Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren ( I'm not doing a vlog today because all my books this week were either Kindle books or from Net Galley for review.

From NetGalley

Caribou Island by David Vann
Chrissy's Shell by Brooke Keith
Crying Blood by Donis Casey
The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan
The Cellar by A. J. Whitten
Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer
Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham
Loom by Therese Soukar Chehade
Hope Burned by Brent LaPorte
Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
Fiona Stolen Child by Gemma Whelan
Murder at Plain Sight by Marta Perry

For My Kindle:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish ( This week the topic is for Halloween this week and it is top ten 10 spooky/creepy/scary books. Here are mine:

10) Heartstopper by Joy Fielding: I found this book creepy because at certain points in the novel it is in the point of view of the killer. I always find stuff like that creepy just because I could never conceive of how someone can do something like that.

9) Heartsick by Chelsea Cain: I also found this book creepy because of the killer in the novel. The killer is a female and she find pleasure in torturing people and eventually cutting out their hearts. Gross!

8) Still Alice by Lisa Genova: This novel is scary for a different reason. The main character in this novel develops early onset Alzheimer's disease. The novel is told in the point of view of the woman with Alzheimers and I find it scary because it would horrible not knowing who the most important people in your life including yourself.

7) Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: This novel is told in the point of view of a girl who was killed by her neighbour. I found this emotionally scary. I couldn't even imagine having to go through this.

6) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Well this is a classic and it shoudn't be a surprise why it is on my top ten list.

5) The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro: I loved loved loved this novel. I find that there are many novels out there with "tamed" vampires. This novel brings it back to a carnal almost zombie type of vampire. Super creepy!

4) Lust Killer by Ann Rule: I read this true-crime book when I was in grade 9 and I was so disturbed by the things that human beings do to eachother. This man actually made paperweights from the breasts of the women he killed.

3) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: I also read this book in grade 9 and it is a novel with a fictionalized version of a true life crime. Again I guess I find that killing another human being is so disturbing.

2) The Passage by Justin Cronin: I read this book over the summer and I loved it. It is a zombie novel and it focuses on the breakdown of civilization. It was super creepy but at the same time showed a bit of hope for the humans.

1) Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill: This book is high on the scare factor. It is a ghost story and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read it.

Well there are mine... What are yours?

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

From the Publishers:

The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon,
Hush, Hush!

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

My Review:

Well, I have to say I liked this book better than the first novel in the series. As stated in previous entries I have never been one for really reading a lot of YA but I thought I'd give it a try and I am really enjoying what I am reading. By the end of Hush, Hush I didn't quite know what to think of some of the characters in the books. Nora seemed a bit flat at times but in Crescendo I think Fitzpatrick has developed her character a little more. I love that Fitzpatrick writes her novels in the mindset of a teen. Many novels that I read with teens in them have these unbelievably mature teens who rarely fly off the handle. I like that Nora is guided by impulse and her emotions. I have to admit I was this way in high school.

One of my critisms of the novel though is that it seems to promote unhealthy relationships. Nora and Patch's relationship is anything but stable/healthy. In a way this relationship reminds me a bit of Edward and Bella in Twilight. I know you die hard Twilight fans will disagree but if you love someone you do not continue to push them away and that being said after so many times of being pushed away a girl needs to move on. (Even if the reason for pushing the girl away is that it's for her own good.) That's just a little pet peeve of mine in some of these novels.

That being said, I still quite enjoyed the book. Fitzpatrick is quite good at drawing the readers in. I will most definitely be going out to get the next installment of this series. The book ends on quite a cliffhanger and I actually thought my Kindle didn't download the whole book for a moment. I can't wait to see what happens next. My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

IMM is a weekly meme from Kristi at The Story Siren ( Her site is amazing so don't just check it out for IMM.
Anyhow this is my first vlog so hopefully it works out.

From my Aunt:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke
Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke
The Hand of Justice by Susanna Gregory
Crowner Royal by Bernard Knight
A Plague on Both Houses by Susanna Gregory
206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
Vicious by Kevin O'Brien
9 Dragons by Michael Connelly
Mister X by John Lutz
Wicked Prey by John Sanford
Rough Country by John Sanford
The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell
Where the Dead Lay by David Levien
The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon
Torn Apart by Shane Gericke
Hard Stop by Chris Knopf

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Une Journee a la Ferme by Kirsten Hall
Caillou decouvre les aliment
Je sais Lire by Louise Gikow
Je suis Gentil by David Parker

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

That's all in my mailbox this week. What's in yours?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

From the Publishers:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My Review:

I don't often read YA fiction but since browsing multiple book blogs I have noticed that this is a huge trend. Many blogs are based on YA and I thought I better find out what the fuss is all about. I have to say this book lived up to its hype. I couldn't put this book down and immediately ordered the second book in the series Crescendo as soon as I was done this book. I really liked Fitzpatrick's writing style. The book cover pretty much gives away the secret that Patch is some sort of fallen angel but I think Fitzpatrick did a good job of keeping he suspense and mystery around Patch's character. At times Nora drove me a bit bonkers; I just found myself yelling at her in certain situations. That being said, I do remember what it is like to be 16 years old and thinking you are on top of the world and invincible. You are definitely attracted to the unknown and mysterious and while in your brain you know you shouldn't pursue something you find yourself ignoring it anyhow. At this is how I was at the age of 16. I am curious to see how Fitzpatrick tops her first book. Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Booking Through Thursday

So here is the question this week:

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

Well, since I'm Canadian I guess I could include American novels but I feel like that's a bit like cheating. I read a lot of Canadian literature and many of my favorite novels are by Canadians so I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with an answer. That being said, one of my favourite authors is Marian Keyes who hales from Ireland. I love the book Is Anybody Out There.
I also really like The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini now lives in the States but he is originally from Afghanistan so I think that should count as a book from another country as well. I realize now that I think I need to branch out and try reading some more foreign books. That is my goal for the next 6 months.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

From the Publishers:

First in a brand-new urban fantasy series from the author of The "Blood" Books
The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, and they like to keep this in the family. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life, both personally and magically. So when the letter from her Gran arrives willing her a "junk" shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary-trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...

My Review:
I have never read any of Huff's novels but I have to say that this book kept me intrigued. It is about a family who has magical powers. Allie gets called to Calgary to take over her grandmother's shop. While there, Allie gets mixed up with leprechauns, sorcerers and dragons. I found that I was pulled right into this magical world and always wanted to know what came next. The characters in this book are amazing. Throughout the novel Allie has a coming of age journey and really grows into a young woman. Her aunties are outrageous and over the top; the same can be said of her cousins. The only thing that turned me off a little with this book is that at times things were not fully explained. You have to assume you know what it is the author means at times. Even by the end of the novel I found myself with a few questions. It seems as thought this is the first book in a new series so I'm guessing Huff is leaving some mystery and intrigue so that you will read the rest of the series. I quite enjoyed the writing style of this novel and I am amazed at the author's creativity. I have her Blood Lines series and I'm looking forward to reading them. Overall I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme by The Story Siren ( I recently got very interested in looking at different websites and they way they set their blogs up. Since I had a brief hiatus from blogging and I'm just getting back into it I would appreciate some tips on how to improve my blog. If you have any ideas don't hesitate to post a comment.
Anyhow, here is what I picked up this week:


These purchases were definitely inspired by searching around different blogging sites. I have found that a majority of these sites focus on YA fiction which is great. I am a primary/junior teacher so I teach from JK to grade 6 right now as an occasional teacher. I love that more and more students are really into reading and reading different genres so I thought I'd pick a few of these up. I also bought a few books this week. Here they are for you.


Most of these I have been wanting for quite some time with the exception of the Tanya Huff novel. My aunt had read it and she encouraged me to get this one. It's what I'm reading right now and I'm quite enjoying it. Anyhow, that's it for me. I much prefer watching the vlogs so if I can figure out how to do that for next week I'll give it a go. Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I enjoyed mine.

The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

From the Publishers: From the authors of the instant New York Times bestseller The Strain comes the next volume in one of the most imaginative and frightening thriller series in many, many years Last week they invaded Manhattan. This week they will destroy the world. The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather-head of the Centers for Disease Control's team-leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late. Ignited by the Master's horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires' entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forces that humans-powerless and vulnerable-find themselves no longer the consumers but the consumed. Though Eph understands the vampiric plague better than anyone, even he cannot protect those he loves. His ex-wife, Kelly, has been transformed into a bloodcrazed creature of the night, and now she stalks the city looking for her chance to reclaim her Dear One: Zack, Eph's young son.With the future of humankind in the balance, Eph and his team, guided by the brilliant former professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and joined by a crew of ragtag gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined-a fate worse than annihilation.

My Review:
This is the second book in a trilogy. I really enjoyed reading this book although at times I found that it lagged a bit. I really liked the first book and knew I just had to have the 2nd and 3rd books when they came out. What I like about this novel is that it has vampires in it but they are vampires at a very primal animalistic level. Rather than being 100 year old men who still go to high school, the ancients are focusing their energy on total domination of the human race. For all the Twilight fans out there who are going to be upset with that last sentence, I still enjoyed reading Twilight. Don't get me wrong, it was a good series but at times I found myself wondering why on earth would these vampires go back to high school. I know I personally wouldn't want to go back to high school and date a teenager (too much angst for me). Anyhow, it's time to get back to The Fall. As much as I enjoyed the first book, I found myself needing to go back and re-read parts of it because I couldn't remember exactly what had happened. I think that could be because I read so many books in a year it's sometimes hard to get all the characters straight. I am also wondering if it would have been better to wait and read The Fall until the last book comes out. I found myself wanted to know what is going to happen next when I finished the book and I hate that I have to wait to find out. That being said, I think the author did a good job of ending the 2nd book of the trilogy. I find that sometimes it can read like the end of a chapter but in this case it seemed like a logical place to end the book. I love the characters in these books. All the characters come from such different backgrounds but find a way to come together to kick vampire butt. One is a doctor, one is a pest control man, one is a former gang member and another is an old Holocaust survivor. All in all this was an excellent book and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Booking Through Thursday

So since I started blogging again, I though that I would start responding to Booking Through Thursday again. So here is the question:
When you travel, how many books do you bring with you? Has this changed since the arrival of ebooks?

I have to say that I am a classic overpacker to begin with so it isn't any different when it comes to books. (It may actually be even worse). When it comes to packing books I have this unrealistic expectation that I'm actually going to read every book I bring with me. If I'm going away for a weekend I've been known to bring 4 books. If I'm going for a week then I usually bring about 7 books. I never actually read this many books but I always think I'm going to. I couldn't bear being away and running out of books to read. Usually, I bring a few extras home with me too.
I got a Kindle e-reader for my birthday in July and I have only been away twice since I've had it. I brought it with me both times but I have to admit I still brought paperbacks with me as well. I don't know, I guess I like to have options. I'm heading to the Barbados this summer so I'm thinking this will come in handy since we're flying and there is a weight restriction. I'm curious to see how many books other people pack with them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

From the Publishers:
Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels-sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party-on a budget!
Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it's trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.
Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is "Mine!" and she's even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there's a huge financial crisis.
With people having to "cut back," Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source-and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.
Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky's secret wishes ever come true?

My Review:
Well, it has been quite some time since I posted anything on my blog. Let's just say I've been quite busy planning a wedding and trying to find a teaching position. Anyhow, that being said, I have still been avidly reading. I have to admit while Kinsella is not literary genius, I have a soft spot in my heart for her writing. I have read every one of her books written as Kinsella and I have also read a majority of her books written as Wickham. I much prefer her non-shopaholic books but as the Shopaholic series has progressed I think it has just gotten better. I could not put this book down. I read this book in one day and I have to say that it lived up to its expectations. I really enjoy the hilarity of Becky Brandon's antics. She is a train wreck waiting to happen. In the end though, she pulls everything off. (Is there really any other way for a Kinsella book to end?). I can't wait for the next installment of this series. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.