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?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

IMM (20)

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

This week I got a few books.  I got one for review:

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada! 
  I also bought 4 books:

I am ridiculously excited for this one!

Well, that's what I got in my mailbox this week.  What did you get in yours?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publishing Date: September 19th, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 352 pgs
ISBN: 9780152065706

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteen-year-old, her options are limited: move to Kenya with her missionary parents or marry the baby’s father and work at his family’s summer camp for overweight kids.
Despite her initial reluctance to help out, Elly is surprised that she actually enjoys working with the campers. But a tragedy on the very day her baby is born starts a series of events that overwhelms Elly with unexpected emotions and difficult choices. Somehow, she must turn her usual obstinance in a direction that can ensure a future for herself—and for the new life she has created. 

My Review:
I received this book in a package from Thomas Allen & Son publishers for review and I didn't know much about this book.  It was a book that I thought might be decent but I didn't have high expectations for this book.  That being said, I ended up really enjoying it.  Nolan was able to write about teen pregnancy, which has been done many times before, and make it her own.  I never got bored of this book and I never thought "I've seen this before".  I love that the majority of the book takes place at summer camp.  I worked at a summer camp for two years and I loved it.  It was a specialized camp for children and teens with physical and cognitive disabilities and it was one the best experiences I've had.  I can why Elly really finds herself immersed in it and why in the end it ultimately changes her for the better.  Elly is a great character too.  She is headstrong and is not afraid to tell people what she is thinking.  I love the scenes when she is with her in-laws; she is full of sass and isn't afraid to put them in their place.  I have to admit that while I may be stubborn like Elly, I don't usually go around telling people exactly what I'm thinking.  I like that Elly's character is a bit flawed too.  She is naive and a little bit selfish.  This is what it is like to be a teen; they don't always have the answers but they think they do.  I can remember being exactly like this- without the pregnancy and juvie thing.  I thought I had it figured out and so often I ended up disappointed because things didn't quite work out that way.  Elly is disappointed in life in more ways than one: her husband, her in-laws, her parents.  She is a tough cookie though and she keeps on trekking through the big pile of manure handed to her.  I have to say while reading this I just wanted to take the parents in this book and shake them.  What were they doing?  Do you really think trying to force someone to give their child up for adoption is the right thing to do?  What ever happened to being supportive?  Anyhow, I ended up loving this book and I can't wait to read more books by Nolan.  I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Contest: Jodi Picoult

As you know I read a variety of different genres and while lately I have been reading predominantly YA I also read some adult fiction.  One of my favourite adult authors is Jodi Picoult and I was excited to find out that not only is there a new book coming out in February but Simon and Schuster is having a contest where you can win a collection of every single Jodi Picoult book.

The new book is called Lone Wolf and it comes out February 28th, 2012 (btw how weird is it to write that date and it's just around the corner).  This book doesn't have a cover yet but it deals with taking someone off life support.  The synopsis sounds great.  You can read about it by clicking on the link. 

Before getting to the contest I wanted to give you a top 3 list of my favorite Jodi Picoult books.  Here they are:

This is the first Picoult book that I read and it got me hooked.  For all of you who watched the movie and thought that you should read the book I would recommend that you read this one.  The ending in the book is drastically different from the book.

This book is about a boy who is on the Autism spectrum.  I loved reading this book because I work with children who have Autism and I thought it provided a lot of insight into the day to day life of a family of someone who has special needs. 

The Tenth Circle is one of those books that you either like or you really don't.  There are different comics strewn throughout the book at when you are done there is a secret message hidden within these comics.  

Anyhow, those are my fave Picoult books.  I have to space my Picoult books out because at times they can seem similar but regardless I still love them.  That is why I am excited for the contest.  The contest is only open to Canadians and is hosted by Simon and Schuster Canada.  It runs from October 18th until November 8th.  If you would like to enter click the caption under the ad and it should direct you to the right place.

Sweepstakes from Simon and Schuster

I am crossing my fingers I win this sweepstakes.  What are your fave Picoult books?  Let me know in the comments. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

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

This week I only received one book but it came in the mail and was a complete surprise for me.  Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada who sent me a finished copy of The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman for review.

 That's what I got in my mailbox this week.  What did you get in yours?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: October 5th, 2004
Rating: 5 stars
Pages: 537 pgs
ISBN: 9780689865190

Summary from GoodReads
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.
Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

My Review:
Last week was banned books week and I decided to read a book that is often banned: Crank by Ellen Hopkins.  This book is written entirely in verse and at times I am not fond of this type of writing but this book was AMAZING!  I could not put this book down and I read it all in one day.  I even went out that night and bought the next two books in the series.  This book is often banned because it has to do with a teen who becomes addicted to meth and as a result her decision making skills are often called into question.  There are drugs, sex and profanity in this book and I suppose this is the reason it has been banned.  I do agree that parents should know what their children are reading and if they feel the book is too mature at the time then that is their decision but I do not agree that an entire library should ban a book.  It is up to the person to make that decision and it should not be a unanimous decision to say that something is too mature.  Teens have all different types of experiences and books like this may help them to relate to something or someone even if it is a fictional character.  I was disturbed by this book and it kept making me think of how life could be different for me if I had gone down a different road.  I couldn't help but yell out loud at Kristina sometimes and not just at Kristina but also her father, and some of the men in her life.  I would highly recommend reading this novel and I can't wait to read her next two books in this series: Glass and Fallout.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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'm sure this book is on many other bloggers' wishlist.  I read Divergent by Veronica Roth and I can't wait for the newest installment of this series: Insurgent.

 Insurgent comes out May 2012 which seems like so long but I'm sure that time will just fly by.  What are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox.. a little late (18)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  Well this week was quite a good week for books.  I went to Word on the Street last Sunday and I will post about that soon but I got a few books there:

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
I also received a great big package in the mail of review books.  Thank you very much Thomas Allen & Son Publishers! Here they are:

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan

The Springsweet (The Vespertine #2) by Saundra  Mitchell

Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I also bought 2 books this week at Chapters:

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Anyhow that's what I got in my mailbox this week.  What did you get in yours?