Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

It gives people a chance to share what books we're so excited about that we can't wait for them to come out.

Here is this week's edition:

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison

Summary from GoodReads:

Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it?

Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything--dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

I do love a little chick lit. This book comes out July 19th, 2011 (Yes, that was yesterday!) What's on your wishlist this week?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: April 12th 2011
Genre: YA
Pages: 359 pgs
ISBN: 9780061797026

My Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

My Review:

I had never read anything by Kelley Armstrong but I have heard so many great things about her. When I saw The Gathering at Chapters for 30% off (40% off with my discount card) I just had to get it. I wasn’t disappointed by this book. From the moment I started it I couldn’t put it down. I loved the setting of this book. I especially loved all the Canadian elements to this book. (They even mention poutine- for all you Americans reading this blog you need to try poutine!) It is not often that I read a mainstream novel with a Canadian setting. I have never been out west before but I have heard that it is beautiful. While reading this novel I felt like I was there. I would love to live on this island although I think I would be a little freaked out by the mountain lions all around. I also loved Maya. She was such a strong character and so loyal to her friends. You could see her inner conflict from the very beginning of this novel. My one beef with this novel is that it just sort of ends. I hate when novels are part of a series and it ends on a cliffhanger. Now I have to wait for a while before I know what happens next. I have Armstrong’s book titled Bitten which is part of another series. I will have to read this as soon as possible and at least I know there are quite a few books in this series which are already out. Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Where Did They All Come From?

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is as follows:

How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website that you use like Paperbackswap?

I have to admit that while I should be getting books at the library I tend to buy most of my books. I usually end up getting them at Chapters but from time to time I find some good books at used bookstores. I do lend out a fair number of books and I also borrow some from my Aunt who reads just as much as I do. I have to admit though I buy them faster than I can read them so I have a huge TBR pile or what I like to call my library.

I'm excited to see the rest of your answers. Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Publisher: Egmont USA
Publishing Date: June 14th, 2011
Genre: YA
Pages: 397 pgs
ISBN: 9781606841440

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My Review:
I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put this down because the idea behind this book was just so interesting. At first glance this book seems to be about a girl who can see ghosts but in the end it is about much more than this. I loved Emerson's character because she stays herself throughout the entire book and grows from her experiences. I wasn't so sure about the romance in this novel at first but by the end of the book I liked the relationship between Emerson and Michael. I also really liked the secondary characters in this novel. Emerson's brother and sister-in-law were written quite well. McEntire is able to demonstrate their struggle in trying to be Emerson's guardian and at the same time trying to give her room to learn and grow. I don't have any complaints about this novel and you should definitely go out and get this book. I can't wait for the next novel in this series!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Things we Cherished by Pam Jenoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

It gives people a chance to share what books we're so excited about that we can't wait for them to come out.

Here is this week's edition:

The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff

Summary from GoodReads:
Pam Jenoff, whose first novel, The Kommandant’s Girl, was a Quill Award finalist, a Book Sense pick, and a finalist for the ALA Sophie Brody Award, joins the Doubleday list with a suspenseful story of love and betrayal set during the Holocaust.

An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attor­neys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II–era war crimes.

The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteri­ously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.

Rich in historical detail, Jenoff’s astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances.

This book comes out July 12th, 2011 (Yes that was yesterday!) What's on your wishlist this week?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: 10 Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 7th, 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Pages: 368 pgs
ISBN: 9780061701245

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.

My Review:

Again, this is another book I had to buy because of all the hype and this book lived up to the hype. I loved this story. It reminded me of being in high school and all the crazy things I did. I moved in with my dad when I was almost done high school and to say that he travelled a lot is an understatement. I was often left on my own in an apartment and while that may seem glamorous but it also means that you have a grocery shop on your own and pay the bills with money given to you. I could relate to April in that way but I have to admit while I may have had a few people over to the apartment when no one was there, I did not bring it to the level that these two girls did. I think I actually laughed out loud when they bought a hot tub for their place. What an amazingly good idea that could turn into such an amazingly horrible idea. This is a great summer read and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a fun, hilarious read. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publishing Date: May 24th, 2011
Genre: YA
ISBN: 9780439895972
Pages: 390 pgs

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

My Review:

I was very excited to read this book. I have never read anything by Libba Bray and when I saw this book on the shelves at Chapters I had to grab it. This review will be difficult to write. I so badly wanted to love this book but in the end I can’t say that I loved it. That is not to say that I hated this book. I really love Bray’s writing style. She is witty and eloquent and is amazingly talented. She is able to bring so many issues to light in the book including, corporate branding, GLBT issues and body image issues. I also enjoyed the little pageant queen bios and commercial breaks. I like the format of this book. That being said, I think the reason I couldn’t get into the book as much as I thought I would is because I didn’t find myself personally invested in one particular character. There were so many characters in this book and Bray does an amazing job of giving each character the same amount of attention and time in the book. I have heard so many great things about Libba Bray and I follow her Twitter feed so I think I am going to have to try another book. Maybe Going Bovine? Overall I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.