on life, strong characters, a slower paced plot, realistic storylines rather than fantasy or science fiction, awkward and candid humour

Also by John Green: Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson; Will Grayson, An Abundance of Katherines

If you liked Paper Towns you might also enjoy: The Perks of Bing a Walflower by Stephen Chbosky, Nick and Norah’s Infinate Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, Honey, Baby Sweetheart by Deb Caletti

Author Website:

Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P4/4 O3/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: JS

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Official Traile...

I love the Narnia books. Everytime they finish a movie I think "that's it, they wont make another one". So you can imagine how suprised and excited to see there actually is going to be another one this Christmas.

North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen Headley
384 pages

A map says to you, “read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not... I am the earth in the palm of your hand. – Beryl Markham

Summary: Terra Cooper is use to being noticed and it’s not because she’s tall, blonde and has an enviable body. Rather, people can’t help but notice her flawed face, which contains a rather large bright red birthmark. She’s always secretly planned to leave her small town, her lukewarm friends and her emotionally abusive father, to find some place magnificent, some place where she will fit in. However, things get pushed off course when she gets into a collision with a handsome guy named Jacob and his mother. Jacob challenges Terra to see beyond the limitations she’s put on herself, and the plans she’s laid out. Together with both of their moms Terra and Jacob embark on a wild adventure that will teach them all a little bit about their capabilities and the wonders of love, friendship and family.

Review: North of Beautiful is beautifully written. At first glance the book’s length seems a little daunting, especially in light of the fact that it’s not an action or suspense based novel. However, I was glad for the length because it allowed for so much progression in the characters, resulting in an abundant story that comes full circle. I thought the characters were exquisitely written. Terra is complex and compelling, a perfect main character. However, I felt the novel’s depth and sincerity was highlighted more by the supporting characters. Terra’s mom was especially enticing to watch as she discovered her own strength. This story really is about what is beautiful; although it highlights that it’s not always what you expect. The mapping terms, art and geocaching elements were welcome additions to the story, adding both depth and relevancy.

You might enjoy North of Beautiful if you like books with: slower paced plots, a focus on character development, quirky elements added (like geocahing), a main character that grows and over comes, multiple settings (travel)

Also by Justina Chen Headley: Nothing But Truth (and a few white lies), Girl Overboard

If you liked North of Beautiful you might also enjoy: The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti, Paper Towns by John Green, This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Additional Info:
Official Geocaching Website – great place to start and to find out more

Non Fiction: Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities by Frank Jacobs and Geocaching for Dummies by Joel McNamara

Author Website:

Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P4/4 O4/4 PP2.5/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: S

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

Coming Soon to a Library Near You is a weekly feature inspired by Jill at Breaking the Spine that looks at upcoming books.

This Week’s book: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: September 2010

Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

This looks awesome, and I love the cover! Can't wait!

Monday, July 5, 2010


by Meg Cabot
262 pages

Summary: When tons of misfortune comes her way it’s not surprising that Jean Honeychurch gets the nickname Jinx. In order to get away from all her bad luck, Jinx heads to New York to live with her aunt and uncle. Except her cousin Tory isn’t so thrilled to have her there and the secret that Tory is hiding has the possibility to bring danger and misfortune to more than just Jinx.
Review: This is my first Cabot novel and I thought it was a lot of fun. It was a great combination of the lightness of chick-lit with the mystery of the supernatural. The pacing is very quick and those who read for plot of character will really enjoy Jinx. I thought the characters were well developed. Jinx was a likable and believable protagonist; Tory was fascinating in her ruthlessness and Zack was a completely adorable love interest. I especially loved the transformation and development of Jinx throughout the book as she comes into her own. I think those looking for a quick and fun read will really enjoy this novel. It has a lot of the elements you might expect from chick-lit but with a few fun surprises.

You might enjoy Jinx if you like books with : quick to read storylines, not a lot depth, fun and flirty characters, just a touch of supernatural, fun romances, light dialogue.

Also by Meg Cabot: Runaway, Being Nikki, Princess Diaries series, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls Series, Ready or Not, Pants on Fire, Avalon High

If you liked Jinx you might also enjoy these other witchy books: White Magic: Spells to Hold You by Kelley Easton, Hex Education by Emily Gould, She’s a Witch Girl by Kelley McClymer, Parties and Potions by Sarah Mlynowski, Salem Witch Tryouts by Kelley McClymer, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Additional Information: the idea for Jinx came from Cabot’s own family history. She is in fact related to a healer who is rumoured to have been one of the last women burned at the stake in England for Witchcraft.

Author website:

Rating: W3.5/4 C3.5/4 P3/4 O2.5/4 PP3/4 CR4/4
Grade Level Interest: MJS

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada's Day everyone. I hope you have a wonderful holiday! I'll be spending it in the park reading with my husband...sounds perfect to me.
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