Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WoW: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

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.

Summary from Goodreads

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancĂ©, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Well what more do I need to know other than it's Kelley Armstrong?  This book comes out  August 20th, 2013.  Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WoW: The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

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.

Summary from Goodreads

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now . . . not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?
Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.
And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them . . .
Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

I really enjoyed Myracle's novel Shine and I'm excited to see what she has in store for  us with this novel.  It comes out August 20th, 2013.  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WoW: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

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.

Summary from Goodreads

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he's her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can't stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she's obsessed.
Bea tells herself she's got it all under control, but this isn't a choice, it's a compulsion. The truth is, she's breaking down... and she might end up breaking her own heart.

This book sounds quite good.  I also love the cover design.  It comes out July 23rd which isn't too long to wait. Happy Reading! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Babies, Babies, Babies

So today's post is going to be a personal one so if you aren't into that kind of thing, I understand but you may want to skip this post. 

Over the past few months I have been dealing with some issues that have been making things very difficult to stay motivated.  All my life I have worked with children in many different facets.  I started out by babysitting when I was quite young and then started working with the special education department at my high school.  I then went on to work at an overnight camp for children with physical and cognitive disabilities.  I did that for a couple years and then went on to work one-on-one with children with autism.  I have always known that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and I am happy to say that after many years of hard work I finally have a permanent position teaching Grade 1 French.

All this to say that working with children is a passion of mine.  As you can imagine, I have wanted to be a mother since forever.  My husband and I got married 2 years ago and last summer we made the decision to start trying to have a baby.  I went off the pill and was excited that the possibility of being a mom was just around the corner.  A few months passed and I still didn't get my period.  Another few months passed and it still wasn't here.   I mean I don't usually look forward to that time of the month but after 6 months of it not coming and I was starting to get a little anxious.  I went to visit my doctor and she did a few tests on me including an ultrasound and suspected that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  For those of you who aren't familiar with this, it is a condition where you have many small cysts on your ovaries which can affect your hormone levels in your body causing you to not ovulate. 

My doctor referred me to the local fertility clinic, where I was given some more tests (blood work, ultrasounds- yes more than one).  It was confirmed that I have PCOS and that we were going to work together to try to get my body to ovulate.  I have been given clomid, a drug to help me ovulate. 

The first round on this drug, I was very hopeful that I would take the drug and things would work out the way they were supposed to and then I would have a good chance of being pregnant soon.  Much to my dismay, during an ultrasound to track my follicles, I found out I more than likely wasn't going to ovulate.  A week later it was confirmed that I didn't ovulate and we would have to try round two.  Now keep in mind, I went off the pill July 2012 and this first round of clomid was done in June. I have to admit that while I know these things don't always work out on the first try I was very upset.  I have had a tough upbringing and while I don't mind working hard for the things that I want, I just wanted this to be easy.  I wanted it to happen naturally and I didn't want to have to stress over it. 

I am currently on my second round of clomid and I went for my ultrasound on Wednesday.  I found out that while my follicles have grown, they may not grow big enough for ovulation to occur.  I will keep plugging away at it but all this to say that I have been feeling a little down lately.

I am trying my best to stay positive but it's definitely not always easy.  I don't mind sharing and at times I overshare. I think that my defense mechanism is to make light of the situation. If I don't make it a big deal with other people then it distracts me from thinking about it.  There are days when all I want to do is sit at home in my pyjamas and have a little cry.  I keep thinking of worst case scenarios and let me tell you- Google is not your friend.  You can find all the worst case scenarios there.  It has been difficult for me to think of the what if- What if I am not able to have to a child?  Is that really the end of the world? Could I be okay with that?

Well, I know this is quite the depressing blog post but I just wanted to share with you where I'm at right now.  I am trying to keep on top of the blog but June was definitely a tough month for me.  One thing that has meant the world to me is the book blogging community.  There is always someone there to talk to and to get my mind off things.  It is full of support and there is always someone there to make me smile.  Thank you for your continued support and I hope that I'm back in a few months from now telling you that I'm expecting a child. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WoW: Belladonna by Fiona Paul

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.

Summary from Goodreads
In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancĂ©, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

I read the first novel in this series and quite enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes.  I have to admit though that I am not a huge fan of these new covers.  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is top ten best/worst movie adaptations.  I've decided to break mine up into the best and the worst.

The Best:

 Harry Potter.  All of them.  I don't think I need to provide an explanation for this one. 

 Life of Pi.  This movie was so visually stunning and I think I may have liked it even better than the book. 

Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Again I don't think much explanation is needed and I'm fairly certain that many people will have this on their list. 


The Walking Dead.  I love me some scary movies/shows.  


True Blood/The Sookie Stackhouse novels.  I have to admit that the past few seasons have not been great but I did quite enjoy the first few seasons. 


Water for Elephants.  I really enjoyed the book and while some didn't like the movie as much I have to admit that I quite liked it. 

The Worst:

Beautiful Creatures.  I listened to this book an audio and liked it so I was a little upset when I watched the movie and I found it to be very poorly done. 

The Hunger Games.  Okay, Okay I know I'm going to get some major hate for this one but I have to say that this is a case where I enjoyed the book much more than the movie.  I just think it's so hard to make it intense like the novel when the movie is geared towards all ages. 


The Lucky One.  I liked the book enough but the movie was sooooo cheesebag!


 My Sister's Keeper.  All I have to say is that I yelled at the TV for the better part of an hour after this movie was done.  Who the hell completely changes the ending when the ending was so perfect to begin with. 


Twilight.  This goes without saying.  The CG on this movie was really ridiculous. 


I'm looking forward to seeing what you all have listed as your faves/most hated.  Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: May 28th, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 378 pgs
ISBN:  9780062184689
Source: From Edelweiss for an honest review and subsequently bought a copy

Summary from Goodreads:
1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.


My Review: 

 Wild Awake is an extraordinary tale that I wasn't expecting.  I have to admit when I first read the summary I thought it would be similar in style to Mlynowski's 10 Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have).  I mean they both have teen girls with no parents and the summary makes it seem like a light-hearted contemporary novel.
Well this book is anything but lighthearted.  It actually deals with mental illness and a young girl's descent into an episode.  Kiri is a young pianist who is left home alone for a few weeks.  One of her first nights alone she receives a call from a stranger saying that he has her dead sister's items for her.  Kiri is unsure what to do with this information but decides that her best option is to go and gather her sister's things.  Along the way she learns new things surrounding the circumstances of not only her sister's death but also her sister's life.  I will not go into too much detail about this because it would spoil the storyline but this new information sends Kiri into a tailspin. 
Kiri also meets a young boy who is also suffering from some form of mental illness.  This does not fair well for either party.  I have to say that I quite enjoyed seeing this type of romance in a book.  One that may be slightly volatile yet while reading it you can understand completely why the two are drawn to each other. 
This novel is beautifully written and is not like anything I have read before. I don't know how Smith is able to take on the persona of someone going through such a state and I give her kudos for that. 
Overall it was a well written book but my only negative is that because the main character was going through so much it was hard to relate and at times hard to follow what was happening. Again, this is hardly a negative though since that was kind of the point of the story.  If you are looking for something different and refreshing then this is your book. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

ARC Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: May 21st, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages:  352 pgs
ISBN: 9781442430389
Source: Received from Edelweiss for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:
When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

My Review: 

 Well I will read anything by Ms. Ockler because her writing is always well done.  She is able to write about some pretty tough things but she does so in a way that isn't difficult to read.  This novel is no different.  Jude is a family girl and she is dealing with the loss of her father.  No, her father hasn't died but he is slowly being taken away from her through early onset Alzheimer's.  While this is happening a young boy named Emilio has been hired to help fix up a bike for the family.  Jude begins falling for Emilio but the only problem is he is a Vargas boy and Vargas boys have a reputation for breaking the hearts of the women in Jude's family.  
I found this book to be heartbreaking but not in the romance sense.  I adored the relationship between Jude and her father and I couldn't imagine having to watch someone I love slowly lose their identity by losing their memories.  I found myself tearing up a little throughout the novel and it culminated in one big ugly cry when the novel was done.  This is the sign of a good novel: one that has me invested in the story line from start to finish.  
The romance in this novel is okay but I wasn't feeling it as much as I have other in Ockler's other novels.  I liked Emilio enough and I adored Jude but for some reason I wasn't as invested in this part of the storyline as I was with the family aspect. I still liked it but I just didn't love it.  
Overall I quite liked this book and it reminds me why Sarah Ockler is on my auto-buy list when anything new comes out.  This is the perfect beachy type read and why not start the summer off right?