Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Hard Knock Books



I knew what I was getting into in terms of subject matter when I selected these following books, and yet they managed to surprise me in ways I didn't foresee.  

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

A serial killer, I can't deal with. I've seen Dexter. But this guy has ''sexual issues'' that were too much to handle.

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Even with drawings, the subject matter of Auschwitz is always hard to read.

Lucky by Alice Sebold

I learned that rape isn't the worst that could happen. Imagine your family and friends asking you over and over why you didn't try to escape.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

That scene, when they numb a boy and remove his organs one by one while he's still conscient.

By the Time You Read This I'll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

There are so many ways to commit suicide. Peters lists them all, how long it will take you as well as the pros and cons.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Piggy should have been the saddest part, but for me, it was reading about all those poor six-year-old kids surviving alone while the others casted them aside.

Which book topped your list?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: No One Needs to Know

We always judge ourselves more harshly than others do.

Olivia's parents are always gone lately, leaving Liam, her twin brother, as her anchor. But she's too clingy in his eyes -- wanting to celebrate all their birthdays together and going to watch movies on fridays. So when Liam meets Zoey, Olivia has no choice but to spend time with her. What she didn't expect was to fall in love with her in the process.

The LGBT romance is not rushed. Instead, Amanda Grace provides us with a gentle courtship of how love should be. With Oliva's social class being higher, she is able to seduce Zoey with gifts and dates. The real challenge comes from confronting her peers when her entourage mocks Zoey's scholarship status. Although, the conflict with Liam takes second place, the love story is so endearing we forgive Grace for the lack of triangle tension. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Yummy Tweets

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Book character (s) you'd like to see with their own twitter?

Given as Christian Grey, Gideon Cross and Lord Voldemort (yeah, I heart him) already have twitter accounts, my choices are limited.

I'd probably go with Sophie Kinsella's Becky Bloomwood to get the latest fashion trends and learn of all the creative ways you can wear a scarf. I live in a cold climate, it's hard to accessorize.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Crank

“We used to do coke, till "Just Say No" put the stuff out of reach. Now it's crank. Meth. The monster. It's a bitch on the body, but damn do you fly.”

Three weeks. That's how long Kristina will have to spend with her distant father, a user. He doesn't cook, doesn't clean, he doesn't care -- and so their distant relationship continues even if they are living together. No one can blame Kristina for being thrilled when she meets Adam. So what if he wants to smoke a little pot? A line of meth, why not? It brings out a different side of her. Besides, it's not like she'll be doing drugs forever. 

I was not prepared for this book to be written all in verse. It's not the first book I read that way, and yet Hopkins handled dialogue through it all. That did impress me! If you know an addict then you can understand how they tend to withdraw or be happy one moment then angry the next. Kristina/Bree was the same. Making it difficult to be in her head for a long time, hence why the verse felt necessary. 

Unlike Go Ask Alice by Anonymous where the main character tries one drug and then goes on a rampage trying them all, Kristina/Bree appears to have a link between Adam and the monster as if she has linked meth and love together. It makes her feel special, wanted, audacious... but as the days go by, all it does is destroy her.

A sad story based on Hopkins daughter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Writing Great Books for Young Adults

If you want to write, then by all means, you have got to read. 

Novels are a great start. They help maintain the vocabulary flowing and learn how to keep up paragraph and dialogue pace. But reading how-to write books can be a huge advantage.

Here is part of the books on writing I have read:

Writing Great Books for Young Adults outshines its competitors, by combining all of the writing themes together. Instead of focusing just on dialogue, it will have a chapter on the subject, and so on, making it a great start for aspiring writers. 

The main focus on YA literature comes from written examples and exercises. Brooks will ask you to go back in time to your teenage years and focus on your preoccupations. She also lists teen character traits, plots that involve family and school issues, as well as settings youth would most likely be chilling at. 

Although, adding a list of YA literature classes students may take in American Universities doesn't help us Canadians, she does explain the variety of awards (YALSA) YA books can merit as well as publishing houses, and manuscript format and submitting procedures. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Escape from Witchwood Hollow + Giveaway

After losing her parents in a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria escapes New York City to Arnn—a farming town with more legends than residents, and a history of witchcraft and secrets best left buried.

Everyone in Arnn knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope when she should be afraid, and a past of missing children and broken promises.  To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture? 

Escape from Witchwood Hollow will be published through Curiosity Quills on October 29 2014. 

Jordan Elizabeth, can't get enough of the woods, be it splashing through a stream, sitting beneath an ancient oak, or following a path up a hill. You can contact Jordan via her website.

You don't have to wait until October 29th to explore Witchwood Hollow. Jordan is offering a free ebook. To enter, all you need to do is share the cover. This can be done on your blog, facebook, twitter. Each time you share it, log in to rafflecopter to record it. Contest ends October 20th. Good luck!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Movie Time: If I Stay

If I Stay directed by R.J. Cutler

Blooming star Chloe Grace Moretz from Hugo, takes over the role of Mia in Gayle Forman's book adaptation. Those who read the book, know that most of the story takes place in flashbacks as Mia skims through her memories, after a tragic car accident that left her an orphan. Is love enough of a reason to continue to stay alive?

If I stay places all the action on the main characters. In fact, the accident scene is incredibly rushed, Mia waking up when the ambulance is already there. The book was a lot more detailed. As a reader, that's what connected me to Mia. Watching her go through all that anguish of finding her family members one after the other except for little brother Teddy (Jakob Davies). This time around, I felt, disconnected from her. It seemed the only thing Mia cared about was to fit it. Whether with Adam (Jamie Blackley) or best friend Bri's (Liana Liberato) opinion of Adam and her.

So, the film concentrates more on Adam and Mia's romance. Showing us that aside from family, we can experience other types of love. Love that we choose and love that chooses us.

Strangely, the most powerful lines of the film are delivered by Mia's grandfather (Stacy Keach). A man with a small role but with strong words.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Feels (The Gif Tag)

BOOK FEELS (a.k.a The Gift Tag)

A shout out thank you to Mo_books for challenging me to join this fun post.

How to play:

I will give a list of books at the end. All you have to do is list the books, and then write a sentence that relates to what you think of when reading the book, and add a gif! Then, tag people/blogs and list ten books for them to do this with! Try to keep the books relatively well known or popular. When you receive this make sure you mention who tagged you! Pass it on!

My turn:

Here are the books from Mo_books list and what I thought of them:

1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

He he, the printer went loco... Oh no, wait! The strikethrough text is there on purpose.

2. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kawaga

So wrapped into this story, my poor nerves! Won't make it through without a little help. 

3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Series just started, and I'm still loving it. Encore! Encore!

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

WTH! How could he just let her walk away?

5. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

That Will and I are going to have a talk on how to treat a lady. Like it or not!

6. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I can no longer sit here and pretend the world is normal.

7. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Not quite ready to read this yet. Soon, I promise.

Couldn't make it to 10. But maybe others can. 

Here is my list:

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
3. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
5. Fifty Shades of Grey by  E.L.James
6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
7. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

You are free to add 3 more gif from books of your choice.

I challenge: A Book Paradise

                 Teen Book Hoots

                 Sassy and Dangerous

                 Take me Away

                 World Inside Books

Review: Vampires of Manhattan

Forget friendly reunions -- the Blue Bloods are back to face enemies once again. 

It's been ten years since the gang defeated Lucifer. Lives were lost. But Oliver, who is now in charge of the vampire community, decides it's time to come out of the shadows and celebrate their victory with a ball. The werewolves are afraid this event will bring havoc, particularly when strange signs (like pentagrams and corpses) begin appearing all over the city. As the saying goes, "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Could Lucifer still be out there?

In Vampires of Manhattan, De La Cruz had the hard task to please longtime fans of the series but also gain NA paranormal fans by managing to explain the past events without drowning the reader with too much information. Schuyler, although very present in the first book of the Blue Blood series, holds a small role, with the promise to come back as a main character in the sequel. But no worries. Tension, marital woes, steamy sex scenes and lavish gatherings fill the gaps of the mysterious plotline proving that De La Cruz's talent keeps growing with time.

Prepare for a cliffhanger ending!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Caught my arrow #37

Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.

Lots of different genres this week. Can't wait to dig in! Also anxiously awaiting my first visit to Comic Con Montreal today. Will be sure to post pictures in my next post and on Instagram about all the book heroes I spot. 

Received from Publisher

Wildlife by Fiona Wood

Received from Netgalley

Party Games by R.L.Stine
How to Draw Batman, Superman and other DC Super Heroes and Villains by Aaron Sautter


Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott & Lynn Messina

What are you reading this week?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Membership Card Required

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Before blogging (dark times!) how would you find out about new books or did you?

I. Am. Serious.

Before all the blogger/Goodreads days, I use to find out about new books on the Costco stand. Mind you, the selection was so-so. Once I got my hand on Twilight, I opened my Goodreads and started getting awesome recommendations.

Since then, I just trail good books everywhere I go (including to Costco!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Unwholly

Is one life worth more than another?

In Shusterman's dystopian world, parents can abort their teens by placing a call. But this sequel to Unwind, takes the controversy to another level. 

A company just gave life to a creature made out of hundreds of ''donated'' body parts with the goal to create the perfect species. His name is Camus and he's gaga over Risa. Our heroes Lev and Connor will be tested all over again as they learn that with their newfound fame comes lots of responsibilities. The series continues to remain both poignant and philosophical as Shusterman includes newspaper articles to leave us pondering about the gain and loss of organ donation. I always fear that when reading a Dystopian sequel (or any sequel in a trilogy really) the story will get dragged out without any purpose. But in Unwholly, we got to see even more consequences in the unwinding process. New complimentary characters were introduced and the pieces for a grand finale was well set up. 

Another great addition to the series.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Twist of Fate



Life can change in a second. I love how books reminds us to hold on because fate can switch back. All is never lost.

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

As if the death of a parent isn't devastating enough, imagine if your mom is being kept alive by a respirator so that your baby brother can grow in her belly!!

How can anyone say goodbye when the body is still there?

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

Bullying and euthanasia combine. Believe me, this is not a typical contemporary read that's for sure.

Promise Me Something by Sara Kocek

Profound, at times unexpected events, that tackled LGBT problems that can lead to suicide. Quite touching.

FRUIT by Brian Francis

Peter is gay but doesn't know it yet. Instead, the book becomes less of a sexual identity story and focuses on a boy trying to fit in, be the right weight (mom doesn't want her 200 pound teen to stop eating fast food), and lastly overcome puberty.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

I cannot say how much I loved this book. Maybe it was because it hit very close to home. Or because Deb Caletti has a really interesting way to warn girls about how to avoid getting sucked into bad relationships. 

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

I admit I was reluctant to read this story, due to the similarity of the plot with Bethany Lambert's life (I mean let her write the story, right?) But, the author wrote it all in a beautiful poetic verse with raw emotional feelings on every page. So yeah, I liked it!

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen

There is a huge #whyIstayed meme going on twitter today about abusive relationships. Sometimes words hurt more than fists and this book demonstrates how being told time after time that you are not good enough damages your self-esteem. 

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

After reading this love story gone wrong you will beg Levithan to write a thesaurus. And a grammar book....etc etc

Which book topped your list?

Review: A Blind Spot for Boys

The end doesn't always mean it's over, sometimes bad things happen to make us stronger.

Seven months later, Shana still can't get over her ex. He rejected her, so now she is rejecting others as a defense mechanism. To make matters worse, Shana's dad, a photographer, is going blind. This leads to a trip across the continent where he will be able to photograph beauty for the last time.

Instead of the before and after, Chen focuses her story and the most emotional part of a relationship: what happens at the end. Do you, like Shana, blame yourself for not having been good enough? Or like her father, push the ones who love you away?

A coward is the one who isn't afraid to stand alone, yet ask for help when needed. Chen provides us with several examples of this theory. Remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And for Shana that light is named Quattro, and he is swoon worthy.

Highly inspirational!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek

With fame comes responsibility -- and Riley Mae shows us how it's done. 

Becoming a spokesperson for a running shoe line was a dream come true, until Riley discovered just how much her life would change. Not only is her schedule completely full, but if she wasn't receiving the shoes for free, she wouldn't be able to afford them. Yet girls try to do anything for a pair. Except for her friend Rusty, who doesn't even eat now that her dad lost his job. Can Riley use her fame for a purpose and secretly help Rusty buy food without her parents or softball team noticing?

Riley is the kind of child any parent would dream off. She hates the schedule, but obeys it. Takes her friend's struggles to heart. Respects her family. With a girl like Riley -- what could possibly go wrong? But Osborne surprised me with a mystery subplot that I did not see coming. The last part of the book is filled with action, an assassin, and a humorous pair of siblings.

Prepare for a cliffhanger ending, literally.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: All Girls Lunch Club



Mmm, lunch! I went to an all girl school, therefore no male characters would be mentioned on this list. Sad and sexist, I know!

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter Series

Straight A student, my Hermione friend was always prepared for exams and insisted on correcting all my essays. A huge thank you for that!!

Mia Hall from If I Stay

Artists stick with artists. My Mia friend was not a cellist but a singer -- all the while passionately dreaming of a music career.

Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey

My Anastasia was a good girl as well, and although the whole lunch table adored her, the on and off "do I stay with him" relationship dilemmas drove us crazy.

Lissa Dragomir from Vampire Academy

Very classy and etiquette wize, my Lissa (unlike me) was never tardy. Like ever! How is that humanly possible?

Finally me: Theater craze with an impulsive personality.

Which character would you be?