Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Books of the Year

Prophecy of the Sisters- Michelle Zink
Handmaid's Tale- Margaret Atwood
Stiff- Mary Roach
Running the Books- Avi Steinberg
Firefly Lane- Kristin Hannah
Backseat Saints-  Joshilyn Jackson
Of Bees and Mist- Erick Setiawan
Madame Tussaud- Michelle Moran
Still Alice- Lisa Genova
Divergent- Veronica Roth
Delirium- Lauren Oliver
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs
Girl in Translation- Jean Kwok
Forest of Hands and Teeth- Carrie Ryan
If I Stay/Where She Went- Gayle Forman
White Oleander- Janet Fitch
The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern
The Story of Beautiful Girl- Rachel Simon
The Distant Hours- Kate Morton
The Lost Hours- Karen White

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Lady of the Rivers

Title: Lady of the Rivers
Author: Philippa Gregory
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Amazon:
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.
Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke’s squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.

My review:
I have read most of Philippa Gregory's books and have loved them all.  However, after a while, they all seem to be very similar.  Lady of the Rivers was a typical Philippa Gregory book.  It was good and I really enjoyed it, but wasn't anything groundbreaking or new.  There was one thing that bugged me about this book: it repeated A LOT.  There were quite a few instances where she described something, and then in the next paragraph, described it again in slightly different wording.  Despite this, I really enjoyed the book and will continue to read her work.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Montreal bloggers meet up

Left Side (Left to Right): 
Me, Natalia at Dazzling Reads, Ilana at From Smiler, With Love, Avis at She Reads and Reads, & Tina at Bookshipper.

Right Side (Right to Left): 
Emilie at A Beautiful MadnessTynga at Tynga's Reviews, Lucy at Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf, Cindy at Cindy's Love of Books, & Cat at Beyond Books.

Last weekend I met up with a group of other bloggers from Montreal.  As usual I had a great time talking about books and lots of other stuff.  We also exchanged books.  Here is what I got:

How to Deal- Sarah Dessen
All American Girl- Meg Cabot
How to be popular- Meg Cabot
Jinx- Meg Cabot
Glow- Amy Kathleen Ryan
Where she went- Gayle Forman
Fever- Lauren DeStefano
Devoted- Hilary Duff
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October Wrap Up

I can't believe it's already November! I heard Christmas music yesterday.  I think that it's way too early to start with Christmas stuff.
Here is what I read in October.

151. Last night in montreal
152. A place not home
153. Girl in translation
154. Sea glass  10/7
155. The forest of hands and teeth  
156. Lady of the rivers
157. A thousand lives
158. The maze runner
159. The red pony
160. The city of ember
161.  Coraline
162. Enter night
163. You are my only
164. Bright lights, big ass
165. Spyglass
166. What i thought I knew
167. Miss Hildreth wore brown
168. City of bones
169. Dawn
170. The accident

171. Black Orchid
172. The Meowmorphosis
173. If I Stay
174. The dead tossed waves
175. Creep  

I read a lot of fantastic books this month.  My favorites were The Forest of hands and teeth and Girl in Translation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bout of Books read a thon

Bout of Books is a week long read a thon hosted by Amanda at On a Book Bender.

My goals:
1. Read 2 hours a day
2. Finish at least 5 books

Dawn- Elie Wiesel
The Accident- Elie Wiesel
City of Bones
The Dead tossed waves- Carrie Ryan
The Magic of Finkleton- KC Hilton
If I Stay- Gayle Forman
The Meowmorphosis-
Memories of My melancholy whores- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Black Orchid- Neil Gaiman
The Sandman Endless Nights- Neil Gaiman

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 1/2
Today #insixwords: 
Books: Dawn; 
Number of books I’ve read today: 1 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Today #insixwords:
Books: Dawn; The Accident
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: 
Books: Black Orchid
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
Today #insixwords: 
Books: The Meowmorphosis
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 5
Today #insixwords: 
Books: If I Stay
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 6
Today #insixwords:
Books: The Dead Tossed Waves

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Win a complete Jodi Picoult library!

Simon and Schuster Canada is running an amazing giveaway that starts today October 18th.  The winner will receive all of Jodi Picoult's books.  That's a lot of books!  I have read several of her books and I loved all of them.  I love how she deals with difficult issues, but does it with care and grace.  If you haven't read any of her books, you need to go do so immediately!  I think my favorite book of hers is Sing You Home which comes out in paperback today as well.  You can find out more information about Jodi and her books at her website.  She also has a new book Lone Wolf that comes out in February that I cannot wait for.  Go enter the contest!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: A Thousand Lives

Title: A Thousand Lives
Author:  Julia Scheeres
Source:  Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
They left America for the jungles of Guyana to start a better life. Yet what started as a Utopian dream soon devolved into a terrifying work camp run by a madman, ending in the mass murder-suicide of 914 members in November 1978.

In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times bestselling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons-some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones's drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.
My review:
I read Julia Scheeres' previous book Jesusland, and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to read this one.  I had heard of Jim Jones' group, but didn't know many of the details surrounding it.  This book was very well written and you could tell that a lot of time and research went into it.  The author consulted more than 50,000 pages of documents from the FBI about the group.  I really liked how the author started from the beginning of the group and didn't just focus on the actual group "suicide".  The fact that she did that allowed the reader to really see how the group and it's leader transformed from a safe place to one where people were afraid.  I also really liked that the book followed the stories of several individual members and how they became involved in the group.  This made the people seem more "real" to me, like I knew these people.  It's kind of weird to say that I loved this book based on it's subject, but I did.  I would definitely recommend this book to others and I will be sure to read other work by this author.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

**I received an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Netgalley October

I am using this post to keep track of the books I read and review for Netgalley October.  My goal is to read at least 5 Netgalley books this month.

Books read:
1. Lady of the Rivers- Philippa Gregory
2. A Thousand Lives-Julia Scheeres3.

Books reviewed:
1. Everything We Ever Wanted- Sara Shepard
2. Smuggled- Christina Shea
3. Lady of the Rivers- Philippa Gregory
4. A Thousand Lives- Julia Scheeres

Monday, October 10, 2011

NetGalley October

NetGalley October is here! 

Basically, NetGalley Months are month long read-a-thons in which we all read as many NetGalley books as humanly possible. 

For those of you that don't know, NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books. Publishers upload galleys to the site for NetGalley members to request.
One of my favorite things about NetGalley is that anyone who reads and recommends books can use it for free. If you haven't already, you can register here.

I signed up for Netgalley a couple of months ago, and I really love it.  It has given me a chance to read books I wouldn't normally have read.  There are prizes too!  If you're interested in signing up, go sign up at Red House Books.  And big thanks to Emily for hosting Netgalley October!

Review: Everything we ever wanted

Title: Everything We ever wanted
Author: Sara Shepard
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
When Sylvie Bates-McAllister, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a late-night phone call from the prestigious school founded by her grandfather, her family is thrown into chaos. Her adopted son Scott may have been involved in a hazing scandal --and it may or may not have led to the death of one of the boys he coaches on the school team. Sylvie must decide between maintaining her outwardly perfect life --the family estate outside Philadelphia inherited from her grandfather, the school, the reputation --and the son who she feels wants nothing to do with her.
For Charles, Sylvie's biological son, the call dredges up a ghost from the past --his high school girlfriend who has been off the map for years. Joanna, his wife, is forced to confront all the things that she didn't anticipate would come along with a perfect life she imagined ever since she was a young girl, creating her scrapbook of the Bates-McAllisters. Scott, haunted by years of first impressions and assumptions, is drawn into a new understanding of a world he has never felt a part of.

For all the Bates-McAllisters, the phone call awakens questions lain dormant for years, revealing a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together: the mystery of the school hazing, Sylvie's deceased husband's locked filing cabinet, the event that tore Charles and Scott apart the night of their high school graduation, and the intended recipient of a certain bracelet. The quest to push past a legacy of resentment and judgments to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the question: what if the life you always planned for, and dreamed of, isn't what you want at all?

My review:
This book was just okay.  A lot of the characters bugged me, but they didn't seem "real" enough.  The whole storyline with Charles' high school girlfriend bothered me too.  And the synopsis makes it seem like the book is all about Scott but that's only a little part of the book.  I think the book would have been better if it had been shortened by quite a bit.  The writing was well done, but the story itself didn't seem fleshed out enough.  That said, I am interested in reading the author's young adult books. 

Rating: 3 stars

**I was given an electronic copy of this book from  Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 7, 2011

September wrap up

I didn't get to read as much this month because I started school on the 1st.  Here is what I read:

128. Brideshead revisited
129. Night road-  385 
130. Sister 
131. Bodily harm 
132. Spin
133. After the fire  
134. Unearthly asylum  
135. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children
136. Everything we ever wanted
137. Sloppy firsts 
138. Feed 
139. Escape from the world trade center  
140. My stroke of insight  
141. The kitchen boy  
142. On the state of egypt  
143. Tinkers 
144. Pull of the moon  
145. Storm glass   
146. The silent   
147. Stolen
148. The perks of being a wallflower
149. White cat
150. The chocolate war

Favorite book: Miss Peregrine's House of Peculiar Children; Night Road; Sister

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Smuggled

Title:  Smuggled
Author: Christina Shea
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
Sweeping from post–WWII rural Romania to the cosmopolitan Budapest of 1990, Christina Shea’s Smuggled is the story of Eva Farkas, who loses her identity, quite literally, as a young child, when she is smuggled in a flour sack across the Hungarian border to escape the Nazis.

When five-year-old Eva is trafficked from Hungary to Romania at the end of the war, she arrives in the fictional border town of Crisu, a pocket of relative safety, where she is given the name Anca Balaj by her aunt and uncle, and instructed never to speak another word of Hungarian again. “Eva is dead,” she is told. As the years pass, Anca proves an unquenchable spirit, full of passion and imagination, with a lust for life even when a backdrop of communist oppression threatens to derail her at every turn. Time is layered in this quest for self, culminating in the end of the Iron Curtain and Anca’s reclaiming of the name her mother gave her. When she returns to Hungary in 1990, the country is changing as fast as the price of bread, and Eva meets Martin, an American teacher who rents the apartment opposite hers and cultivates a flock of pigeons on his balcony. As Eva and Martin’s cross-cultural relationship deepens through their endeavor to rescue the boy downstairs from his abusive mother, Eva’s lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle.

My review:
I was instantly drawn to this book because I love books about WWII. To be honest, I read this book a couple of months ago, and I don't really remember that much about it.  It was very well written and the story was interesting.  But as I said, it was overall kind of forgettable.

4 stars

**I was given an electronic copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies: A Novel (P.S.)

Title: The Book of Lies
Author: Mary Horlock
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
Life on the tiny island of Guernsey in the English Channel can be tough for some, but things have become particularly claustrophobic for Cat Rozier. She’s fifteen, an overweight bookworm, and she’s just killed her best friend.

Nicolette is the new girl at Cat’s all-girls high school, beautiful and instantly popular. But Nic, without explanation, takes Cat under her wing, inviting her out to parties and teaching her to drink whatever they can shoplift. The two become inseparable, while the other girls wonder why Nic’s hanging out with this geek. A perceived betrayal, however, sends them spinning apart, and in the way that small-town bullies do best, Nic’s retribution is larger than life.

Cat’s father, Emile, has died just months before. While running the small press he’d inherited from his father, Emile made it his life’s work to bring to light the truth about the Nazi occupation of Guernsey, from Churchill’s abandonment of the island to those families and individuals who tried to resist in their own way. But above all, he hoped to set straight the reputation of his older brother, Charlie. Through audio recordings Charlie left behind before his death in 1965 and letters Emile wrote to various publications, we piece together Charlie’s own confession, his struggle against the Nazis, and the betrayals buried deep in the island and in the Rozier family story.
My review:

My rating:
I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the back and forth between narrators.  I do wish the author would have focused more on the father's part of the story.  I didn't really like the main narrator, Cat.  She kind of annoyed me and her situation didn't seem to bother her at all.  The book was well written and entertaining.  Another thing I didn't like was the cover.  I don't usually judge a book by it's cover, but all of the covers I've seen just didn't pull me in.

4 stars

**I received an electronic copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contest craze mini challenge: lucky number 7

Lucky Number 7
Princess Bookie's Contest Craze is in full swing! Today I'm hosting a mini challenge. It'll be fun to see what everyone comes up with!!!
  • Open a book you are currently reading.
  • Turn to page 7.
  • Count to the 7th word.
  • If the word is an article (a, an, the, etc), go to the next real word.
  • Type the word into a Google Images search, and select a picture that you can stand.
  • Create a blog post with the following information:

My book:
Tinkers by Paul Harding

My word: eight

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top 100 YA books

I've seen this list on a lot of other blogs, and I thought I would use it to keep track of what I've read.

Total: 23/100

  1. Alex Finn – Beastly
  2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Ally Condie – Matched
  5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
  7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
  9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
  10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
  12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
  13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
  16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
  17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
  18. Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
  19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
  20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
  21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
  22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
  23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
  26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
  27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
  28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
  29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
  31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
  33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
  34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
  37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
  38. John Green – Paper Towns
  39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
  40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
  41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
  42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
  43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
  44. Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
  46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
  47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
  49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
  50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
  52. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
  53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
  54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
  56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
  57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
  58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  60. Meg Rosoff – How I Live Now
  61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
  63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
  64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
  67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
  69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
  70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
  71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
  72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
  74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere Carnal Over 40 Winks
  79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
  80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
  81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
  82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
  83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
  84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  85. Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
  86. Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
  87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
  88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
  89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
  90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
  92. Stephenie Meyer – The Host
  93. Stephenie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
  94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
  95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
  96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
  97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
  99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
  100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Review: The Legacy

    The Legacy: A Novel

    Title: The Legacy
    Author: Katherine Webb
    Source: Netgalley

    Synopsis from Netgalley:
    Following the death of their grandmother, Erica Calcott and her sister Beth return to Storton Manor, a grand and imposing house in Wiltshire, England, where they spent their summer holidays as children. When Erica begins to sort through her grandmother’s belongings, she is flooded with memories of her childhood—and of her cousin, Henry, whose disappearance from the manor tore the family apart.

    Erica sets out to discover what happened to Henry—so that the past can be laid to rest, and her sister, Beth, might finally find some peace. Gradually, as Erica begins to sift through remnants of the past, a secret family history emerges: one that stretches all the way back to Oklahoma in the 1900s, to a beautiful society heiress and a haunting, savage land. As past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two terrible acts of betrayal—and the heartbreaking legacy left behind.

    My review:
    This was another book with a slow start.  Once I got into it, it was enjoyable.  It was well written, if a little confusing at times.  Certain things were alluded to, like the cousins' disappearance and Beth's illness, but they weren't fully explained until mostly through the book.  The ending was satisfying, but a little predictable.  Overall, this was a well written and enjoyable book about two sisters and their shared secret.

    My rating: 3 1/2 stars

    **I received a free electronic copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review.  

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Review: The last letter from your lover

    The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel

    Title: The Last letter from your lover
    Author: Jojo Moyes
    Source: Netgalley

    Synopsis from Netgalley:
    It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

    Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

    My review:
    I really liked this book.  It was a bit slow to get started, so I didn't expect to like it very much, but it picked up and pulled me in.  I loved the little bit of mystery about who "B" was, and I was really rooting for him and Jennifer to get together.  I think I actually yelled and threw my kindle down (on the couch, so it was okay!) when they missed each other.  The ending was a little bit predictable, when the reader discovers who and where B is.  I enjoyed the love story and the weaving together of the stories.

    My rating: 4 stars

    **I received an electronic copy of this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    August wrap up

    I can't believe it's already September.  Classes started yesterday, but I don't have class until Tuesday.  This is the start of my last year of school.  I am excited but also nervous (mostly because that means I'll have to get a real job soon!)

    I got quite a bit of reading done this month.  Now if only I could keep up with reviewing books.

    101. Cleopatra’s Moon
    102. Still alice
    103. The golden notebook   
    104. Game of thrones
    105. when lightning strikes
    106. Code name cassandra  
    107. I’d know you anywhere
    108. A stolen life
    109. Smuggled
    110. Crooked letter, crooked letter   
    111. Divergent   
    112. The legacy 
    113. The summer I turned pretty  
    114. The tent   
    115. Death of Vishnu
    116. Chronicle of a death foretold
    117. Cleopatra  
    118. Poison study
    119. Good bones
    120. Still missing
    121. The last letter from your lover
    122. Twilight sleep
    123. The book of lies
    124. Turn of mind   
    125. Magic study   
    126. Delirium   
    127. Fire study 

    Best book: I read so many great books this month, so it's hard to choose! I would have to say Divergent. Can't wait for the sequel.

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Bout of Books wrap up

    I am really happy with the amount I got read during this read a thon even though I only got one netgalley book read and didn't write any reviews.

    Here is what I read:
    Chronicle of a death foretold
    Poison study
    Good bones
    Still missing  
    The last letter from your lover 
    Twilight sleep 
    The book of lies  
    Turn of mind  
    Magic study  

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Bout of Books read a thon update- Days 1 and 2

    Books read: Chronicle of a Death Foretold- Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Cleopatra- Stacy Schiff
    Books finished: 2
    Pages read: 120 + 432= 552

    Books read: Poison Study- Maria Snyder
    Books finished: 1
    Pages read:  416

    Total books read so far: 3
    Total pages read so far:  968

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Bout of Books Read-a-thon Starting Line

    I’ve decided to join Amanda from On a Book Bender in her Bout of Books Read-a-thon. Click the button below to learn more. The read-a-thon starts Monday, 8/22 and goes through Sunday 8/28.  I'm hoping to get quite a bit of reading done since I only have to work 2 1/2 days this week.


    •  Get through at least 1 book from Netgalley.
    • Get caught up on writing some reviews.
    • Chronicle of a Death Foretold- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • Good Bones- Margaret Atwood
    • Poison Study- Maria Snyder
    • Vision in White- Nora Roberts
    • Cleopatra- Stacy Schiff
    • Mini-Shopaholic- Sophie Kinsella

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Review: Riptide

    Riptide: Struggling with and Resurfacing from a Daughter's Eating Disorder
    Title: Riptide: struggling with and resurfacing from a daughter's eating disorder
    Author: Barbara hale-Seubert
    Source: personal copy

     A young girl’s fatal, decade-long struggle with anorexia and bulimia is chronicled from her mother’s perspective in this heartbreaking memoir. Barbara Hale-Seubert tried to cope with grief, fear, and powerlessness as her daughter suffered through these diseases, and she kept a journal of their experiences as a form of therapy. These entries are the basis for a raw and revealing narrative, meant to offer other parents the comfort that comes with knowing they are not alone, the strength to help their children through the agony of eating disorders, and the grace to learn to surrender what is out of their control.

    My review:
    This was a difficult book to read because of the emotional content.  It is written by a mother who lost her oldest daughter to anorexia and bulimia.  The book chronicled the author's struggles as her daughter suffers from and slowly dies from the diseases.  She talks about her guilt about not being able to save her daughter and that she didn't do enough to help her.  I have not read very much about eating disorders, but I thought this was a unique view on the subject.  It is definitely worth reading, especially if you or someone you know is suffering from the same illnesses.

    Rating: 4 stars


    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Review: The Poisoned House

    The Poisoned House
    Title: The Poisoned House
    Author: Michael Ford
    Source: Netgalley

    The year is 1855 and orphaned serving girl Abigail Tamper, 14, tries to escape Greave Hall, an austere London mansion, in the dead of night. She is hauled back and forced to work for Mrs. Cotton, cruel and devious housekeeper to senile Lord Greave. It isn't just the dreary residents who frighten Abi; there's something terribly amiss in the house. Glasses crash to the floor, rooms are turned topsy-turvy and then righted again when no one is looking, handprints appear in impossible places. Deepening Abi's dread is the upcoming anniversary of her mother's death. She pins her hopes for brighter days on the heir to the house, handsome Samuel Greave, who is returning as an injured hero from the Crimean War. The two played together in childhood, when Abi's mother was Master Samuel's nurse, and they share a brother/sisterlike bond. But the eerie occurrences only increase on his return. Is Abi's dead mother trying to tell her something? Every gothic trope is put to use here: the silent butler, a séance gone wrong, messages via Ouija board, secret alliances, out-of-wedlock pregnancies (two of them), and a last-minute will that changes everything. This ghost story is light fare, chilling, and suspenseful.
    My review:
    Despite being a bit predictable, this was a quick fun read.  Several of the characters were a bit cliche, such as the Mrs. Danvers-esque housekeeper, but then again, this book was aimed at a younger audience, so they might not see them as I do.  I would have liked some of the characters, such as Abi to be a little more fleshed out than they were.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

    Rating: 4 stars

    ** I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Review: The Lake

    The Lake
    Title: The Lake
    Author: Banana Yoshimoto
    Source:  Received from

    Synopsis from Amazon:
    It tells the tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. She finds herself spending too much time staring out her window, though ... until she realizes she’s gotten used to seeing a young man across the street staring out his window, too.  They eventually embark on a hesitant romance, until she learns that he has been the victim of some form of childhood trauma. Visiting two of his friends who live a monastic life beside a beautiful lake, she begins to piece together a series of clues that lead her to suspect his experience may have had something to do with a bizarre religious cult. . . .

    With its echoes of the infamous, real-life Aum Shinrikyo cult (the group that released poison gas in the Tokyo subway system), The Lake unfolds as the most powerful novel Banana Yoshimoto has written. And as the two young lovers overcome their troubled past to discover hope in the beautiful solitude of the lake in the countryside, it’s also one of her most moving.

    My review:
    I have to be honest and say that I found this book to be a little weird.  The main character is dealing with the death of her mother, so she moves to Tokyo where she meets the man who lives in the apartment across the street from her.  I was a little confused when the characters went to the lake to visit friends.  This book was mostly character driven, and not a lot of action took place.  I prefer my books to have more of a plot, but this book didn't completely disappoint me.  It was very beautifully written and I could feel the emotions the characters were going through.

    Rating: 3 stars 

    **I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    It's Monday! What are you reading?

    This is the first time I have participated in this meme.
    I just started:
    Vanished Books One & Two: When Lightning Strikes; Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You)

    And I am finishing up:
    A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One

    Last week I read
    Of Bees and Mist: A NovelCleopatra's MoonStill AliceThe Golden Notebook: A Novel (P.S.)

    Mailbox Monday

    ~Mailbox Monday~  
    is hosted by Staci at Life in the Thumb during the month of July.
    We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 

    Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

    Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here).

    I had a lot of Amazon gift cards accumulated, so I bough a bunch of books.  I haven't actually gotten them yet, but I will when I get to my parents house in the States.  Here is what I bought:

    The HelpThe Help- I loved this book and I bought it for my mom because I thought she would really like it.  I am going to take her to go see the movie.

    Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 3)Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A NovelA Stolen Life: A MemoirMini Shopaholic: A Novel (Shopaholic Series)The Story of Beautiful GirlThe Summer I Turned Pretty

    World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Book One of CataclysmAnd because I am a wonderful wife, I bought this book for my husband.