Thursday, December 30, 2010

Booking Through Thursday- 2010 Review

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme with a different question each week. This week's question is as follows:

What’s the best book you read this year?



Well, here are my answers:

Best Book of 2010: The Help by Kathryn Sprocket

Worst Book of 2010: Deadlock by Iris Johansen

Favorite Book of 2010: The Passage by Justin Cronin

The answer is simple but sweet today. It's been a crazy week so I haven't been on as much. Hope to blog more in the new year :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart

Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA Books
Publishing Date: 01/01/2011
ISBN: 9780778329244
Pages: 400 pages

Summary from the Publisher:

He's not about to let her leave.

And she cannot stay.

Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. But the machine has broken down. Burnt out by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, and exhausted from always putting herself last, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change.

But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge. One who just might take her with him.

My Review:
I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley. Well I will admit when I first started reading this novel I didn’t think I was going to like it at all. I couldn’t relate to Gilly, the main character. I kept thinking no one in their right mind would choose to be abducted rather than be at home with her children and husband. In fact, I remember saying to my fiancĂ© a few times: I can’t believe this woman!! I found her to be ridiculous and unbelievable. That being said, after getting over the first part of the novel and when we find the two characters in the cabin, things started to get a bit better. I found myself intrigued by Todd, the carjacker, and his life story. I also found it interesting that there seemed to be a friendship that formed between Todd and Gilly. I don’t want to give too much of the book away but I will say that by a quarter of the way through the book Hart grabbed my attention and I didn’t want to put the book down. Her idea for the book is original and definitely unlike anything I have read recently. Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Top Ten Tuesdays- Best Books of 2010

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks edition is the best books of 2010. I read a lot of fluff this year so it was difficult to come up with my ten best but here they are:

1. The Help by Kathryn Sprocket- This book was amazing. It was all about civil rights in the United States.

2. Still Alice by Lisa Genova- This is now one of my favourite books and it is about a woman who gets diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. It is haunting and amazingly written.

3. The Passage by Justin Cronin- I truely enjoy a good distopian novel and if you add in vampires/zombies it gets even better. I really liked this book and I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

4. House Rules by Jodi Picoult- This is a book about a boy who is autistic. He ends up getting himself involved in a murder and it becomes quite difficult to know if he did it or not. It was a great book and I work with children on the autism spectrum so I found it quite interesting.

5. Secret Daughter by Shlipi Somaya Gowda- This book is great and I am looking forward to re-reading it for my book club this year. It is about a woman who is forced to give up her daughter for adoption in India and a couple who are infertile and ends up adopting this child. The story jumps from past to present and is an amazing story.

6.Unearthly by Cynthia Hand- I got this as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley and my review will be posted soon for this.

7. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton- This book turned out to be an excellent mystery and kept me guessing right until the end. Morton has a great writing style and I look forward to reading more from her. The Distant Hours is a pick for my bookclub in October 2011 so I am looking forward to reading this.

8. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster- This is a memoir about trying to get by in an economic crunch. I really liked the humour in this book.

9. White Tiger by Aravind Adiga- This is a really well written novel and I definitely recommend reading it. It deals with oppression and also deception and corruption. It is great.

10. The Given Day by Dennis Lehane- This is a historical fiction novel of America in the 1920s. It dealt a lot with forming police unions and also has some baseball in it. I really enjoyed this book.

Alright, well these are mine. What are yours?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Harper Collins/Harper
Publishing Date: 01/25/2011
ISBN: 9780061706301
Pages: 420 pages

Summary from GoodReads:
The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.

My Review:
I got this book as an ARC from NetGalley but then I realized I had actually already purchased this at the bookstore. I guess this book was released in Canada the same time as it was released overseas and it is now being released in America in January. To be honest I have mixed feelings about Ahern. I first started reading her books because I saw P.S. I Love You in the theatre and loved it. I didn't read that book because I have a thing about reading books after you've seen the movie. I know that the majority of the time the book is better than the film but I just feel like after you've seen the movie that you already know the main plot points and it's difficult to stay interested in the book. Anyhow, that's a different thing altogether and what I'm really getting at is that I enjoy some Ahern books while I really dislike others. I wasn't a huge fan of Where Rainbows end but I did really like Thanks for the Memories so when I saw The Book of Tomorrow I thought I'd try another Ahern novel. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed this book. The novel is told in the point of view of a teenage girl, Tamara, who lived a privileged life but when her father commits suicide due to financial stress things begin to fall apart. Tamara is forced to move to the country with her aunt and uncle and her mother seems almost catatonic in a depressive state. Tamara meets many people along the way and she also comes across a diary that writes entries about her life a few days before they happen. Through the diary Tamara begins to change from a spoiled, rude teen to a more understanding, compassionate young woman. I have to admit that Ahern's writing style really drew me into the book and that has not always been the case when I have read her novels. During the first few chapters of the book I came across a few lines that made me laugh out loud. They are as follows:

"I think there should be the Real Life Oscars. And Best Actress goes to Alison Flanaghan! For walking down the main aisle of the supermarket just last Monday, face in full make-up, hair freshly blow-dried, despite feeling like wanting to die, smiling brightly to Sarah and Deirdre from the Parents' Association and behaving as if her husband hadn't just left her and her three children. Come up and get your award, Alison!"

This continues for a bit but you get point. The character has a lot of spunk and while she can be downright rude and at times I found myself wanting to yell at her,I also found that I couldn't help but feel bad for her. She had no outlet to display or talk about her grief and mourning. She has also been completely uprooted and placed in a place so unlike home. I have to say that I was really shocked with the ending of this novel. While you know that Tamara's aunt Rosalie is acting suspiciously I would never have guessed the ending of this book. I finished reading this book this evening and I couldn't put it down. I love reading in the bath and by the time I got out tonight, the water was freezing cold but the book was finished. Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I usually don't publish these reviews this far in advance of the publishing date but as I stated earlier this book is already out in Canada and so I am publishing this post tonight.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to take a moment today to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays no matter what you celebrate. Things have been quite crazy thus far today. Each year my mother, grandmother, parents-in-laws say that it's going to be a small Christmas. I think they need to re-examine what they consider small. My fiance and I always get spoiled. The living room was filled with gifts this morning. Granted I have 5 siblings so there were the six of us, my grandmother, my aunt, my uncle, my cousin and my mom at my grandmother's house this morning. That being said, I still came home with a full hamper full of gifts. In there were 4 books (which I will show in my first In My Mailbox of the year). I also got quite a few gift cards to Chapters this year. I can't wait to go out and spend them. Derek and I both come from split families so we usually have about 4 different places to go to over the holidays. That being said, today we decided to divide and conquer. He went to his family dinner and I went to mine. We spent some time together in the afternoon and this evening. Things were getting a little hectic when we tried to go to everything. My grandmother always hosts at her home and at almost 85 she gets worn out pretty quickly. I decided to stay at my family dinner so I could help out with the cooking and cleaning (it did work out the boys cleaned so I got out of doing dishes). Dinner was delicious and it's always nice to be around family no matter how quirky they may be. Anyhow, I hope you all had a great holiday. What did you do to celebrate?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs

Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publishing Date: 11/03/2009
ISBN: 9780399156380
Pages: 260 pages

Summary from GoodReads:
Knit the Season is a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker's trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland-accompanied by her father, her grandparents, and her mother's best friend, Catherine. Together, they share a trove of happy memories about Christmases past with Dakota's mom, Georgia Walker-from Georgia's childhood to her blissful time as a doting new mom. From Thanksgiving through Hanukkah and Christmas to New Year's, Knit the Season is a novel about the richness of family bonds and the joys of friendship.

My Review:
I loved the Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two by Jacobs so I was looking forward to reading this book. Plus, you have to read at least one holiday like book during the holidays. I have to admit that while I enjoyed this book, it didn't measure up to the first books. I did enjoy reading the snippets of Georgia's life and also seeing this character from the points of view of her family which is something that hasn't been done yet. I also love all the wonderful characters in this series. I found that the plot was seriously lacking for this book. There didn't seem to much of a conflict or a climax to the novel. The book just kind of floats around Dakota's trip to Scotland as well as Anita's wedding (which had previously been canceled many times). While I like the series and would like to read more I would also like a little more substance. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. For those that have read the series you might as well read this one. For those who haven't read the Knit Club series, I suggest you start with the first book which is exceptional. (I even admit to full out crying on the bus while reading this book and yes people were looking at me like I was a crazy).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays #5- Dear Santa, Please Bring Me The Following Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme found at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is the top ten things I want Santa to bring me for Christmas. My list is a little late today as I spent the whole day baking. I got a lot done; I baked blondies, macadamia nut cookies, gingersnaps, sugar cookies and some lemon poppy seed loaves. Not a bad day to spend the day but other than that I didn't get much else done. Without further ado here is my list:

1. Room by Emma Donoghue- I have been wanting to read this for quite some time and I don't want to spend $35 for the hardcover. I haven't been able to get it for my Kindle yet either (a perk of being in Canada). Anyhow, I really really want this one.

2. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann- I have heard a lot of good things about this book. I put it on my wishlist so I guess we will see.

3. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay- I read her other book Sarah's Key and I loved it. It is a historical fiction novel set partly during the Holocaust. It was quite a moving and emotional book so I'm hoping this book is just as good.

4. The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha- This book is based on a blog and from what I have read is quite intersting. I have wanted this for quite some time but I haven't picked it up.

5. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins- I think I am the last person on earth who hasn't read this. I have heard nothing but good things but I don't usually read books that have a lot of hype surrounding them. I usually wait for the hype to die down before I read the book. It was like this for Harry Potter and also for Twilight.

6. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen- I haven't read The Corrections yet but I do have it on my bookshelf. I have only heard good things about Franzen and I would like this book.

7. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton- I read The Forgotten Garden and I quite enjoyed it. This is also a pick for my book club. I can't wait to read it.

8. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore- I have read a lot of good reviews on this book.

9. Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb- I just adore Wally Lamb. I have all his books and I am looking forward to reading this one.

10. The Bishop's Man by Linden Macintyre- This is another book club book and I am looking forward to reading it. It has been on the bestseller list here in Canada for quite some time.

Well this is what I want. What are you hoping for under your tree?

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: 08/01/2010
ISBN: 9780373210138
Pages: 359 pages

Summary from GoodReads:
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart

My Review:

This is the second book in the Iron Fey series. I have to say that usually the second book in a trilogy isn't as good but Kagawa debunked this. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first one. The whole Puck/Ash love triangle continued and became even more complicated. I have to say I am still rooting for Puck. A few times as I was reading this novel I couldn't help but think that the relationship between Ash and Meghan is a bit unhealthy. The guy starts out ignoring her and treating her horribly in order to avoid the wrath of this mother; he then proceeds to attempt to kill her (albeit he was possessed). I keep thinking that Puck is a much better fit for Meghan than Ash will ever be. Here is hoping that Ash will make me change my mind in the next installment of this series. Other than that, the book was filled with even more mythology and the majority of the book is set in the land of NeverNever. I really like the imagination that went into the making of these books. One other thing that doesn't sit well with me is that Meghan is always leaving her human family for her fey family. I just keep thinking that I would want to go back home and make sure everything was alright. Other than these two minor irritations with the book, I really enjoyed reading this book. As mentioned before, I usually don't like the 2nd book in a trilogy but I quite enjoyed this novel. The character development continued but I would like to know a bit more about King Oberon. We haven't seen much of him in the series yet. I am quite curious to know what will happen next. I am glad I have the third book and I will start on this soon. Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: 01/02/2010
ISBN: 9780373210084
Pages: 363 pages

Summary from GoodReads:

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

My Review:
I picked up this book because I got an ARC from NetGalley for the third book in this series called The Iron Queen. I have to say the book started off good for me as the main character and I share the same name: Meghan (well, I spell mine with an extra "a" but who's counting). Anyhow, I just finished Tyger, Tyger recently and I was a bit disappointed with the lack of description in the fairy world. That being said, Kagawa really makes up for my disappointment in the other book. Kagawa made me feel like I was actually walking around in this supernatural world of fairies, goblins, elves and iron creatures. It only took me a day to finish this novel as I couldn't put it down. It was full of everything that makes a good novel: description, plot and character development. I loved the way the author developed Meghan's character. She starts off as a teen who felt forgettable in many ways. She felt this way not only about her peers at school but also around her family. The only person who really took notice of her was her friend Robbie. Then Meghan gets sucked into this fantasy world where she is actually the daughter of a mystical king. Now, all attention is on her and this is not quite to her benefit. The whole time I was reading I couldn't decide if I preferred her to be with Puck (also known as Robbie) or Ash. I have to say that I was leaning towards Puck but near the end Ash kind of had me. I guess I will have to continue reading the series to find out what happens. What I like about the end of this novel is that while the reader knows that there will be more to the story, there is still a part of the conclusion that has actually been resolved. I hate it when a book just ends and you have to wait and wait for the next book. This is not the case in this book; while I am looking forward to reading the next books I don't feel like I got scammed out of an ending. Lucky for me I have already started the second novel, The Iron Daughter, and I have the third waiting for me on my Kindle. Look out in the near future for those reviews. Overall, I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 and I highly recommend it even if you don't often read YA fiction.

Top Ten Tuesdays #4- Anticipating 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about the most anticipated book releases of 2011. I have both YA and adult fiction here, although I'm fairly certain most of the titles are adult fiction. Here they are in no set order:

1. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult- This is an adult book and I have to say that I really enjoy Picoult's writing. I have read most of her books and the ones I haven't read yet are sitting on my bookshelf. This novel looks like it won't disappoint as it has to do with fertility laws which can be quite controversial.

2. Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal- I read pretty much every Sweet Valley High book there was when I was younger so I think this novel should be an interesting read. Pascal has geared this novel towards adults who used to read her series.

3. Love you More by Lisa Gardner- Gardner writes amazing mystery novels that usually center on some demented killer. I really enjoy her writing style and I have read all of her novels. There is no summary for this book but I look forward to reading it anyhow.

4. Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard- This is a YA novel and it is the 2nd in a new series by the author who wrote Pretty Little Liars. I got the first novel The Lying Game as an ARC from NetGalley and I couldn't put it down. Since it didn't really wrap up any of the loose ends I look forward to reading this novel and I will hopefully get some answers.

5. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris- This is the next novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I have read them all but the newest one. I was trying to wait until it came out in paperback but I may have to cave and get it early. I love this series and I also watch the television show True Blood.

6. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova- Genova wrote the book Still Alice. I absolutely loved Still Alice which is about a woman who gets early onset Alzheimers. Her writing style is great and this novel looks just as good. It is about a woman who gets into a car accident and is left with an acquired brain injury.

7. The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards- This is an adult novel by the author who wrote The Memory Keepers Daughter. This novel also focuses on a family and it goes on to uncover a family secret. If the secret in this novel is just as juicy as her previous novel then it should be a good read.

8. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley- This is the third novel in the Flavia De Luce mystery novels. I fell in love with the little girl this series and though at times I find the writing style frustrating, I find myself drawn to reading these books.

9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver- This is a YA book that I got from NetGalley as an ARC. There has been a lot of hype about this book and it looks quite interesting. I probably won't get to this book before the new year so I figured it was ok to put on this list even though I have a copy.

10. The Night Season by Chelsea Cain- This is the fourth book in a series about serial killer Gretchen Lowell. These books are quite gruesome and I find myself on the edge of my seat for the duration of the novel. I won a giveaway of this book from GoodReads but I still don't have the copy yet. Again, it will have to wait until the new year.

BONUS- I couldn't keep it to just 10 so I have a bonus one. Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz. I haven't read her other YA series but I have heard nothing but good things. They are on my wishlist for Christmas so we will see if I get any. In the meantime for this list, I found out the de la Cruz is starting a new adult series about witches. It looks promising.

Well, there are my top ten (or I suppose 11) books that I am anticipating for 2011. What are yours?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

So this is the last installment of IMM for 2010. As you may have noticed I haven't blogged since the last IMM post. Things here have been a bit hectic with the Christmas season upon us. Also, I have mostly been reading ARCs from NetGalley. The books that I have been reading are scheduled to release in January 2011 so I have a few reviews ready and waiting to be posted until closer to the release date of the books. Anyhow onto the reason for this post: In My Mailbox time!
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
I have received a few ARCs from NetGalley this week and I also got some in the mail from LibraryThing. I also bought a book last night. My new reads are as follows:

From NetGalley:

The Return of Captain Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
The Quest for Anna Klein by Thomas H. Cook
Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando
One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

From LibraryThing:

Three Seconds by Roslund and Hellstrom


Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs (I have all her other novels and I was waiting for this one to come out in paperback. I usually read one Christmas type book a year so I guess this is the one)

Well, that's what's in my mailbox. What's in yours?

Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

This week was pretty low key again. I got a book for my fiance for Christmas, a book from NetGalley and a book for my Kindle. Here they are:

The Walking Dead Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman: My fiance doesn't often read but he has recently been reading some graphic novels. Since we just started watching this show I figure he might like it.

The Keening by A. LaFaye from NetGalley

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain: I bought this book because I have read her other books in the series and have an ARC of her upcoming book.

That's what's in my mailbox. What's in yours?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Harper Collins/Harper Teen
Publishing Date: 12/07/2010
ISBN: 9780061869709
Pages: 205 pages

Summary from

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.

My Review:
Well, I have to say that I quite enjoyed this little book. I say little because it is just a little over 200 pages and thus it is quite an easy and quick read. This book kept you on your toes. At every corner there is someone new who may or may not be the killer. This is all compounded by the fact that this group of friends plays horrible games with each other and everyone in town. I haven't read the Pretty Little Liar series but I have just recently started watching the show. I love the show and I was excited when I got this book through NetGalley. Shepard didn't disappoint with this novel that's for sure. The only thing that I really didn't like was the fact that it was over so quickly. I also hate leaving a book on such a cliffhanger. You never find out who the killer is and I realize this is going to be a series but when that happens I almost feel ripped off. I want to know what happens and now I have to wait until the next book comes out. If that is the worst thing that someone can say then I guess it's not too bad. Anyhow, I have now put the Pretty Little Liars series on my Christmas wishlist. Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays #3

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme at The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is top ten characters that you would most like to be friends with. My list is as follows:

1. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter Series: From the very beginning I have loved this character. She reminds me so much of myself and I think we would get along quite well. Plus I always thought she needed a girl friend as she is always hanging out with the guys.

2. The Wakefield twins, Sweet Valley High: I read a lot of Sweet Valley when I was younger and I always wanted to be friends with these two. I have to admit though that I was partial to Elizabeth. I always found Jessica could be a bit of a handful.

3. Becky Bloomwood, Shopaholic Series: I have to say the only reason I would like to be friends with Becky is so I could give her some sound advice and on occasion shake her and ask her what she was thinking.

4. Georgia Walker, The Friday Night Knitting Club: I loved this book and it's sequel Knit Two. I have to say that I think Georgia had the kindest heart and was such an amazing woman and inspiration. I definitely wouldn't mind being her friend.

5. Sookie Stackhouse: I think this character has a lot of spunk. She is not afraid to tell you exactly what she is thinking but she also cares a great deal about the people in her life.

6. Flavia de Luce, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: This little girl is just amazing. She is smart and she has a good sense of humour. She is also a great detective. I mean who wouldn't love a girl who puts poison in her sister's lipstick to get revenge?

7. Anne, Anne of Green Gables: Anne is a great girl. She also has a bit of spunk to her. Based on later novels though she would do anything for a good friend; just ask Diana.

8. Lizzie Bennet, Pride and Prejudice: She knows what she wants and is not afraid to not just ask for it but demand it.

9. Pip, Great Expectations: I would have just liked to be there as a source of support as he didn't have much of that. I always felt for him and I wished that he had a good friend to guide him along the way.

10. Alex Cross, James Patterson's Cross Series: I just think that he is a bit bad ass and I wouldn't mind having someone there for security. He is also an amazing father which makes him endearing.

Well those are mine. What are yours?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BBC List

This is something I've seen a few times and found it interesting so I thought I'd share with the rest of you.

"Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt." I've also put an O beside the ones I own but haven't read yet.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien- Own
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nighteen Eighty Four - George Orwell- Own
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman- Own
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - Own
12. Tess of the D'Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller- Own
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald- Own
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy- Own
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky- Own
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen- Own
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Correlli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm- George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving- Own
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan- Own
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen- Own
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth- Own
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens- Own
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Onscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie- Own
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker- Own
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson
74. Noted from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emilie Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepiece
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Robinston Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet- William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Okay, so I have read 35 of these books, own 16 of them and I have abandoned 5 of them. I suppose in comparison I'm not doing too poorly. How do you compare?

In My Mailbox (7)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
This was a pretty low key week for me. I got 3 new books from NetGalley and that's about it. I have so much to catch up on and I really need to take a break from buying books. So here they are:

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Populazzi by Elise Allen

Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest by Amos Oz

Well that's what's in my mailbox. What's in yours?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham

Publisher: Harlequin/HQN Books
Publishing Date: 11/30/2010
ISBN: 9780373774869
Pages: 352 pages

Summary from GoodReads:

As a soldier, Cole Granger fights to restore peace to a world divided by war and evil. His extraordinary talents are enlisted to prevent the president's horrific premonition from becoming reality. Nothing—and no one—will stop him from fulfilling his duty. Especially the mysterious young woman who claims to be his comrade's sister. Enemy or ally, he can't yet determine. But one thing he knows for certain is that he must keep her close. Very close.

Megan Fox's quest to uncover a family secret leads her to the center of vampire riots in West Virginia. To find the answers she needs—and clear herself of suspicion—she must join forces with Cole. They work undercover to bring justice, but they can't disguise the potent attraction and need that draw them together. Yet trust doesn't come easily for Cole…and when Megan unearths the grim, dark truth, can she trust him to believe her?

My Review:

I received this book from NetGalley as an ARC. I have to say that this is not the kind of book that I would normally read. I was honestly expecting a cheesy paranormal romance novel with lots of steamy scenes and no plot. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Graham sets this vampire novel during the American Civil War and there is quite a bit of historical content in this novel. I wouldn't say that Graham goes in depth about the war but at the same time I found that I had never read anything quite like this. A book that combines historical fiction and romance. As a history minor in university, I found that I was intrigued by this spin on history. I liked the direction that the book was going in and for the most part it kept me entertained and interested. In fact when the book was done I was left wanting a bit more. I almost felt that the ending was rushed a bit. The author could have taken the time to develop the plot and add more to it. When I finished reading the book I just felt that there was something missing. I really liked the characters in the book and I also would have liked to know a bit more about Megan Fox's relationship with her mother and her father. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed this book and I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Won an Award

I am just back from the Ottawa Senators hockey game against the Dallas Stars and I came home t this lovely comment on my blog. I have won an award from ComaCalm's Book Reviews. Thanks so much. Here it is:
Now in order to accept my award there are a few things that I must do and they are as follows:
1) Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2) Share seven things about yourself.
3) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason.
4) Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.

So, number one is already done. As for #2 here are 7 things about myself:
- I grew up with 5 siblings (2 sisters and 3 brothers) and 2 parents in a house with only one bathroom. (I wouldn't recommend this)
- I've actually travelled past the arctic circle. This was when I was younger and living up north with my parents but hey I can still claim it.
- I am 28 and just got my drivers license this summer that just passed
- My TBR pile at home is about 300 strong and still growing
- I slather my pancakes with peanut butter and syrop. Mmmm...
- I am marrying the love of my life in August of next summer.
- My passion in life is teaching. I am currently an occasional teacher and I have my own class every Wednesday.

Alright, well here are my new favourite bloggers who I am giving this award to:
All About N
(I love this blog. There is a great feature about people's bookcases.)
The Story Siren (This blog is mainly focused on YA fiction. I didn't read much of this until I discovered this blog)
Gina's Skinny Recipes (This is a blog with amazing recipes for those watching their figure. Amazing food)
Loving Books (This blog has reviews on a variety of types of books)
A Thousand Books with Quotes (This blog focuses quotes from classic literature)
Julie C. Butler Photography (This is my wedding photographer's blog. She does AMAZING work)
Readerbuzz (This is another great book blog.)
Books by their Cover (I love that this blog not only rates the books but also their covers. Love it!)
The Broke and the Bookish (This blog has many different reviewers. I like this because it is updated often and you get different points of view)
The Perpetual Page-Turner (The author of this blog has a great writing style. She just posted a great post about the etiquette of blogging)
Bitsy Bling's Book Reviews (I like the fact that an author is posting book reviews. I have not read any of the author's work yet but I plan to.)
Snowdrop Dreams of Books (This blog focuses mainly on YA but does have other types of books. Great layout!)
A Bookish Way of Life (This is a book blog that reviews a lot of mainstream fiction novels.)
In the Library of Lady Violet
(I love watching the vlogs on this blog)
S. Krishna's Books
(This blog is great and really opens my eyes to different types of books that I would enjoy reading.)

Well there it is, my first blogging award. Thanks again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion
Publishing Date: 11/15/2010
ISBN: 9780547330082
Pages: 304 pages

Summary from GoodReads:

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels. When she's not writing, she hunts dinosaurs in the deserts and badlands outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives. This is her first novel for young adults. For more about Kersten, please visit

My Review:
I received this novel as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I really liked the concept for the storyline. You don't often see too many books out there that are centered around goblins. There are an abundance of vampire and werewolf stories but not goblins. The one thing that I wish the author did more of is to describe the magical goblin land. Most of the description in the book is done through dialogue rather than actually describing what is happening. I often found that some of the explanations in the novel were glossed over and I would have enjoyed knowing more. It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter in the sense that this is a land where anything magical could happen and I wanted to get more of a sense of where I was when I was reading. That being said, I really liked the characters in this book. Teagan is an independent and strong-willed young lady and her brother Aidan is quite endearing. Aidan is afraid of everything yet at the same time underneath it all he is a tough guy. I don't want to give away any of the plot but I will say that the plot is fast paced. There is always something going on and I am fairly certain there will be other books in this series. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (6)

This week I decided to do a vlog so here it is. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Booking Through Thursday

Well today's Booking Through Thursday is all about borrowing. Here is the question:

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a friend?
(Or don't your friends trust you to return their books?)
And, DO you return books you borrow?

Well I have to say that if I borrow books it is usually from my friends. I have a large tbr pile and oftentimes when I borrow it takes me a while to return the book. I always do return the books but it can sometimes take a bit of time. That being said, I do not like the 2 week limit on library books and have been known to forget to return my library books and then I incur a hefty fine. It is definitely much cheaper for me to buy the book and then I have it than to borrow it from the library and forget to return it.
This is not the case for my school books. I am a teacher and I often borrow books from the school library for my lesson plans. Those go back promptly.
I do lend out quite a number of books and I oftentimes do not get those back. It all depends on who I lend to. That being said, I have started to limit my lending to those I know will return my books.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fiona Stolen Child by Gemma Whelan

Publisher: GemmaMedia
Publishing Date: 10/07/2010
ISBN: 9781934848494
Pages: 307 pages

Description from GoodReads:
Fiona Clarke, an Irish writer living in New York, has been running away from her past since she left rural Cregora, Ireland, for boarding school. That past finds her, many years later, when her thinly veiled autobiographical novel is optioned for a movie. As consultant to the film, Fiona unearths deep secrets, relives childhood trauma, and connects with an estranged family unexpectedly thrust back into her life. History opens upon her, and Fiona is forced to stop running and confront a secret shame.
Ranging from Manhattan to Hollywood to rural Ireland, Fiona is a stunning tale of a creative woman’s life transformed by loss.

My Review:
I have to say I quite enjoyed this book. It has one of the best opening descriptions that I have read in a while. It vividly depicts a scene in a movie theatre. I would usually post a quote however I have an advanced reader copy and it may not be as accurate. More reason to go out and get this book. It is the story of Fiona who moved to the United States from Ireland. Her book is a novel but it is based mostly about her life. Family life in Ireland was tumultuous and this has greatly affected her life as an adult. It is only when Fiona's father dies that she is forced to face the ghosts of her past and really deal with healing her pain. I could not put this book down. I felt like I could relate on a certain level to Fiona. When stressful things happen in your past many things just show up in your adult life. It may be the smallest thing but when it happens you know that you still have to really heal from the past and move on. The characters in this novel were rich and you can't help but fall in love with some of them.
The novel also explores the idea of memory and how accurate it can be. Whether you remember a situation a certain way someone else may remember it quite differently. Memory is a funny thing and we all put our own slant on each memory. It's sometimes hard to tell what really happens.
Overall, I have to say I really liked this book. Whelan is a great writer and I recommend you read this. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This week was a slow week which is good for me because I have a lot of catching up to do. I did get some reference books this week: a French/English dictionary and a Besherelle (used for French verbs). Other than that this is what I got.

The first book that I got came in the mail from Library Thing's Early Reviewers program.
A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French. I have heard nothing but good things about this book and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

The next two books are from Net Galley.
I got: The Story of a Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon and In Office Hours by Lucy Kellaway.
I haven't heard much about these books but they sound pretty good. That's what was in my mailbox. What's in yours?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson

Publisher: Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: August 16th, 2010
ISBN: 9780316089517
Pages: 420 pgs

Summary from GoodReads:
NYPD detective Jack Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each restaurant through a killer's eyes.

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have become victims of the same sadistic killers. Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Gabby Larsen. Every killing is preceded by a postcard to the local newspaper--and Kanon and Larsen think they know where the next victims will be.

My Review:
I have read a lot of James Patterson books and generally I like them for what they are: suspenseful quick reads. The same can be true of this book. I really enjoyed the premise of this book and I liked that Patterson and Marklund focused a lot of their writing on character development. Most times these novels are plot driven and this is not to say that this novel isn't plot driven but it also focuses on the relationships between the characters. I enjoyed reading about the different countries and the different art pieces that were written about in this book. I feel that the authors really pushed the boundary of what is acceptable and I liked it. My only criticism of the novel is about the way the authors ended it. I felt that there was a big lead up to catching the killers and then in the end it was quickly tied up and concluded. I would have liked a little more in the finale of the novel. Overall, I feel this is one of Patterson's better books. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at

Well, I got quite a few books from NetGalley this week but I also got one book from Librarything as a part of their Early Reviewers program.

From LibraryThing:

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

From Net Galley:

1. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
2. Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton
3. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
5. The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
6. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
7. Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart
8. The Raising by Laura Kasischke
9. Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton
10. The Postcard Killers by James Patterson
11. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
12. The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
13. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
14. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Well, that's it for me. That's what's in my mailbox. What's in yours?

The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547194912
Pages: 336

From the Publishers:
Lena has lived her whole life near the beach - walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves - the problem is, she''s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father - a former surfer himself - refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can''t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water ... an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman - with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove. And soon ... what she sees in the mermaid''s mirror will change her life ...

My Review:
I really enjoyed the author's writing in this novel. The book can be divided into two parts: life with her father on the land and life with her mother in the sea. Lena has spent her life with her father, step-mother and younger brother living in a beautiful home near the ocean. While most of her friends love surfing, she has been reluctant to try because her father had some sort of accident. As it turns out the "accident" was not a surfing accident at all but a run-in with Lena's mother's family who just happen to be mermaids. I have to admit that I enjoyed the section of the novel where Lena remains on land a lot better than the section where she is under the ocean with her mermaid mother and her extended family. I thought that the mermaid part of the novel would have been a little more in depth that it was. I feel that Madigan could have made it a much more magical land than it was. I also found it hard to form a connection as a reader to Lena's maternal family. I felt a stronger connection with her paternal family because I felt that they were more empathetic and also more well-rounded characters. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending either. I feel that the author may have left the book open to a sequel which would make the ending alright but if there is no sequel I feel there is still a lot more that I want to know. Overall though, I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was creative and I always wanted to know more about what was happening. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays #2

This is a weekly meme posted by The Broke and the Bookish ( This week is the top ten books that made you cry.
Oh goodness this is an easy one for me. I am such and emotional person sometimes and it doesn't usually take much to make me cry. Alright well here are mine:

10) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
This novel is quite touching and there is one scene in particular where I found myself tearing up. It wasn't a full on cry for this one but it came close a few times.

9) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
This book was touching because of the innocence of the boy. He really had absolutely no idea of the atrocities being committed in his own backyard.

8) Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
I will admit I didn't think this would be a tearjerker but it is. It is not just a light and cheery book. Be prepared because I wasn't and I ended up crying on the bus. Yes folks, I was the crazy lady on the bus that day.

7) The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
This is an absolutely amazing book. I cried because I find it appalling the things that have been to people in this world all based on the colour of their skin. Ridiculous if you ask me!

6) My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Well, this was a huge movie with Cameron Diaz but those of you who only watched the movie saw a very different ending than what was in the book. The book was undoubtable better as my fiancee can attest as he was there for all the crying.

5) The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
I read this book for a Canadian Lit class and the novel focuses a lot of attention on soldiers lost in the war. It was a very moving and powerful novel.

4) The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Well, since this was a huge blockbuster hit I imagine most of you know why I was crying at the end of this book. It was especially touching when Henry comes back and speaks with his daughter.

3) Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes
This is mostly a chick lit book and I don't usually cry much during these types of books but I couldn't help but cry for the main character in this book. I can't tell you why without giving too much away but you should get this book and read it :)

2) The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman
I love, love, love this book! I read it for my Neo-Victorian Lit class and I just couldn't put it down. I cried for the title character of this novel. She was born into the wrong class and at the wrong time (during the cholera outbreak) and was taken advantage of by the wrong people. I couldn't help but shed a few tears for her.

1) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This book was emotional for me because I just couldn't believe the violation of people in this novel. Overall it was an amazing story but there were so many disturbing things in this novel and I had a hard with them.

Okay, okay, I couldn't stick to 10 so I have 11 :)

11) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
I have to say I wasn't really thinking this would be all that great because the only other Nicholas Sparks books I had read were a little cheesy but I ended up really liking this book. I bawled like a baby at the end of this book.