Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: February 1st, 2012
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 424 pgs
ISBN: 9781554687589

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Katie Sandford has just gotten an interview at her favourite music magazine, The Line. It's the chance of a lifetime. So what does she do? Goes out to celebrate - and shows up still drunk at the interview. No surprise, she doesn't get the job, but the folks at The Line think she might be perfect for another assignment for their sister gossip rag. All Katie has to do is follow It Girl Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they'll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

Katie takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Katie begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason. Katie has to make a decision -- is publishing the article worth everything she has to lose?

My Review: 
This book has been out for about a year in Canada and I was surprised when I saw it on NetGalley; I guess it is being released in February in the States.  I have to say that I quite enjoyed this book.  I had just finished listening to a pretty serious book on audio and this was a welcome change.  This book deals with the serious issue of alcoholism and addiction but it does so in a way that is not too depressing.  The novel is mostly set in a rehab clinic where Katie Sanford is undercover trying to get a story on celebrity Amber Sheppard, aka The Girl Next Door.  When Katie enters rehab she thinks that she going to have to "fake" her alcoholism just to get in but in the end she discovers that perhaps maybe she did have a problem that needed some attention.  This book becomes a novel of self discovery and Katie ends up hurting not only herself but someone she forms a friendship with.  This novel plays out the way that one would expect but to me this isn't a bad thing.  When you begin reading this book, you know it is the kind of book that will conclude positively.  I quite enjoy books like this when I need a little cheering up and I was glad to have this book on hand when I read it.  The book is full of shenanigans that both Katie and Amber get into in rehab and in the end there is a little romance.  There is only one thing that irked me with the book but I think this is because I have the distinct pleasure of dealing with close family members with alcoholism my entire life.  I found that Katie's transformation to be a bit too sudden.  Every alcoholic that I have dealt with is highly in denial and even after several stints in rehab, they still have a very difficult time admitting that their drinking was ever  a problem.  Again, I don't think this is something that the average person would pick up on while reading Spin and I realize that I may just be extra-sensitive to the issue.  Even with this one complaint, I really enjoyed McKenzie's writing style and I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: The New Girl by Paige Haribison

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: January 31rst, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 304 pgs
ISBN: 9780373210428

Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodReads
They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

My Review: 
I received this copy from NetGalley for an honest review and I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading it.  I had read and reviewed Harbison's debut novel Here Lies Bridget and I had mixed feelings on that one too.  When I first started reading this novel I had no idea what it was about and as I started reading I realized that there were way too many similarities to the novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier for it to be coincidence.

-The novel is set at Manderly
-The missing girl in the book is named Becca, short for Rebecca
-There is a love triangle between two boys, best friends
-The narrator of the novel is never named but always referred to as "New Girl"

I could go on and on but I don't want to ruin too much of the plot.  So, without knowing it I had picked up a re-telling of DuMaurier's Rebecca.  I have to admit that while many people enjoy the classic Rebecca, I have never been a huge fan.  I always found the characters to be infuriating.  Well, not much is different with this book.  I found myself really disliking many of the characters in this book. 

Johnny and Max, for one, could not get their act together.  They claim to be best friends, yet they are both sleeping with the same girl even though they both don't really like her that much.  Why would you waste your friendship on something like that?  It seems like neither one of them can really speak their mind and in the end they string people along.  I found this to be really frustrating in the narration by New Girl.  Clearly, Max liked her but could never bring himself to commit because he felt guilty about his missing ex whom he never seemed to really enjoy anyhow.  

The girls in this book are downright nasty, mean girls.  Harbison is quite good at writing characters like this, as her novel Here Lies Bridget deals with this very thing.  New Girl's roommate borders on psycho and I couldn't imagine having to share a room with someone like that.  

I have to admit that while there were some things that I disliked about the novel, I did enjoy other things.  The writing for one is quite good.  It keeps you engaged until the very last page and I had no trouble reading this in 2 days.  This is saying a lot because I was in the middle of writing report cards this week and things were a bit hectic.  Harbison has a way of evoking your emotions in a way that you may not expect.  

Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  As I said, while it may not be my favorite book of 2012, it's not going to rank on my most hated books either. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wow: The House I Loved

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 an adult book. I loved De Rosnay's Sarah's Key.  I read her second book published in Canada A Secret Kept and I while I liked it I didn't love it.   I'm looking forward to seeing how this book is. Here is a summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sarah’s Key and A Secret Kept comes an absorbing new novel about one woman’s resistance during an époque that shook Paris to its very core. Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.
 Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...

This books is out in stores February 14th, 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Publisher: Puffin
Publishing Date: March 3rd, 2005
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 221 pgs
ISBN: 9780142402511

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.
My Review: 
I had never read anything by John Green and recently I have discovered his YouTube channel: Vlogbrothers.  I couldn't get enough of the Green brothers.  They are charismatic and so informative.  My husband and I sat down and watching video after video after video and it was at this point that I decided that it was imperative that I read one of his novels.  I had Looking for Alaska already on my Kobo and so I figured that was a good place to start.  Green's writing does not disappoint!  He is just as charismatic and eloquent in his books as he is on his videos.  This book is a story about Miles, a teen boy who makes the decision to go to boarding school.  The novel takes place over his first year at boarding school and is centered on the relationships he builds over the school year.  I loved Miles!  Throughout the course of his narration he seems to just tell it like it is.  The description of his going away party was both a little sad and hilarious all at the same time.  I felt a bit bad for him but at the same time the way the book is written makes it humorous and interesting. I also loved that Miles can quote any famous person's last words.  It fit into the storyline perfectly but I also found it fascinating to learn about all these famous last words.   I wasn't quite sure what to make of Alaska Young.  Miles becomes infatuated with his peer and over time he develops a friendship with her.  I couldn't quite understand what her deal was.  At times she seemed to be so interested in Miles while at others she couldn't stop talking about her boyfriend who is mostly absent throughout the novel.  She seems intent on living life dangerously and in the end this becomes her downfall.  I do not want to give too much of the storyline away but I have to admit that I kind of figured it out before it happened.  This didn't make the novel any less enjoyable.  My favourite part of the book were all the little nuances that Green adds to his characters and plot lines.  I have to say that I am really excited to read my new copy of the newest Green book, The Fault in Our Stars.  Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 and I highly recommend that you go out and pick this novel up if you don't already have it. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wow: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

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 an adult pick but it sounds quite good.  Here is the summary from GoodReads:

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past-and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

This book comes out January 25th, 2012.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Publisher: HMH Children's Books
Publishing Date: January 17th, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 204 pgs
ISBN: 9780547550763

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.
But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

My Review:
I have had this on my TBR pile for quite some time.  I was given this book as a review copy via NetGalley.  This is a debut book for Megan Bostic and I have to say that it tugs at your emotions.  It narrated by Austin, a 17-year-old boy who is dying.  I love the fact that it is narrated by a boy.  Many books that I read are narrated by a female and it took me a little bit to get used to reading a book told by a male.  It takes place over the course of one weekend in which Austin is trying to live out his dying wishes.  He takes his best friend and girl he loves, around to different places taking care of his unfinished business.  This varies from trying to get his parents back together to taking a hike in the mountains.  I was reading this book on the way to Quebec City with my husband and found myself tearing up.  My husband gave me a few looks but I couldn't help it.  I don't usually cry during books; I usually save this for movies, TV shows and perhaps sometimes commercials.  It makes you question what you take for granted in life and it really makes you appreciate the time that you have.  While I enjoyed this book, I did have some concerns with it.  I found at times that it was a little unrealistic.  Austin's quest wasn't unrealistic but I did find that some of the reactions to his quest were.  For example, the idea that he is going to bring his parents back together after 5 years of separation was a little bit of a stretch.  I think that it was a little too idealistic and I found myself questioning it.  Overall, I have to say I enjoyed it; it is a short and easy read.  I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: October 18th, 2007
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 288 pgs
ISBN: 9781595141712

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Review:
I have been hearing nothing but good things about this book for years now.  I don't know why I haven't gotten to this book sooner than I have but I'm glad I finally decided to read it.  I couldn't put this book down.  It was everything that everyone has said it is and more.  Asher is able to capture the emotions of the characters perfectly.  I couldn't help but feel for Clay, who is one of the main narrators of the novel.  He receives a set of tapes made by Hannah Baker a friend of his who had recently committed suicide.  The tapes contain 13 reasons why Hannah committed suicide.  There was a whole range of emotions that were evoked by this novel.  I felt sad, angry, frustrated, empathetic and annoyed all at different times in the novel.  Sometimes I wanted to scream at Hannah that things would have gotten better if she had given it some time.  Another part of me wanted to give Clay a hug and tell him that things are going to be okay.  When I was done this book I couldn't stop thinking about it.  It was haunting and I felt quite sad when it was done.  I couldn't help but think what a waste it was to have someone die for such things.  Don't get me wrong, her experiences were quite serious but I couldn't help but wonder what Hannah might be like as an adult after maturing a little bit.  I think the reason this book evoked such emotions in me is because when I was a teen I seriously contemplated killing myself for a while.  I grew up in a pretty stressful household and that took it's toll on me and I can't help but think of all the things I would have missed out on if I wasn't here.  I am so thankful that I chose to keep fighting rather than give up.  Asher is a very talented author and I can't wait to get my hands on his next novel.  Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: December 8th, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 336 pgs
ISBN: 9781595143686

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.

My Review: 
I picked up this book because it has been getting a lot of attention lately.  I have to say that when I first started reading it I was unsure if I would like this book but as I continued reading I found that I couldn't put this book down.  I had read something similar recently about a dying teen and I wasn't sure if I could handle another one. That being said, I loved the character of Cam and her crazy entourage.  The book picked up after Cam moves to Promise, Maine in her family's hopes that a miracle may change her terminal diagnosis.  Cam is the ultimate teen who is broody and impulsive at times but she also has a kind of maturity most likely gained from cancer treatment and knowing that she has limited time on this earth.  After moving to Maine, Cam meets Asher who is just about the sweetest guy a girl could meet.  Throughout the novel you almost forget that Cam is sick and you can't help but laugh at the predicaments she gets herself into.  This is another book that actually evoked some tears from me (which I swear doesn't usually happen when reading).  I definitely recommend this book and I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date: November 29th, 2011
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 305 pgs
ISBN: 9780399256752

Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Review: 
I had some high expectations for this book considering the book reviews that I have seen on the blogosphere.  I have to admit though that I was a bit disappointed.  It's not to say that I really disliked this book but it fell a bit flat for me.  I really liked June's character; she was strong and sassy yet she had her flaws.  She believed too easily in what the government was feeding her and it her quite some time to start questioning things.  I was surprised when she so easily gave Day to her superiors and I had to question why she didn't stick around and try to figure out what was going on with Day.  Her actions had horrible consequences for some of the characters in the book.  One thing that bothered me about this book is that the world that June and Day live in is never fully described.  I know that this is a dystopian novel but I was never sure what was happening.  There were different sectors and there was the Republic but how did they all fit together?  I don't know if Lu is planning on expanding on this in her future novels but I would have thought that this would have been laid out in the introductory novel of a series.  Overall, it was a decent read but I'm unsure if I'll devote much time in this series.  I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WoW: Everneath

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 book has a gorgeous cover.  Here is the summary from GoodReads:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

This book comes out January 24th, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Write Another Please :)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is Top Ten Authors you Wish Would Write another Book. 

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to come up with 10 authors for this one but I will try my best.  Here we go:

1. Marian Keyes.  I love her books and I am always eager for another one to come out.  It hasn't been too long since her last book but I devour them when they do come out.

2. Ann Marie MacDonald.  She is a Canadian author who wrote Fall on Your Knees and Where the Crow Flies.  I thoroughly enjoyed both these books and she hasn't released anything in a little while so I would love to see another book out there.

3. Stieg Larsson.  I absolutely adored The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books.  I know that it is highly unlikely Larsson will write another book considering he has since passed away but one can only dream.

4. Ann Brashares.  She wrote the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and I also read her My Name is Memory.  I know that she just published the last Sisterhood book but like Marian Keyes, I can't get enough of her books.  She wrote the book 3 Willows and I thought that it would become a series.  I'd like to see what she will do with that.

5. S. J. Watson.  I read the book Before I Go to Sleep last year and it was super good and I can't wait to see what this author is going to do. 

6. Kate Jacobs.  I have read all her books (Friday night Knitting Club and Comfort Food).  I would really like to see a new one from Jacobs.

Anyhow, this is all I can think of but I can't wait to read the rest of your responses.  If there is anyone you recommend I check out please let me know in the comments section.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy
Publishing Date: January 2nd, 2012
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 236 pgs
ISBN: 9780316122382

Rating: 4 stars

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 18C. 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.

My Review: 
I have been seeing so much about this on the blogosphere so when it came out I got it for my Kobo Vox.  I read this completely on the 5 and a half drive to Quebec City for my honeymoon with my husband.  I have to say that this book was super cute and it was just the thing I needed after reading a very intense book.  The book is about Hadley who has to go to her father's second wedding to a woman who she has never met.  On her way there she meets a cute boy named Oliver and they share their stories on their long flight overseas.  I have to say while I do not believe in love at first sight I do believe that you can fall for someone in a short period of time.  I think that the longevity of the relationship depends on many things including but not limited to compatibility, chemistry, honesty and hard work put into the relationship.  I do believe that the way you start a relationship also has a lot to do in where the relationship is heading.  In this book, I have a good feeling that Hadley and Oliver could make it last.  I loved Hadley's spunk and her ability to do what she thinks is the right thing to do.  That isn't always an easy task.  She seems unfazed by how other people will react to her.  I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it for anyone wanting to read something a little uplifting.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

IMM (21)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy at the Story Siren.   It gives bloggers a chance to share what bookish things they have received.  Here is what I have purchased in the last little while:

I bought this for my new Kobo Vox

I really enjoy Hilderbrand's books.  I got this one with some giftcards at Chapters.

I got this with some giftcards and I love Hopkins' writing style.

This is a great series!  I love Kelley Armstrong
I have already read this and posted my review yesterday.
I got this book a few weeks ago.  I have heard some good things about this and can't wait to read this.

I have read this one too.  Stay tuned to see a review on the blog.

Again, I just finished this.  Super cute!

Read this one today.  Again I really enjoyed it.

This has been a Heather's pick for a while now and I can't wait to read it.

This looks really cute if you've read it let me know what you think.

I'm in the process of reading this right now.  I can't wait to see where it leads. 

Well, this is what I got in my mailbox.  What did you get in yours?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing Date: August 26th, 2008
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 565 pgs
ISBN: 9781416950059

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
In the latest hard-hitting YA novel by the New York Times bestselling author, 16-year-old identical twin girls must come to terms with their abusive father.

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.

Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?

Writing in her characteristic narrative poetry style, Ellen Hopkins shows once again how well she knows today's teens and the issues that matter to them.

My Review: 
I got this book at Chapters with some of my Christmas giftcards.  I picked this up because I really enjoyed Hopkins' Crank trilogy and this book didn't disappoint.  It is a tough book to read because it deals graphically with sexual abuse between a father and a daughter.  It focuses on the family dynamics and how the abuse has affected not only the victim but also the victim's sister, mother and the perpetrator himself.  I could  not put this down because it was so interesting to see how Hopkins is able to write so fluidly about such a disturbing topic.  The book, like Hopkins' other books, is told entirely in verse and I think that her writing style is genius.  When the book shifts from one sister to the other there is a line that is mirrored on bother pages.  I for one would have great difficultly trying to write like this.  I found myself wanting to yell at the mother in this book.  I wanted her to take her head out of her butt and take a real look at her family and demonstrate that she cared.  I do not want to spoil any of the plot line but I have to say that the ending blew me away.  I never saw it coming and it made the book all that much better.  While this book may be too much for some people to digest I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend reading this book if you can handle some disturbing scenes. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our Honeymoon

Well, I just got back from a great 4 days.  My husband and I got married in August and I started school right afterwards.  As a result, we couldn't go on a honeymoon.  I get 2 weeks off over Christmas and we took this as an opportunity to go on a little honeymoon to Quebec City.  It was amazing!  We stayed at Chateau Frontenac which is literally on old fort/castle.  During our trip we wondered around the streets of Quebec, visited Montmorency Falls and went to an aquarium.  Here are a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure. 

Here we are on our way

D and the view from just outside our hotel

another view from the hotel

our hotel- the Chateau Frontenac

M & D at Montmorency Falls

The Falls

Stairs leading down the side of the falls

D in the middle of the suspension bridge

D at the suspension bridge

Me on the suspension bridge... I only made it halfway.  I hate heights and was almost killed on a bridge as a child by a drunk driver. 

A fishy at the Aquarium du Quebec

the aquarium again



Polar Bear

M &  D in the hotel room.. our crazy hair and all :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WoW: Incarnate

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 have heard nothing but good things about this book and the cover is AMAZING.  Here is a summary from GoodReads:

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

This book comes out January 31rst and it looks like it'll be quite good.