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Sunday, 29 April 2012

BOOK HAUL/IMM: Birthday edition! ! !

So I'm kind of unsure as to what I want to do regarding IMM, in light of recent events (that I'm not going to go into)... But this week, considering I actually didn't get anything in the mail, I thought I'd just call it my 'birthday haul' because, well...today is my birthday!  I got quite a few book-related things and of course a couple of books. I also bought a few books earlier this week, so I'll start with those first:
  • Bought:

  • The Selection by Kiera Cass - When I saw the international edition was in paperback, I couldn't resist! I also couldn't resist reading it right away in only one day! Review up soon.
  • The Calling by Kelley Armstrong -  Yay! That's pretty much all I can say about it...
  • Die For Me by amy Plum - I finally gave in and bought a copy. I hope it's good!

  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - OMG. Thank you, Scott and Ryan!!
  • The Lying Game by Sara Shepard - Thank you, Jenna!

I also got a couple of really cool Harry Potter things! My dad, grandma and brother, Kyle all went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando recently, (I couldn't go because of school) and they brought me back some really cool things like a Hermione Granger wand, a Time-Turner necklace/display case, a Golden Snitch and a Gryffindor luggage tag! Plus, from my mom and step-dad, I got a new, much bigger, bookcase! Now I don't have to stack all my books on top of each other! I will be doing a video tour soon, if you guys still want it, but I need to get my camcorder fixed before I do.

That's what I got in books this week! Comment below and leave a link to whatever book haul meme you're doing and I'll be sure to check it out!

Have a great day/night, everyone!

P.S. What do you  think of a post called 'Owl Post' for my book hauls? I don't know if that's already taken, but I think it's kind of fitting for my blog... Even before all the IMM conflict I was thinking about it. Hmm... decisions, decisions....

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 341 pages, Hardcover
Date Published:  February 21st 2012

 Goodreads Blurb:
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn,
who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

My Thoughts:

I'm happy to say that Fever didn't truly suffer from 'Second-Book Syndrome'. I enjoyed it pretty much equally as Wither so that was a plus. But that being said, it was slow. Quite a bit happened, but at a pace that had me getting distracted by other things, instead of plowing through the book.There was quite a bit more suspense towards the end and a lot more of what I really enjoyed in Wither, so I'm gonna say the last quarter of the book was my favorite. 

Fever starts right where Wither left off. Rhine and Gabriel have just escaped Linden's house and are trying to get to Manhattan. WELL. They don't get that far... They end up in a, well, prostitute camp run by a woman that we'll just call Madame. I did actually enjoy a bit of this part in the book. I felt as if we could see a bit more into Rhine and Gabriel's relationship, but once again there was something missing. I still haven't got a great feel on who Gabriel is. I can see that he loves Rhine and want's her safe, even when he's on a heroin-like substance, (Yes, heroin). But, I am seriously doubting her love for him. She does quite a few things within the story that made me want to scream at her ''Go back to Linden!!!!!''. Yes, I believe she loves Gabriel, but only in the slightest. He was more of an excuse for her to run away in my opinion.

 When they escape the camp with Maddie, the little girl whom Madame wanted to kill, they're now running even more so than before from Linden's father and trying to get to Rhine's brother. We get quite the glimpse of the outside world, but honestly I'm still pretty confused about it. So much doesn't make sense to me, but I hope that we'll finally get to understand the background behind DeStefano's world a bit better in the third book.

The writing was quite a bit better in Fever. The scenes flowed smoothly and  were vivid in my mind. But, I think what made the book not so great for me was the story in general. It didn't captivate my attention as fast as Wither and it didn't hold it either. I am still really looking forward to the final book in this amazingly awesome trilogy, but... I'm most definitely rooting for Linden over Gabriel. Let me know what you thought of the second installment in The Chemical Garden Trilogy... I'd love to read your opinions!

Have a great day/night everyone,

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 359 pages, Paperback
Date Published:  April 10th 2012 (first published April 5th 2011)

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

My Thoughts: I LOVED IT. The setting being so close to home was something new and exciting that I want more of!

any of you don't already know, I live in a city about an hour out of Vancouver, BC. It's a rarity that my family travels over to Vancouver Island, but we do occasionally. Reading this book was so great. If you are from BC, especially the Lower Mainland to the island region, I can assure you that you will definitely appreciate some of the humor directed to our suckish weather, (a.k.a our TERRIBLE winters). Those of you who live in tiny, tiny towns will probably appreciate this book as well. This was actually one of my favorite parts about the book, because I could relate to a bit of how Maya was feeling about her environment. The setting was realistic and enjoyable. I could almost see the forest Maya loved so much and smell the many trees she so enjoyed.There is the feeling of absolute isolation and at times I had to 'wake up' and remember that I don't live in Maya's town.

Now onto the story. This is the first book I have read of Armstrong's. I tried reading her Darkest Powers series but couldn't get into it that  easily. That being said, I was hardly hesitant about reading this book. The plot sounds interesting enough and once again, the setting intrigued me. Reading the blurb, the story sounds like your generic teen paranormal with the epic bad boy and the mysterious powers. But while those two aspects are true, this book is not  'generic'. I was expecting something a lot different than what we got. For example, the cougars were a nice change in animals. I think everyone's so used to reading about wolves that even the smallest thing, like having a feline instead of canine can make the book just that much more unique.

I really liked Maya. She was funny and strong, while still vulnerable. She falls hard for Rafe, even though she doesn't think it's that great of an idea... Rafe is definitely a great love-interest. I'm curious to know more about him as we don't find out a lot in this book. I also really enjoyed the importance of Maya's heritage. It's an interesting twist to put into a supernatural type of book. Here's a girl with two incredible adoptive parents. She seems to act pretty uninterested in her background, but on the inside she's craving to know more. Then there's Daniel. I'm definitely hoping that the author won't make a love-triangle with him and Rafe and Maya. There were little hints to that, but nothing seriously worrying. Though, I cracked up at the suggestion of Maya's father buying Daniel a new truck just so that he'll marry her.

This was a truly incredible book. I've got The Calling on my shelf, ready to go as soon as soon a I post this, because the cliffhanger was almost unbearable. Well, no. The chapter sampler in the back of my paperback version is what made the wait a bit excruciatingly painful. I usually don't read those, but something made me keep reading. Oh well! I'm going to finish this and get some reading in before I have dinner!

Talk to you guys soon,

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Fictional Characters (2)

Hey guys. So I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in almost a month, but I thought I'd start doing them again because they're lots of fun! This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's theme is Top Ten All Time Favorite Fictional Characters. Uhhh can someone say difficult? Obviously this is a hard list to come up with, but I'll try my hardest! (This is in no particular order, except for the first.) *Warning, most of these are gonna be from a certain amazing series called Harry Potter...*

  1. Hermione Granger ([Do I really need to say?] Harry Potter series) Growing up, Hermione was my role model. She was the girl that I wanted to be like when I was her age. I can remember the first time I watched the first movie at age 5 and being introduced to her and I was instantaneously in love with her character. Then that night I started reading the books and once again, BOOM. <3 Hermione. I think Emma Watson did an incredible job portraying her and it's a really close scoring to which 'version' of Hermione I like better, the book or movie. But obviously the books win!

2.  Bianca (The DUFF) I adored Bianca! She's snarky and loyal and intelligent. Sure, she makes some not-too-smart choices with Wesley, but she's going through a lot in her life and I don't blame her for needing a distraction!

3. Adam (Shatter Me) Ahhhhh, Adam. <3 I don't even know what it is specifically that makes me love him so much, but I do!

4. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March (Little Women) This is one of my favorite books of all time and I can't choose just one of the sisters as my favorite! So, please excuse my slight amount of cheating...

5. Alice (Twilight) Honestly, I don't even care about the heck I might get for mentioning a character from Twilight. I love Alice a ton and if there's one thing I keep going back for in this story of sparkly vampires, it's her. She's perky and sweet and has awesome premonition powers.

6. Hagrid (Harry Potter) What's not to love? Hagrid is the most amazing half-giant ever. He's caring of all creatures, even the crazy killing machines. (*Cough* Blast-Ended Skrewts *Cough*) I think Hagrid would make the best dad ever, except let's hope that he learns how to cook a little better... ;)

7. Ron (Harry Potter) Ron's that totally complex character who you can be mad at one second and then love him the next. He's part of the Golden Trio, so of course he's in here for me! *Look at his face!!!*

8. Harry (Harry Potter) Harry is well... Harry Potter. Yeah he can be a bit arrogant, but when you think of all the stuff he goes through each year, you gotta cut him some slack. Plus, he's the Chosen One!

9 Noah (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer) He's that ultimate softie bad-boy. He's got an English accent, he's extremely good-looking and he likes to read. I mean... How much better can he get?

10. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) Well, how can I even say why she's on this list? It just wouldn't be a favorites list without her!

That's my list for this week! If you did a TTT give me the link in the comment, I'll be sure to check it out! Sorry for the excessive Harry Potter-ness to this, but it's the truth! ;)

Have a great day/night everyone!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: 356 pages, Hardcover
Date Published:  April 10th 2012

Goodreads Blurb:

 Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.

My Thoughts: The story was a little slow but the soap-opera feel to it was amusing and dramatic.

Belles is one of those books that will have you laughing super hard at one point and then almost bawling your eyes out the next. Jen Calonita is a very talented author, in my opinion. Other than the fact that the plot line moved a little slower than I would have liked, It was... honestly like one of those crazy reality shows you can't turn off. Oh the things girls will do to get what they want, eh? This book has everything you could ever ask for from a soapy-type story: The controlling boyfriend, the psychotic mean girl, the hot surfer dude and of course, the life changing secret! But coming out of reading a bunch of dark and mysterious paranormals and dystopians, this was a breath of clean, non-polluted air!

This book was a very neat contemporary.There was a great Cinderella feel to it and it was a lot of high school fun. There's a big political side to it with Izzie's uncle being a senator and the events that happen with that were fun to read. Plus, the romance wasn't full-on at all. It was mostly a nice side attraction that just added to the fun. I adored Izzie's character. She was determined and loyal to who she is, keeping her head on straight even as her life goes into turmoil. She was one of those characters that you want to go up to, shake their hand and say "well done for getting through this". I really loved the relationship between her and Hayden, Mira's brother. It made me want a Hayden-type of person in my life! Going back to Mira... That's kind of complicated. You see, we have this girl who is best friends with the school's queen bee. She's 'second in command' so to speak. But she begins to realize that she doesn't want to be that puppy following Queenie's every move anymore and finds a niche that she thoroughly enjoys... art. But along the way she does some not too nice things to her cousin. I don't know... I don't particularly like Mira, but I don't hate her. I think as the series progresses we will begin to get more of an understanding of her and see where she stands exactly.

The character depth in this book was really great. Even with the smallest, most insignificant characters, I felt like I at least knew a little bit about them and who they were and what they were contributing to the story. Even with Savannah, said 'Queen Bee', as much as I DESPISED her, she impressed me all the same. She was cunning and swift and added so much to the story that made it all the more fun. I think I secretly liked her... Just a bit. ;)

Finally, the ending. OH the ending. I laughed my head off at the part where we find out the big secret. It's not that it's a funny finale, it's just the way every thing all plays out feels so... Soap-Opera-y. My reaction was a little like this:

But other than that, the secret was a big shock... Kind of. I had the sneaking suspicion that something like this would happen, but once again, the way it all played out, you can't help but be shocked. I'm now really looking forward to Winter White which comes out in December. I can't wait to see how all the drama unfolds and whether or not this family can keep everything together. I guess we'll have to wait and find out!

I hope you enjoyed Belles, or if you haven't read it, that you will enjoy it! I've got to go to bed now, or else I might just pass out in class tomorrow... I need more sleep! If you've read Belles comment below and tell me what you thought; I'd love to hear your opinions!

Have a good night/day everyone!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

In My Mailbox (12)

This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Every Sunday I'll put up which books I bought, borrowed or received for review. This way you'll have a little sneak peek on the reviews to look forward to soon!

So this week I got a TON of incredible deals on books... You could say I went a bit overboard. But I'm hoping to get through all of my TBRs on my shelf before buying any new books, so hopefully I'll be good for a while! Without further ado, here's my haul for the week!

As I said, I got some awesome deals this week. I got a few of these books for a couple of dollars at my favorite used book store and the others were either gifted to me or I bought them with the bit of extra spending money I had from the crazy amount of babysitting I've been doing lately. I'm really excited to start to read City of Bones, the lady at the store would not stop talking about it! It's probably about time I started reading them! I've already read Belles and it was pretty great so I'll be doing my review on it soon. I'm also probably not going to be able to read a LOT in the next month or so, because I have decided to challenge myself and read Troilus and Cressida for an 'Honors' project... I will read, but not at the usual pace because of school being so busy with the year coming to an end in 2 months. (!!!)

What books did you get this week? Leave me a comment or link me to your IMM and I'll be sure to check it out!

Have a good day/night everyone,

Saturday, 21 April 2012

And The Winner Is....

Thank you to everyone who entered the 100 Follower Giveaway. I've only read one of the six books that were being offered but I'm looking forward to reading all of them! 

The winner of the 100 Follower Giveaway is...

Jen Boucher!

Congratulations Jen! An email has been sent and you have 72 hours to respond until I pick a new winner. There will definitely be more giveaways in the near future, so if you didn't win this time, worry not! Thanks again to all who entered!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren Destefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 358 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: March 22nd 2011
Goodreads Blurb:
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

 My Thoughts: Really, truly loved this book. But there were lots of questions that I had, left unanswered... 

My thoughts on Wither are all a bit jumbled and all-over the place. There was so much that I loved about this book, but then there were also things that had me completely confused. I finished it in a day, but the pace was a bit slow. Rhine's personality and choices were sort of contradicting at times and that had me feeling dubious about whether or not she really wanted to escape the mansion. She constantly thought how much she hates this place, but seems to me as if she's perfectly content. Hanging in the library, going to parties and drinking champagne, sleeping on satin sheets and eating lots of candy... I didn't really believe it for a long time, that she wanted to leave her life as a senator's wife. There were moments when I truly believed that Rhine was falling in love with Linden and I was really excited about that, to be honest.

The subject of polygamy is a pretty difficult one to touch on, so I won't go into much detail on that. But even with him having multiple wives, I am one hundred percent Team Linden. This was one of the things that bothered me. I felt like we never truly got to know who Gabriel is. I know he likes boats, but what else? I didn't buy the relationship between him and Rhine, not as much as the one with her and Linden. You can tell that Linden's actually in love with her, but just doesn't know the whole truth of their situation, because of his evil father, Vaughn. In my opinion, the author could have gone into a lot more detail as to who Gabriel was, what his personality was like, etc. The little things we got from him were sweet, but not much more than that. It seemed to me as if Rhine was convincing herself she loved him, so as to have an excuse not to love Linden.

The world in this book is a little nuts. Can you imagine, knowing exactly how old you'll be when you die? To never have a chance at a full life. There was a few things that bugged me about DeStefano's dystopia, though. Why and how were all the other continents 'destroyed'? Is that even true? If not, why did the government feed everyone this lie? How did this society truly come to be? The details in which we should be able to understand the reasoning behind a terrible society like this are dull and almost nonexistent. I'm a huge fan of the dystopian genre, have been since I read The Giver, but I want to know more about the society's roots and such. The general focus of this book was much more on Rhine's escape and her life as a sister-wife, which was great, but for me to be able to believe in a fictional world such as this one, the author needs to convince me that this could all happen. Sadly, that didn't happen.

That being said, DeStefano has an incredible gift with words. I love her style and this was a pretty impressive debut. I'm looking forward to pouncing on Fever and seeing what's in store for Rhine and Gabriel and Linden and the rest of the crew. I enjoyed Wither a lot, but I hope I like the next installment even more.

Now I need to start reading some more and finish some books, because I haven't got any reviews ready at the moment!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Page Count: 452 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: September 27th 2011

Goodreads Description:

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

My Thoughts: Can I just marry Noah already? Please? So in love with him and this book!

I finished this book in about 6 hours, on one of the days that I was sick and I was so distraught when it was done! I devoured this book and loved every minute of it... Well, almost. There was one point where it went downhill, but it slowly went back up after that.

Michelle Hodkin has written a story so incredibly intriguing, that I just couldn't get enough of. The language/dialogue is witty and original. Though this book was dark and mysterious, it was also hilarious. I love books that can make me laugh uncontrollably on one page and the next have me shaking with fear and locking the doors. That is what this book did to me! With that being said, don't think this book is a silly, fun, fluffy read. It's dark. Totally creepy and shiver-down-your-spine worthy. That aspect's evident from the very first page.

There is also a completely swoon-worthy romance in this novel that, at times, made me weak at the knees and sighing, while imagining myself in the place of Mara. Not gonna lie, I'm totally in love with Noah. Why, Michelle Hodkin, did you have to create such an incredibly hot and intelligent guy who is impossible to attain? His English accent... *FANGIRLING*. Quick random fact for you: I am Canadian, but all of my thoughts run through my head with an English accent. No, I'm no kidding. It's been like this since I can remember. Weird, but true. Maybe it's because of the millions of times I've watched Harry Potter. Anyways, I'm getting off track. So, the relationship between Noah and Mara was super sweet, but truthfully, a little cliche: The new girl who makes the playboy jerk of the school fall in love and change his ways... Yadayadayada. But, I loved it anyways. ;) There was one part in the book, when Noah drives her to school and everyone's staring, that reminded me completely of this scene in Twilight...

'' Noah grabbed his blazer from the backseat, shrugged it on, opened my door, and then there we were, standing side-by-side as every stray eye turned in our direction.'' (248)

I usually hate comparing things to Twilight, for multiple reasons, but this was just so terribly similar that I thought I'd share. :)

Finally, I had mentioned earlier that there was one part where this book went downhill... Let's just say that this particular scene involved alligators. That's all I'll say, so not to give away any thing important, but this part confused the heck out of me. I didn't fully understand what was going on at this point and this continued up until after Mara's birthday. It began to get a little better after that point, but the damage was done. The first 3/4 of this book was fantastic, but the last bit... Not so much.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is really an incredible book, especially for this being Michelle Hodkin's first novel. Mara Dyer is unlike any other YA protagonist you'll meet. I was overall seriously impressed with it and I'm highly anticipating the release of The Evolution of Mara Dyer on December 12th!

 Have a great day/night, everyone!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Author Interview with Monica Leonelle

Hey everyone! I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Monica Leonelle, author of the new book Socialpunk. It was released on March 27th of this year and is the first book in a trilogy. Enjoy!

Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

 Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (http://proseonfire.com/free-writer-toolkit).

If you could summarize your book in five words, what would they be?

Fun, fast-paced, futuristic world!

What was your inspiration to write Socialpunk?

Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerburg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classically cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.

When did you know you wanted to become an author?

I feel like I mostly write because I can't help it. I love to write and that's how I express myself, day in and day out. I can never understand how people want to be writers or authors when they don't write. I always think, "Then why aren't you writing every day?" I organically average at least 2,000 words a day writing. When I'm finishing up a manuscript, I average closer to 5,000 words a day. This is just what I do, so I never believe people who say they're going to write something but just don't have the time.

Do you have a favorite time/place to write?

I love writing in the dead of night, when no one is around. No interruptions.

If you could only read three books in your entire lifetime, what would they be?

Probably the last three Harry Potter books. Of course, I would be absolutely miserable still—three books is a terrible limit!

What's your favorite thing to get from Starbucks or any other coffee shop?

I sometimes treat myself to a caramel mocha. It's basically like hot chocolate with additional sugar and whipped cream... amazing :)

Amazon: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkA
Barnes and Noble: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkB
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10628410-socialpunk

Thanks for stopping by, Monica! I can't wait to read Socialpunk... I just need an eReader that's easier to use than my iPod! It sounds really great!

Happy reading, everyone!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

In My Mailbox (11)

This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Every Sunday I'll put up which books I bought, borrowed or received for review. This way you'll have a little sneak peek on the reviews to look forward to soon!

From the Publisher:

Ninety Days by Bill Clegg - My first ARC!!! Thanks to Little, Brown and Company!


The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe - Super excited to start this! Looks amazing!
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - I can't wait to read this! I got a deal on this one!
Fever by Lauren DeStefano - I got a really great deal on this that I couldn't pass up! So stoked to start!

 That's it for this week! What did you guys get this week in books? Leave me a link in the comments to your IMM and I'll check it out!

Happy Reading!

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 386 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: January 10th 2012

Goodreads Description:

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months. In that time, Amy has learned to hide who she is. Elder is trying to be the leader he’s always wanted to be. But as the ship gets more and more out of control, only one thing is certain: They have to get off the ship.


My Thoughts:  AMAZING.

It is a rare thing, to find a sequel that is better than the first book. With my disappointment in Across the Universe, I was hesitant to continue reading the series. But I read A Million Suns in 4 HOURS, STRAIGHT. The book was incredible. INCREDIBLE

Every single thing that bugged me in Across the Universe was resolved in the sequel. The chapters continue to alternate between Amy and Elder's minds and that was, once again, done superbly. OH and their relationship! Thank you Ms. Revis! They actually touched on the fact that the only reason they were attracted to each other was because they were the only two teens on the ship. Amy was hesitant about her feelings towards Elder, because of that fact. But then when she finally realizes there may be some actual true feelings for him... BOOM! I loved their relationship in this book! It was sweet, it was timid and it was everything that had been missing in Across the Universe. Elder is so in love with Amy and apologizes for everything that he thinks might upset her, which is super cute. He really grew in this book, as he is now technically Eldest, the leader of the ship. Without the Phydus controlling everyone, he has to learn how to keep the ship from rebelling. He is so young and disrespected by so many on the ship and I really loved the way he learned through his mistakes. This book has made a spot for Elder on my list of Swoon Worthy Guys. ;)

There was also another mystery in the plot, that involved Orion leaving clues for Amy. Once again, I am so impressed by how much this book improved the series. It was a complete surprise to me at the ending about who was tampering with the clues! I didn't see it coming, at all. Wow. Just.... Wow. The murders, the clues, the riots. Fantastic. There was a huge secret that was discovered and I am so excited to see where that takes the characters in the next book. I can't wait for Shades of Earth... January 10th, COME QUICKLY!

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to continue with this trilogy. I can't believe I almost didn't. Now, I'm going to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, because where I live, it won't last long!

 Talk to you soon!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Author: Lissa Price
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: March 13th 2012

Goodreads Description:


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . . 

 My Thoughts: It could have been better, but it was good enough...

Starters is a dystopian debut novel that was really highly anticipated for this year. The concept of teens renting their bodies to the elderly is some food for thought... Wouldn't you say so? There were some aspects of the book that wasn't clear and took some time to understand or that I was confused about the entire way through. But other than that, it was a good read and I'm looking forward to the sequel Enders

The whole time I was reading Starters, I was completely lost on how and why everything came to be. How did the war start? Why didn't they save at least SOME of the middle aged people? How did they even come up with the idea, let alone technology for the renting? So many questions were left unanswered and that disappointed me. I was looking forward to this book and had pretty good expectations of it, but they didn't meet. There was a pretty prominent Cinderella theme, what with Callie losing her shoe and Blake picking it up, going from being incredibly poor and homeless to a life of luxury. I didn't think much of it to be honest. I felt like it wasn't an important part of the book, considering all the other stuff that was happening. Going back to Blake, a LOT of stuff happens with him. If you've read this book, you'll understand. But if not, I won't spoil it for you. The thing that bugged me about their relationship was that it happened so quickly. There was no real growing into it... It just happened. There is a reason as to why that kind of makes sense, but in the end that question is still on my mind. 

But there were some great parts to the book as well. First of all, the whole concept of the elderly renting out teen bodies is CREEPY. But so creative and imaginative! I can't even fathom how Lissa Price came up with this idea. She is a very talented author with a vivid imagination and I am looking forward to reading more from her. There was one point where I almost began crying, in the very beginning when all Callie wanted was to help save her little brother, Tyler. Being a big sister to three brothers has made me kind of protective and also very sensitive to sibling books like this. Her love for Tyler was so pure and so relatable, in my case. No, I haven't been orphaned with only me to take care of my dying brother, but I could see how Callie thought that renting her body was the best thing she could do to make the bit of extra money that they needed. I also loved the ending. It was one of those 'OMG it's a happy ending! Oh wait... Nope, more drama,' moments. Personally I feel as if the last 60 pages or so were the best out of the whole book. It was intense and twisted and completely exhilarating! The cliff-hanger was a huge shock and I am counting the days until December 12th. Theories of who the old man is are reeling in my mind and I just want to know who he is!

If you enjoy dystopian novels, Starters could be the next big hit for you. If you've read it, let me know in the comments what you thought of it 'cause I'd love to know!

Only one more week until the giveaway ends!
Happy reading!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Author: Jillian Larkin
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Page Count: 432 pages, Paperback
Date Published: August 9th 2011 (first published December 14th 2010) 

Goodreads Description:
 Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .  
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

 My Thoughts: It was just fabulous

Vixen is set in the 1920s, which is my favorite time-period to read about. This is why I can easily say that I LOVED this book! I have said this a million times before and I'll say it a million times more, I was born in the wrong era!

The story moves incredibly fast and is really well written. I never got bored, not once. It was a great change from all the paranormals and dystopias that are so huge in YA books. I have always had a fascination with this time-period, as I mentioned before, but I don't have much luck in finding good books set in it. Larkin made me forget about our modern world for the day that it took me to read this novel and it felt like I was transported back in time to the world of Gloria, Lorraine and Clara. The story changed from the point of view  of each girl every chapter, but once again I was impressed with how flawlessly the author pulled this off. I was never confused as to what was happening, as it was all chronological. The characterization in this book was phenomenal. Each girl had their own lives, their own struggles, their own flaws. Each of them have very different lives that show us unique aspects of the decade. I loved that Larkin was able to show Lorraine in a way that, although her actions should make the reader despise her, she was really just a damaged and jealous girl in need of a hug

Now, onto the romance side of things. Of course! This was a part of Vixen that both bugged me and intrigued me. The fact that Marcus and Gloria are just friends was delightful. No love-triangle there, with the forbidden love and the best friend. It was obvious that there was no way that could happen, which made me extremely pleased. That type of triangle gets a bit old after a while, don't you think? So I suppose I should actually specify the 'forbidden love' as Jerome Johnson, the African-American piano player. It was sort of an almost love at first sight situation with Gloria and Jerome, but of course it blossomed into something more. I felt as if their relationship took of very quickly and there wasn't a lot of time in between when they were singing in the basement and when they were sipping hot chocolate at the ice rink. It was sweet, but a little fast in my opinion. I don't even know why I think that, but I do. Then there's Sebastian, Gloria's fiance. No doubt about it, I didn't feel any sympathy for him at all. He was just a lying, cheating pig in my eyes. GO JEROME!

The end of this novel was crazy. I was kind of expecting it, but not so much that I didn't enjoy it. The shock of it all was a huge twist from the romantic scene right before. It left me craving more of this incredible world that Larkin wrote about and I really wanted to go talk to my great-grandmother to see if she could tell me any stories of her mother in the twenties. Vixen is the perfect novel for anyone who takes interest in the Roaring Twenties and I'd recommend it to anyone who is getting tired of the same old YA material, (that I enjoy, of course) and are needing a break. Larkin has written a novel that is intricate and detailed, suspenseful and amusing. I loved every minute of it and I can't wait to get my hands on Ingenue, once it is restocked in the bookstore.

Just wanted to throw this out there before I finish: I'm sorry I haven't been on much lately. I've had hours and hours of homework each night this week and lots of tests. I will be on more this weekend and hopefully set up a schedule for the next few weeks so that I'm more organized.

Have a great day/night everyone!
Happy reading!
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