Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#4)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

For more information, click here

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
Expected publication May 6th by HarperTeen

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

I just finished with The Elite, the second book in the trilogy, on Monday night, and though the ending was not a major cliffhanger or anything, I still want to see how this trilogy finishes. The first two books have definitely been super heavy on the love triangle, which has made me both happy and frustrated. I hope that in the last book America actually makes some type of decision at the beginning so there's more time to discover the consequences of her decision etc. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas

Release Date: October 2, 2006
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website 
Publisher: Mariner Books
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 402
Buy the book: Amazon - The Book Depository 

Description (from Goodreads):
When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She knows enough about its author, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, to know that copies are exceedingly rare. And, some say, cursed.With Mr. Y under her arm, Ariel finds herself thrust into a thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel.

When Ariel Manto, a PhD student working on research on thought experiments comes across a book called 'The End of Mr. Y', a book she thought she would never find, a book so rare it is almost only known as a legend, on a second-hand book shop, Ariel has no idea how much her life will change because of it. The author of the book, Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas is known to very few, but Ariel has taken interest in him and when he gets his so-called masterpiece in to her hands, she starts to question the controversy around the book. Is the book really cursed, like everyone says? Will she die, like the others who have read the book? 
Ariel's curiosity takes over her and she reads the book. And when she finishes the last page, she is not struck dead. But she finds a recipe. A recipe for fluid that could possibly take her to troposphere, a 4th dimension, a place made of metaphors, a result of her own imagination. At troposphere she also has the possibility for pedesis, which means that she can enter the minds of other people close to her. As she starts to spend more and more time in Troposphere, she realizes that she is not there alone... there are people looking for her who want the book and are ready to do anything to get it. Even sacrifice lives, if needed.
The End of Mr. Y was such an impressive, imaginative, intelligent read. At points I had to stop reading it and Google different philosophers and scientists just to make sure I even attempt to understand what the characters are talking about. I must admit that there were some scientific theories etc. I did not understand, but those did not really take anything away from the reading experience. 
Throughout the whole novel I was not sure what to think of Ariel. She is intelligent and scholarly. She loves books. Those are things I admire in people. But she also is quite uncaring, especially when it comes to herself and her decisions. The book provides some minor glimpses to her past, showing us that her childhood was not the happiest possible. It is clear from Ariel that she still is affected by her childhood, even though she might not be ready to admit it. When Adam, a guy who used to be a priest, but who according to his own words, "lost God", comes around, Ariel realizes that because she actually has feelings for him, she cannot act around him like she would with other men. This means that she does not jump to bed with him. Throughout the whole novel Ariel is a very sexual character and she has realized already when she was young that by giving her body to men, she can get other benefits out of it. And she gets a thrill from the danger.
Because of her interest with danger and risks, Ariel of course uses the recipe. Once we actually go to the Troposphere with her, the books get so much more interesting it already was before. At the first part of the novel we get to read parts of The End of Mr. Y, which is also one of the best parts of the novel. The way Troposphere is described is so imaginative and something I have never come across before. And as more and more information about the way the dimension works is learned by Ariel, I learned more and started to make my own predictions about the dimension and how the book will actually end. And I can tell you honestly that the ending was nothing what I expected. It was so much better.
The End of Mr. Y is one of those rare books you come across once in a while. It is one of those books you will recommend to others, just because of the fact that it was so different, at parts to weird and absurd. It is one of those books you would love to discuss with others because there was so much information in it, so much to which to grasp to. It is one of those books that is perfect for anyone with even a small interest in science, philosophy, time travel, and just books in general. Is it confusing? Yes, almost all the time. But do you get something out of it. Yes, for sure, information I personally would not otherwise have acquired - information about physics, though experiments, religion. It is one of those strange reading experiences, a one that sometimes makes you feel a bit crazy and strange, one that makes you question the things you read.
 The End of Mr. Y is  also one of those books that is also extremely hard to explain - it is one you need to read in order to fully understand. And I just want to mention that I suck at stuff like physics and philosophy, but I still gave this a go - so if you do not generally like stuff from those fields, don't let that stop you. Thomas is a brilliant storyteller, and also a really good in summarizing things in a way that they are easy to understand, even for those who do not generally read scientific texts. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dewey's 24h Readathon: End of Event Meme

  • Which hour was most daunting for you?
Probably the one around 1am and 2am since I felt to tired.
  • Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han has been really entertaining (I have only 20% left).
  • Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I think everything worked well and was well organized.
  • What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
For me personally, the timing since I am already on be summer holiday.
  • How many books did you read?
I read the last 270 or so pages of City of Lost Souls, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and finally the first 80% of To All the Boys I've Loved Before
  • What were the names of the books you read?
See above.
  • Which book did you enjoy most?
I went with very different type of books this year and I can't really say which I enjoyed the most and which the least.
  • How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will definitely participate as a reader again if the timing is good.

Dewey's 24h Readathon: Mid Event Meme

1. What are you reading right now?

I only have like 2 chapters left of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

2. How many books have you read so far?

I finished with The City of Lost Souls (the last 277 pages) plus the book mentioned in question 1. 

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I think I'm going to start To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han next and read for as long as I feel like maybe sleeping.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Well, I kind of "had" to take a break early on to watch a hockey game, but it was totally worth it because my team won the FINNISH CHAMPIONSHIP. I am still kind of flying high from that...

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

The game, nothing else. At first I had hard time concentrating on anything else than the fact that I want to go to home so bad and celebrate with my friends, but since I knew that it was impossible I just delved back into reading. I can celebrate during the summer, I guess...

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Not much really...

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nothing to add, at least not yet.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Maybe a more definite plan for what to read so I would not spend too much time on picking books.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Not really, but I feel like in a couple of hours I will start to wind down a little bit.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey's 24h Readathon: Hour 7 update

So after staring at 1pm, I read til 3pm and then took a break. But that break was for the BEST reason I can think of because the ice-hockey team from my home town, one of the greatest loves and passions of my life just won THE FINNISH CHAMPIONSHIP. This is such a big deal for me and I am so incredibly happy I cannot even express it yet with words. 

But I am happy to get back to reading now, and I'll do it by participating in the Best of Your Reading Year challenge. So here are some really good books I've read so far this year.

Best YA Book of Your Reading Year:  Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (This was everything I want from a YA contemporary novel: funny, romantic, deals with real issues, has awesome characters and character relationships. If you like novels of Sarah Dessen, you'll probably like this one as well.

Best Story Line of Your Reading Year: I've been reading the Mortal Instruments series this year, and I think the story line and character development on those novels is just phenomenal. 

Best Mystery Book of Your Reading Year: I don't know can I really call We Were Liars by E. Lockhart a mystery novel, but it definitely had an element on mystery in it, and the twists and turns of the plot were just incredibly well executed. 

Dewey's 24h Readathon: Kick-Off Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Edinburgh, Scotland
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I don't have a completely planned stack of books yet, but I'm thinking of reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han at some point and I'm very excited for that.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Probably energy drinks because I know I'll need them
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! In two hours, I'll start watching the Finnish league ice-hockey final in which my hometown's team is playing and I'M FREAKING OUT!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I should avoid super big books and stick to short ones, probably a lot of YA. I'm looking forward to the challenges and getting a lot of reading done.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tomorrow: Dewey's 24h Readathon

So the Readathon is finally almost here! I am in the UK, so my official starting time will be 1pm. I will be participating in the hourly updates and challenges as much as possible, due to which I will not post a stacking my shelves post this week - I have some new books, but I will do a longer post next Saturday. I am done with my university assignments, so I will be able to read for as long as I want. 

I will start at 1pm tomorrow with my start up post and then go on from there. I will need to take a brake from 3pm to 6pm since my hometown's hockey team is playing tomorrow for the FINNISH CHAMPIONSHIP (which is like a huge deal for me...). But after that, I'll definitely get back to my books. 

I have energy drinks, diet cokes, candy and books ready for a 24 hours filled with reading!

If you are participating, have fun and good luck! :)

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Release Date: November 1, 2010
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook - Website
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Age Group: 16+
Pages: 222
Buy the book: Amazon - The Book Depository  

Rating: 4/5

Description (from Goodreads):
 Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
This woman is like my queen right now. She is funny, does not take herself too seriously, gorgeous and has worked on some shows I love and with people I adore. What is not to like? I knew I would like this book even before starting to read it, and once I started reading, I read the whole thing very fast. It is interesting, funny and full of great content and after finishing with it (and already while reading it) you wish Mindy would be your friend. 
The book is mostly just essays, lists and random thoughts about different things. There are account from her childhood - how she was bullied about her weight, how she fell in love with comedy. I think one of the most interesting parts was when she discussed life after college - she had rocked college, meaning that she had friends and she did well. But when she graduated, it was hard to actually find a job and do what she wanted to do with her life. 
I love The Office, and that is what I, like most people, associate Mindy Kaling with. It was interesting to read how she got involved with the show and ended up writing some of the best episodes of the whole show (I am talking about Injury here... every Office fan probably remembers this episode with warmth). It is amazing to read about the people she worked with (Rainn Wilson, Seth Myers, for god's sake) but I am also happy she did not go into too much detail about these since this book is about her, not the hot guys she has worked with (that list is enormous). I also love the fact that she does not overly glamorize her life - she talks about eating a lot, hanging out in sweatpants in her bed writing and ditching parties a lot. 
According to Hollywood standards, Mindy Kaling is almost overweight. But according to everything else, she is pretty much the average American woman. In the book she discusses her weight in very humorist manner, which I really liked because the fact that even though she does care about her weight, there are things she cares about more. 
I love the fact that she decided to discuss some of her favorite films, comedians and comedy moments in this book, because I am always interested to watch something I admire loves. She discusses her love of romantic comedies (there is a hilarious chapter in the book in which she talks about the different romantic comedy cliches), her favorite comedy moments of all time (a lot of Will Ferrell) and for example some film franchises she would love to reboot. 
After reading this book I realized how much of the actual Mindy Kaling there is in her character in The Mindy Project. Mindy from The Mindy Project is maybe a bit more superficial and has a different job, but I think the essentials are kind of same. I can't wait to see what Mindy comes up next - the second season has been amazing, and oh my gosh, MINDY AND DANNY = FANGIRLING!
If you are a fan of The Office or The Mindy Project, or Mindy Kaling in general, you will probably like this one as much as I did. I really want to be Mindy's friend now and hang you with her and Ellie Kemper and B.J. Novak and her frenemy Rainn Wilson.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

For more information, click here.

All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) by Cora Carmack
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

I've read 'Losing It' by Cora Carmack and ended up being quite surprised of how much I liked it. I would like to venture more to the New Adult genre, and when I noticed this one being compared to 'Friday Night Lights', I was like 'I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. RIGHT NOW!'.  The cover is horrible, but the synopsis sounds really intriguing. 

BOOK BLITZ with Xpresso Book Tours: Written On Her Heart by Paige Rion

Written On Her Heart by Paige Rion 
(Callaway Cove #1) 
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

"Never before had she felt this. As if she was soaring and falling at the same time. As if she was witnessing something exotic and rare. As if she could die right now and not care, as long as it was in his arms."


Andi Callaway has dreamed of becoming a published author her entire life. 

Ford Delaney has always wanted nothing more than to escape his past. 

An opportunity of a lifetime. This is what Andi finds when she returns home to Callaway Cove on summer break. A chance to work for her literary idol Ford Delaney is up for grabs, and she’s willing to risk everything—her boyfriend, her best friends, and her education—to get it. 

She’s positive this will be the key to reaching her dreams. But the moment she begins working for the reclusive author, Andi realizes there’s more to him than just a name. As attraction builds between Andi and Ford, she begins to discover consequences must come hand-in-hand with something great—which could loosen control over her tightly wound life. And once romantic sparks fly, Andi’s other relationships start to crumble, Ford’s fame comes back to haunt him, and the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear. 

More Info/Purchase:

Kindle Purchase (99 cents during the Blitz !!)
Author: Facebook - Twitter

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (#8)–YA Big Brother House

For more information, click here.
YA Big Brother House - Top Ten YA Characters Who I would like to see in a Big Brother House
Big Brother is a reality TV show which follows a number of contestants, known as housemates, who are isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time in a custom built house. The contestants are continually monitored by in-house television cameras as well as personal audio microphones.
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins)
Katniss is strong, independent, stubborn and just generally a super badass character. It would be interesting to see which characters she would trust and team up with. I feel like she would be one of those participants who would keep their eyes open all the time, trying to find the weaknesses of the other participants.
Alison DiLaurentis (Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard)
I haven’t read all the books in the series, but what I know from the books I’ve read + the TV show (I haven’t seen half of the most recent season), Alison would probably try to befriend a lot of the other participants, just to find their weaknesses in order to stab them in the back later for her own benefit. Alison would definitely come to the house with a plan.
Bianca Piper (The Duff by Kody Keplinger)
Bianca is cynical and sarcastic, but also extremely loyal. She is bit of a loner and does not go with the “mainstream”, She is pessimistic and usually tends to think of the worse from people. Her sense of humour and snarky remarks probably would not please everyone, but I feel like she could form a connection with for example Levi or Jace. I also feel like Bianca and Alison would probably end up hating each other.
Lihn Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Cinder is smart and resourceful, but also bit of an outsider. I feel like it could be difficult for the participants to get to know her, but that the ones that she would open herself up to would become really good friends with her. For some reason I really see a friendship forming between Cinder and Katniss.
Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)
Isabelle would probably stir up a lot of conversation with her wild outfits and behaviour. If there were to be a party, she would be there first. Isabelle and Alison would probably become BFFs, but at the same time they would plan how to destroy each other. Isabelle would probably be the one flirting with the male participants the most.
Jace Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)
Jace with his sense of humour and confidence would probably seem extremely desirable for some of the female participants, whereas some of his male counterparts could see him as competition. For some reason I really feel like if Jace was to hit on someone, it would be Katniss, just because she would probably be the one that does not fall to his charms, at least not instantly.
Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Thorne is funny, witty and extremely handsome (I saw Garrett Hedlund mentioned on several fan castings so I included him here) and I could totally see him engage in some flirtation with both Isabelle and Alison. For some reason I also kind of see him trying to hit on Bianca because of her sense of humor.
Matt Finch (Open Road Summer by Emery Lord)
Matt is so artistic and sweet, but also extremely handsome and funny. They could give him a guitar to the house and he could play his way into the hearts of both the female participants of the house as well as the female audience members.
(Matt Finch obviously has not been cast since the novel just came out, but I went with country singer Hunter Hayes because he’s super cute, has that boy-next-door look Matt is described to have and also is a super good singer).
Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)
I have always had a place in my heart for Draco and I would love to see how he behaves in a closed environment like this. Would he trust anyone? Would he be himself or pretend to be someone he is not? Would he fall in love with one of the girls? I feel like he would either crush on Katniss or Isabelle. Or maybe Cinder because they’re both kind of underdogs in some sense.
Levi (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)
Levi is just the sweetest guy ever, always smiling and being nice to everyone. It would be interesting to see how that works in an environment were you have to be somewhat cunning and calculating. I would totally root for Levi, but I don’t know how long he would last there in the house.
(I kept seeing Zach Roegic’s name on some mentioned in fan castings for Levi and decided to include his picture here. I totally get by some would think he would be the perfect Levi – he looks so nice and cute and handsome, and totally has that country boy look).
Which fictional characters would you like to see in a Big Brother house?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bout of Books 10

It's almost time for Bout of Books and I'm SUPER excited! I will be done with all of my assessments by that point and on my summer vacation, so I'll have plenty of time to just read and read and read a bit more.

So for those who might now know what Bout of Books is about, here you go:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I will get back to you with a plan for what I want to read etc. later on, but for now, please join the fun!

Book Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Expected publication: April 29th, 2014 (review copy received from Netgalley)
Info about author: Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: YA
Pages: 304 (hardcover)

Rating: 3/5

Description (from Goodreads):

A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

My thoughts:

If someone where to ask me what type of stories/people always get me, my list would look something like this: fictional guys who seem like assholes but who actually are sweet and somehow tormented, guys who like nerdy stuff, stories related to films and film-making, ice-hockey players with amazing butts, funny guys and fierce female characters... The list goes on, but already from the synopsis of Catch a Falling Star several of the items from my list can be spotted. Also, since I loved both This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, which kind of have a similar type of premises (small town girl, rich boy), I knew that I had to give this one a go. 

Carter lives in Little, California, a small town filled with Victorian houses and cute little cafes. She's enjoying her summer holiday before her senior year in high school, working in her family's cafe and spending nights stargazing with her best friends. She is content with her life in Little, enjoying the little things in life and envisioning her future in the town she had called her home for the whole life. 

Everything changes for Carter when Adam James, a Hollywood heart-throb with a messy past comes to Little to film a modern adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Parts of the town are covered with fake snow in the middle of the summer for  a Christmas shoot and suddenly Carter is pulled right into the center of the action. By making a deal with Adam and his agent to pretend to be Adam's sweet girl-next-door, small-town girlfriend to bump up Adam's public image, Carter becomes part of Adam's glamorous world of body guards and publicity stunts. But as she spends more time with Adam, she starts to wish that not all between then was just play for the photographers.

The relationship between Carter and Adam is one used in literature and film for ages. She's not interested in celebrities and glamorous lifestyle and makes the decision to pretend to be his girlfriend just to help her family. He is famous, handsome, and bit of a dick. But as they spend more time together, the opposites start to attract and we learn that these characters are not all what they first seemed to be. Yes, it is a bit of a cliche, but hey, when you pick up a book like this, what do you expect? Probably something sweet and romantic? That this book can deliver to you.

I think the major issue I had with this novel was the fact that though Carter is an interesting character, she occasionally seems almost too perfect. Everyone around the town loves her, she helps the poor and the elderly and just in general she seems to do no wrong. I guess there might be people out there who are actually like that, but I constantly kept waiting some type of flaw to appear. I had some issues with Adam as well, mainly just with the fact that though he is charming and all, I never really felt any type of connection to him - there was not really any swooning involved while reading this one. 

I really liked the stargazing scenes of the book and the little blog posts between the chapters. The book is generally well written and though the characters remain somewhat two dimensional at points, I still found myself enjoying most of it. I feel like this is the type of book you can bring with you to the beach or the pool and enjoy it there. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Post (#4)

For more information, click here

Weekly Recap:
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (Review)
Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Related Wishes

Coming up:
Review for Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Characters Who X (you will the blank -- examples: piss me off, are the popular kids etc.)
Book Blitz with Xpresso Book Tours: Written On Her Heart by Paige Rion
Waiting on Wednesday
Stacking the Shelves
24 Hour Readathon posts

What I read this week:
City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What I watched this week:
The Big Bang Theory (I caught up with 2 episodes I had missed)
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
The Mindy Project

Around the blogosphere:
Heather over at Bewitched Bookworms posted about six books that  she couldn't stop thinking about
Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner posted a great review for one of my favorite books of the year so far, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. 

Around the Internet:
New York Times obituary for Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Trailer for Gone Girl:

Trailer for If I Stay:

Bookish Kanye West parody:

In other news:
So it was my birthday on Monday - I had a good day at home, just eating cake, reading and watching hockey
My dissertation proposal went well and now I only have one more essay to write for the 2nd of May and I'm done with this semester and my 3rd year of university
The Stanley Cup playoffs have started !!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#6)

"Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!"
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Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1) by Caragh M. O’Brien
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia's mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia's choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He’d give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she’s a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it’s as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he’s forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Release Date: June 7, 2011
Info about author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Quirk
Age group: YA
Pages: 352
Buy the book: Amazon - The Book Depository

Rating: 2/5

Description (from Goodreads):

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.


Since Jacob was a child, his grandfather has been telling him stories about a mysterious island with a house filled with peculiar children. Jacob's grandfather's family died in the second World War, but he himself was able to escape to this orphanage. The grandfather even has pictures of these children - one levitating in the air, one covered with bees, one with a mouth in the back on the head. Now that he is older, Jacob has realized those photos are, of course, just badly edited, not real. Or are they?

When Jacob's grandfather dies under absurd and tragic circumstances, Jacob travels to Wales with his father. He finds the "magical" house his grandfather has talked about. Sadly it is far from magical now. It is just ruins of something that once was something grand. Jacob starts to go through the empty and destroyed rooms of the house in order to find something he could link to his grandfather. But then children from a very different time appear to the house - are these the children his father has been talking about? How is that even possible?

My expectations towards this book were extremely high since I had heard so many positive things about it on BookTube, with which I am obsessed at the moment. Sadly, I did not like it as much as I expected. It is given that the story is extremely imaginative, so full of little details like loops and hallows (I will not explain these since I don't want to spoil the book to you). I just want to give you an example of the fact that this book, in a way, has it's own vocabulary. Sadly, sometimes this "own vocabulary" and the common language used becomes a bit too much - at parts the novel is slightly "over-written", a metaphor after metaphor - I love books that are well written, but at some points I felt like this one was trying too much. The situation is the same with the photos - in general I loved the pictures that were used to aid the narration, but sometimes it felt that some pictures were inserted just for the sake of inserting a photo and thus became quite far-fetched with regards to the story. 

What I enjoyed was the surprising factors of the story - for example the villain is something I did not expect. Sadly many of the characters, especially the children from the orphanage and Jacob's parents, are very one-sided and flat. The parents are cold and distant (this almost fells very convenient since it is a perfect reason for Jacob to escape to the "fantasy" world) where as the children from the orphanage are just peculiar - there really isn't that much that can be added to their personalities or character traits. I also feel like the character of Emma, the so-called love interest, was added to the story just to get some romance included in it. I do love young adult books with romance, but I think this one would not have necessarily needed it and thus the romance felt a bit forced. And kind of sick too - you will figure out what I mean if you read the book.  

I wish this novel would have been a bit shorter since as it was, I became quite tired with it and just anxious to finish - I did not have that feeling of "I SIMPLY HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS" with this novel. I just wanted to get done with it so I can move onto next book. I usually love weird and peculiar things, but maybe this was a bit too peculiar for me? Or maybe just a bit too over written and overlong. It was also quite hard to get into it - the parts from the island are interesting, but the time before that, in my opinion, takes too much time away from the book. Jacob, as a narrator, is also a bit annoying, to be honest. He is a bit obnoxious and I think I kind of formed my opinion of him in the first few pages when he tries to get fired from his job and then complains when that does not happen. He is from a rich family and thus this has been used as an convenient explanation for how easy it is for Jacob just to get to Wales on his whim. 

I don't want to be too negative because this novel had so much promise. Using the photos is a marvelous idea, but I wish they would have been a bit better selected and inserted on parts in which they were really needed. Sometimes it was just like "this is a photo of this and this" and then the photo was inserted there. I know I said that the novel was over written, but I wish the over writing would have inserted to some of these parts in which characters could have been described rather than just shown. At times this almost fell like a cheat for the writer.  

Also one thing that kind of bothered me was the fact that this is a series since I do not really see how this story is going to move on. It would have been okay as a standalone book if some unnecessary detail would have been taken away and Riggs would have given us some type of conclusion. Well, since the novel is VERY CLEARLY written using a certain young adult template, I guess the whole series thing is understandable. Personally, I won't bother with the follow up books.