Thursday, 31 July 2014

Throwback Thursday: Favourite Childhood Books

Hey guys! I decided to do a Throwback Thursday post today in honour of my favourite childhood books!

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is a very sad story about a girl who's parents just died and is sent to live in England with her reclusive uncle in an old manor. I liked the book and watched the movie as a kid, but I liked the book ten times better because I just felt that watching a book turn into an actual motion picture as a 6 year old was weird.
2. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Set in World War 1, another sad story about a girl losing her parents (in this case, her father), Sara Crewe goes from being a little princess (hence the title) to being a maid at her boarding school. After the war, she meets a mysterious man living next door who looks mysteriously like her father. This is actually my favouite Frances Hodgson Burnett book, but I was actually forced to read this the first time for a book report in the 6th grade, but later on, I fell in love with it.
3. The Spiderwick Chronicles
This is my favourite fantasy book of all time (or books)! Because of Spiderwick, I was introduced to the awesome Holly Black, who's writings introduced me to the YA genre. If you aren't familiar with the series (or the movie based on the series), the story is about the Grace children who move into an old home with their mother after their father leaves. There, they are introduced to the realm of faeries and monsters, where they must learn how to defend themselves.
Well, that's it for me! Have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#40): In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis


Author: Mindy McGinnis
Expected Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

I was actually supposed to do a Bookish Book Theories post on this book, but I decided not to last minute. Why? Well because this is a Mindy McGinnis book, and you can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster ride she'll put you through.

I wouldn't really call this book a sequel; I think of it more as of a companion book. At the end of Not a Drop to Drink (in the epilogue, to be more specific), there's already a time jump because Lynn steps over Lucy's long legs, and Lucy recalls Lynn playing Eli's song on the piano from a 'few years' back.

I think it will be really interesting being in Lucy's head, and seeing how both Lucy and Lynn have developed throughout the years.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#39): Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


Author: Stephanie Perkins
Expected Release Date: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Dutton

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

My favourite thing about ISLA is that it comes out TWO DAYS before my birthday! YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM TO GET THIS BOOK?!

I love Stephanie Perkins, and I love all her characters, and I am super proud of her for finishing ISLA! I think we all need to thank her for her awesomeness!

I can't wait to read Isla's adventures and read her falling in love with Josh. I read the excerpt on NetGalley, and Isla already has a lot of problems ahead of her. But I know she and Josh will be able to figure everything out together!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 327 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 10th, 2008
Status: Vampire Academy #2

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...


Frostbite was an emotional and adventurous read. It will leave your heart racing and wanting for more.

The story takes place a couple of months after the events of Vampire Academy. Rose is headed to do her qualifier test with a prestigious guardian when she and Dimitri discover a conspiracy involving Strigoi and humans. The school then goes into a state of emergency and decide to take all their students to a posh hotel.

This book was really more about Rose's relationship with everyone else and not some much of discovering more about her bond with Lissa. There is a lot more of a political plot in this book, as we get our first look at how the Moroi monarchy system works.
The Royal Moroi's are trying to decide what they're supposed to do with their Strigoi problem. Half of them are asking to lower the graduation age down to 16, to turn out more guardians, while the other half is undecided. And then there is a small part of the system that wants to fight back, and that group is being led by Christian's aunt Tasha who Rose admires... but hates because she's all over Dimitri.

We get to see Rose in a different light in this book, and we see her more emotional in this book that the first book. Rose not only has to deal with protecting Lissa, but trying to figure out her role in society and dealing with her mom. On top of that, she has to decide her feelings for Mason, Dimitri, and the mysterious and charming Adrian Ivashkov.

I really liked this book a lot because the stakes are higher than the first book, and we get to see Rose in much more difficult situations. We see her grow as a character, and sets up a lot of action for the next book.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Fangirl Friday (#12): Kat Bishop

Hey guys! It's been forever since I've done one of these, and today, I'm going to Fangirl over Kat Bishop from the Heist Society series!


About Kat:

Katarina 'Kat' Bishop is the daughter of Robert 'Bobby' Bishop (a conman) and Nadia Bishop (a thief). Her cousin is the ever beautiful Gabrielle, and her aunt is the equally beautiful Irene. She is the great-niece of Uncle Eddie, and (presumably, unless Eddie has another brother) the granddaughter of Uncle Charlie. She doesn't necessarily have an ACTUAL home (she was raised all over the world), but does have a bedroom that she shares with Gabby at Uncle Eddie's brownstone.

Tragic Backstory:

When Kat was about eight, her mother died, and she was really sadden by her death for a while afterward. She soon decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and become an amazing thief. Despite her accomplishments, she feels like she is silently judged and compared to her mother by Uncle Eddie.

Fangirl Factor:

Kat is just an ordinary girl from a 'crooked' family. She has amazing friends, and has a great relationship with her dad. Her best friend W.W Hale the Fifth is a billionaire, which comes in handy when you're constantly travelling around the world. She can speak different languages, and sometimes, she can be pretty scary.


Kat is a badass from a long line of badasses but is much more humble about it. She is a loyal friend, and does everything in her power to help others. She's strong-headed and will do almost everything to make sure things work out right. She's smart, intelligent, and the best person to ever befriend- she'll save you from hostage inside of a hotel if she'll have to.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#38): Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre


Author: Anne Aguire
Expected Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...

I think what drove me to add this book on my TBR list is the fact that 1) it reminds me of PLL (which I love!), and 2) it involves the Faustian compact/bond.

We learned about it in religion class, and I read ANOTHER FAUST by Daniel and Dina Nayeri back in 2009, and I loved the story, but the bond freaked me out. It caused a lot of trouble for the Faust's, and I hope that Edie will at least come out alive!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Review: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter


Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 328 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Status: Heist Society #3

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the son of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.


Perfect Scoundrels is the ultimate heist book. Kat and her crew have stolen paintings and jewels, but how will they fair with stealing a person? Especially if that person is no one other than Hale himself?

I LOVE this book- this has to be my favourite book out of all of Ally's books. This book was full of drama, romance, mystery, family ties, and of course the ultimate betrayal.

This story revolves around Kat and her crew trying to save Hale from the biggest con of all time: using him as a Mark so they can have the entire company for themselves. The stakes are higher for them because a) Kat knows who's after Hale and his fortune b) the enemy knows who she and her crew are and c) Kat is risking her relationship with Hale to save him.

Perfect Scoundrels is my all-time favourite Ally Carter book because it's much more emotional than all her other books, and there's a lot more back story as well. We actually get an insight into Hale's life outside of Kat and her heists, and we get to see the person he is (and the person he could be) if he didn't meet Kat three years before. We also finally get to read the infamous night they first met when Kat tried to steal his Monet.

Kat was phenomenal in this book, as she wasn't only just the mastermind behind their plan, but also Hale's 'unofficial' girlfriend for 98% of the book; she not only had to deal with trying to keep herself from being caught, but also not submit to the pressure and let her worries about their fragile relationship get to her. Not only was Kat under pressure, but she also has to play therapist for Hale and be his emotional support. This book does also bring out the emotional side of Kat because it reminds her a lot of her mother's own death.

Hale in this book FINALLY opened up. Although we don't know his REAL name, we know more about his family history, and his nickname. We also get to meet Natalie, an old childhood friend of Hale's who is more trouble than she is friendly.

The plot of this story was fast-paced, and wasn't as complicated as Uncommon Criminals plot where Uncle Eddie, Charlie, and Maggie were messing up all of Kat's plans and relationship with her crew every step of the way. This book was mostly about family and friendship, and discovering who's really there for you and who's really there for what you have.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 332 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 16th, 2007
Status: Vampire Academy #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


I have read Vampire Academy a million times since I first picked it up in the 7th grade and I have loved it every single time I've re-read it.

When I first read Vampire Academy, it was right at the peak of Twilight's success, and I actually stumbled upon this book when I first read a story on Wattpad and it was mentioned.

I was furious when I first heard that Vampire Academy existed (because I wanted to write a story called Vampire Academy, where a school of seemingly normal kids gets a 'vampire-like' student amongst them one day; I was all about being like Stephanie Meyer back in the day), but once I picked up the first book I realized that it was an AMAZING story, and I loved it better than Twilight (which was blasphemous at the time).

Vampire Academy is a story about a half-vampire, half-human girl named Rose Hathaway, and her life as the best friend and guardian of Princess Vasilisa 'Lissa' Dragomir. The two have ran away from their high-security school made for the elite and their guardians-in-training, and are dragged back by Dimitri Belikov, Lissa's new guardian and Rose's replacement. The two try getting themselves back into their old roles, but find it harder as they learn it's more dangerous inside the Academy walls than it was outside.

I love Vampire Academy because it isn't your traditional vampire story where your main character falls in love with the sexy, brooding vampire ten seconds within the book. Although it does have brooding, sexy vampires, Vampire Academy is a story of friendship and family, and how loyalty can become your savior and your downfall.

Rose Hathaway is a kick-ass narrator with lovely looks and a witty humour. She is often looked down upon because of her runaway record and former wild-child status, but since returning to the school and training with the ever mysterious and sexy Russian Dimitri, proves that she has matured and takes her job seriously. She's a really interesting character because she is selfless, and even when she's hurting, she is thinking of her best friend 24/7.

The beginning of this book was really hard for me to grasp- right off the bat, there are a lot of terms thrown at you, and I know a lot of people who have stopped reading before the second chapter because of all the terms.

The plot of this book was very fast paced, and I did have a hard time figuring out who was after the two of them in this story. Aside from the fact that Lissa is being threatened by an anonymous psychopath, the two still have to deal with normal teenage drama: gossip, mean-girls, image, and popularity.

Vampire Academy was a great read, and I loved every second of it! It makes you want to leave your computer at home and start working out so you can be as kick ass as Rose.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 12 July 2014

ARC Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares


Author: Ann Brashares
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Received from: NetGalley
Status: Standalone (maybe?)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.


The Here and Now was a thought-provoking new book by Ann Brashares that make you think about our actions as a society, and how it can impact the future to come.

The story is about Prenna James, a girl from the future that travels back in time to escape the deadly plague that's claimed the lives of millions. The rules of survival are simple: keep a low profile, and do not mingle with any of the Time Natives. But with an authoritative government system, and the ever handsome and intelligent Ethan Jarves constantly taking attention in her, Prenna finds her elaborate life endangered.

This story was eerily similar to Yesterday by C.K Kelly Martin. In Yesterday, a girl named Freya discovers that she is not from 1980s Canada, but instead from the future. She, and a highly select group of other people were sent back in time to survive the devastation in the future and try prevent it from happening.

Sound familiar? The only difference that I found was that Freya's memories were completely erased and that she had to gain then back for herself. The other difference from The Here and Now (other than the setting and their goals), I felt like less conflicted after reading the book and that the concept of time-travel and affect the future was explained better.

I didn't fall in love with Prenna as fast as I wanted to (I fell in love with Ethan right away though), and I felt like the plot was rushed. For the majority of the novel, my interest was going in and out, until I got about three quarters into the book. I was able to piece what was going on in the beginning with the characters fairly quickly, but it wasn't till near the very end did I feel truly engaged with the story.

I felt like the technicalities of how she got there and her emotional connection was rushed over a bit- I even felt like at times her relationship with Ethan was rushed as well. I didn't, however, expect the plot-twist near the end, but I didn't like how the book ended so abruptly.

Overall, it was a good story, and I felt like that despite it's rough patches, it did convey the overall message very well: we as a society must be careful with the way we treat our world today, otherwise we may ruin our tomorrow.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#37): Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid


Author: Adi Alsaid
Expected Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Five strangers. Countless adventures.One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

I love the cover for this book, and I've heard such good things about it! I really can't wait! And I really want to know why Leila always leaves others behind! I love a good road trip story!

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick for today?

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Review: A Million Little Snowflakes by Logan Byrne

Author: Logan Byrne
Pages: 206 pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: September 14th, 2013
Received from: NetGalley
Status: Standalone

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Oliver Hurst has always been abnormally normal.

His grades are horrible, his best friend just left for Utah, and he's depressed. His overly religious parents don’t help, especially since they control every facet of his life. One stupid sentence said in desperation gets Oliver tossed in an adolescent psych ward, where his depression and fears become even more of a reality.

When Oliver meets snide, tough girl Lacey Waters he doesn't think his life could get any better, that is, until she becomes the ray of sunshine he has desperately needed on his cloudiest of days.


A Million Little Snowflakes was a good read that talks about depression, overbearing parents, being a teenager, and finding out who you are.

The story is about Oliver Hurst, a teenage boy who's just always been normal. After his best friend moves away, he is left with his overly religious family, and life slowly spirals out of control from there as he sinks into depression and does poorly on his SAT. After slipping up one night at dinner, Oliver's father takes him to a psych ward where he is introduced to the ins and outs of hospital life and mental stress as a teen. He also meets Lacey Waters, a tough and guarded girl who helps him fight his dark side.

This book was an easy read- it probably took me about 3-4 hours to read. It was cute, and Oliver is an amazing narrator. He's sarcastic, and despite thinking of himself as 'average' is a very rational and logical person. His family is devout Christian, and he knows he has been sheltered his entire life. When he meets Lacey, he is immediately infatuated with her.

Although I felt his romance with Lacey was rushed (he was only in the ward for 10 days), they are adorable together. Lacey does distance himself from her quite a lot (which did bother me at times), but the two learn how to deal with their problems and learn how to love each other.

When I started reading the book and realized that it was going to take place inside the ward, I was not really amused and was very iffy to move on. But, I found that Oliver living inside the ward did help build his character and make him a better person. He opened up more, and learned how to speak up to his mother, and learned how to make new friends.

I loved how he developed as a character, and I loved his relationship with Lacey by the end of the story. But, by the end of the story (and I really do mean the END of the story), I was not the happy reader I was in the beginning. Without to spoil anyone, I'll just put it in terms that everyone will understand: I was John Greened by Logan Byrne.

It was a cute and quick read, and although I wasn't a fan of the VERY END, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also liked how Logan Byrne sort of made things come full circle.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 387 pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Status: The Lunar Chronicles #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


Cinder is not your ordinary fairytale. It's a fairytale with a futuristic twist that will leave you wanting MORE!

Cinder is a cyborg and badly mistreated by her stepmother Adri. A plague is sweeping New Beijing, and when her stepsister Peony catches the virus, Cinder is to blame for their misfortune once again. Desperate to find a cure, she also ends up working for Prince Kai himself. Cinder must be careful as she balances her secret duties within the royal palace from her stepmother and the Prince himself, lest she ends up dead like other cyborgs before her.

I fell in love with this story right from the beginning, and got really sad at the end because I didn't buy the sequel. I have been reading a lot of retellings of Shakespeare, Victorian novels, and of course fairytales, but Cinder stands out from the others.

Marissa Meyer captivates you right from the beginning, and takes you on an emotional journey with Cinder as she tries to figure out how to save her sister, save herself from her abusive stepmother, stop herself from being emotionally attached to the prince, and ultimately save the world from the deadly plague.

Cinder is selfless, loving, and despite the fact she cannot cry or blush, shows that she is more human than most of the people around her. She has a huge silicon heart that causes her demise, but makes you love her more.

This entire story was fast-paced, and it is impossible to put it down. The plot is not boring at all, and constantly keeps you at the edge of your seat. Aside from Cinder's inner turmoil, you follow the story of young Prince Kai who is given the task of handling a deadly disease killing his people, and the childish, deadly whims of Queen Levana who is doing everything to marry him- and that includes waging war against the earth.

Cinder was an amazing read from start to finish! I literally could not put it down! If you ever want to read a story that mixes fairytale and robots, then READ Cinder! It was the perfect mixture of fairytale, adventure, drama and romance, with the right touch of a futuristic world and a crazy Queen. Everything was simply MAGIC!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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