Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WoW: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

I don't think you can go wrong with a title like this.  I am intrigued to see what Jennifer E. Smith does with this book.  Here is a summary from GoodReads:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

This book comes out January 2nd, 2012. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WoW: A Million Suns

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

My pick this week is A Million Suns by Beth Revis.  I recently listened to Across the Universe on audio and I need to know what happens next on the ship.  Here is a summary:

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

This book comes out January 10th, 2012 and I hope it is just at good as Across the Universe. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WoW: Hallowed

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

My pick this week is Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.  I have been waiting for this for about a year because I read Unearthly and quite enjoyed it.  Here is a summary from GoodReads:

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

This book comes out January 17th, 2012 and I can't wait! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publishing Date: January 4th, 2011
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 324 pgs
ISBN: 9781439164631

Summary from GoodReads:
Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole. In so doing, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most.
In this powerful and poignant New York Times bestseller, Lisa Genova explores what can happen when we are forced to change our perception of everything around us. Left Neglected is an unforgettable story about finding abundance in the most difficult of circumstances, learning to pay attention to the details, and nourishing what truly matters.

My Review:
I picked up this audiobook because I read Genova's debut novel Still Alice and I was blown away by her writing.  I have to say that this book was equally as impressive.  Left Neglected is about a woman whose life is in constant motion.  She is being pulled in different directions by her children, her husband and her job.  One day her life is dramatically changed and as a result she is forced to slow down.  Sarah gets into a car accident which leaves her with an acquired brain injury.  As a result of this injury she suddenly forgets all things left.  She forgets her left hand, her left leg, the left side of a page, the left side of a room; basically her brain tells her there is no left side.  This means a lot of physical therapy in order to train her brain to remember her left side.  I found Genova's description of this brain injury fascinating.  It also makes you think about your own life.  What is really important in life and what kind of things are we neglecting.  Sarah realizes that she was neglecting the things that are really important in life, such as special moments with her children and getting to know her mom, in order to be successful in her career.  This book really made me question if I appreciate the little things in life or if I rush past them all to get to the next phase in my life.  Why are we always in such a rush to get to the next thing when we aren't even fully experiencing the present? I really enjoyed the audio part of this book.  The narrator does a really good job at holding your attention and at expressing the feelings of the characters.  I also really liked the relationship between the husband and the wife in this book.  It doesn't sugar coat the difficulty that they had trying to adapt to their new situation.  Finances were strained and the husband and the wife really had to redefinine their relationship in a way.  Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5 and I have added it to the best books of 2011 pile.  I definitely recommend picking it up and if you haven't read Still Alice you should get that while you're at the bookstore. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WoW: Wintertown

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

I'm looking forward to Wintertown by Stephen Edmond.  Here is a summary from Good Reads:

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off.
Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.

This book came out 2 days ago on December 5th but I'm still waiting to go and pick it up.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TTT: Childhood Faves

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week we are supposed to share our favorite books from childhood so here they are:

I'm Canadian so this is a staple with Canadian children.  We still watch the DVDs every Christmas

Who didn't love the Babysitter's Club? My faves were always the Super Editions. 

So this was more during grade 7 and 8 but I loved a good scary novel and these were the best!  Forget Goosebumps :)

This is an amazing children's book and Robert Munsch is another great Canadian author.

This was another series that I loved in grade 7 and 8.  Scary and creepy.

Sweet Valley High was great!  I have to admit that the new book that came out recently didn't quite live up to the original series.

I must have read this book 100 times in elementary school.  It has funny stories about going to school.

Where the Wild things are was a staple in our household. 
Well, I only came up with 8 of them but I honestly can't remember all the books I read as a child.  I read entirely too many! I'm curious to see what you all come up with.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Publisher: Harlequin
Publishing Date: November 22nd, 2011
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 336 pgs
ISBN: 9780373210244

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from GoodReads
When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.

My Review:
I received this book on NetGalley for review and I really enjoyed it.  The book is a contemporary that blends tear jerking moments, teen angst, road trips, mixed tapes, and finding oneself all in one book. Harper Scott is struggling to come to terms with the fact that her sister, June, committed suicide.  Throughout much of the book Harper seems rather detached about her sister's death and can at times be rather tempermental. 
I thought that Harrington did a good job of showing grief in a different way than just sheer sadness and depression.  I also really enjoyed the road trip part of this book.  I love that with each stop on their journey Harper learns more and more about herself and in the doing that she is able to learn more and more about her sister.  I have to admit to crying just a little bit at certain parts of this book.  I could not put this book down and it only took me a day to read.  I would most definitely recommend this book to those who love YA and contemporary reads.  My only gripe about this book is that they threw in a romance.  I am not sure that I would be ready to start a relationship or to fall in love with someone mere weeks after my sister's death.  That is one thing about some YA that irks me a bit.  I don't think that it is necessary to always have a romance involved in every book especially when it is a book that is already dealing with death and finding oneself.  Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- What am I waiting for?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's edition is as follows:
Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read.

Well I have over 400 books on the shelf.  I know it is a ridiculously big TBR pile and I plan on going on a book buying ban ASAP.  Anyhow many of the books that are there have been sitting on my shelf for years.  RIDICULOUS!

I have to admit that most of my books will be adult books as I have only started reading YA in the past year.  Well, here's my list:

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller- This is a classic and I know I have to be in the right frame of mind to read it... hence my procrastination

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt- I really want to read this so I'm not sure why I keep putting it off

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth- Well it's not surprise why I'm putting this off.. this book is a behemoth- a ridiculous amount of pages.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo- I think this needs to go on my tbr list for December. It's supposed to be amazing

The World According to Garp by John Irving- I think everyone and their mother has read this. It looks great.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo- Another classic

Good Grief by Lolly Winston- This book looked so good when I got it and then school happened and I never got to it.  I've been out of school for 3 years now. I think I should pick it up.

Half Magic by Edward Eager- This book was given to me by my practicum teacher- over 3 years ago! Yikes!

I am Legend by Richard Matheson- I got this book after the movie came out and then never got around to reading it.

Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells- I enjoyed the movie and wanted to read the book.  

Well there it is... I can't wait to see what you have been hoarding on your bookshelves :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publishing Date: September 12th, 2011
Genre: YA, mystery
Pages: 256 pgs
ISBN: 9780547496382

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.
Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.

My Review:
I received this book in a package of books from Thomas Allen & Son about a month ago.  I had a backlog of books to read so this one got put on the back burner.  Well, I feel like I should have read this book sooner.  I really enjoyed this book.  I actually read it all in one night and I couldn't put it down.  The book is about Willa who lives with her mother, her step-father and her step-sisters.  One night, her biological father goes on a rampage and kills his wife and his children and is on his way to see Willa.  After all is said and done this is much more than just a thriller.  It delves into the complexity of blended families and of how important biological parents are to our  identity.  Willa begins questioning her identity after this incident and embarks on a journey to "find herself".  I really like how the author is able to write about teens.  As I've said before in other reviews, I often find that some authors gloss over some of the difficult things of being a teen.  In this novel, the main character Willa allows herself to be selfish for once and she does so in an over-the-top kind of way.  This novel deals with many issues that teens face including blended families and cutting.  It is raw and real and well written.  I would definitely recommend this novel.  Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Smart Chicks Kick It!

Recently I had the chance to meet up with some Ottawa area bloggers.  This wasn't just any get together though, we were all getting together to go to Smart Chicks Kick It.   It was an amazing event where we got to meet: Charles de Lint, Melissa Marr, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, Jennifer Lynn Barnes and my personal fave Kelley Armstrong.  It was an amazing night!

First a group of us met at a restaurant close to the signing.  This is the first time I got to meet some of my fellow bloggers and it was so nice.  It's great meeting people who are just as passionate about books as you are.  I was also excited because there are not many author events in the Ottawa area.  Most times they are in Toronto on a week night and that is a 5 hour drive for me.

At the signing there was a question and answer period and then we played some fun games.  It was really interesting listening to the authors talk about everything under the sun.  It really seems like they have a lot of fun on these tours.  Here are a few pictures from the evening:

The panel: Charles de Lint, Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Melissa de la Cruz, & Margaret Stohl

The crowd: fairly diverse.  I even saw my vice principal and a co-worker there with a group of students from my school.

Margaret Stohl- this woman has enough energy for the whole room

Again Margaret Stohl- during the lightning round

Some amazing bloggers: Chrystal from Snowdrop Reads, Em from Emilie's Book World, Carmel from Rabid Reads, Me and Catherine from The Lady Critic's Library

Getting our books signed.

The line up was insane!
Overall, a great night and I got a book signed from each author!  Yay!  I can't wait for more blogger get togethers and more author signings. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Inheritance

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it is a weekly feature where bloggers share what they are excited to read next.

This week I am excited for the fourth (and hopefully) the final in a series. 

Inheritance by Christopher Poalini!! 
What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Fun!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's edition is the Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween.  Here are my picks:

Not much explanation needed- it's about werewolves

This is a great book at witches and wizards.. oh and some dragons

This book creeped me out like you wouldn't believe; great ghost story

Here's another great ghost story


Another ghost story- what can I say I love a good ghost story

Creepy distopian vampire/zombie type book

Vampires but done in a different way... 3rd book comes out this week!

Classic vampire

Well it's right in the title- Witches
These are my top ten... What are yours?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Word on the Street

So this post is a little late.  I have been ridiculously busy trying to make some resources for my classroom lately and as a result I haven't had time to download any photos from Word on the Street.  I know excuses, excuses.  Anyhow, for those of you who don't know Word on the Street is an annual event in Toronto (I also believe it is in other Canadian locations as well).  Essentially they shut down two busy streets in Toronto at Queen's Park and there are tents with book vendors and food vendors.  They also have different author readings and things in the park.  It's an incredibly amazing bookish event and this year I had the opportunity to go with my sister.  We also met up with my old roommate while we were there.  Here are a few pics from the event:

Here I am on the street.  You can see all the vendors in the background.

Again another pic of me with the vendors in the background. 

Here are all my goodies that I bought. This is pre-Mara Dyer

Word on the Street guide.

Again another pic of my goodies! 

For all you Canadians I'm sure you know the PolkaRoo

Yes, I am a huge nerd!

Again, trying to sneak in while he greets the children. 

Me & My Sister Kendra
Anyhow, we had a great time til the end of the day where we were going to go and see Kelley Armstrong speak.  I thought it would be a great idea at that point to drop my credit card somewhere on the street.  My sister and I ran around trying to find it to no avail.  Oh well, I had my credit card company send me a new one.  Overall, a successful day and I will definitely making this a yearly trip.  Any bloggers want to meet up next year?