Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of 09.. Seriously? HELLO Twenty Ten!

Happy New Year all! Hope 2009 was a fruitful year for you all! I was reminiscing with my sister today and I was pretty depressed as I felt nothing monumental happened this year. Well to me at least. However, 2009 was a pretty good year for books! I think I will take the moment to mention some awesomely-fantastic reads.... yes I think I will.

1) Catching Fire

Released= September 1st 2009

Come on you all were thinking it. I will admit as soon as I heard about The Hunger Games from Stephenie Meyers website, I was all over it. Katniss is one of my favorite characters OF ALL TIME, which easily ranks The Hunger Games and Catching Fire as two of my favorite books. I tried to prolong reading this book as long as possible, but that didn't last long. I read it cover-to-cover in a day. I was a bit of a hermit, but its a good cause.

2) The Last Song

Released= September 8th 2009

Ever since The Notebook, the hopeless romantic in me has been a hardcore Nicolas Sparks fan-girl. This book is the novel version of the screenplay entitled the same name, featuring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. This book was adorable. I cried, I laughed (yes I am that much of a nerd), and I loveddd the characters! When I finished this book I had withdrawals. It was that good.

3) Hush Hush

Released= October 13th

I'm a bit of a Patch stalker. I like me some bad boy. The only thing I wish there was more of in Hush Hush, would be those shirtless Patch scenes.Becca Fitzpatrick can you work on this? Please? This is one book that lived up to the pre-release hype. I cannot wait till Crescendo comes out!

4) Shiver

Released= August 1st 2009

Oh, how appropriately entitled is this book? I literally shiver when I think about the delicately written romance between Grace and Sam. The love feels so real it transcends through the beautiful pages Maggie Stiefvaterhas written. Shiver has made me a true Maggie fan, I ran to my local chapters when finishing Shiver and picked up Maggies "Lament". I can honestly say I have yet to read another book similar to Maggie's in writing talent. Lyrical beauty!

5) Fire

Released= October 6th 2009

As a companion novel to Graceling, I counted down the days till Fire's release. And WOW. I am the biggest fan of strong female main characters, and like Graceling, Fire delivers in that department. I can't wait till the 2011 release of Kristin Cashore's next companion novel; Bitterblue.


Hope you all have a great New Years night. Stranded without a car, I will be doing a low key New Years this year. It will just be me, a Buffy marathon, and my yummy cupcake robe








......However apparently it's not edible. If only Sarah, if only.

Monday, December 28, 2009

6 of 7 Blogpadozzle: LA Candy


Author--> Lauren Conrad

Review--> 3/5

Release Date--> June 1st 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

Review;

As a general rule I try to stay away from this “chicklit” genre. I’m not the biggest fan to say the least, however I was pleasantly surprised with this book (my standards were pretty low mind you). This is an embarrassing confession, I USE to watch the Hills, so I am ‘in the know’ with realty star Lauren Conrad, which was the motivating factor for me going out of my comfort zone to read this book.

I was surprised with Laurens writing capabilities. I thought some scenes were over detailed, if possible. I can’t remember the direct quote but there is one particular scene with the fish zooming around the fishbowl, anyone know what one I’m talking about?

However, I liked how this book hinted at all of the indiscretions behind the reality T.V show The Hills. I knew that Lauren hinted that the show wasn’t as “realistic” as it portrayed itself to be; the plot and characters of this book show similar connections.

The storyline and plot weren’t bad. Predictable, but not horrible. The premise is a little too materialistic and vapid for my personal taste. The main character seems, to me anyways, to be very similar to the author (from what I have seen on TV that is). Despite it not being my usual scene, I think I will pick up the sequel “Sweet little lies” when it comes out.

5 of 7 Blogpadozzle: Unwind


Author--> Neal Shusterman

Review--> 5/5

Release Date-> June 2nd 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body

parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them

Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Review;

I really enjoy books with premises that contradict societies norms, so Unwind really, really grabbed me in! This book deals with the idea of a futuristic society were the problem of abortion has been solved: unwinding.

I really liked the premise of this novel because this issue is such a controversy one; everyone has his or her own opinion. I liked this book, because it addresses both sides of this issue. I have my own opinion, like everyone, and I appreciated how this book wasn’t biased on way or the other. It presented it’s own resolution.

Unwind follows the lives of 3 different teenagers whom, for each different reasons, are being unwound. I’m usually not a huge fan of the multi-narrator but in this case the book needed it. Without having more than one narrator readers wouldn’t become as involved with each situation that resulted in the unwinding of the teenagers.

The plot was well written. I loved Neal Shusterman’s writing. I’m pretty picky with the way non-teenaged writers depict teenagers, but Neal’s writing didn’t annoy me one way.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, books, and a couple Lions

Merry Christmas everyone!! How was everyones mornings so far? At my house we have an annual tradition, I wake everyone up early (when I was younger it was around 4 am, but now that I'm older and mature I usually wait till at least 5), however this year everyone was shocked when they had to wake me up at 8. Such a let down I am.

However, I was happy to find I got some books and some other nifty stuff! I got Leviathan, Frostbitten (I love Canadian author Kelley Armstrong), and Blood and Chocolate. I also got some great gift certificates to Chapters (115 CD worth!!), and these amazing Lion bookends!! I love them they look so mythological, kinda like the lion from Narnia right?

How was all of your Christmas's ?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve, and 4 0f 7 Blogpadozzle: The Dark Divine

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve ya’ll! This has got to be one of my most favorite days all year. Every year my family has a small party and we invite another family I grew up with, their daughter and me have been friends pretty much since birth, and we all celebrate the festivities together! What could be better right? Today I am going to review the book ‘The Dark Divine’. I picked this book up at chapters’ yesterday, and finished this book in one sitting, a little over four hours I think. It was fantastic!!! But I won’t say anymore, I”ll leave it for later on….

Oh and P.S my dad took my sister and myself to go see AVATAR today. I am a huge fan of James Cameron ever since his Titanic days, I me

an he is responsible for my Leo fascination after all. I can barely sum up this movie with words.

IT. WAS.EPIC.

Everyone needs to go watch it pronto! You will not be disappointed it has something for everyone!


Oh P.S.S.... Jasper says Merry Christmas Eve

as well...

-------------

Author--> Bree Despain

Review--> 5/5

Release Date--> December 22nd 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

Review;

How would I sum up The Dark Divine? = A Sexy, Dark, Mysterious, MUST READ FOR ANY READER!

Ya, I kinda loved it.

I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I picked it up yesterday. I heard good buzz about it before its release date and saved it in my “books” note on my blackberry. So when my dad said I could pick a book out and he would buy it, I guess I was lucky I had saved the name eh? And boy am I glad I did!!

I won’t tell you the basics about this book; if you want to know the juicy run-down you can read about it here at your own risk, and the first chapter, but I must advise you that I think I enjoyed this book soo much more going in blind. Half the excitement is discovering the secrets. For example with Twilight, yes I know you all are thinking “oh jeez Sarah, not another thing about Twilight please…”, however with Twilight half the mystery is gone for the few remaining people that haven’t read it, because everyone knows its about vampires. That part of the book and the mystery leading up to it is blown. I know when I first read it I knew Edward was a vampire, so waiting a good hundred + plus pages for Bella to learn it to, seemed frivolous. So I shall say no more on this matter. HA!

Once I started reading this book, it had me hook, line and sinker. I was a goner. Bree Despain manages to turn a book with an innocent premise (the main character is a relatively shy daughter of the local pastor) into a sexy and dark thriller, with a great cast of characters and a suspenseful plot. As soon as I finished this book, a couple hours after first picking it up mind you, I was sad. So I started re-reading parts…. Yes its one of those books.

But hold back the angry emails people, Bree’s website says there should be a second, and possibly third installment. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a romantic, thrill ride… possibly with some supernatural bad boys to boot.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 of 7 Blogpadozzle: Catching Fire


Author--> Suzanne Collins

Rating--> 5/5 (Can I give it 6?)

Release Date--> September 1st

Product Description from Amazon.ca

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Review;

I must admit I might not be the most objective person to give this review, because Catching Fire is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS. The Hunger Games is also right up there, and I was a little scared that Catching Fire wasn’t going to be able to compete with the former installment but personally I think it blew The Hunger Games out of the waters!

I counted down last September 1st since the day I finished the first book. Everyone that knows me knows that I am a bit of a bookworm (understatement of the year) and as such I am constantly being asked what book I would recommend to someone. I ALWAYS say “The Hunger Games, GO buy it right now!!”. This series is the kind that keeps you up at night days after you have finished it, it makes you go back and re-read passages when you go through withdrawals, I even resort to imagining what the characters are doing between now and the third book. Sad I know but its just that good!

I am beyond in love with Katniss. Maybe it was the way I was raised, but I love strong female role models. I was the girl that did my fifth grade speech on the Fab Five and Canadian Female Role models, so Suzanne Collins writing especially appeals to me. Katniss’s witty character and strong values are still existent in this second book. The first book leaves on a bit of a cliffhanger, and so does this book, however Catching Fire ties up life with Peeta and Katniss after the hunger games, and you won’t believe what happens in this book! I’m usually pretty good at guessing at these things but I didn’t see this happening.

The plot was AMAZING. It does take place over the span of a couple of months, and usually I hate it when authors do this but Suzanne Collins embraces this method and rocks it.

When I came to the ending of this book, I actually wanted to scream. The cliffhanger makes it almost unbearable to wait another year for the third and final installment; August 24th 2010 is a long wait. I just hope it’s a fast one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 of 7 Blogpadozzle: Fallen


Author--> Lauren Kate

Review--> 4/5

Release Date--> December 8th 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Review;

This book has a couple key things that I loveeee in books, 1) its LARGE, I love big books, why get involved in a book and the characters for it to end so quickly? Fallen caps off at 464 pages, but if big books scare you don’t be intimidated, it’s a quick easy read. 2) I won’t spoil anything, but what you’ve probably pieced together from the title and cover art… angels may be involved. Angels seem to be the new “it” thing, and I must say I think I’m starting to become a fan, after all who doesn’t like the hot bad-boy-who-was-good thing. And 3) and finally, I love the cover! It’s beautiful and leaves the imagination run wild! Before I even heard of the book I knew I needed to read it because the cover was so beautiful. I have a thing for big bold stated simple covers, such as Twilight. Simple is sensational (remember that girls).

I know from other blogs I have read that some follow bloggers didn’t love Fallen, and I must admit I didn’t love it… but I definitely enjoyed the read. I wasn’t hooked with the main male lead, I found him to standoffish. Hot one minute and cold the next, Lauren Kate explains why this is so, but it didn’t appeal to me. I like my boys either there are gone, you know?

The plot was alright. I felt like at times things were sluggish, and I wanted to scream from some smooches to finally happen, but when that part of the book catches up I think it fulfills things nicely. There are to many mini plots going on though, I think it complicates the storyline a bit, and leaves readers a little confused at the end. However, all in all it was an enjoyable read, and a test to this statement I will read the next book in this series.

Oh and CONGRATS to Lauren Kate, a little birdie has told me that Fallen’s rights have been bought for a possible movie version of the book! How exciting!!

1 of 7 Blogpadozzle: Captivate


So, I have been on Christmas break for a little over 3 days, and have already managed to slack off terribly…. I totally forgot to add my first blog post of my promised 7 days of blogs; so today I am going to add two!

Author--> Carrie Need

Review--> 5/5

Release Date--> December 22nd 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Review;

Captivate is a very exciting and well wrote sequel to the novel Need. I read Need earlier this summer and I devoured it in a little over a day, this being said I was reading between customers at work. However, when I finally got my hands on Captivate (lucky me my local chapters had it on the shelves two days early!!!) I ate up this delicious fairy novel in little over two hours!!! It’s only in the 200’s page wise, but still I was pretty proud of myself!

I didn’t know if I was going to like this book as much as the first installment, cause that’s usually how it works for me, but daresay I think I liked this one more…. One thing that always stands out for me in YA novels, which I think many readers would agree with me on, is the “budding” romance that is always evident in series and I absolutely ADORE the Nick-Zara relationship. It’s a little PG 13 in the first novel but the steam-meter spikes up a little in Captivate.

One thing I hate about some reviewers is that they give away key plot details, so that’s something I strive hard to NEVER do. I will say however that the plot in this book really surprised me! I didn’t think Carrie Jones would have the guts to write a couple major plot derails that Captivate delivers. I had to stop myself from jumping up and down, because you hardly ever see writers follow through with the threat of such a major change of events. It Shall make the third installment very interesting, mark my words!!

I eagerly awaited Captivate and was not disappointed at all, if you’re a lover of YA supernatural plus romances, I would most definitely recommend Carrie Jones Fairy series!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quick Update on my Procrastination!

Hello everybody, sorry for my lack of blogging. I am sad to say I have been visited by the exam fairy this past few weeks and have been horribly busy with studying and all that fun stuff!!
However, in leu of my pathetic lack of blogging I have decided I will go on a week long blog extravaganza starting monday december 21st where I will commit myself to doing one blog post a day! I have pulled myself away from studying a bit each day to read a little and have read some great books lately I haven't blogged about and look forward to catching up on those reviews!

P.S as a little side note, I am being featured today over at Climbing Rose YA book reviews. Thanks so much Blaize for including me, I had a Blast! If you have a quick minute or two I would recommend going over to her blog she has great reviews and I love her Five on Friday feature!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hometown Book Stores Rock!



I decided to go home this weekend, since classes finished for me on the thursday and I hadn't been home since thanksgiving. One of my favorite things about being home is I get to spend time with my dad, who is also a big book buff like myself, plus sometimes he will even support my book buying habits! Double yay!
Anyways my hometown has a great little book store downtown, which I like buying books from since it supports the private owned book stores. My dad bought me two books, Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz, and The Naming by Alison Croggon.
Im excited to read both of these books. I've heard good things about the blue bloods series, and I haven't heard anything about The Naming, but the synopsis on the back sounds promising.
I also thought it might be interesting to show this pitiful picture of my "bookshelf" which is a shelf in my closet. I have been looking for a good shelf for years but have had no luck, although I do have another one at school thats pretty nice but since I have so many books there all scattered around my house. I think there is around 60 books crammed on that shelf above.
Has anyone read either one of these books?

Oh and P.S.... the lovely boy poster on the side is from the days when its was frowned upon if you didn't have half naked boys on your walls. In my defense, I'm more of dark haired, dark eyes kind of women but he's not bad to look at either right? And he hasn't been moved from that place since I was 15, so I think it would be bad form to remove him now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gone


Author--> Michael Grant

Review--> 4/5

Release Date--> April 20th 2009

Product Description from Amazon.ca

In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.

Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

Review;

I loved this book. I think its because of the sheer brilliance of this concept, a world without adults, which when you think about it is scary enough for a bunch of children under 16, but when you think of all the things that only adults can do; drive a car, work as doctors, there would be no such thing as a fair judicial system, economy would fail, currency would cease to be important, and the world would be run by bullies (sounds like high school anyone?), it all makes for a fascinating read.

I thought this novel was particularly amazing because it reminded me of one of my favorite novels, Lord of the Flies. Now, I understand that I am probably the only person out there that would have read this book as an 16 year old without being forced to, but I love this idea of what the world would subcome to if there were no adults? You never come to think of all the things we rely on adults for when were younger.

Gone was great because it made readers enlightened with all of these possibilities. I really like the main character, Sam, and I found myself routing for him all the way through the novel.

This novel is also great because it has quite a few twists that I wont go into, so not to spoil if for readers who have not read it yet. However, I will say that ‘unnatural’ coincidences keep popping up, and there is also a minor yet sweet romance that goes on. The twist at the end was very interesting, and it answers the question ‘what happens when you turn 15? ‘. I loved Gone and due to it, Michael Grant has an avid reader in me!

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