Monday, December 31, 2012

December wrap-up

This was a really busy month and overall a really busy year. I read 257 new books this year which is completely crazy! A lot of good and bad things happened this year.

I read a lot more books than I did last year, my boyfriend and I bought a new car because our old one broke down we also I went back to Vegas and visited San Francisco which was completely amazing. This year was also not so good for me too, I was laid off from my job and was not working for about three months but I found a new job that is completely awesome.

Onto the books. I tried to read as much as possible. Being December there was lots of things to go for Christmas so I had to sneak in reading whenever possible.

I read...

Body of Evidence- Patricia Cornwell (Finished in November but forgot to add it to my wrap-up)
Blue Dahlia- Nora Roberts
The Season of Passage- Christopher Pike
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (re-read. So good!)
Pushing the Limits- Katie McGarry
The Gift- Cecelia Ahern
Broken A.E. Rought
Queen of Cool- Cecil Castellucci
Burning Blue- Paul Griffin
A Midsummer's Nightmare- Kody Keplinger
Notorious Nineteen- Janet Evanovich ( So much love for this book)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (53)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This is the Christmas edition. I got so many books. It was a really good Christmas! 


Go The Fok To Sleep (Audio and HC)- Adam Mansbach
The Color Purple- Alice Walker
These Girls- Sarah Pekkanen
Hereafter- Tara Hudson
To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee
Tempest- Julie Cross
Bleeding Violet- Dia Reeves
Embrace- Jessica Shirvington
Jekel Loves Hyde- Beth Fantaskey

This is how my boyfriend proposed. He put on my favorite song and put this in the back of To Kill A Mockingbird because he knows how much I love this book!!!

Bought Used

The Kitchen House- Kathleen Grissom

One Day- David Nicholls

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Burning Blue- Paul Griffin

Title: Burning Blue
Author: Paul Griffin
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4.5/5

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

This book is so underrated. I want to send everyone I know a copy of this book to get it out there. It is sooo good. I could not make a coherent thought after finishing this book. The point of view comes from Jay who is fascinated by Nicole and who is determined to find out who threw the acid on her. It gave such a different point of view, Jay starts falling to Nicole the more he tries to find who hurt her. As his list of suspects grows, he starts to wonder of Nicole did this to herself.

Nicole was a complex character. She was not just a beauty queen. She is smart and sweet and when the acid is thrown on her I felt devastated for her. I could not comprehend who could do something so horrific. I loved Jay, he was so sweet. He puts himself in danger to find out what happened to Nicole. He starts to come out of his shell in order to help her.

This story is so sad and the scary part is it has happened. How could someone do this just because they are jealous. The story flowed so well, the writing was beautiful and the characters were so amazing. I cannot put into words how much I loved this book. The ending. Wow. It was so twisty. I was convinced I figured it out but then Griffin put a whole new twist into the story that left me gaping and needed to finish the book. I want to re-read this over and over again. I feel like there were so many clues I overlooked in my first read of this and I want to go back and see it in a new light. I really hope this book gets a ton of attention. All of the characters have depth and the story was just so amazing.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (52)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I did really good this week and I did not buy a single book. I did get a $20 gift card from my secret Santa at work. The only book I got this week was from the library, I got an audio book of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a re-read for me and I am super excited to get to it :) .

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Karma- Cathy Ostlere

Title: Karma
Author: Cathy Ostlere
Source: Bought used
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in Delhi and for three days Sikh families are targeted and killed in retribution for the Prime Minister’s death. It is into this chaos that sixteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada. India’s political instability is the backdrop and catalyst for Maya’s awakening to the world.

This is a book written in verse about a sixteen year old girl named Maya who is brought to India by her father Amar who was unaware of the pending instability when they left there home in Canada. 

I have not read many books about Indian history so this was a new topic for me. It takes place in India in 1984. Maya and her father come from there home in Canada to New Delhi after the death of her mother. Her father, Amar is a Sikh who has to cut off his hair and beard when he gets to India in order to survive. During the political uproar Maya and her father become separated. Maya is taken in by a doctor's family while they search for her family.

Sandeep is told he is in charge of watching Maya. He starts talking to her through a journal and tries to find out where she is from and how they can get her back to he family. As Maya and Sandeep become close, information from Sandeep's past comes to light and Sandeep has to deal with the turmoil it brings with it.

The plot follows the life of both Maya and Sandeep and switches between there points of view.  I really liked the historical aspect of this novel and learning about Sandeep's past and how he came to lives with Parvrati's family.

I look forward to more books by this author.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ballads of Suburbia- Stephanie Kuehnert

Title: Ballads of Suburbia
Author: Stephanie Kuehnert
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 5/5

Ballads are the kind of songs that Kara McNaughton likes best. Not the clichÉd ones where a diva hits her dramatic high note or a rock band tones it down a couple of notches for the ladies, but the true ballads: the punk rocker or the country crooner reminding their listeners of the numerous ways to screw things up. In high school, Kara helped maintain the "Stories of Suburbia" notebook, which contained newspaper articles about bizarre, tragic events from suburbs all over America, and personal vignettes that Kara dubbed "ballads" written by her friends in Oak Park, just outside of Chicago. But Kara never wrote her own ballad. Before she could figure out what her song was about, she left town suddenly at the end of her junior year. Now, four years later, Kara returns to her hometown to face the music, needing to revisit the disastrous events that led to her leaving, in order to move on with her life.

Holy mother of all that is holy how do I even start to explain this book? I really do not know. To start I hope you have an easier time of tracking down a copy of this. This was another book my library did not carry and none of the local book stores had it either. I even check in Toronto when I was there for a book signing and there was only one copy at one Chapters in all of Toronto while I was there and of course it was far away from where I was. I finally ordered it and I have no idea which Chapters it came from.

Kara's story starts with her overdosing in the park. She leaves her hometown and comes back four years later. She sees her friends that she has left behind and the story of how she ended up in the park all alone starts to unwind.

All of the characters were complex and dark. There was secrets hidden in all of them, the characters you thought were the bad guys had a good side and the good ones were not as good as they first appeared. This book is very dark and honest. This is not a book I would recommend for the younger YA crowd.

The plot was crazy good. I thought when I read the synopsis that I got the gist of the story but I was completely wrong. Kuehnert throws all these amazing twists and turns in the plot that made me begging for more.  Kara's past rears it's ugly head when she is back visiting and she needs to fight to stay in control and not allow her past to swallow her whole.

This is a new favourite for me. It was so amazing and I cannot recommend it enough. I have already leant my copy out so that more people can discover how amazing this book is. I feel like it did not get as much credit as it should have.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (51)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I got a lot of books this week. The Chapter's bargain section was full of so many awesome books this week so I stocked up. I also lucked out at the used book store and the library.

I read a lot more this week and I am going to continue trying to get caught up on my reading after this post.

Bought New

Ruby Red- Kerstin Gier
The Eternal Ones- Kristen Miller
The Peach Keeper

Bought Used

The Kitchen House- Kathleen Grisson
One Day- David Nicholls



Borrowed from the Library

Burning Blue- Paul Griffin
A Midsummer's Nightmare- Kody Keplinger

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a comment below.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guys Read: Funny Business- Jon Scieszka

Title: Guys Read: Funny Bussiness
Author: Jon Scieszka
Source: SYNC Audio
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

It’s here: Volume One of the official Guys Read Library. Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read initiative was founded on a simple premise: that young guys enjoy reading most when they have reading they can enjoy. And out of this comes a series that aims to give them just that. Ten books, arranged by theme, featuring the best of the best where writing for kids is concerned. Each book is a collection of original short stories, but these aren’t your typical anthologies—each book is edgy, inventive, visual, and one-of-a-kind, featuring a different theme for guys to get excited about.

Funny Business is based around the theme of—what else?—humor, and if you’re familiar with Jon and Guys Read, you already know what you’re in store for: ten hilarious stories from some of the funniest writers around. Before you’re through, you’ll meet a teenage mummy; a kid desperate to take a dip in the world’s largest pool of chocolate milk; a homicidal turkey; parents who hand over their son’s room to a biker; the only kid in his middle school who hasn’t turned into a vampire, wizard, or superhero; and more. And the contributor list includes bestselling authors, award winners, and fresh new talent alike: Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo (writing with Jon Scieszka), Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Adam Rex, and David Yoo.
Guys Read is all about turning young readers into lifelong ones—and with this book, and each subsequent installment in the series, we aim to leave no guy unturned.
Laugh out loud hilarious. I was almost crying at times. There was so many good stories, there were some that were better than others. I think my favourite had  to be the one with the  nipples or possibly the bloody souvenir no maybe the letter to the author.  
I downloaded this for free during the SYNC summer reads. There was two new books available for download, this is probably one of my favourites from that list.
The only real thing I can say about this is you need to read it or listen to it. Personally I think the audio version was the way to go. I don't think I would have gotten as much out of it if I had read it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bitter End- Jennifer Brown

Title: Bitter End
Author: Jennifer Brown
Source: Bought new
Series No
Rating: 4/5

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole -- a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her -- she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate . . . someone who truly loves and understands her.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats.

As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose -- between her "true love" and herself.

Jennifer Brown has written another amazing book. The first  book I read from her was Hate List which I managed to read in two sittings. I finished this book in an afternoon. It does take a little time to get into but once you get into it there is no way to put it down.

Alex is struggling to come to terms with her mothers death. She died when Alex was really young and she does not remember anything about her. Her father will not say much about her and her two sisters do not seem to understand why Alex obsesses about her mothers death. Alex's two best friends, Zach and Bethany have been planning a trip to Colorado with Alex since they were kids, Alex wants to get some closure. Cole moves to town and starts going to there high school and shows an interest in Alex. Soon they start dating and Alex is happy she has found someone who will not leave her but then Cole starts acting crazy and separates her from her to best friends and she has to decide between her friends and her relationship with Cole.

This portrays an abusive relationship and how hard it is to get out of it. I felt for Alex but I still in the back of my mind though there was more she could do for herself. She seemed to acknowledge what was happening but she had a hard time making herself realize that even if she did everything right Cole would still lose his temper and take it out on her. 

Alex's best friends were awesome. They are the people you always want on your side, Bethany is super sweet while Zach is more outgoing and always makes them laugh. They do everything they can to help Alex. I loved this story, I did get frustrated with Alex, with how she treated her friends and family. I felt like she placed a lot of the blame on them instead of blaming Cole like she should have been. 

This book is amazing, I want to read it over and over again. I cannot wait to read another book by Jennifer Brown. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (50)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I only got a few books this week which is fine by me. I started going to the gym at my new job a few weeks ago so that has been taking a lot more out of me then I expected. I have been really tired so I have not been reading as much as I wish I could be.

I discovered audio books and working out is a great idea so this week I am currently re-reading in audiobook form Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor. I also have a physical book on the go which is The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike. I read Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts.


The Season of Passage- Christopher Pike

Pushing the Limits- Katie McGarry (Library)

Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts (Already returned)

Bought New

The Farm- Emily McKay

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Barefoot Gen, Volume One- Keiji Nakazawa

Title: Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon story of Hiroshima
Author: Keji Nakazawa
Source: Bought new
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

This harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series details the events leading up to and immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

This book was hard to find. I searched my library and they didn't have it and none of my local book stores carried it. I finally found it through Chapters, but I had to order it online. I originally heard about this from The Claude Reads. She gave it such an amazing review that I knew I had to read it. 

It took me a little while to get into this book, there is a lot of back story to get through, and there is a lot of characters to remember but once I got past that it got really good. It was really sad. The visual section of the book really added to the story, it made it seem to much more real. Gen takes a little time to get used to, he seems a little selfish. His father raises his children to believe that the war is a waste of time and that everyone should be treated equally. He is punished and called a traitor. The children and everyone else in the country are starving and suffering from malnutrition due to the fact that there was not enough food to go around. 

The part that really got to me about this story is it is an autobiography. I love historical novels but this one made me especially sad. I have watched a few documentaries on Hiroshima but I still cannot comprehend how someone could do this to another human being. The bomb "little boy" was dropped on civilians, women and children were killed and the after affects of the bomb were horrendous. People suffered from radiation poisoning which caused issues for generations.

I want to continue with this series, I believe the second book is a continuation of the story after the atomic bomb has been dropped.  I hope that I get completely absorbed into the book like I did with this one. I read it in an afternoon. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

13 Little Blue Envelopes- Maureen Johnson

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Source: Bought new
Series: Yes
Rating: 3.5/5

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous-though utterly romantic-results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

This was my first Maureen Johnson book and I was really underwhelmed by it. I hoped this book would be a discovering yourself while travelling novel. In a way it was, Ginny follows the rules listed inside the thirteen envelopes her aunt Peg when she died. 

Ginny takes a summer to follow the envelopes that her aunt has let her. The first envelopes tells her to go to London and to go to a flat where she meets Richard. The envelopes take Ginny all over Europe in the hopes of understanding her eccentric aunt.  I loved all the places that Ginny visited and I hope to one day visit at least a few of the places she managed to make it to.

I found Ginny to be a flat character, she was predictable and the romance in the story left me feeling a little disappointed. I just could not connect with Ginny. I liked the idea of the envelopes but I was not overly interested in what happened in between.  Keith was a pretty eccentric character, I thought he was pretty funny to read about, at times I thought he was a little mean to Ginny but she allowed him to treat her that way so I could not extend too much sympathy. Then there was Richard. Oh I loved him, I thought he was so sweet. I loved him and I wanted to give him a big hug. He was so caring, he looked out for Peg and Ginny. He was my favourite character.

The plot was interesting, I loved that Ginny had the opportunity to visit all these amazing places and meet so many people. The letters gave Ginny an insight into her aunt Peg's life that she never revealed while she was alive which I think helped Ginny deal with her death.  I really liked the ending, I completely convinced myself that I was not going to read the second book but that ending changed my mind. I need to know what happens next. I hope that there will be more Richard. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (49)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This is my birthday edition. I used my gift cards from Chapters and bought some fabulous books.  I also received some fabulous books.

None book related I got a new laptop for my birthday which I am so excited about! It beats my old clunker :)


Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi

Easy Tammara Webber

52 Reasons to Hate My Father- Jessica Brody

The Space Between Us- Jessica Martinez

Lullaby- Amanda Hocking

Barefoot Gen- Keiji Nakazawa

The Bro Code for Parents- Barney Stinson

I also pre-ordered Unravel Me :)

My Amanda Hocking book my bf bought is.....

Signed!! I was super excited :)

Bought New

Hearts at Stake- Alyxandra Harvey (Signed!)

Blood Feud- Alyxandra Harvey (Signed!)

Dark Light- Leslie Livingston

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December TBR

I am trying a mix of what Katie at Katie's Book Blog and Priscilla at The Readables, I recommend both of there blogs they are great.

I was so busy in November it was crazy. I thought things would settle down once I started working again but it did not slow down unfortunately. I feel like I have been run off my feet and had no time to read at all. I know that December is going to be even more crazy so my list is puny. I hope to read more than I have listed.

Little Women – Louisa May 

The Gift- Cecelia Ahern

Broken A.E. Rought

Isolation- Dan Wells

Shade- Jeri Smith-Ready

What do you plan on reading this month?