Saturday, November 30, 2013

December TBR

December is going to be a crazy month. Christmas is crazy around here which means I do not normally get a ton of reading but this is my ambitious TBR.

The List
The Luxe- Anna Godbersen
The Painted Girls- Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King
Winger- Andrew Smith
Hidden Girl- Shyima Hall
Year of Mistake Discoveries- Eileen Cook
Something Real- Heather Demetrios
More Than This- Patrick Ness
The Bone Season- Samantha Shannon

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Incomplete Series

I am completely and utterly awful at completing series. I can admit this and I am trying my best to do better and finish a series once I start it. I have listed my most shameful un-finished series that I own the complete series and it is my goal to finish them in 2014. 

1) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter Series)- J.K. Rowling

2) Rules of Attraction and Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry Series)- Simone Elkeles

3) Fourth Comings and Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling Series)- Megan McCafferty

4) Fire and Bitter Blue (Graceling Realm)- Kristen Cashore

5) Shine (Shade Series)- Jeri Smih-Ready

5) Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy)- Richelle Mead 

6) Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls)- Maggie Stiefvater

7) Eona (Eon)- Alison Goodman

8) The Alibi Man (Elena Estes) - Tami Hoag

9) Hallowed and Boundless (Unearthly series)- Cynthia Hand

What series do you need to complete?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

I have read a few Gaiman books and I have to admit this is my favorite. It quite a short novel but there is a lot of story packed into this 180 pages.

The story begins with a man returning to his childhood home for a funeral. The home he remembers as a child was demolish a long time ago but he feels an urge to visit the farm at the end of the road. He falls into a memory of when he was seven and he meet Lettie Hempstock who lived at the farm and told him that the pond at the end of the lane was an ocean.

Lettie is a girl who is a little older than the main character but befriends him and saves him from strange and dangerous things when he is a boy. I really enjoyed the friendship between these two characters. The protagonist family falls into the background of the story and they are not really developed throughout the story. Lettie's grandmother and her mother are more dominate characters in this story. I loved all of these characters, even the wicked ones. 

The story was strange and whimsical. The plot is a little incomplete. There is a lot of ideas  and bits of back story thrown into this novel but I do not feel like we really ever truly find out much about why there is an ocean at the end of the lane or really any details about the characters. I did not notice this until I finished the book then I started to think of all of the things that were left unanswered. This was a really great book and I do highly recommend it. I hope this story or at least the world we glimpse in this story is continued on in the future.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (97)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Bought New
Falling Kingdoms- Morgan Rhodes (kindle)
Tears for Tess- Pepper Winters (kindle)
World After- Susan Ee (kindle)
Takedown Twenty- Janet Evanovich
Finnikin of the Rock- Melina Marchetta (kindle)
11/23/63- Stephen King (kindle)
Warm Up- Victoria Schwab (kindle)

For Review
Cress- Marissa Meyer (This is on my most anticipated books of 2014 list!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dairy Queen- Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Title: Dairy Queen
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Source: Bought new (kindle)
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

D.J. is in charge of running her family's farm after her father injures himself. D.J. makes a deal with the quarterback of her high school rival team. Brian, the rival quarterback agrees to help D.J. on her family's farm if she will train him.

I was really put off by the idea of this book. A girl who is running her families farm and wants to be a football player? I thought it sounded a little odd but I seen tons of awesome things about it so when it went on sale on Kindle I grabbed it.

I like seeing the world form D.J.'s point of view. She is not the most popular girl and her biggest concern is taking care of the family farm. She was such a different character than most girls in YA novels.  I wish she would have stood up for herself a little earlier but that is really the only thing I could really fault her on. Brian was kind of a jerk. No, actually he was a jerk for most of the book. He had his nice moments then he went back to being a pretty big jerk, mostly to D.J. . He does end up being pretty charming. My favorite character was Curtis. He is just so sweet and ahhh. No words for how cute he is. He is just so quite but he has a lot of things boiling under the surface that he does not share with anyone. 

The story is a little odd and does take awhile to get into. The idea of a girl playing football is not a new one but the way the author took the story and made it into this amazing, cute book was spectacular. D.J's older brother played football and she decides she wants to join the team. The only problem is her dad stopped talking to her two older brothers when they left for college and continued to play football and of course the small fact that her school only has a boys team. D.J. works hard to make it onto the team but if the team votes not to let her play, all her hard work will be for nothing.

I must apologize for my rambling review of this book. I just really liked it and my thoughts are all over the place with it. If you have not picked this book up, I highly recommend you do. It has it's light and heavy moments. I gave it a 4/5.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Zom-B- Darren Shan

Title: Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan
Source: Bought used
Series: Yes
Rating: 2/5

Goodreads Summary:

At first no one believes the images on YouTube are real: zombies devastating Ireland, leaving villages in ruins and mutilated corpses in their wake. Teenager "B Smith" is far more concerned with surviving high school and a volatile home life than an invasion of hungry zombies. But as the carnage spreads across the U.K., B must face a horrifying prospect. While a lucky few may outrun the zombies, many will fall... and some will be forced to join the army of the undead.

I have heard a lot of good things about Darren Chan so I decided to give one of his books a try. Unfortunately, it was disappointing.

The main character is B who is a girl which came as a surprise because of how the character was portrayed. Her father is abusive to her and her mother and is a racist. B is also a bully and a racist even thought she tries to tell herself something different. I was not a fan of any of the characters. I thought B was a terrible character. She was very racist and it was hard to get past that and try to get into the story. The zombies are talked about in the beginning of the novel but they do not really make an appearance in the story until the second half of the novel.

I like the premise of this novel but the plot and the characters fell flat for me. I do not think I will continue with this series and I will pass my copy along as it just was not for me. I may give Darren Chan another chance and see if I change my opinion. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (96)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I got a lot of books this week, everything I bought was a super deal. The kindle books were $2 each and the other two were under $7 each :)

Bought New

Reboot- Amy Tintera (kindle)
No Place Like Oz- Danielle Paige (kindle)
The Burning Sky- Sherry Thomas (kindle)
The Art of Fielding- Chard Harbach
Bunheads- Sophie Flack

For Review
Tin Star- Cecil Castellucci
Something Real- Heather Demetrios

Borrowed From the Library

The Aftermath- Rhidian Brook
The 19th Wife- David Ebershoff
Wild Cards- Simone Elkeles
The Beginning of Everything- Robyn Schneider
The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

What did your get this week?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Alice in Zombieland- Gina Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland 
Author: Gina Showalter
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 2.5/5

Goodreads Summary:
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish

There was a lot of buzz surrounding this book and it sounded like an interesting premise so I was interested in reading it and finding out what it was about. I have to say I was not left feeling satisfied once I finished this book.

The big thing for me was the characters. I had a hard time relating to the main character and I found her childish and frustrating. I understand part of this is her age but I felt like her younger sister was more mature and well rounded while Alice acted like the younger of the two. Alice seems to constantly put herself in situations where she needs to be saved. She continued to make the same mistakes over and over again. The love interest was also not an overly likable character.  He was dark and broody and a little controlling which was not overly appealing. The side characters, including Alice's sister and her friends were the ones who really made the story.

The premise and the beginning of the story captured my attention immediately. The story starts with Alice losing her parents and her sister. She is taken in by her grandparents who were not a pleased when Alice's mother married her father. She meets a girl in the summer who becomes her friend at school  and introduces her inadvertently to  Cole who makes Alice see unusual things. 

I do have a copy of the second book and I will eventually get to reading it. I thought the story was ok.  I hope there will be more development and growth in the next book in this series.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (95)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This is my gigantic haul from the Ontario Blogger Meet up. I met lots of awesome blogger's, ate some very delicious food and got tons of awesome books that I cannot wait to dive right into. If you are a book blogger in Ontario I suggest you check out the meet up. It is so much fun :)


A Midsummer's Nightmare- Kody Keplinger
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle- Haruki Murakami
Chopsticks- Jessica Anthony, Rodrigo Corral
Inedible- Dawn Metcalf
Warm Bodies- Issac Marion
Through the Zombie Glass- Gina Showalter
Year of Mistake Discoveries- Eileen Cook
Hidden Girls- Shyima Hall
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B- Teresa Toten
A Beautiful Dark- Jocelyn Davies

Gift Bag

The Blessings- Elise Juska
Find Me- Romily Bernard
Witchstruck- Victoria Lamb
The Girl With All the Gifts- M.R. Carey


Just One Year- Gayle Forman
Alice in Zombie Land- Gina Showalter

Bought New
Fear by Inaccurate Realities Volume 1 (A YA speculative fiction magazine)
The Darkest Minds- Alexandra Bracken
Stir-Fry- Emma Donoghue (I went to a reading and bought this and got my copy of Room signed also :) )

Bought Used (Store credit)
Bridge to Terabithia- Katherine Paterson

What did you get this week?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life- Leila Sales

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Elsie has trouble making friends, she has always been an outsider. She has never found anyone that shares her move of music outside of her family. She gives one final attempt to be popular and when that fails she debates giving up on everything until she discovers a underground night club called Start. She meets Pippa and Vicky who accept her and introduce her to Char who is the DJ at the club. She is given the opportunity to learn how to become a DJ. Elsie soon discovers how much she loves DJing and her nightlife. She continues to DJing even when it starts to cause problems with her family.

It took me awhile to like Elsie. She was a little frustrating at first, I felt like the author portrayed a high school really well and I sympathized with Elsie but I did not like how she turned her back on her family. Once she discovers Start she becomes a lot more confident in herself and her abilities. Vicky is one of the girls who introduces Elsie to Start. Vicky is in a band with her brother who is completely adorable. Vicky and her brother have great banter that brings a funnier side to this serious novel. Pippa is the second girl who introduces Elsie to Start. It soon becomes apparent that Pippa has a lot more to her than this happy go lucky party girl that comes out to Start with Vicky and Char.

I loved the story. There is a ton of music references but there was a lot of bands I have heard of so I did not feel a disconnect from the story at any point. I really enjoyed the story of Elsie and how she becomes this strong character that does not let anyone walk all over her. I was skeptical  at first but it was really good. I gave it a 4/5.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Allegiant- Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Source: Bought New
Series: Yes
Rating: 5/5

***This review will contain spoilers***

Goodreads Summary:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

This review has taken me a few days to write because it took me a little while to get my thoughts together. I am still in shock but I think I will be for a long time. I bought this the day it released and started reading it immediately but I took my time with it. I wanted to rush through and read it quickly but I made myself slow down and savor the story. I avoided the internet and reviews until after I finished it to make sure I was not going to be spoiled. 

This picks up where Insurgent left off. Tris and Tobias are still in Chicago and the city is still being run by Evelyn. The story is a dual point of view from both Tris and Tobias. A lot of things come out during this book and not all of them are so nice. This book I think was the darkest of the series, the flaws in the characters become apparent. A lot is revealed about Tobias that really surprise me. This almost sinister side of him becomes very apparent in this novel. He does not heed Tris's warning about Nita and blindly follows her instructions where Uriah is hurt badly.  Tris has grown a lot as a character since the beginning when she was just a girl from the abnegation faction to this girl who left her family behind to join the dauntless. She was very mature and level headed throughout the book. Her and Four still fought but I felt like she handled it like an adult and took it all in stride. I feel like she grew into this amazing well rounded character. Caleb is still a jerk. He tried to repair things with his sister but he still when he can takes the cowards way out of things and Tris never fully trust him again.

The plot was crazy. It starts with them leaving the city and going to the outside then they discover David who tells them their entire city is a experiment and there is no such thing as divergent. They are divided by being genetically pure and genetically damaged. The pure are mostly the scientist who are running the experiments while the GD are trying to cause an conflict. The creations of the factions are finally given an explanation and how Chicago is not the only "experiment". This book gave a lot of back story to the unanswered questions.

The ending was sad. I knew something was coming but I was not completely sure what it was. When it was announced that their would be a dual point of view I got suspicious of what was going to happen but I was in complete denial. I hated that both Uriah and Tris died in this novel. They were both such amazing characters and I know that this is the only ending that fits the series but I am still sad and in shock. I was happy that Tris got to see her mother in the end but still. Tobias is completely heart-broken and becomes very withdrawn. The epilogue is 2 1/2 years later when Tris's friends and Tobias are preparing to scatter her ashes. Tobias is just starting to heal very slowly. It hurt to see him so heart-broken. This ending was really amazing. I am sad about how it ended but I don't think their could have been another ending that could have made this series end on such a spectacular note. I love this entire series and I gave Allegiant a 5/5.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (94)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I attended the Ontario Blogger Meet up this weekend and got a ton of awesome books which I will show in a haul next week. It deserves a whole post to itself. I have have a ton of books this week that I accumulated somehow. My BookCloseOuts ordered arrived and Kindle had a ton of awesome deals this week so I have a lot of books.

Bought New (Kindle)
Winger- Andrew Smith
Perfect Ruin- Lauren DeStefano
Dust of 100 Dogs- A.S. King
Another Little Piece- Kate Karyus Quinn
Stir Me Up- Sabrina Elkins
The Tragedy Paper- Elizabeth LaBan
A Spy in the House: Agency Series- Y.S. Lee

Library Sale
A Little Wanting Song- Cath Crowley (paperback)

Borrowed from the Library
This Song Will Save Your Life-Leila Sales
The Ninth Wife- Amy Stolls

Bought New (BookCloseOuts)
Flying Changes- Sara Gruen (birthday present- I already own this one)
Cinder- Melissa Meyer (hardcover)
Scarlet- Melissa Meyer (hardcover)
Sapphire Blue- Kerstin Gier (hardcover)
Hallowed- Cynthia Hand (paperback)
Boundless- Cynthia Hand (hardcover)

Friday, November 1, 2013

October Wrap Up

October was a crazy busy month but I did manage to get some reading done somehow. My birthday is in November and I took some days off around my birthday so hopefully I will get a ton of reading done. Fingers crossed.

October's TBR

MaddAddam- Margaret Atwood (Started but need to finish)
The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman 
Gone-Michael Grant (I started this one so I hope to finish it this month)
My Life Next Door- Huntley Fitzpatrick
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock- Matthew Quick
Rose Under Fire- Elizabeth Wein
On Dublin Street- Samantha Young

The List

Borrowed from the Library: 12
Books I own: 5
E-Books: 1
Total: 17

MaddAddam- Margaret Atwood

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock- Matthew Quick
The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman
Rose Under Fire- ElizabethWein
On Dublin Street- Samantha Young
A Really Awesome Mess- Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown- Holly Black
Thornhill- Katherine Peacock
Vicious- V.E Schwab
Starry Nights- Daisy Whitney
Asylum- Madeleine Roux
My Life Next Door- Huntley Fitzpatrick
Smoke- Ellen Hopkins
Allegiant- Veronica Roth
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies- Sonya Sones
Omens- Kelley Armstrong
Where'd You Go Bernadette?- Maria Semple