Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly Sunday meme by The Story Siren where participants show what books/swag/movies they received this week through a store, library, or publishing house.

I'm finally back to a normal routine. Unfortunately I'm about to start a show week and then an "audition-for-post-secondary" week so I won't have as much time for reading. 

Winter Longing (Tricia Mills) / Goodreads
Safe (Susan Shaw) / Goodreads
The Good Girl (Kerry Cohen Hoffman) / Goodreads

Thursday, February 24, 2011

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Title: About a Boy
Author: Nick Hornby
Publisher: Pengiun Books Ltd.
Release Date: May 11, 1998
Date Read: February 17 - 24, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars

Will is thirty-six, comfortable and child-free. And he's discovered a brilliant new way of meeting women - through single-parent groups. Marcus is twelve and a little bit nerdish: he's got the kind of mother who made him listen to Joni Mitchell rather than Nirvana. Perhaps they can help each other out a little bit, and both can start to act their age.

Loved it! About a Boy is the quintessential casual adult comedy novel. If you love romance, music, social commentary, the UK, the 90s, or intergenerational relationships, you'll love this. While I do like to read novels before I see the movies, I didn't know this was a book when I saw the movie years ago so my review is slightly tainted by already knowing I'd love it. I was torn between Marcus and Will as my favourite character because while they were so different in personality, age, mindset, etc. they were the same character inside. I felt that there was a slow transformation as Marcus became Will once he learned how to make friends and how to be more...well, it's hard to explain unless you read the book. Marcus reminded me a lot of myself at that age and how I didn't see the point in following along with society because it didn't make sense, and Will reminded me of where I am now, how he's afraid to question the flow because he thinks he'll be dragged under into depression. Overall the novel provided such a deep insight into the male mindset at adolescence and mid-life that I feel more closely connected with how men think and operate now. Such an amazing novel by Nick Hornby, loved it!

Favourite Quote: "Life was, after all, like air. Will could have no doubt about that anymore. There seemed to be no way of keeping it out, or at a distance, and all he could do for the moment was live it and breathe it. How people managed to draw it down into their lungs was a mystery to him: it was full of bits. This was air you could almost chew."

Recommended: High Fidelity (Nick Hornby), Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Wednesday meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Participants highlight an upcoming unpublished novel they're interested in.

Title: Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best
 Maria Padian
Release Date: M
arch 8, 2011
: Knopf Books for Young Readers


This is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of two teen girls and the summer when everything changes for them. Both Henry and Eva are New Jersey natives and excellent athletes: Henry's a master on the tennis court and Eva is a graceful ballerina. When opportunity knocks for both of them the summer before their junior year in high school they throw open the door: Henry sees freedom from her overbearing father and a chance to build her talents on the court. Eva sees the chance to be the best as well as even more pressure to be graceful, lighter, more perfect on the dance floor.

Soon, Eva's obsession with physical perfection leads her down the path to anorexia, and her health issues overwhelm everything else. But through it all these two best friends know that Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, and nothing will come between them no matter the distance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Tuesday meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading where participants feature a teaser sentence/paragraph from a novel they're reading.

"But he knew this: if a girl and a boy met, and they didn't have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and they both looked all right, and they didn't mind each other, then they might as well go out together. What was the point in not?"
- pg 94. About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Once again, haven't finished this novel yet. Really enjoying it though, and can't wait to watch the movie again when I'm done. Expect the review on Thursday at the earliest. I'm hoping to be one-step-ahead with my reviews from now on. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly Sunday meme by The Story Siren where participants show what books/swag/movies they received this week through a store, library, or publishing house.

Almost home! This time tomorrow I'll be living at home again. Can't wait! I've missed my regular blogging and reading schedule. Thanks to all my followers for putting up with my absence.

For this week's IMM I don't have a camera, so here're the covers!

About a Boy (Nick Hornby) / Goodreads

The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth (Caroline Rennie Pattison) / Goodreads

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Title: Candor
Author: Pam Bachorz
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Date Read: February 10 - 16, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars

The picture-perfect new town of Candor, Florida, is attracting more and more new families, drawn by its postcard-like small-town feel, with white picket fences, spanking-new but old-fashioned-looking homes, and neighborliness.

But the parents are drawn by something else as well.  They know that in Candor their obstreperous teenagers will somehow become rewired - they'll learn to respect their elders, to do their chores, and enjoy their homework.  They'll give up the tattoos, metal music, and partying that have been driving their parents crazy.  They'll become every parent's dream.

Wow! What an intense novel. I thought I wouldn't be able to finish and type a review by the weekend, but as luck has it, I had a spare today. Woot! Let's start from the top. The opening and first dozen-or-so chapters were necessary to establish character, plot, setting, etc. but dragged on far too long in my opinion. I couldn't wait for the action to start, which it never did. If I could change one thing about this novel, I'd ask for some sort of chase scene or smack down. It would've upped the pace. That being said, Candor is genius! Pam Bachorz created an amazing concept for her novel full of romance, dystopia, mystery, and a smidge of adventure. While I found some of the plots a little "too" perfect in that everything had perfect timing and worked out on time, it certainly added to the plot to have such a diverse cast of characters contribute to Oscar's dilemma. My favourite part was the contrast between Mandi and Nia as a metaphor for Oscar's life: his outward appearance as a perfect Candor son, his personality as a rebel. I definitely picked up on the sublte symbolisms present. I hope they make this into a movie someday!

Favourite Quote: "They melted my girl down and poured her into their mold. And this perversion is what she cooled into. I can’t be near her. Can’t see her, smell her, hear her voice chirping like a bird."

Recommended: Uglies (Scott Westerfeld), Brave New World (Aldous Huxley), Looking for Alaska (John Green), The Giver (Lois Lowry), Little Brother (Cory Doctorow), The Host (Stephenie Meyer)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting for Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Wednesday meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the SpineParticipants highlight an upcoming unpublished novel they're interested in.

Title: Angel Creek
Sally Rippin
Release Date: 
February 28, 2011
: Text Publishing

In her new falling-down home, in her new street, in her new suburb, Jelly waits for high school to begin. She can only feel happy up in the branches of the old apricot tree and by the creek at the back of the house. One night, Jelly and her cousins spot something in the creek’s dark waters. At first they think it’s a bird, but it isn’t…it’s a baby angel with a broken wing. And they decide to keep it. But soon things start to go wrong, and Jelly discovers that you can’t just take something from where it belongs and expect that it won’t be missed.

Sally Rippin’s Angel Creek is a book about growing up: being brave and selfish and tough and scared. It’s a book about an angel. But not the sweet variety. It’s a book about the things that change and the things that always stay the same.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Tuesday meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading where participants feature a teaser sentence/paragraph from a novel they're reading.

"Molded into a nice Candor boy. There won't be any room in his brain to remember me."
- pg. 155, Candor by Pam Bachorz

I haven't finished this novel yet. Actually I've been so busy with school I'm nowhere near finishing soon, but hopefully I'll have a review up by the weekend.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Busy Busy Busy


This is not a regularly planned book-blogging post. Just a heads up to let all my followers (and dropping-by-ers) know that my blog will be a little hectic for the next week and a bit. I won't be living at home which minimizes my access to a computer, blogging, a camera, and a video camera.

You can expect an IMM for tomorrow *fingers crossed* and at least one meme or review before February 23, but anything more than that will just be icing on the cake.

Once I'm home I'll post tons of reviews and memes to make up for my absence.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

At First Sight by Catherine Hapka

Title: At First Sight
Author: Catherine Hapka
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Date Read: February 4 - 8, 2011
Rating: 3/5 stars

In At First Sight, when Lauren meets the perfect guy at the planetarium, she feels like the stars have finally aligned in her favor. The only problem is she met him in the dark and they never got a good look at each other… or got each other’s names. Now, Lauren must take matters into her own hands and find the mystery guy before she loses him forever.

Such a cute read! Simon Romantic is one of my favourite series of teen novels; I love how each of them are cute, short, simple "beach reads" about a variety of relationships. While the plotline of At First Sight was practically the same as Cinderella Story (minus the Cinderella part) it was so cute and quirky that I didn't even notice. Lauren's love of fashion, music, her addiction to the internet, and her relationships with friends and family made her such a realistic I'd love to be friends with. I thought Riley was a dolt and didn't understand why he didn't see Lauren was right in front of him but he made up for it by being such a polite and courteous boy rather than "the jerk" that we see so often in teen literature. I particularly liked Lauren's quirky parents and their food mission. I'm a big food lover (truly, who isn't though?) and I've sort of been inspired by the book to try some new foods. I've been meaning to check out a local African restaurant for a while now. Will let you know how it goes!

Favourite Quote: "We really have to stop meeting like this."

Recommended: The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Catherine Hapka), The Year of Secret Assignments (Jaclyn Moriarty), Miss Match (Wendy Toliver).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Wednesday meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Participants highlight an upcoming unpublished novel they're interested in.

Title: Me and Mr. Booker
Author: Cory Taylor
Release Date: February 28, 2011
Text Publishing

Looking back, Martha could’ve said no when Mr. Booker first tried to kiss her. That would’ve been the sensible thing to do. But Martha’s sixteen, she lives in a small dull town—a cemetery with lights—her father’s mad, her home’s stifling and she’s waiting for the rest of her life to begin. Of course Martha would kiss the charming Englishman who brightened her world with style, adventure, whisky, cigarettes and the promise of sex. But Martha didn’t count on the consequences. Me and Mr. Booker is a story about feeling old when you’re young and acting young when you’re not.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Tuesday meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading where participants feature a teaser sentence/paragraph from a novel they're reading.

"Doubtful. I totally heart the boy, but like I said, he can be way stubborn."
- pg. 192At First Sight, Catherine Hapka

Just finished this novel this afternoon, I'll put the review up on Thursday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

4th In My Mailbox post!

In My Mailbox is a weekly Sunday meme by The Story Siren where participants show what books/swag/movies they received this week through a store, library, or publishing house.

Exams are over! This week I've been recovering by uploading reviews and memes, so this week's IMM will be a recap of the past 2 weeks.

At First Sight (Catherine Hapka) / Goodreads
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (E. Lockhart) / Goodreads
Candor (Pam Bachorz) / Goodreads
Ten Cents a Dance (Christine Fletcher) / Goodreads

Almost Famous
Death at a Funeral
Inglorious Basterds
Where the Wild Things Are
Never Been Kissed

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crash Test Love by Ted Michael

Title: Crash Test Love
Author: Ted Michael
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Date Read: February 2 - 3, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars

The last thing Henry Arlington wants is a girlfriend. He's just very, very good with girls—reading their body language, knowing what they want to hear, and more importantly: getting them into the backseat of his car. But all that changes when he meets Garrett Lennox at one of the many Sweet Sixteen parties he crashes.

Garrett thinks she's done with guys. She was dumped by her ex when she moved from Chicago to Long Island, and now she realizes that she needs to find out who she is by herself, instead of with a boyfriend. What she really needs is some good friends.

Fortunately for Garrett, the J Squad—the "it" girls of East Shore High School—want her in their clique. All she has to do is pass one little test: get East Shore god Henry Arlington to take her to one of the biggest Sweet Sixteens of the year, then dump him in front of everyone.

This hilarious, sharp, and surprisingly thoughtful novel is the teen Wedding Crashers, filled with love, hope, laughs, and surprising insights about the terrifying process of falling in love.

So good! Loved it. I've been meaning to read this ARC for a while and I honestly don't know why I waited. This is the perfect book for almost anytime: a summer read, a "just-broke-up-with-my-boyfriend" read, a musical read, it fits just about every category....minus werewolves or something. While it was similar to a lot of teen movies (Mean Girls, John Tucker Must Die) , the plot had more emotional development and seemed a lot deeper to me. I really liked the pop culture references throughout: soundtracks, playlists, cds, songs, movies, actors, broadway musicals. Wonderful! Each time I recognized one it was like hitting a jackpot, especially for the lesser known artists. But hands down my favourite part of the novel was the ending. Saw it coming, didn't see it coming, better than most novel endings I've read recently. When you read it (as you should) you'll understand.

Favourite Quote: "Is there a switch, a button I don't know about? Is it possible to bypass the pain and hurt, the what ifs and maybes and why nots and what the fucks?"

Recommended: Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway), Just Listen (Sarah Dessen), A Match Made in High School (Kristin Walker).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Title: The Secret Year
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Date Read: January 28 - February 1, 2011
Rating: 3/5 stars

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.
Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia's boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place

Hmm. This is a hard review to write. Let's start with the positives. I found the novel fairly realistic in the emotional and social context, such as how Colt didn't expect Julia's death to mean that much to him until it consumed him and how it affected his other relationships. However I didn't feel the rivalry between the Black Mountains and flats was that good, in fact it reminded me of Grease more than Romeo & Juliet. While the book was a good premise, it didn't seem to have any plot direction, with a focus more on realism and naturalism (two theatre terms describing a show in which the audience is simply being shown a snippet of real life rather than being taught a moral or lesson). I really liked how Colt had many different romantic relationships rather than just the one with Julia because many people do try to move on after such an experience, and as shown with Colt, sort of fail at that. I didn't really understand why Colt's brothers' plot line was present because it didn't really add that much other than being "pro-gay"? I dunno. I'd prefer if novels had less of "coming-out-as-gay" stories and more "realistic-portrayal-of-awesome" instead. 

Favourite Quote: "It wasn't enough for either of us anymore; we'd outgrown her backsteat."

Recommended: All Unquiet Things (Anna Jarzab), 13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher), Love You Hate You Miss You (Elizabeth Scott), Romiette and Julio (Sharon M. Draper). 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Wednesday meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine Participants highlight an upcoming unpublished novel they're interested in.

Title: Mind Gap
Author: Marina Cohen
Release Date: February 7, 2011
Publisher: Dundurn Press

14 year-old Jake MacRae's life is spinning out of control. What he doesn't realize is that the decisions he is making are not only effecting his life, but the lives of those close to him. One night, Jake gets a text inviting him to a flash party on a midnight subway. As he steps of the platform he is boarding his worst nightmare and what's worse--he can't get off.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Finally a post! I apologize for the lag in posting over the past week due to exams. Now that they've finished, posting will be back in a regular fashion. On to the meme!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Tuesday meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading where participants feature a teaser sentence/paragraph from a novel they're reading.

"Was I going to end up building a shrine in the corner of my bedroom? Light candles in front of the purple notebook?"
- pg. 39, The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Just finished this novel a few minutes ago, review up on Thursday!