Friday, September 30, 2011

Me on Eve

Title: Eve
Author: Anna Carey
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

In 2032, sixteen years after both a deadly virus and the vaccine meant to stop it wipe out most of the population, Eve discovers the fate of the all-girls School's graduates and swears she'll never end up like them. So she flees, setting off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive in. Along the way she encounters a wile, rebellious boy. Separated from men her entire life, Eve fears him at first, but Caleb slowly wins her trust, and maybe her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers start hunting her, she'll have to choose: true love or her life.

Mysterious, bleak, oddly sweet, Eve is for loyal readers of dystopian YA novels, readers of The Handmaid's Tale, Wither, and Blood Red Road. Eve is on a journey like so many other characters, learning the truth and running from it, running for the chance to decide her own fate in a world left for dead, beaten and bruised by a horrific plague.

After reading so many books that could be classified as dystopian, I wonder if I've burned out that part of my brain, or if this book reminded me of so many others. Girls kept isolated from boys, cultivated by caretakers, their health and well-being monitored closely, in an America where the population has dropped significantly. Girls are raised for one thing in this world, and it's not to be the teachers and muralists of the New American society.

I'm concerned that I liked this book because it reminded me of other books I liked. I'm struggling to find something unique about this book that sets it apart from others. Eve was what I expected, a girl kept from the world enters it to decide her own future and gets wrapped up in a boy and is hunted by the corrupt soldiers that patrol the wasteland of New America. She's heading for a place she can survive without being treated like property, like a vessel for birthing children, like an object.

Still, an intriguing start to a trilogy I will gladly continue reading.

(I received an advance copy of this book from HarperCollins Canada for the purposes of reviewing it.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Me on Readers Choice Review Week

So. I plan out when I'm going to post reviews. I'm neurotic that way. ;) Now, I've got a week in December where I don't have any reviews planned, so this is what I'm proposing.

You guys pick what I review from December 11th to 17th. :)

Comment with your suggestions. They can be books published up until the end of November. You guys know what I review: YA, some MG, some graphic novels. You guys know what I've reviewed and what I plan on reviewing, I tell you in my IMM posts (I've also added what books I plan on reviewing on the Book Reviews page up above). You guys know if I get ARCs the earliest I post those reviews is a week before the release date (because the publisher has asked me to hold back) and the latest is a week after.

But this is about you guys. What book have you been on the fence about? What book do you love and want me to read? What book do you know I've read but haven't reviewed? I never actually reviewed Ally Condie's Matched, you know.

Make your suggestions and spread the word. I will narrow them down, find the books, read the books, write up reviews, and will post 1 a day for the whole week of December 11th. If this is a hit, it'll become an annual event here at Me on Books. My ability to review certain books might be limited by whether or not I can find them at the library or bookstore, and I really want to limit my book buying with birthdays and Christmas coming up.

And I'm going to suggest that someone suggest Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, the first in the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley. It'd be nice to do a graphic novel, or at least something written by a Canadian. ;)

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (45)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Ghost Flower
Author: Michele Jaffe
Release Date: April 12, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

What would you do to find your best friend’s killer?

Eve, a runaway, finds a new job at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Tuscon. When she’s approached by two wealthy teens who claim she bears an uncanny resemblance to their missing cousin Aurora, her life takes a turn for the dark and mysterious. Drawn into a scheme to win Aurora’s inheritance, Eve finds herself impersonating the girl, who disappeared three years ago on the night her best friend Elizabeth died. But when Liza’s ghost begins to haunt Eve, doing harm to the people close to her under the guise of “protecting” her, Eve finds herself in a nightmare maze of lies and deception that leads her to question even her own identity. She realizes her only chance is to uncover the truth about what happened the night Liza died, and to find Liza’s killer— before she’s next.

This teen thriller by Michele Jaffe will keep readers turning pages well into the night.

Teen thrillers are interesting. I enjoyed the author's last YA book, Rosebush, and this one sounds just as twisted and intriguing and mysterious.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Me on The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger that waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there's more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends but left her unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a mysterious and compelling debut with question after question arising in the reader's mind. Unreliable, Mara Dyer attempts to navigate her life after a brutal accident, attempts to put together the fractured pieces of herself. The reader is left floundering, head barely above the water, but Mara herself is in the same boat. How can we trust her when even she doesn't know what happened? When anything could be a lie, crafted by Mara's own mind to hide the most fragile part of her psyche from the absolute and honest truth?

Attempting to understand this book defies logic and reason. I felt the plot was more revealed than explained, more discovered than understood. There are things, little moments, people, places, that cropped up over and over, that made me wonder, made me question Mara and what was happening to her, where it was happening to her.

And Noah. Such a contradiction. Rumours of him being easier than a two-piece puzzle roam and wander through the school hallways and yet his eyes are full of Mara, he's all about Mara. What totally gorgeous and supposedly self-absorbed guy does that? Nothing is as it seems in this book.

As I write this, it's after midnight on September 17th. I honestly want to re-read this book in a week and see what I think of it then. So I'm going to.

September 25: I've read it again. It's still mysterious, still thrilling, and still fills my mind with questions. We are given one side of a story, the story of a girl suffering after a tragedy and with gaps in her memory, but is it the truth? How are we supposed to trust her? Mara Dyer isn't even her real name.

Every event that occurs, every word that's spoken, every seemingly insignificant detail is suspicious. Everything is suspect until the truth is discovered, until we learn who Mara Dyer is, and what happened that night her friends were killed. Memory, perception, truth and lies. This book will make you question it long after you turn the last page. You might even question the world around you, wonder if what you're experiencing is reality and not fiction.

(I received an advance copy of this book from a friend, she ended up with an extra and sent it to me in exchange for a different book.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Me on Flash Reviews (3)

More quick reviews, this time of books I recently checked out from my local library. That might've sounded too much like a PSA. ;)

Title: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Release Date: May 23, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Intriguing, very realistic, which made it compelling. What if all our lives was spent in front of a screen? What if we went on dates and runs and walks and saw movies all from the comfort of our home? I spend a lot of my time online, reading or on social media, and this book hit a little close to home. While reading I had that slightly uncomfortable 'our lives could really be like this' one day feeling.

Maddie was very conflicted, torn between the physical and actual make-contact-with-the-world-without-a-screen environment Justin brings her into and the comfortable and familiar computer screen inside her room. She's torn between conforming and investigating. What stops her are the repercussions, the consequences, the possible banishment, the anger of her parents.

A very much enjoyed semi-dystopian, a recommended read for fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Elana Johnson's Possession. A little easier on the soul, perhaps. Delirium almost brought me to tears.

Quick note: I read this book as a stand alone and enjoyed it, it worked. Recently I learned the author is working on a second book, but I'm not sure if it's a sequel or a companion novel. I'm not sure how I feel, but I will read it.

Title: Magic Under Glass
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Sweet, magical, and fantastical, this debut novel will enchant fantasy readers and introduce them to a brand new re-tweak of Jane Eyre, plus faeries and magic and singing.

Nimira is innocent but strong, knowing what is right, willing to act and save those who need saving. She sees the automaton more than those around them do, as more than a machine, because she is willing to look deeper. Things are not always as they seem in her new home.

Discovering the truth behind her clockwork man changes Nim, gives her ideas, gives her a purpose. She would do anything to save him, to help him, to keep him away from those who would dismantle him like so many broken machines.

A must-read for fans of fantasy and magic, of clockwork and faeries, of spells and romance. Fans of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken will devour this book.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (40)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

The sis is back, we saw awesome comedy in East Vancouver last night, went to the library this week, and I got some amazing book mail. :)

I also went to one of the Random House Canada fall previews. First time something like this has been open to the public (supposedly). Surprisingly, there were two in BC. Shocking. Nothing ever comes to BC. ;) I didn't do an event post, it wasn't a YA lit-specific event, but some YA books were wholeheartedly endorsed, like The Death Cure and There is No Dog.

I'm so excited about some upcoming book event fun in the next few weeks. Smart Chicks stop on the 1st, lunch in Seattle with Tahereh Mafi on the 4th (if I don't get a picture with her, I will get Caitlin to smack me), and back down to north of Seattle on the 12th for a HarperCollins Dark Days of Supernatural tour stop. If you're going to the LA, San Francisco, Chicago, or New York stop of Tahereh Mafi's pre-pub tour, let me know. I'm interested in doing a group post with people sharing highlights of each stop. Or if you know someone who's going, direct them my way, ok? :)

Received from Penguin Canada to review:
Crossed by Ally Condie (ARC) (I started this the other day then backpedaled and re-read Matched first.)
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (ARC)
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey (ARC) (I have to wait a little to read this one, though. Caitlin's borrowing it.)
Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe (ARC)

Fateful by Claudia Gray (Now, there's a reason I bought this now and not on October 12th and that's because Canada seems to have gotten the paperback "international edition" instead of the regular hardcover, so it's $11 instead of $20. And this isn't even for me. Ashelynn, whom I adore talking to on Twitter, really wants this book, and so this is my very early Christmas present for her. Plus I get to read it.)

Borrowed from Caitlin (
Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore (ARC)
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (ARC) (I caved. She offered to let me borrow it weeks ago but I said no because the wait for my copy would be hell. Since it's less than 2 weeks until it comes out and I've got it pre-ordered along with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I think I'm good. And I'll so be re-reading it when my copy arrives.)

Borrowed from the library (no picture of these):
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey (the UK version of Hearts at Stake, I got this version because it's the paperback)
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
And 8 romance novels I've been meaning to find/read at some point.

To review: Carrier of the Mark, The Butterfly Clues, Crave (I really need to read these NetGalley books), The Pledge, Crossed, The Space Between, Shattered Souls, Audition, Fateful, Between the Sea and Sky, and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Maybe Tempest Rising, I don't know. What do you guys want me to review? What book do you want to see a review of?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Me on Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

In Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor gifts us once again with a lush, dark, and fantastically magical fairy tale, a gorgeous mixture of old world magic in a present day setting. It's impossible to not be throw into Taylor's lyrical prose, to not tumble straight into the colourful world she has crafted.

Karou is a wonderfully crafted character. Intriguing and artistic, young and mature, human and magical. I could always imagine her blue hair whenever she was in a scene, like a waterfall streaming down over her shoulders. She's complicated, but it's a wonderful kind of complicated that made reading this book a joy.

It's not just the characters that make Laini Taylor's books a joy to read, it's also her world building. It took nothing for me to feel the chill of Prague in the wintertime, to envision the stone and the narrow streets and the small apartment and the unique cafés. And Morocco. And the shop with its jars of teeth. And the cathedrals and the history, such powerful history.

Fairy tales will always be around. This book will soon join them on the shelves. I could almost taste the magic, it streamed from the page to coat my fingers. I started to think in greys and blues, in shadows and secrets, in impossible creatures and hidden worlds and horns and wings. In the ancient and the forgotten and the hidden away, waiting for one day to be revealed once again.

I think this book broke my brain. All I can think about now is the rich history of Prague, the stone buildings packed tight with secrets, portals to other worlds scarred with handprints, jars of teeth, and a lonely girl with tattoos and bright blue hair.

I implore you, read this book for the pure joy of reading. Let it sweep you off your feet and dump you right into the heart of the most imaginative and darkly gorgeous book I've read (quite possibly ever).

(I received an advance copy of this book from a fellow blogger who picked it up for me at BEA11 this past spring.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (44)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

From Goodreads:

A girl fakes her own suicide to escape from the strict confines of her aristocratic family and a likely arranged marriage, only to be confronted with the harsh realities of living in the slums with the working class and the ultimate discovery that the boy she’s fallen in love with is plotting a rebellion to destroy her family.

I'm sure there'll be a longer summary closer to the release date, this one's pretty tiny. The cover looks misty and mysterious, and the book sounds pretty weird. Hope it's spooky, the cover implies lots of spook. ;)

After I did this, I found a better summary on Goodreads on one of the other editions of the book.

Also from Goodreads:

In sixteen-year-old Felicita’s world, magic is strictly controlled—or so those in power like to believe. After her dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg’s caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Yup, it sounds weird. Not sure how I feel about the "vampire," but we'll see when it comes out. :) The cover still looks awesome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Me on The Mephisto Covenant

Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Sasha wants to find out who murdered her father. When learning the truth leads her to pledging her soul to a figure called Eryx, she learns more than she bargained for - Sasha is Anabo, a pure and bright daughter of Eve, the biggest threat to Eryx and his evil plans. Jax is a son of Hell, immortal, bound to Earth, looking for redemption in The Mephisto Covenant - God's promise he'll find peace in the love of an Anabo. When Jax meets Sasha, saves her, he knows his search is at an end. But will Sasha give up her mortality? Will Jax be able to keep her safe and win her over?

I'll say this book was intriguing, which it was. The mythology was interesting and different (as different as fallen angels looking for redemption can get), and I enjoyed the snippits of Russian information. It's not every day you read a book with connections to Russia and espionage and spies and secrets. Well, not every day for me.

I've seen some early reviews and early comments on how there was some instant love between Sasha and Jax, but to me it was another case of instant attraction and instant connection. Like in Kelly Keaton's Darkness Becomes Her. Maybe instant lust, which isn't surprising given the fact that they can't stop kissing.

The pacing seemed rather quick at the beginning. So much was revealed in the first chapter, some things that I'd assumed wouldn't pop up as potential issues until halfway through the book. It almost felt like a third of a book had been crammed into the first chapter or so, and then came the rest of the book with Sasha discovering what it meant to be an Anabo, her learning what Jax was, what their connection meant, why she was changing.

I was slightly turned off by Sasha's aunt and evil cousin (you'll know who I mean if you've read the book), but because their evilness was so outrageous and petty and cruel. I think I know why Faegen wrote them that way, and I hated them, which was supposed to happen. They were totally unsympathetic and I wanted to punch them both in the face.

The book seemed to read more like a paranormal romance as opposed to a YA paranormal romance, which didn't necessarily bother me, I've been reading those types of books since I was 14 (and I didn't have to sneak them into the house, either). Some readers might be a little scandalized at the few graphic scenes, and maybe some parents, but like I said when I reviewed Kody Keplinger's The DUFF, teenagers will and do have sex.

I'm glad that each book in the series will be about a different brother finding an Anabo. It reminds me even more of a paranormal romance series in that sense.

A book on redemption, on discovering who you are, on learning the truth, on good and evil, light and dark. Intriguing, complicated, lush and sexy, this book will suck you in.

(I received an advance copy of this book from a fellow blogger who picked it up for me at BEA this past spring.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (39)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

It's been an odd week. My sister (the one with the honours B.Sc.) has gone off on her first trip by herself down to northern California. She left on Tuesday (while I was downtown at the The Night Circus book launch) and gets back this Friday afternoon. 10 days away from us. It's still going to be weird this week until she gets back. I'm picking her up at the airport Friday, then Saturday we're doing stuff downtown. :)

Also, this week I received an invite from HarperCollins to a lunch with Tahereh Mafi in Seattle on October 4th. I was outrageously excited when I saw the message, I adored Shatter Me, and I can't wait to meet Tahereh in person and not just on Twitter. It looks like a really posh (and a little pricey) restaurant so I'm nervous on what to wear. Maybe a skirt. Should I get some Me on Books business cards made?? Plus I have to cross the border. What do I say? "I'm going down to Seattle for lunch with a mix of people I don't know and only know online?" "The publisher invited me, here's the e-mail?" I'm the most nervous about the border crossing, to be honest, after having my trunk searched both times in July/August. It's probably good the next couple times I'm going are day trips for book signings, and that I'm taking someone with me. Caitlin from WhatchYAReading? is my "plus one," even though she met Tahereh Mafi at ComicCon. (Yes, the e-mail said you and a friend. We're going to be the awkward Canadians.)

Now, onto the books. ;)

Received a free copy at a book launch:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (go check out the giveaway)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (I was at the mall, I caved and bought the paperback. Then I proceeded to gush with the bookstore employees about The Night Circus and other books.)

Borrowed from the library:
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (e-book) (my first Sarah Dessen book)

To review: Eve, Carrier of the Mark, Past Perfect, Crave, The Pledge, and The Butterfly Clues. I really need to read the e-books and e-galleys now, kinda want to have it all done before the September Galley Grab e-mail comes out. Hope there's some good stuff in it. I was looking through my to-read list and there aren't a lot of S&S books on it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Me on Possess

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HC imprint)

Bridget Liu wants to be left alone. Left alone by her mom, by the cute (but annoying) son of a local police officer, by the eerie voices she can suddenly hear. Unfortunately, the voices are demons, and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to Hell. Terrified to tell people, she confides in a priest who uses her to assist in cases of demonic possession. But when she is given a message, she has to unlock the secret to their plan before someone winds up dead, or before she becomes the next host.

I adore Bridget, she's spunky and feisty and has that teenage attitude, and the fact that she's half-Chinese and half-Irish is refreshingly new. How often do you see that? (But to be honest, one of my cousins is half-Caucasian and half-Korean) And the way she's described makes her sound so striking so I'm not surprised there are some guys who flock to her, like Peter (in a creepy stalker way) and Matt (in a less creepy just keeping an eye out for her after her dad was killed sort of way). She doesn't need help, she wants to be left alone, but when strange things happen, it's possible she'll need to suck it up and take the hand that's offered.

What drew me to this book, besides the gorgeous cover, was the exorcism aspect. It wasn't so much the roots in religion and what Bridget learns in terms of why she has this ability to hear the demons' voices but more that I haven't yet come across a YA novel that reminds me of the film The Exorcist (no pea soup, which is nice). A much-enjoyed twist on religion, on God and the Devil.

The pacing was excellent. One of the best compliments you can give an author is 'I wasn't bored when reading your book,' and I wasn't bored when reading Possess. There was a amazing mix of Bridget being confused and scared out of her mind of the demons, then her friends and family, then confusion at what her power is, then more action and creepy dolls, then more normal, then more creepy, then massive climax and an awesome ending.

Bridget needed to get past her father's death, needed to come to terms with both it and the powers she suddenly had, and if that meant she had to learn, to go deeper, to put herself in danger, then that's what she was going to do. As long as her family was safe, as long as she got answers, as long as she found out what was happening to her, that's what mattered. Even if it's dangerous.

Twisted and creepy and intriguing, Gretchen McNeil's debut novel fulfilled all me expectations and gave me exactly what I wanted, a prickly and confused heroine who wants answers when the secrets start to build, a girl who must learn to come into her own or die in the process.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Me on Wolfsbane

Title: Wolfsbane
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin imprint)

When Calla wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, she's certain her days are numbered, but then they make her an offer. An offer that means taking a chance, that means destroying her former masters and freeing the pack she left behind, the guy she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side? Calla is in control of her own destiny now and she has to decide which battles are worth fighting, how many trials love can endure and still survive.

First, I'd meant to re-read Nightshade before starting this, but it's pretty big and I have a lot of books to get through right now. Not re-reading it meant I was a little lost when I started and had to remember what I read all the way back in October (I've read at least 200 books since then, unless I re-read I forget). I'm also wary of writing this review because so many have reviewed it since ARCs first popped up, so forgive me if some of this sounds familiar.

There's so much of this book that was in the first that I loved: defiance, sacrifice, breaking the chains of oppression and gaining freedom for the first time, learning what had been hidden, the power of choice and faith in others and love. Calla is still searching to free her pack from the Keepers, to learn about a world kept from her, a world of truth, where the Keepers and their magic and wraiths are evil, used to keep the Guardians down, to treat them like animals.

And she's still torn between Shay and Ren, between Shay who she loves and saves and Ren who loves her and was matched with her. I was always a little wary of the love triangle, mostly because I never really thought Calla felt anything for him beyond he always dogged her and was the one the Keepers wanted her to mate with to start a new pack (which sounds creepy, especially for a 17 year old girl/werewolf). Shay seems like the sensible choice, with Ren more like the guy you've been set up with and you don't really feel anything for him besides a sense of duty and complication when it's obvious he loves you.

But (and I hate putting in this but) there was something missing that must've been in the first book. There was a bit too much telling, even though the book needed it. We needed more about the Searchers, more about how the Witches War started, more about why Calla is fighting and what she's fighting for (including Shay). I kept waiting for the action, for them to go back and save Calla's pack.

So much of Nightshade was explosive and interesting, Wolfsbane was more of a slow simmer leading up to a huge flash in the pan. And considering the way this book ended, readers are going to claw at the chance to read Bloodrose as soon and as quickly as they can.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Me on The Night Circus Giveaway

I might've won a copy, but that didn't stop me from going downtown to the book launch and picking up a free copy. Free! They were just giving them away, spreading the good word of awesome books. Some people looked a little scared and wary, like there was a catch, but there wasn't. :)

The Night Circus is going to be amazing, and I'm giving away my extra copy. It's not signed or anything, and it is the Canadian version (meaning it's been published by Random House Canada instead of Random House), but it looks the same as the US version and it's got the same story in it. It's not signed or anything so don't go getting your hopes up.

I hope that whoever wins really enjoys this book. I'm so looking forward to it.

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (43)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Between the Sea and Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

From Goodreads:

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

I adore the cover, and I hope the book isn't horribly tragic. I know what tale it's based on (think about it, it's not hard to figure out) and I desperately hope it doesn't end terribly, like a Romeo & Juliet ending.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13 - The Night Circus Book Launch

One of the biggest cases of book adoration pre-release that I've seen this fall has been for Erin Morgenstern's debut novel The Night Circus (I think the other is for Michelle Hodkin's The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer). I recently won a finished copy of The Night Circus from the awesome people that run ChaptersIndigo's Twitter feed during a trivia round about 2 weeks ago. It sounded magical and romantic and mysterious, book bloggers and industry pros I know on Twitter are gushing like mad, and a news desk (I don't remember which) dubbed her "the next J.K. Rowling" (which I have issues with, mostly in terms of how much unnecessary pressure that puts on the author and because someone clearly made the obvious 'magician/wizard' connection without stopping to think).
 Even thinking about this book takes me somewhere magical, somewhere mystical, a place where the impossible lives and turns dreams into reality. I want to love this book when I start reading it, I want to devour it, to be moved by it, to wander around as the sun goes down in hopes of finding Le Cirque de Rêves.

Then on Monday morning I saw Random House Canada tweet this: "To celebrate the book launch of The Night Circus join us in downtown TO & Van Sept 13, 8am Yonge/Dundas Square & Robson Square." How awesome does that sound?? :) (Of course, if you're just finding out about this now and you wanted to go, you're probably upset. Oops.)

Of course, this meant getting up kinda early (for me). At 6am.

I was tweeting during the event (thank you, new smartphone), and here are a selection of pictures. Hope you enjoy. :)
They had about 200 copies to give away. Yes, give away. For free. No strings attached. Some people said no, which was weird, like they thought there was a catch but there wasn't. They just wanted people to take the book, read it, tell their friends, and get their friends to buy it. And take the free little bangs of popcorn. So cute. :)

And they got a guy on a unicycle. That's awesome. People will see that and go, "What's the deal? Oh, hey, it's a book," then walk over and take a copy. :)
It didn't take long for them to hand out all the copies and break out the coupons. $5 dollars off at the Chapters just down the street (or the Chapters they were outside of in Toronto earlier this morning), plus it's 30% off in stores. So, instead of $32 it's about $17. Plus tax. In Canada. Books cost more in Canada.

They picked a good spot, at Robson Square in the heart of downtown Vancouver, right across the street from the art gallery. It was cool and cloudy this morning, though, but I think they got the message out. That this book is going to be awesome.

Michelle at Just a Lil' Lost wrote a blog post about the event in Toronto. You can read it here. :)

Check back tomorrow for a new post on The Night Circus. :)

Me on First Kill

Title: The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill
Author: Heather Brewer
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (Penguin imprint)

When Joss McMillan was 10, his sister was murdered, killed by a vampire who snuck into her room and drank her blood. Three years later, Joss is brought to the Catskills by his uncle for some training. Some special training. training to be come a Slayer, a killer of vampires. But what happens when they discover vampires also hidden in the Catskills? What happens when they believe there's a traitor among them? Will Joss be able to survive?

Heather Brewer brings her minions right back to the beginning, but this time she gives us Joss's side of the story that first began in her The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. Readers will dive right back into a world populated by humans, vampires, and Slayers, and new readers don't have to worry about missing anything important (but I would advise that they read Vlad's series as well, to learn both sides of the same story).

Such a change from Brewer's other series. Here we get Joss at what could be his most vulnerable, his most desolate and lost and confused. He's so young but also so emotional, a trait his uncle is ready to beat out of him. Even if it costs him his life. This book made me love Joss the way Vlad's series made me love Vlad. They were so similar in the beginning, lost and confused, not sure who he could talk to or turn to, trying to figure out the new change in their lives. Trying to stay alive.

This book was interesting, giving us the beginning of Joss, before he was harsh and unforgiving, before he wanted to kill Vlad because he was a vampire. Joss the Slayer is all we knew, all Brewer gave us, and this allows us to understand the circumstances, to walk the mile in the other person's shoes so we learn why he does what he does.

I adored the scenes with Kat. I want more Kat. I didn't expect her to be there, the one spot of normal in Joss's harsh and brutal summer, but I loved it.

Fresh but familiar, Heather Brewer don't disappoint loyal minions left wanting more at the end of her previous series and gives them another tortured soul to care for, one who does what he does in the memory of his murdered sister.

(I received an advance copy from a friend and fellow blogger. She'd picked it up at ComicCon on a whim and I told her I wanted it.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (38)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

Back to school time. Well, not for me. I graduated from university in 2010. I've got one of those ever popular but often sneered at English lit degrees. ;) I quite honestly spent those entire 4 years of my life reading. And it was awesome. I took Shakespeare and studied some good plays (Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Tempest), I took a children's lit class & read Blue Balliet's Chasing Vermeer (an MG book I'll always suggest to people, along with Stephanie Burgis' Kat, Incorrigible), a creative writing class, and a popular literature & culture class where we read genre fiction like Le Guin's The Dispossessed and Larissa Lai's Salt Fish Girl (which I whole-heartedly recommend, it sounds weird but give it a try). :)

Also, I don't I'll be holding another giveaway in October. I have to think realistically, which sucks because you guys are super nice. *sigh* Maybe I'll give away whatever swag I can pick up (cheaper postage), or just get a book and save it for a bigger giveaway (stockpile prizes), or I could donate it to a fundraising blog (karma).

Received from Ashelynn at Gypsy Book Reviews:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (in exchange for Cynthia Hand's Unearthly and for letting her borrow Aprilynne Pike's Illusions and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Ashelynn sent me her extra ARC of Mara Dyer, what a nice Ashy she is)

Won from ChaptersIndigo during a round of Twitter Trivia:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (should've taken a picture of the cover, it's gorgeous)

Requested from NetGalley:
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison (another auto-request from EgmontUSA that only lasts for 30 days)

Borrowed from the library (comment with which book you want to see a quick flash review of):
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Fearscape by Simon Holt
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

I added links to Goodreads for the books in case you guys want to add them or look them up. :)

To review list: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Carrier of the Mark, Eve, Past Perfect (still not sure if I'm actually going to read it, did any of you enjoy it?), Crave, The Pledge, The Butterfly Clues, and The Night Circus. I'm wondering if I should be posting reviews 3 times a week instead of 2. I don't review everything I read, mostly because it gives me a break, but I don't want to leave you guys bored.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Me on Drink, Slay, Love

Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (S&S imprint)

Pearl is a normal vampire, drinks blood, allergic to sunlight, mostly evil, until a unicorn shows up and stabs her in the chest. Her family doesn't believe her (since unicorns don't exist), but when they discover she can now withstand the sun, they want to use it. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast, and her family want her to visit the high school, make some friends so they can be the main course.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel some twinges, like she has a conscience. What's a sunlight-loving vampire to do?

A unique and interesting concept. Vampires as evil (this is not unique, I know, but stay with me) and getting stabbed in the chest by a unicorn turns them nice. There's that weird twist of, "oh, hey, that's different, I don't remember that coming up in a book before," and that's when potential readers become readers.

Pearl is evil. It says so in the summary. She's calculating and manipulative, she's like the anti-hero. She's an evil vampire who doesn't give a flying leap about humanity and drinks blood to survive, even though she was 'changed' by a bright and sparkly unicorn, the symbol of cute and bubbly little girls. But things start to change, she's starting to feel a twinge here and there, a shift in her head and her chest, and BANG! she's got a conscience. Something new and nice to screw with her years of being a manipulative and cold-blooded vampire.

Plus she's caught in this vague and supposedly impossible middle ground, craving the sun but living off blood, being used by her parents as a means to a tasty end but being liked by teens at school who just want to be her friend. Bloody rock, meet hard place covered in sunshine. This book turns into a moral lesson, a book about making the right choices, about doing what's right and not what's expected, about family and if they're really the best environment for you if your views and theirs no longer stay the same.

And of course there has to be awkward moments for Pearl attempting to navigate the weird and confusing circles of high school and teenage popularity. Especially if her only reference is movies from the 1980's, like Pretty in Pink or The Breakfast Club. High school has changed since then, Pearl.

Intriguing and fun, Drink, Slay, Love was an entertaining read, a glimpse into a young vampire's life when her life is altered in the biggest of ways. Apparently, being stabbed in the chest by a unicorn gives you a conscience. Who knew?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (42)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen (HC imprint)

From Goodreads:

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

If you've seen my review of Delirium (read it here), you know I was so close to crying at the end. Such a heartbreaker. It wrecked me for other books the way Forbidden and Shatter Me wrecked me. I bought the new cover version of Delirium, read the excerpt for Pandemonium, and wanted to flail like only The Muppets could. And I adore the new covers. Gorgeous.

But is anyone else scared that this book will end and we'll all end up sobbing and screaming at the ending, unable to wait for 2013 for Requiem to come out?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Me on Graveminder

Title: Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow (HC imprint)

In the small town of Claysville, the dead walk unless their graves are tended to. Returning to a town filled with memories she doesn't want to confront, Rebekkah Barrow wants to know what happened to her grandmother, not expecting to be thrown into a secret world, a world underneath Claysville, a world populated by the dead.

An interesting book. I agree that the world-building was spectacular. Melissa Marr can create like no one else I've come across. The overall pacing was slow as the plot built, revealing secret after secret, detail after detail, until the end is reached and the reader is left wanting more, wanting more Bek and Byron, more Graveminder and Undertaker, maybe even more Mr. D (if you like the spooky stuff). This book should be read on Hallowe'en night, under the covers with a flashlight, along with Brenna Yovanoff's The Graveminder, Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic, and Victoria Schwab's The Near Witch.

Rebekkah was interesting, an example of the very reluctant heroine. Family is important to her, but she refuses to put pressure on Byron, she can't forget the past and what it led to. But she has to, she has to move on and make a choice and continue living her life because if she doesn't she's nothing but a shell.

Melissa Marr is wonderful at third person prose. She can move from character to character, chapter to chapter, so seamlessly you lose nothing. You believe that it's all happening at the same time, which it is, in the world of the book. Rebekkah and Byron are the main characters, but so is Amity, and Mr. D, and the mayor, and Cissy, and Alicia, and Maylene, and someone who will remain nameless because it would give it away and this person is so important. And Claysville. The town is so amazing, so weird and creepy, so dead but so alive.

For Melissa Marr fans, for urban fantasy fans, for readers of great fiction, and for those who don't mind a dead body or two.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Me on In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. :)

It feels weird to say it's September, especially since I told myself I'd finish a book idea I've been working on since March by the end of September. I could write a chapter a day, but I've noticed I get drained easily if I write every day. *sigh* Still. I expanded my outline of what I have left to write (21 chapters at about 2200 words a chapter), which is good because it's giving me a better idea of where I'm going. Plus I have a fun idea for a contemporary YA novel.

But you guys would rather I talk about books. ;)

I'm going to a signing in BC on October 1st (this one), a signing in Alderwood on October 12th (this one), and maybe a signing in Seattle on November 4th (this one that I might go to only because of Tara Kelly & her October release Amplified). Which one would you rather win a book from?? And it's important that you answer because whichever gets the most votes will be the one I get a signed book from for a giveaway. And I'll be using Rafflecopter. :)

Update: I just found out Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods., Forgive My Fins, Sweet Venom) is having a signing in Seattle on Sept 21st. *head-desk* I want to go but I probably won't. And James Dashner is coming up to Vancouver for The Death Cure at some point. Not sure when, though, and it's possible I won't go even though it's local. I don't have his books, but I've read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials. Both were really good.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil (caved & bought online because Chapters doesn't have it in stores yet, which is why I've had both Lola and the Boy Next Door & Shatter Me pre-ordered since early June)
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly (reviewed here, I've borrowed it twice from the library, it deserved a buy)
Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn (these next three are historical romances, they won't be reviewed or anything but I figured I'd include them since I did buy them)
The Reckless Bride by Stephanie Laurens
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens

Received from HarperCollins Canada (I love them so much, they're so nice, especially Shannon, getting early Friday evening book mail makes me feel all spoiled):
Eve by Anna Carey
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

To read and review: Wolfsbane (maybe, it keeps getting pushed back), Possess, The Mephisto Covenant (even though I've had it for weeks), Past Present (maybe), Crave (definitely, since I requested it on NetGalley), Eve, Carrier of the Mark, and The Pledge (not in a rush to read it since it's not out for 2 & a half months).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Me on Sweet Venom

Title: Sweet Venom
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HC imprint)

Grace just moved to San Francisco, but she didn't expect the minotaur to show up, or the girl who looks exactly like her who fights monsters. Gretchen is tired of fighting monsters in the middle of the night and was shocked to discover a girl who could be her double. Greer has a normal life, but not when two girls show up at her door claiming they're triplets.

That they're descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon of Greek mythology. That they're destined to spend their lives fighting hideous monsters.

A new modern-day twist on a Greek myth (think Aimée Carter's The Goddess Test), Tera Lynn Childs gives us three unique points of view, even if it takes between half and two-thirds of the book to get us to the first chapter in Greer's point of view. Gretchen is the muscle, determined, headstrong and physically strong. Grace is the brain, sweet and kind but intelligent. Greer is, to be honest, stuck-up and annoying, as cold as ice. She will be the toughest nut to crack.

And boy trouble. There just has to be boy trouble. But it's awesome boy trouble. Boy trouble that doesn't take up the whole book mixed with mythical monsters trying to kill the girls. Because, unfortunately for some readers, it's not all about the boy trouble. It's about the girls and the monsters.

This isn't just a book about Greek mythology and monsters of legend and mystical powers. It's also a book about sisters, about family and the connections its members have, about discovering who you are at such a crucial point in a teenager's life. Grace, Gretchen, and Greer were separated as infants but the threads that bound them together in the womb still exist, even after sixteen years of separation. There are times when they think the same, talk the same, act the same. That's not a fault of the author's but more the traits and connections that triplets would have, even if they were separated at birth. People are influenced by the environment they grow up in, but also by genetics. Nature and nurture both play an important role.

This book is like a mixture Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Greek mythology, fighting to stay alive, and high school. Snappy, quick, intriguing and fun, Sweet Venom gave me what I expected from a Tera Lynn Childs novel and more. Like an action-comedy-drama movie. Monster butt-kicking, weird situations, and three girls discovering that being triplets isn't always easy.