1. Review: Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Moving Day

    I picked up Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day, by Meg Cabot, for a little girl who loves reading and decided to read it myself before giving it to her. I was surprised at how much fun I had reading this.

    Allie is just your normal nine year old who’s parents have just announced that they are moving - not only will she no longer see her best friend but she is also moving to a spooky house where monsters lurk in the attic - and she cannot understand why she’s the only one who sees that this move will be a mistake. 

    With humour and style unique to Meg Cabot, this book sees Allie getting into quite a bit of trouble and her nine year old logic behind the reasons why she does the things she does. Meg was able to make Allie’s voice that of a child and her fears and troubles were all from the point of view of a young girl.

    You’ll be chuckling at the way Allie handles her situation and why she sees things the way she does; definitely a middle grade book worth reading. 

  2. penguinteen:

Half Bad | Sally Green | Read an excerpt

I’m a bit uncertain about the tense, but so far it seems interesting!

    penguinteen:

    Half Bad | Sally Green | Read an excerpt

    I’m a bit uncertain about the tense, but so far it seems interesting!

  3. Reading is like... (with tweets)

    What is Reading like to you …

  4. Review: V is for Vulnerable by Seth Godin
Seth Godin, author and marketer, is kind of a big deal in the marketing world. He wrote a number of bestsellers and V is for Vulnerable is his first picture book for grownups. 
He goes through the entire alphabet and imparts little pieces of wisdom like:

"Initiative is the privilege of picking yourself. You’re not given initiative, you take it."

There were a couple that I frowned and scratched my head about but overall it was a rather enjoyable - and easy - read.
    High Res

    Review: V is for Vulnerable by Seth Godin

    Seth Godin, author and marketer, is kind of a big deal in the marketing world. He wrote a number of bestsellers and V is for Vulnerable is his first picture book for grownups. 

    He goes through the entire alphabet and imparts little pieces of wisdom like:

    "Initiative is the privilege of picking yourself. You’re not given initiative, you take it."

    There were a couple that I frowned and scratched my head about but overall it was a rather enjoyable - and easy - read.

  5. Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
I can’t really compared Girl of Nightmares to Anna Dressed in Blood, it felt different somehow, even though the characters were basically the same. Anna is back - kind of - and Cas will do anything to save her, even if it means going against what everyone is telling him.
This time around, I found that I had no interest in the Cas/Anna story. I didn’t really find the mystery in this installment as intriguing as the first book, and there where times when Cas seemed less of the assertive fighter he was in the first book and a bit of a whiner. However, I wouldn’t call this behaviour completely impossible, he is still young, regardless of what he has seen, but in my head I built him up as a strong (and headstrong) character, it was a bit odd to see some holes. 
However, I still enjoyed the book. There were a few new characters introduced, Cas and company visit my London, favourite place on earth next to New York, and we get a better understanding of the history of the athame; which was definitely interesting!
I do enjoy Kendare’s writing style and the layers she intertwines into her story, this element is very present in Girl of Nightmare. I think if readers enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood they will like this book as well. For me, while I didn’t think the mystery in this book was as good as the first, I still am very interested in seeing what happens to Cas and his friends in the next installment.
    High Res

    Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

    I can’t really compared Girl of Nightmares to Anna Dressed in Blood, it felt different somehow, even though the characters were basically the same. Anna is back - kind of - and Cas will do anything to save her, even if it means going against what everyone is telling him.

    This time around, I found that I had no interest in the Cas/Anna story. I didn’t really find the mystery in this installment as intriguing as the first book, and there where times when Cas seemed less of the assertive fighter he was in the first book and a bit of a whiner. However, I wouldn’t call this behaviour completely impossible, he is still young, regardless of what he has seen, but in my head I built him up as a strong (and headstrong) character, it was a bit odd to see some holes. 

    However, I still enjoyed the book. There were a few new characters introduced, Cas and company visit my London, favourite place on earth next to New York, and we get a better understanding of the history of the athame; which was definitely interesting!

    I do enjoy Kendare’s writing style and the layers she intertwines into her story, this element is very present in Girl of Nightmare. I think if readers enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood they will like this book as well. For me, while I didn’t think the mystery in this book was as good as the first, I still am very interested in seeing what happens to Cas and his friends in the next installment.

  6. Review: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
I listened to the audio version of this book, first I have to say that Katherine Kellgren was an excellent narrator, she made the audio book very enjoyable. 
This first installment of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place was great! The writing style reminded me a bit of Lemony Snicket and his Series of Unfortunate Events, but that’s the extent of the familiarity. 
Maryrose Wood’s story has the usual gothic novel feel, a young governess, Miss Penelope Lumley (reminiscent of Jane Eyre), is hired to look after Alexander, Cassiopeia and Beowulf in a mansion that seemed filled with mysteries. The children have a very peculiar condition and the master of the house seem to have a secret himself. 
The pacing of this novel is perfect, the story has quite a few humorous bits and it was difficult to not fall instantly in love with Alexander, Cassiopeia and Beowulf. They were intelligent and cared for each other and with the help of Miss Lumley they worked hard to assimilate to their new environment in Ashton Place. 
This is a great read for families and a book that adults will enjoy as much as children. If you’re a fan of the Lemony Sincket series, this is the book for you. 
    High Res

    Review: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

    I listened to the audio version of this book, first I have to say that Katherine Kellgren was an excellent narrator, she made the audio book very enjoyable. 

    This first installment of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place was great! The writing style reminded me a bit of Lemony Snicket and his Series of Unfortunate Events, but that’s the extent of the familiarity. 

    Maryrose Wood’s story has the usual gothic novel feel, a young governess, Miss Penelope Lumley (reminiscent of Jane Eyre), is hired to look after Alexander, Cassiopeia and Beowulf in a mansion that seemed filled with mysteries. The children have a very peculiar condition and the master of the house seem to have a secret himself. 

    The pacing of this novel is perfect, the story has quite a few humorous bits and it was difficult to not fall instantly in love with Alexander, Cassiopeia and Beowulf. They were intelligent and cared for each other and with the help of Miss Lumley they worked hard to assimilate to their new environment in Ashton Place. 

    This is a great read for families and a book that adults will enjoy as much as children. If you’re a fan of the Lemony Sincket series, this is the book for you. 

  7. divergentmovie:

    The fate of the world depends on the courage of two. WATCH the brand new, final trailer for Divergent!

  8. Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
It really bothers me when the hero in a story feels the need to keep important information that would help make the heroine’s life easier; and when said heroine feel the need to go out on their own and do foolish things to spite the hero for keeping her in the dark. 
Mostly, I was really bothered while reading Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. 
I haven’t read a lot of mermaid stories, I don’t know if this trend is still a big thing, but I did think that Anna Banks had a good idea with her flavour of the mermaid myth. What bothered me were her protagonists. 
The plot itself is typical of YA swoon novels: good looking boy runs into good looking - but slightly awkward - girl and this is followed by the sparks and angst. While this isn’t generally my sort of story, I wanted to try it out because I wanted to see how the mermaid myth would play out. 
Emma and Galen are Syrena (mermaids), Galen finds Emma on the beach while she was on vacation and after a tragedy Emma slowly realizes that she has some unusual powers - she has a gift to talk to animals, which is rare in the Syrena world. 
Most of the times I found myself shaking my heads at the characters - all of the characters. I can’t think of one of them that was a tiny bit sensible. Emma witnessed a horrible tragedy but a few chapters later that all disappeared because, oh my, Galen. Galen is a controlling jerk who thinks Emma is cable of doing nothing right. Rayan is just whiney most of the time, and the adults in the story were mostly flat and had only one defining characteristic, for example, Emma’s mother was always shown as over-protective and was a caricature of an over-protective parent.
I listened to the audio book version of this story and really enjoyed the narrator’s voice. I wish the characters were more sensible, it might have been a great book then. 
    High Res

    Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

    It really bothers me when the hero in a story feels the need to keep important information that would help make the heroine’s life easier; and when said heroine feel the need to go out on their own and do foolish things to spite the hero for keeping her in the dark. 

    Mostly, I was really bothered while reading Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

    I haven’t read a lot of mermaid stories, I don’t know if this trend is still a big thing, but I did think that Anna Banks had a good idea with her flavour of the mermaid myth. What bothered me were her protagonists. 

    The plot itself is typical of YA swoon novels: good looking boy runs into good looking - but slightly awkward - girl and this is followed by the sparks and angst. While this isn’t generally my sort of story, I wanted to try it out because I wanted to see how the mermaid myth would play out. 

    Emma and Galen are Syrena (mermaids), Galen finds Emma on the beach while she was on vacation and after a tragedy Emma slowly realizes that she has some unusual powers - she has a gift to talk to animals, which is rare in the Syrena world. 

    Most of the times I found myself shaking my heads at the characters - all of the characters. I can’t think of one of them that was a tiny bit sensible. Emma witnessed a horrible tragedy but a few chapters later that all disappeared because, oh my, Galen. Galen is a controlling jerk who thinks Emma is cable of doing nothing right. Rayan is just whiney most of the time, and the adults in the story were mostly flat and had only one defining characteristic, for example, Emma’s mother was always shown as over-protective and was a caricature of an over-protective parent.

    I listened to the audio book version of this story and really enjoyed the narrator’s voice. I wish the characters were more sensible, it might have been a great book then. 

  9. Having only attended an American high school for 6 months, I didn’t get the opportunity to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in school. I’ve always heard about it - always heard about the story and some of the analysis of things like the green light or the billboard - but it wasn’t until the 2013 movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio acting the role of Jay Gatsby, did I seriously consider reading the book.
I think that if I read this book in my teenage years I’d probably not have it listed on any of my top 10 favorite reads, it might have made my “least favorite books” pile. I’m positive I would not have enjoyed analyzing and micro-analyzing the novel. However, having read it as an adult and on my own terms, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby.
It’s a quick read, the narrative is fluid and I love that Nick Carraway experiences the wonder of Gatsby alongside the reader. The setting is the roaring 20s, the parties are larger than life and Gatsby’s complex life and quest for Daisy’s love is (to me) both admirable and pitiful.
Nick is new to New York and finds himself living next door to the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is known for throw excellent parties, but no one really knows his history or how he came into his money, but there are rumors. On the other side of the sound is Nick’s cousin, Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan who are also rich, thanks in part to Tom’s family.
Nick discovers that Jay and Daisy shared a connection when they were younger and that Jay’s life was centered around winning Daisy over and he becomes entangled in everyone’s affairs.
I loved the view of New York City that we see throughout the novel. I didn’t quite expect the ending and while I wished that there was another way I think it made a lot of sense - a bitter-sweet tragedy.
If you love the 1920s, then this should be on your to-read list!
    High Res

    Having only attended an American high school for 6 months, I didn’t get the opportunity to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in school. I’ve always heard about it - always heard about the story and some of the analysis of things like the green light or the billboard - but it wasn’t until the 2013 movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio acting the role of Jay Gatsby, did I seriously consider reading the book.

    I think that if I read this book in my teenage years I’d probably not have it listed on any of my top 10 favorite reads, it might have made my “least favorite books” pile. I’m positive I would not have enjoyed analyzing and micro-analyzing the novel. However, having read it as an adult and on my own terms, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby.

    It’s a quick read, the narrative is fluid and I love that Nick Carraway experiences the wonder of Gatsby alongside the reader. The setting is the roaring 20s, the parties are larger than life and Gatsby’s complex life and quest for Daisy’s love is (to me) both admirable and pitiful.

    Nick is new to New York and finds himself living next door to the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is known for throw excellent parties, but no one really knows his history or how he came into his money, but there are rumors. On the other side of the sound is Nick’s cousin, Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan who are also rich, thanks in part to Tom’s family.

    Nick discovers that Jay and Daisy shared a connection when they were younger and that Jay’s life was centered around winning Daisy over and he becomes entangled in everyone’s affairs.

    I loved the view of New York City that we see throughout the novel. I didn’t quite expect the ending and while I wished that there was another way I think it made a lot of sense - a bitter-sweet tragedy.

    If you love the 1920s, then this should be on your to-read list!

  10. Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
I had this review written for a while and forgot to publish it! Aye! 
Heartbeat was my introduction to Elizabeth Scott; but I should have known that a woman who wrote books with the titles Living Dead Girl and Love You Hate You Miss You will most likely not be writing fluff. So I was shocked at my surprise when, in the first chapter we find out that Emma’s mother is pregnant, but also brain dead. 
Well … alright then. 
The story continues as Emma slowly reveals the reason for her mother’s death and the grief that she experienced in the wake. Emma’s grief is tangible. She finds that her priorities have completely changed, the things she thought were important now seem to be the things that kept her away from her mother. She has one good friend, Olivia, with whom she shares her grief, but even Olivia can’t seem to fully understand her. 
Then Emma meets Caleb, a boy who seems to understand her pain completely. Emma has to wrestle through her friendship with Olivia, her relationship with Caleb and her hatred for Dan, the stepfather who is only keeping her mother’s body alive for the baby. 
The story is written in first person present - which usually throws me - with flashbacks, but I think for this kind of story it works. It was an unbelievably fast read, and when it wan’t sucker punching me into tears it made me smile at the little snapshots of happiness. 
The pacing was good for the most part, but since we were in Emma’s head as she worked through her grieving, there were times that seemed to drag as she went over the same issues continually. However, grieving is oftentimes repetitive, so I understood why Scott wrote Emma’s inner dialogue this way. She took us on a path of “what ifs?” as she tried to understand why she was left with the hand she was dealt. 
I did enjoy the ending. WIthout giving much away, I loved that it wasn’t completely resolved. I wouldn’t call this a sunny beach read, but if you’re looking for a rainy day, under the covers, “I want to cry a little” read, this would be the book for you.  
Many thanks to Harlequin Teen who provided this lovely arc.
    High Res

    Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

    I had this review written for a while and forgot to publish it! Aye! 

    Heartbeat was my introduction to Elizabeth Scott; but I should have known that a woman who wrote books with the titles Living Dead Girl and Love You Hate You Miss You will most likely not be writing fluff. So I was shocked at my surprise when, in the first chapter we find out that Emma’s mother is pregnant, but also brain dead. 

    Well … alright then. 

    The story continues as Emma slowly reveals the reason for her mother’s death and the grief that she experienced in the wake. Emma’s grief is tangible. She finds that her priorities have completely changed, the things she thought were important now seem to be the things that kept her away from her mother. She has one good friend, Olivia, with whom she shares her grief, but even Olivia can’t seem to fully understand her. 

    Then Emma meets Caleb, a boy who seems to understand her pain completely. Emma has to wrestle through her friendship with Olivia, her relationship with Caleb and her hatred for Dan, the stepfather who is only keeping her mother’s body alive for the baby. 

    The story is written in first person present - which usually throws me - with flashbacks, but I think for this kind of story it works. It was an unbelievably fast read, and when it wan’t sucker punching me into tears it made me smile at the little snapshots of happiness. 

    The pacing was good for the most part, but since we were in Emma’s head as she worked through her grieving, there were times that seemed to drag as she went over the same issues continually. However, grieving is oftentimes repetitive, so I understood why Scott wrote Emma’s inner dialogue this way. She took us on a path of “what ifs?” as she tried to understand why she was left with the hand she was dealt. 

    I did enjoy the ending. WIthout giving much away, I loved that it wasn’t completely resolved. I wouldn’t call this a sunny beach read, but if you’re looking for a rainy day, under the covers, “I want to cry a little” read, this would be the book for you.  

    Many thanks to Harlequin Teen who provided this lovely arc.