Saturday, January 30, 2010

In My Mailbox -7-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

For Review

1. The Life of Glass - Jillian Cantor

I received this book this week through the Borrow My Arc Tour hosted over at Bloody Bad by Katrina. I can't wait to read this one!


1. A Perfect Darkness - Jaime Rush
2. Out of the Darkness - Jaime Rush
3. Bitten by Cupid - Lynsay Sands, Pamela Palmer, Jaime Rush.
4. Going Too Far - Jennifer Echols. This is going to be a book club book. It looks really good!
5. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
6. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side - Beth Fantaskey
7. Flirt - Laurell K. Hamilton

I have a contest running for Break by Hannah Moskowitz. You can find the contest here. Please follow, and enter to win this book. It is an excellent read!

That's what is in my "mailbox" this week, what's in yours?

Ghostgirl - Tonya Hurley

Sometimes high school really is a matter of life and death.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is. Even worse: she's dead. And all because of a guy and a gummy bear.

In this satirical yet heartfelt novel, Tonya Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

Title: Ghostgirl
Author: Tonya Hurley
Genre: Young Adult, Ghosts
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
My Rating: 1/5

I really wanted to like this book. I thought it would be good, especially since it was packaged so well. Unfortunately, it was just a nice package; there was nothing in the story that really jumped out at me. We, I think, are supposed to feel empathy for Charlotte, the main character, but she was a very unlikeable character. From the beginning of the book she is whiny, self-involved and gives us a crash course in "Stalking 101". There are glimmers of hope for this story when we are introduced to Scarlet. Her character, at least, is a very definitive one. There were a lot of clichés and that exasperated me as well.

The premise for this story is that Charlotte likes a boy named Damen. He is popular and she is "invisible". He is also dating popular, self-involved Petula. In an effort to get Damen to notice her, Charlotte thinks she must act more like Petula so she emulates Petula, puckers her lips like Petula does, and just all-around acts like Petula. She ends up being partnered with Damen in Physics, and is supposed to tutor him, but she dies choking on a gummy bear before she can even have a second conversation with him.

Even after death, she is still obsessed with Damen. She befriends the only girl who can see her, Scarlet. Scarlet, incidentally is Petula's younger "goth" sister. We never find out why Scarlet is the only one who can see her, or even why she can see her in the first place. Charlotte possesses Scarlet on numerous occasions, and doesn't care what she does in her body, as long as it gets her closer to Damen. As Scarlet is being possessed, her spirit is displaced. She can still see what is going on around her and wanders around while Charlotte is inside her body. Consequently, Damen does not realize that he is in fact talking with Charlotte, so when Charlotte is NOT possessing Scarlet, he is getting to know Scarlet. He likes both "sides" of Scarlet's personality and Scarlet and Damen start to fall for each other. This makes Charlotte jealous; so much so that she forcibly pushes her way into Scarlet's body on numerous occasions so that she can be near Damen. (Scarlet is maybe the only character that I do like in this book.)

There is a secondary plot in this book as well. Charlotte is supposed to be helping out a class of the deceased pass on. She apparently is "The One". The secondary plot is very confusing. In an effort not to ruin the book for everyone, I won't go into any more detail about what happens. All I'll say is that I did not like this book and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you Kari!

I'm writing a post to say thank you to Kari (from A Good Addiction) for having me over at her blog today. If you haven't seen the post, feel free to check it out here.

I haven't posted in a few days, other than the contest post, so I figured I'd write another post. (We'll see how many times I can say the word post in this err post.)

I'm still reading Ghostgirl and Abandoned. I haven't really had a chance to sit down and just read, so I'm hoping to do that tonight. Hopefully I'll finish Ghostgirl and I'll probably put a review up for that tomorrow. (That is if I do actually finish it...) :)

Anyway, this one is just going to be short and sweet, to let you all know that I'm still around. :) Have a good night/day everyone!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Contest, Contest, Contest!

Hey everyone! I've decided to have a contest. We just finished the book Break by Hannah Moskowitz for our book club. (The link for the book club is here.) It was an excellent book, and I decided that I'd give my copy away to entice more people to read her work. She is an excellent author!
Of course, there are rules... but only a few! :)

1. You need to be a follower of this blog. (I'll check!)
2. Unfortunately this is only open to the U.S. and Canada. (Sorry to those who are international, I hope to have a contest later (once I hit 100 followers?) that will be available to everyone!)
3. This contest will run until February 12, 2010.
4. To enter you must comment on THIS post. 1 entry per person. Feel free to leave an email address and I'll email you if you are the winner!
5. I will use to decide on the winner. I'll announce the winner on February 13th and the winner then has 48 hours to get back to me with a mailing address. (Okay, I think I've said "winner" enough in the last 2 "rules".) :)

Good luck, and Happy Reading! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!

This week I've got two books on the go. The first one is an adult fiction called Abandoned by Cody McFadyen.

"He stops there; his good humour is gone. There are times to challenge your boss, and there are times to let it go.
"I'll let you know, sir."" pg. 54

The second book is a young adult fiction called Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley.

"Identify yourself.

Charlotte was never really sure who she was, not before and certainly not now. But she was always sure who she wanted to be. The thing is, in high school, no one wants to know who you are, they want to know who you aren't. It is much easier to categorize and file you that way. She had been filed under "Nobody," but that was all about to change if she had any say in it. She was ready to see the world through someone else's eyes. Anyone's but hers." pg. 72

Those are my two teasers for the week. What is your Tuesday teaser?

Happy Reading!

Ghost Town Stories of Ontario - Maria Da Silva and Andrew Hind. TACC #6

I had entered the Take Another Chance Challenge for this year's challenge; and as such, I have finally gotten around to reading my first book for it. I mapped out what I was hoping to read in an earlier post, and am sticking to it so far.

This book falls under the category "Genre Switch-Up" otherwise known as Challenge #6. I didn't realize that if anyone takes up this challenge they will be entered into a draw to win a book of their choice from Amazon for $25 or less. Every challenge has a different difficulty level, and are rated accordingly... For the easier challenges you can win 1 ballot into the draw, and for the harder challenges you can get 2 entries into the draw. I just saw the word challenge and was hooked. In saying that, this Challenge is worth 1 entry.

To participate in this challenge, I needed to read a book from a genre far removed from what I normally read. In saying this, I chose local history as I rarely if ever read non-fiction, and I never read about history. (Other than when I was in school). I picked up Ghost Town Stories of Ontario by Maria Da Silva and Andrew Hind.

I first saw this book when I was browsing the library catalogue. I immediately was interested because I hadn't heard of any of the places listed in the book.

I thought it was great that the authors thought to put driving directions at the head of each chapter so if anyone wanted to visit the "ghost town" they could do so. All of the towns in this book are within a day's drive (round-trip) from the Greater Toronto Area. Right off the bat, the first town listed is Ballycroy. I started reading the directions on how to get there and was startled to see that I actually knew whereabouts this town was. I had driven past the area when driving home from Orangeville one day.

The book goes on to list 9 different towns. Most of them were logging communities that fell to the wayside when the mills burned down, or when the area became over-drawn. One town actually had it's own "gold rush" before it was realized that it was actually iron pyrite or fool's gold. It still was a gorgeous area named Eugenia Falls. Another community was named Kerr Lake and it was known for its silver-mines. The only "town" that capitalized on fishing was The McCoys. The McCoys were only accessible by boat, and they are a chain of small islands off of Georgian Bay. The largest of these islands was named Big McCoy. Over-fishing made this area a ghost town/village pretty quickly.

As with some ghost towns, there are ghost stories associated with the towns. As such, at the end of each chapter, there is a spot where they mention the local ghost lore. The towns inhabited by said ghosts are Ballycroy, Glenville, The McCoys, Eugenia Falls, and Kerr Lake. Many are said to be haunted by those that met horrific and untimely deaths. Eugenia Falls is said to be haunted by a woman and her murdering husband. The ghostly spectre of the husband allegedly tries to drag the unwary into the watery depths and drown them. The McCoys is haunted allegedly by a malevolent spirit who walks the island mourning and howling. All of the ghost stories are backed up with tales from people who had visited the areas and had their own first-hand experience with said spirits.

This was such an interesting read, and it was neat to fall back in time to when these towns were bustling with energy. I encourage everyone to pick up a genre that they don't normally read. What you choose may surprise you and may just become your new favourite read.

Title: Ghost Town Stories of Ontario
Authors: Maria Da Silva, Andrew Hind
Genre: Non-Fiction, Local History, Canadian
Publisher: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
My Rating: 5/5

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

This book counts toward the Take Another Chance Challenge over at Find Your Next Book Here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Break - Hannah Moskowitz

The first feeling is exhilaration. The second feeling is pain.
The feeling that never comes is regret.

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. Jonah wants to be stronger--needs to be stronger--because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is the only way he can cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.
When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?

Title: Break
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Rating: 4/5

If I hadn't joined Kari's book club forum I doubt I would have picked this book up. It's not one that I would normally read and that would have been a mistake. It is a really great read, and the story is so heartbreaking. It starts off right in the action; we meet Jonah as he's setting up to break some of his bones in a skateboarding "fall". We meet his brother Jesse, and his friends Naomi and Charlotte. His family is a different story; Jonah tends to worry about everyone else, except for himself. He deals with his worries by breaking his bones. Later on in the story he tries to stop, and his best friend Naomi enables him to continue breaking bones. She doesn't stop hounding him until he semi-gives in. (I dislike Naomi, can you tell?) He spirals further and further down and he finally realizes that he could either pick himself back up, or he could just "leave".
The characters are very realistic and they draw you easily into their world. It is definitely a sad book, and it gives you food for thought. The characters are so believable and you can't help but hope that things work out for Jonah. I gave this book a four star rating because, while it was good, the climax and the ending were abrupt. Everything was resolved a little too quickly for my taste.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In My Mailbox -6- and Book Club News

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

I forgot to add a book from last week's IMM so I thought I'd add it to this post. I received it in the mail and it somehow slipped through the cracks last week!

1. Blood Ties - Kay Hooper (finally, I've been waiting so impatiently for it but it's not actually out until Jan 26, 2010 so I was happy to see it in my local Coles.)
2. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
3. Hell Island - Matthew Reilly (This would be the culprit that didn't make it into the post for last week.)
4. Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz
5. Betrayals - Lili St. Crow
6. Some Girls Are - Courtney Summers (This one will be a book club book during the week of February 14-20th.)

I'm currently reading Break by Hannah Moskowitz for tomorrow's first book club discussion. If you want to join in on the discussion and join the book club, we are located here. The lovely Kari from A Good Addiction is hosting the book club/forum. It has been mentioned that Hannah Moskowitz may also be stalking our discussion tomorrow, so please, feel free to drop by if you have or haven't read the book. We'll give you enough reasons (hopefully!) to read the book! :) The discussion will start at noon CST.

That's what is in my "mailbox" this week, what's in yours?

Once A Witch - Carolyn MacCullough

"Your daughter will be one of the most powerful we have ever seen in this family. She will be a beacon for us all."

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and on the day that she was born, her grandmother proclaimed she would be one of the most Talented among them.
But Tamsin's magic never showed up.
Now, seventeen years later, she spends most of her time at boarding school in Manhattan, where she can at least pretend to be normal. But during the summers, she's forced to return home and work at her family's bookstore/magic shop.
One night a handsome young professor from New York University arrives in the shop and mistakes Tamsin for her extremely Talented older sister. For once, it's Tamsin who's being looked at with awe and admiration, and before she can stop herself, she agrees to find a family heirloom for him that was lost more than a century ago. But the search--and the stranger--prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the past sins of her family, and unleash a power so strong and so vengeful that it could destroy them all.
In a spellbinding display of storytelling, Carolyn MacCullough interweaves witchcraft, romance, and time travel in a fantasy that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Title: Once A Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Witches, Time Travel
Publisher: Clarion Books
My Rating: 5/5

This was a really interesting read. I say "interesting" tongue in cheek because I really love the following sentences from the book.

"He adjusts his glasses on the bridge of his nose and says, "Interesting is one of the most banal words in the English language. What does it mean, really?"
My smile freezes in place. "It means I don't have anything better to say so
interesting comes in handy."" pg. 9

I loved Tamsin's character. She is not an outcast, but she feels like she's the odd one out in her family. They all have Talents and she doesn't have any. She doesn't want to be surrounded by people that she'll never be like (she doesn't want their pity), so she manages to convince her parents to send her to boarding school in Manhattan, hoping that at least there she will "fit in".
I love her love interest/friend Gabriel. His character complements hers beautifully. The whole book just flows so well together. I really didn't want it to end, and I found that the ending leaves it open for another book. I hope that there is a sequel because I really love this cast of characters. I love how family oriented she really is at heart, and how she interacts with her aunts, uncles, grandmother, cousins, (and relatives from the past). This book kept me interested throughout and it really kept me riveted to the pages. I hated the fact that it had to end. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is such a good read! The cover is also really beautiful too! I loved it!

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On My Wishlist -1-

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme that is hosted every Wednesday by Book Chick City. It details the books that we are waiting for impatiently to be published. I know that I have a long list of books that I am waiting anxiously for, so each week I'll detail one or two of them to keep the post manageable.

The first book that I'm going to post is called Blood Ties by Kay Hooper. I've been waiting for the longest time for this book, so I'm happy that it will be released January 26, 2010.

The elite Special Crimes Unit, the FBI’s most controversial and effective team, is a group of mavericks and misfits trained to use their unique psychic abilities to hunt the worst monsters imaginable – human ones. Led by the enigmatic Noah Bishop, the SCU team has earned a reputation for pitting their skills and cunning against killers that other cops fear. But this time Bishop and his agents face an enemy who has them in his sights, a trained sniper with a deadly plan — and more than one ace up his sleeve.
It starts with an unspeakable series of grisly murders across three states, a trail of blood leading, finally, to the small Tennessee town of Serenade. There, two more brutal murders lure the SCU into what may be the ultimate trap.
One of the first investigators on the scene, Special Agent Hollis Templeton is willing to push herself as hard and as far as necessary. Risking more than her life to help and protect her fellow SCU members, Hollis is coping with psychic abilities that are evolving in unprecedented ways, an attraction to the most complex man she’s ever known, and a serial murder investigation that has just turned very, very personal.
In her time with the SCU, Hollis has shown an uncanny ability to survive even the most deadly attacks. But what she doesn’t count on is that this killer intends to destroy the team from within.
The clock is ticking. The body count is rising. And as Bishop and his agents race to uncover the identity of their true enemy, not even their special senses can warn them just how bloody, and how terrifyingly close, the truth will be.

(Description for this book has been taken from

The second book that I am waiting for is Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong. I have to say that Kelley Armstrong is one of my absolute favourite authors. I have a lot of favourites, but she is definitely at the top of my list of authors to read. I was very excited when I found out that the short stories from her website were going to be put together into two books. This is the second anthology. It is set to be released on April 13, 2010.

More of New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong's most popular Otherworld characters get a chance to shine in this second short fiction collection, showcasing critical moments from many different lives.

Kelley Armstrong's readers have proven themselves a dedicated fan-base: her previous hardcover collection of short stories, Men of the Otherworld, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and Canadian lists too — despite three of the stories having been available, unedited and for free, for years on Armstrong's website. With a similar format — a handful of reedited stories and one wholly original novella — Tales of the Otherworld explores the lives of some of Armstrong's most popular characters, giving readers glimpses into how Clay and Elena met, how Eve and Kristof first hooked up (a brand new novella), and how Lucas and Paige got married. Kelley is a superstar of the genre, and Tales of the Otherworld is a great way to begin 2010.

(Description for this book has been taken from

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!

This week's teaser is taken from Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough.

""Man, I feel like I could sleep for a week," Gabriel says as he stands and scoops up our plates from the table. "You did find what he asked for. It's not your fault that it isn't what he really wants." He comes around the table and I notice that he gives the clock a wide berth as he heads into the kitchen.""
pg. 106

What is your Tuesday teaser?

Happy Reading!

Revelations - Melissa De La Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen's blood legacy has just been called into question: is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force.
When an ancient place of power is threatened in Rio de Janeiro, however, the Blue Bloods need Schuyler on their side. The stakes are high, the battle is bloody, and through it all, Schuyler is torn between duty and passion, love and freedom.

Title: Revelations
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire Fiction
Publisher: Disney, Hyperion Books
My Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book. We finally get some answers to questions that were asked in the first two books. I find that though there are (finally) answers, there are now more questions as well. There is a little confusion what with the narrative jumping from Schuyler, to Mimi, to Bliss, and back again, but it also helped tell the full story. I was thoroughly engrossed in the book, but when I got to the end, I was let down a bit--in the sense that I was hoping for a bigger, more drawn out battle scene. I'm fine with it as it is, but I just wanted... more. I think that this book is definitely far superior to the first one, and in most respects is better than the second one as well. Melissa is in her element now. I'm glad I picked up the series, and look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Van Alen Legacy.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Masquerade - Melissa De La Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help--her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly under way for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman--a true Blue Blood affair.
But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.
Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.

Title: Masquerade
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire Fiction
Publisher: Hyperion
My Rating: 4/5

This book was infinitely better than the first one! The story grabbed me right from the get-go and it didn't let up. The masquerade after-party was only the beginning. We get to meet Schuyler's grandfather, Lawrence, and we get to meet another key player. I really like Bliss's character (as well as Oliver's and Schuyler's) and can't wait to see how she evolves. We are left with some mystery pertaining to her character. At the end of the book a bomb-shell is dropped and I can't wait to see what happens next in respect to the comment! I'm trying to keep my reviews spoiler-free, so it feels like I'm talking in code at times! I really enjoyed this book though, and think that though the first one was "meh" this one was definitely well worth the read.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In My Mailbox -5-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

1. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
2. Break - Hannah Moskowitz
3. Rogue Angel: The Spirit Banner - Alex Archer
4. Body Bags - Christopher Golden
5. Thief of Hearts - Christopher Golden
6. Fortress In The Eye Of Time - C. J. Cherryh
7. The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
8. Angelic - Kelley Armstrong
9. Through Wolf's Eyes - Jane Lindskold
10. Legend Of The Jade Dragon - Yasmine Galenorn
11. Soul Survivor - Christopher Golden

I picked up a few books for the book club that I've recently joined. You can join here. (That is, if you want to!) :) D and I went out to a local antique store/secondhand book store, and picked up the rest of the books listed here. The only one that I received in the mail was Kelley Armstrong's Angelic. I can't wait to read that one! :)

That's what is in my mailbox this week, what's in yours?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blue Bloods - Melissa De La Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes to the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler's life changes dramatically. The death of a popular schoolmate haunts her in unexpected ways. And strangest of all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.
Once an outcast, Schuyler is thrust into Manhattan's most exclusive social circle. Its members are the powerful, the wealthy, and--as Schuyler soon discovers--the unhuman. They are Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires, and for centuries they've been invincible. Now something is preying on this elite group, and Schuyler wants to find out the truth. But is she the most vulnerable of them all?

Title: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire Fiction
Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks
My Rating: 3/5

I'm on the fence with this one. I really enjoyed the "vampire world" that Melissa has created. I really thought it was a unique spin on it, and I liked how it gave another variable for the lost colony of Roanoke. I liked Schuyler and Oliver, and Bliss... I'm on the fence about some of the other characters though. If the characters had been fleshed out more, they would have been excellent, but with all of the world building going on I can see why she (Melissa) focused on that more so than on the individual characters. The high-roller lifestyle of course comes with designer clothing, but it bogged the actual story down. I was kept busy reading about designer apparel (which I could care less about) and all I wanted was to read more about what was happening, who was the bad guy, how could they stop him/her, what are Blue Bloods really? etc etc. (You get the picture.) :) However... the further I got into this book, the more I enjoyed it, I was immersed in it, and then bam! That was the last page... and I'm really curious to see what's going to happen next. Luckily, I have a copy of Masquerade from the library. (I'm already 45 pages into it.) All in all, this was a good story, though there were parts that you could get bogged down in, but stick with it, it gets better, and leaves you wanting more! (Okay, so maybe as I'm typing this, I'm not as on the fence as I thought I was...) :).

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Challenges

I haven't written a post yet this year stating how well I did on my personal challenge from last year (for reading 100 books). I was so close, yet so far... I ended up reading 99 and a half books for 2009. I knew on the last day that I wasn't going to finish the challenge (too much to do and not enough time to read), and mentioned this to several family members. They in turn suggested that I read a children's book just to make it happen. I figured that would be considered cheating... so I took the high road I guess and didn't finish the last book. I figure that now, I can look back on it and say that it was a trial run for one of the challenges that I joined this year...

The first challenge that I joined was J. Kaye's 2010 100+ Reading Challenge. I thought, after all, I had nearly made 100 books last year, why not try for the same this year?

I've currently read 3 books towards this challenge. Last year I was only 2 books in at this point in time. (I have a list from the last 2 years detailing dates and books read as well as a five star rating system. I just recently switched to blogging about the books that I have read.)

The second challenge to catch my eye was the Take Another Chance Challenge which is hosted by Jenner. I just re-read my earlier posting about the challenge and realized that I had only signed up for the Moderate Gamble stage. I thought I had signed up for Gambling It All and as such, devised a list of books to read for all twelve challenges. (I'll list all of the books at the end of this post as I have some that cross the different challenges).

I then came across yet another challenge, the 451 Challenge which is based on 451 Fridays and is hosted at As Usual, We Need More Bookshelves. This is the only challenge that ends November 30, 2010. (The rest end December 31, 2010).I joined at the Blaze level, so I'll hopefully be reading 7 books (or more). I saw several on this list that I had wanted to read, but had not gotten around to.

I did manage to find some books that I could use as "cross-over" books (which will definitely help!).

These are the only challenges that I have joined this year. I want to finish the challenges this year, so I haven't joined any others. ;)

Alright, so the books for the Take Another Chance Challenge are:

1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (this coincides with the 451 Challenge as well as the all encompassing 2010 100+ Reading Challenge). It also is my "doppelganger" with C.L. matching my initials.
2. My Blogroll Roulette # found at was #21 and at the time that number matched with Library Lounge Lizard and I will be reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. (I have since added more blogs that I am following).
3. The next book was taken from Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List and is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
4. This book I picked from the Pulitzer Prize winner list from 1991 and it is Rabbit At Rest by John Updike. (This book can also "cross-over" into the 451 Challenge).
5. I went to again to get a random number, and received the number 5. My 5-word title is Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn.
6. The genre that I have not read before (and I have read pretty well everything, so this is one that I consider having read the least) is Local History: Ghost Towns of Ontario by Maria Da Silva.
7. The author or genre that I dislike the most is *gasp* Stephen King. I really detest the books of his that I have read, so in an effort to do this challenge I will be reading his latest book Under the Dome. (I absolutely hated Cell, among others...) Maybe I will break the prejudice, maybe I won't. This book will tell.
8. The next challenge on the list is "real and inspired". I will be reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
9. This challenge consists of same word, different book. I hope to re-read First Wizard's Rule by Terry Goodkind (I haven't read it in years) and I'd also like to read At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks.
10. In this next challenge, I need to assume the character from the book that I read and give the "behind the scenes" interview, or the "what happens next" interview. I haven't decided if I'm going to do Kristen Britain's Green Rider, or if I'm going to go with another personal favourite, Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens.
11. This challenge is a familial one. I will be reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and one of Charlotte Bronte's books, most likely Jane Eyre as I haven't read that one either.
12. This last challenge is an anthology of sorts... I hope to read Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire. The author that I absolutely love who has a short story in this book is Kelley Armstrong. I hope to also read her book Living With the Dead.

I thought that I had chosen to do all of the challenges, so I picked books for all of them. I however only need to do 6, and if I'm feeling up to it, I will upgrade for sure!

The books that I have listed in the 451 Challenge are as follows:

1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
2. The Iliad by Homer
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6. Rabbit At Rest by John Updike
7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

That is my list so far. I hope that it doesn't change, and I hope that I can finish all of these books. There are some cross-overs, so I hope that that will help enable me to finish them all.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!

This week's teaser is taken from Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz.

"Mimi noticed Jack run up to talk to Schuyler, and the two of them began an intense, whispered conversation. Mimi didn't like that one bit. She had no idea who this Schuyler person thought she was, and she didn't give a damn if it turned out she was Committee material after all. She didn't like the way Jack was looking at Schuyler. The only person he ever looked at like that was her.
And Mimi wanted to keep it that way."
pg. 71

What is your Tuesday Teaser?

Happy Reading!

Vacations From Hell - Libba Bray et al.

Life's a beach. . . and then you're undead?

In this must-have collection, five of today's hottest writers--Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty), Cassandra Clare (City of Bones), Claudia Gray (Evernight), Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes), and Sarah Mlynowski (Bras & Broomsticks)--tell supernatural tales of vacations gone awry. Lost luggage is only mildly unpleasant compared to bunking with a witch who holds a grudge. And a sunburn might be embarrassing and painful, but it doesn't last as long as a curse. Of course, even in the most hellish of situations, love can thrive . . . .
From light and funny to dark and creepy, these stories have something for everyone. When vacation time comes, you definitely won't want to leave this collection at home!

Title: Vacations From Hell
Author: Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia Gray, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
My Rating: 5/5

1. Cruising - Sarah Mlynowski. An excellent short story. Very humorous and concise. Not your average vampire. I wouldn't mind reading more from this author.

2. I Don't Like Your Girlfriend - Claudia Gray. I quite enjoyed this short story as well. Witches and spells galore. Wrapped up quite efficiently in a small potion err package.

3. The Law of Suspects - Maureen Johnson. I found this story very well-written. It creeped me out completely! Definitely a great short story. The ending leaves you going uh-oh!

4. The Mirror House - Cassandra Clare. What would you do for someone you love? An excellent question answered in this short story. Sometimes you find out difficult things about yourself and are okay with it. Loved this one as well.

5. Nowhere is Safe - Libba Bray. Nowhere really is safe. Very intriguing; creepily so. Reminds me somewhat of M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village", they both seem to have the same vibe. Excellent short story.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In My Mailbox -4-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

1. The 5 Greatest Warriors - Matthew Reilly
2. Hearts at Stake - Alyxandra Harvey
3. Strange Angels - Lili St. Crow
4. Shades of Midnight - Lara Adrian
5. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
6. Fade Out - Rachel Caine
7. Carpe Corpus - Rachel Caine
8. Lord of Misrule - Rachel Caine

I went a little overboard this week (again) and bought some more books! I have been waiting impatiently for Matthew Reilly's newest book. I absolutely LOVE his books/writing and can't wait to get started on this one. I also picked up some new authors (2, 3) and can't wait to read them either. I picked up #5 for one (or two) of my reading challenges this year. I really liked the cover of this one so that's why I picked this edition of it. I also am fleshing out some of my series this week with 4, 6, 7, and 8. I haven't read them yet and can't wait to get started! All in all, a good haul for the week.

That's what is in my mailbox this week, what's in yours?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Faerie Path - Frewin Jones

Anita was living an ordinary life.
Until an elegant stranger pulled her into another world.

Swept away into a court of magic and beauty, she discovers she is Tania, the lost princess of Faerie. Since Tania's mysterious disappearance five hundred years before, Faerie has been sunk in darkness and gloom. With her return, Faerie comes alive again as a land of winged children, glittering balls, and fantastic delights. But Tania can't forget Anita's world, or the boy she loved there.
Torn between two loves and between two worlds, Tania slowly remembers why she disappeared, and realizes that she is the only one who can stop a sinister plan that threatens the entire world of Faerie.

Title: The Faerie Path
Author: Frewin Jones
Genre: Young Adult, Faerie
Publisher: EOS (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
My Rating: 2.5/5

This book grabbed my interest immediately once I started reading it. However, that slowly started to change the further I got into the book. I was struggling to continue to read it as it was getting monotonous. I'm glad that I stuck with it though, because the last 80 (or so) pages picked up and made things interesting again. If you could read the beginning and end, it might be an easier read as during the middle we meet several characters that seem to flit in and out of the pages never to be seen again. I did find it amusing that Anita is Tania (re-arranged, letterwise). I thought that the beginning was good, with Anita and Evan, but as soon as Tania/Anita was swept into Faerie, the story promptly dropped Evan/Eldric. Tania spends more time wanting to get back to the Mortal world, than she does finding out what happened (to her) in the first place. She doesn't remember anything from when she left Faerie before, and at the end of the book (well, nearly the end of the book) she finds out that there is a plot that would overturn everything in Faerie unless she stops it from happening. It seems like everything was crammed into the latter end of the book, and if it had been fleshed out, it would have read more smoothly. As it stands, the ending of this book makes me want to find out what happens next in the series. Here's hoping that the second book flows more coherently!

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wings - Aprilynne Pike

Laurel was mesmerized,
staring at the pale things
with wide eyes.
They were terrifyingly beautiful--
too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again,
her eyes on the hovering petals
that floated beside her head.
They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Title: Wings
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Genre: Young Adult, Faerie
Publisher: HarperTeen (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
My Rating: 4/5

What an interesting concept! This book definitely has its own unique spin on the faerie mythos. The story grabbed my interest from the beginning. It didn't introduce the faerie world until you were well into the book as it focused more so on Laurel who is learning new things about herself. The only complaint is that I wish that it had been longer, and that we could have learned more about the characters and the faerie world. I can't wait to read the second book in this series, Spells, which is out on May 4, 2010.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!

This week's teaser is taken from The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones.

""I'd like that," Tania said. "I'd like that a lot." She looked fondly at her sister. "And there are some things I'd like to talk to you about, if that's okay."" pg. 240

What is your Tuesday Teaser?

Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In My Mailbox -3-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

1. Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr.
2. Altar of Eden - James Rollins.
3. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare.
4. City of Glass - Cassandra Clare.
5. The Dead Girls' Dance - Rachel Caine.
6. Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine.
7. Feast of Fools - Rachel Caine.
8. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare.

The first one, I received as an exchange from a friend as she already had the book. The other seven books I bought with gift certificates I received for Christmas this year. I can't wait to get started on these, but have a pile of library books to go through first!
That's what I got in my "mailbox", what did you get in yours?

Night Life - Caitlin Kittridge

The first book in a thrilling, addictive new series by a talented new voice in dark fantasy. Welcome to Nocturne City, where werewolves, black magicians, and witches prowl the streets at night...

Among them is Luna Wilder, a tough-as-nails police officer whose job is to keep the peace. As an Insoli werewolf, Luna travels without a pack and must rely on instinct alone. And she's just been assigned to find the ruthless killer behind a string of ritualistic murders--a killer with ties to an escaped demon found only in legend...until now.
But when she investigates prime suspect Dmitri Sandovsky, she can't resist his wolfish charms. Pack leader of a dangerous clan of Redbacks, Dmitri sends her animal instincts into overdrive and threatens her fiercely guarded independence. But Luna and Dmitri will need to rely on each other as they're plunged into an ancient demon underworld and pitted against an expert black magician with the power to enslave them for eternity. . .

Title: Night Life
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
My Rating: 2/5

The back cover makes this book sound so intriguing, so I was disappointed to find that the story and characters were more or less one dimensional. The story itself, in theory, was good; however the ending was very anti-climatic. I don't know if it is just me, but I spent a lot of time going back to double-check facts because I kept thinking I'd missed something. It took a long(er) time for me to read this book because I couldn't get into it as much as I wanted to. I DID, however, enjoy the back and forth between Luna and Dmitri. I thought the premise of the story was good, and I really hope that the next book in the series is better. I found that this book left you with more questions than answers though. I am definitely going to pick up the second book because even though I didn't love the book, I would like to find out what happens next. I would recommend picking this up from the library first just to make sure that you like it.