Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Celebrity Crushes

Life of a Blogger is a new feature created by Jessi of Novel Heartbeat, where we all get to know each other a little bit better!

This week's topic is celebrity crushes. I don't actually have many celebrity crushes, but here's a few:

Nathan Fillion

I'm a huge Firefly fangirl and I loved Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. I'll admit I haven't watched much Castle, but it's on my list! Plus he's from the same province as me!

David Tennant

Really, who doesn't have a crush of David Tennant?

Freddie Mercury

Yeah, I don't know. I just love him so much. Too bad he passed away when I was 2. :(

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I'm pretty sure I had a crush on him back when he was Tommy from 3rd Rock From the Sun. And now!

Check out other bloggers' responses on the linkup page!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Anyone But You

Title: Anyone But You
Author: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Series: Twisted Lit #3
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Source: eARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

These violent delights have violent ends...

Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster? Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.

I'll come right out and say it: Romeo and Juliet is my least favourite Shakespearean work that I've read. But when I got the opportunity to read and review the latest book in the Twisted Lit series, I took it on anyway.

This one is told in alternating past and present chapters. I'm not a huge fan of alternating chapters, but these ones were wildly different between narrators and situations, that at least I wasn't confused. I ended up preferring the past chapters over the present ones.

Our main character is Gigi (short for Julietta) Caputo, who, not surprisingly, falls in love with the enemy, Roman Monte. This was a major case of instalove. Like three days to "I love you". But Romeo and Juliet is kind of the definition of instalove, so I guess it fits right? But I didn't enjoy Gigi and Roman's relationship as much as I would have if it hadn't gone so quickly.

The past story centers on two best friends: Nick Monte and Benny Caputo. Like I said above, I actually preferred Nick and Benny's story over Gigi and Roman's. And it was sad! I actually cried in this one, which I was completely not expecting.

This one took me ages to get into. In fact, the first 70% of the book was kind of meh for me. I didn't connect that well with Gigi and reading about a couple of young boys decades ago didn't connect with me that well either. However, I loved the last 30%. That's when all the excitement happens and I raced through the last few chapters to see exactly how things would end up.

As far as being a retelling, the basics were there, but there was definitely a lot of original content as well. It's been a long time since I read the orginial, but there were some characters I definitely found familiar (a headstrong, fiery Ty anyone?).

Overall, Anyone But You started off slow for me, but I ended up loving the final chapters. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for the next Twist Lit installment.

Find the Book:
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Authors: 
Website | Kim's Twitter | Amy's Twitter

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Interview: Metastasis anthology

Today I'm excited to feature an anthology that takes a different look at a very serious issue that touches so many lives: cancer.

Walk with us as we explore the world of cancer as seen through a speculative lens. Hold our hands while we venture into the world of what ifs. Take a journey at our side as we experience the full spectrum of what cancer has to offer. The light, the darkness. 

Within these pages you'll meet a woman who adores her cancer as a lover, another who sees it as her ticket to immortality. We'll meet a boy willing to do anything to save his mother and another with superpowers. There's a witch who uses magic to fight against the beast ravaging her friend's body, a cat whose capacity for love is unparalleled, a damaged musician, aliens, a goddess butterfly and so much more.

These are not easy stories to read. This is not a comforting collection that will wipe your fears away and make everything all right. It's not that kind of book. These stories will make you cry, but they'll also make you laugh. They'll touch you and stir emotions, some of which you might not like, but that's okay. It really is. These stories aren't all fun, but they are important. All of them.

Cancer scares us. There is so much we don't know about it, but it's out there, waiting to strike. This anthology attempts to strike back. To support research that will develop new treatments and, eventually, a cure.

62% of the proceeds of this anthology are being donated to help benefit Cancer research.
Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95
ePub – $6.95
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

I was lucky enough be able to ask some questions to Rhonda, the editor, and some of the contributing authors.

Editor Rhonda Parrish:

What was the inspiration for putting together an anthology like Metastasis? Why did you choose to include stories viewing cancer through a speculative fiction lens?

I'm not sure where the initial idea for Metastasis came from. In part it was influenced by the fact I write mostly speculative fiction and publish Niteblade, a speculative fiction magazine. I think partly it was also inspired by the fact that for a while it seemed like every month I was hearing about a writer being diagnosed with, or dying from cancer as well as Jay Lake's very public battle with metastatic colon cancer. The kick in the ass I needed to actually take it from an idea to a reality, however, was when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in the fall of 2012 and died about two weeks later.

In addition to the obvious grief I felt, I also felt completely impotent so I decided to make Metastasis happen in honor of my mom and also as my little way of striking back at the disease that has taken so much from so many.

What should readers prepare for going into Metastasis?

 I think it's different for all of us, but for me it was an emotional ride. It's not all death and sadness (though that's in there too, of course) though, there is also hope, love and laughter, so you don't need to gird your heart for battle or anything like that.

What is the goal of Metastasis? To inspire people? To educate people? To give hope? To make people view cancer differently? Some combination of these or none of the above?

To entertain. Of course the book is also meant to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, but the stories within it exist mostly to entertain.

I think when I started out I really wanted to have the anthology leave the reader with a strong sense of hope, because in reality I believe there is hope, but as this project progressed it kind of took on a life of its own and I realised that in the end, hope was not going to be the umbrella which encompassed all the stories between these covers. I could try to wrestle it into the shape I wanted, or let it breathe and see what it became. I chose the latter, and what it became was something special, something that shines. Something that entertains.

I know some of the proceeds from Metastasis will be going to cancer research. Can you speak a little more to that?

I'd love to. I'm so proud of the fact we are donating the majority of the proceeds from this book to benefit cancer research. The publisher set aside a percentage of royalties right off the top which would be donated to the American Cancer Society (25%), I am donating all of my royalties (another 25%) and all our authors were offered the chance to donate as much or as little of their royalties as they wanted as well. Many took advantage of that offer and so, in the end we are able to donate 62.5% of all proceeds from this book to the American Cancer Society.

Being Canadian that sounds a little weird each time I say it, LOL The American Cancer Society, but we knew most of our contributors would be from the United States and so is our publisher, Wolfsinger Publications, so it seemed like the right cause to champion.

Author Bill Ratner:

What was the inspiration behind your contribution to Metastasis?

 As an author I found the idea of writing about an actual incident in my life in a fictional form very liberating, and the challenge pulled out of me a more creative and powerful story than if the call had been for a personal essay.

Twitter time! Describe your contribution in 140 characters or less.

Faced with his mother's deteriorating condition a young boy employs extreme measures to try and change the course of his mother’s health.

Reading stories about cancer just sounds depressing. What will readers get out of Metastasis besides a good cry?

Fiction has always concerned itself with the big questions of the universe, and the stories in Metastasis are no exception. Liberating writers from personal memoir and letting us loose to consider cancer in a fantasy/sci­fi context has produced some uplifting, mysterious, and very powerful writing in this book.

Did you write this story from personal experience?

Yes, my mother died of cancer when I was seven years old. And I've resisted writing much about it, since the actual experience was so serious and sobering, and I didn't want to depress readers. But to take a fictional approach allowed me to lighten up what might otherwise have been an unremittingly tragic tale.

Author Beth Cato:

What was the inspiration behind your contribution to Metastasis?

For my poem "Hunter," I wanted to honor my cat, Palom, who succumbed to cancer in 2012. I miss him every day.

Twitter time! Describe your contribution in 140 characters or less.

Cat uses 9 lives to consume owner's grief and fear; no regrets.

Reading stories about cancer just sounds depressing. What will readers get out of Metastasis besides a good cry?

It's about more than grief. It's the full emotional spectrum­­rage, mourning, and hope. Ugliness contrasted with beauty.

Author David Sklar:

What was the inspiration behind your contribution to Metastasis?

I was watching a TV show about string theory, and I wondered What is the real­world application of this? So I invented one.

Twitter time! Describe your contribution in 140 characters or less.

After successful treatment, a brain cancer survivor has visions and dreams of what might have been.

Reading stories about cancer just sounds depressing. What will readers get out of your story besides a good cry?

If it was just that depressing, I wouldn’t have finished writing it. I mean, once I had the idea for this story, it sat there for months, maybe years, not being written, because it just seemed so depressing, and I kept passing it up for ideas that seemed more fun to write. But I loved the idea and I wanted to write it, so finally I thought, What can I do to make it fun for me?

So there are still parts that might make you cry, but there’s a lot of whimsy there, too, and I hope the touches that made it fun for me to write will also make it fun for you to read.

So, tell me more about these whimsical touches.

Well, it’s a near­future setting, which is something I don’t write very often. But a lot of science fiction seems to think the future is going in just one direction—so either everything is chrome and progress, or it’s all gone to Hell in a handbasket that no one remembers how to make. And I haven’t seen that much that’s in between.

Ursula LeGuin does in­between very well. In Lathe of Heaven, there’s a bit about parking structures that have been converted into office space, so there are these buildings all over Downtown Portland with oddly slanting floors. You know, that’s not The Hunger Games, but it doesn’t quite feel like progress either. The world just keeps on moving along, and people adapt.

In my story, “Quantum Therapy,” there’s a part of Manhattan that’s permanently flooded. But, you know, somebody had the idea to open a kayak rental. It’s New York City, after all, so somebody would do that. And there’s a ferryman there who sings really well as he rows you across, because he used to work at the Met, before it got defunded.

None of that has anything to do with the cancer; it’s just what’s going on in the meantime. People screw things up, but then people adapt. They can’t always fix it, but they find a way to make the best of the things they can’t fix, because that’s what human beings do, given half a chance.

Author Brenda Stokes Barron:

What was the inspiration behind your contribution to Metastasis?

I came across a science article about gynandromorph butterflies and found them fascinating. Then, in an unrelated Internet search, I ran across an MRI of a brain. The wheels started turning. Then I found out a girl I knew in high school was terminally ill with brain cancer. She was only about 24 at the time and the idea of it—even thinking about it—made my stomach sink. The line, “The Part of the Brain That Looks Like a Butterfly,” popped into my mind shortly after that and the rest of the story wrote itself.

Twitter time! Describe your contribution in 140 characters or less.

As Sylvia tries to cope with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, a force is awakened within her that speaks of magic and untold power.

Reading stories about cancer just sounds depressing. What will readers get out of Metastasis besides a good cry?

Cancer is depressing, yes, but these stories aren’t. Readers are certain to enjoy the multitude of lenses through which this disease is viewed. The creativity here is impressive. As for my contribution, I can only say this: Sylvia discovers something about herself she didn’t know before.

And when faced with something as horrid as this, she finds the beauty in the scraps of her remaining life. And that's worth celebrating.

Did you learn anything about yourself when writing this story?

Yes. I realized that nothing in life is black or white. We all fall in the gray area. And that includes tragedy and disease. Though we all may be dying, there is beauty enough left even in awful things. Or humor. There’s humor in awful things, too.

Author Gabrielle Harbowy:

What was the inspiration behind your contribution to Metastasis?

"Arpeggio" was the convergence of several inspirations. When I had read The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, one of the things which had struck me the most was that in the early days of mastectomies, they often took far more of the body than they needed to, and they often were performed without anesthesia. In fact, there are a handful of existing first­person accounts (in the form of letters and diaries) written by women who were awake during their procedures. They make for very difficult reading.

I was inspired by Jay Lake, a science fiction writer and close friend, who blogs very openly about his cancer. He often remarks about the things that cancer takes away from him, and fears the time when it will leave him unable to write. His vocation is such a huge part of who he is, that he's not sure what will be left of him without it.

And I was inspired by a close friend who lost a finger to a tumor, and continues to cope with nerve damage and the oddities of the phantom limb.

I ended up with a historical dark fantasy story about a musician who has very little agency, and feels that cancer has taken away everything she's ever valued in life. She learns that her soul ­­ her intrinsic being ­­ is more than her music, and is something that cancer can't take away from her.

Twitter time! Describe your contribution in 140 characters or less.

A harpist loses an arm to cancer, but can still play in her dreams...but stealing dream­strings back to the real world has a price.

Reading stories about cancer just sounds depressing. What will readers get out of your story besides a good cry?

Ultimately, "Arpeggio" is about agency and empowerment, and it's about hope. It's about redefining ourselves and transforming into something new, rather than letting our losses define us. Hope is dangerous because it sets us up for disappointment, but it's essential because it gives us the strength to thrive under the worst of conditions. It's my hope that readers find "Arpeggio" inspiring, even motivating.

How historically/medically accurate are the events in your story?

As accurate as possible. The radical mastectomy was invented two years before the story begins, but the x­ray had not yet come into medical usage; all the dates and places and procedures are accurate representations of the time. Even the lack of anesthesia, as noted above. (Ether was sometimes used as anesthetic, but it was up to the individual doctor's discretion.)

I want to give a huge thank you to Rhonda and all the authors for answering my questions. I can't wait to read their stories and be able to view cancer a little differently.

If you're interested in Metastasis, you can find it in these places:
Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95
ePub – $6.95
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

And remember that 62.5% of the proceeds go to cancer research!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Scarlet

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source: Purchased

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I absolutely loved Cinder and I was a bit worried that Scarlet, the sequel, wouldn't live up to my high expectations. But I shouldn't have worried, because I loved Scarlet just as much.

This installment has a split focus on Cinder and a new character, Scarlet Benoit (with a few glimpses of Emperor Kai thrown in). I loved Scarlet. She is fiery and stubborn and loyal and dedicated. I definitely connected with her and I loved the parts about Cinder and Scarlet equally (this doesn't always happen, I often prefer one character's story).

We met a few other new characters in this one and they are well done as well. Captain Thorne started off annoying, but now I love him. He provided some excellent comic relief, as well as being much less useless than I initially thought. And Wolf. Oh my goodness, what can I say about him? I was so torn throughout the most of the book. I had both hopes and suspicions, and somehow both ended up being true. And by the end, I was much less torn.

The only slightly negative thing I can say is that it took me a bit to get into this one. I think that is 100% me though because I was reading this one over the holidays, so there was so much going on that made it a bit hard to focus on reading.

I really love the world Marissa Meyer has created and I can't wait to start Cress to continue in it. And Winter will be a very long time coming!

I can say with confidence that Scarlet is the best book I've read so far in 2014!

Find the Book:
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Author: 
 Goodreads | Web | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cover Compare: Scarlet

A while back, I did a cover compare for Cinder by Marissa Meyer here. And since Scarlet's review will be going up tomorrow, I figured now was a great time to do a Cover Compare for Scarlet as well.

I love the US covers for this series. I think they're really distinctive and cool. I also like the Italian cover, although I don't know how fitting it is with the story, since I found Scarlet to be way too practical for such a long cloak. Is that just me? I also like the German cover. I'm a sucker for this style of cover and the little wolves! So cute. The Spanish cover creeps me out. She'd like a creepy doll! Actually, that's almost exactrly what I said about the Spanish cover of Cinder, although in that case I liked it. Probably because I couldn't see her face. And the Portuguese cover looks like ever other YA cover ever. Pretty but common and it doesn't really fit with the story in my opion either. What do you think? Which is your favourite?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting Rooted in New Zealand guest post

I'm excited to welcome author Jamie Baywood to my blog today to talk about her book Getting Rooted in
Zealand. I love travelling, so this one definitely interests me! Anyway, here's Jamie:

It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband a Scottish man in New Zealand. 

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.

One of the first people I meet was Colin Mathura-Jeffree from New Zealand’s Next Top Model. I had no idea who he was or that he was on TV when I meet him. He is friends with my former flatmate. We had a steep staircase that I kept falling down. Colin taught me to walk like a model so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. 

In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning New Zealand than it does in the States.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland. The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand. All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.” 

I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. 

About the book Getting Rooted in New Zealand:

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

About the author Jamie Baywood:

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

Thanks so much to Jamie for being on my blog today (and for making me check the meaning of rooted on Urban Dictionary)!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme by Tynga's Reviews to share the books you've recently acquired.

Last weekend was the Edmonton Book Bloggers Holiday meetup. While I don't live in Edmonton currently, I made the 3 hour drive to visit my fellow bloggers. I even got to meet two of the newer members, Mandy from Forever Young Adult and Tanya (whose blog I can't find suddenly. Tanya, if you read this, please comment with your blog link and I will come visit you).

We did our secret santa, which is always a blast. Tanya totally spoiled me. Ambur from Burning Impossibly Bright also spoiled me! Fellow bloggers Tammy, Ambur, Cass and Aylee and I also made some baby quilts from the new (or very soon to be) moms in the group.


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Devonian Garden bookmark - doesn't the one flower look like a tropical fish!
HUGE thanks to Tanya for gifting me this entire trilogy. It was nice to meet you as well!

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Thanks so much Ambur! I was so excited to read this! I'm a sucker for anything about horses and this series comes so highly recommended.


Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie
No Surrender Soldier by Christine Kohler
Thanks to Merit Press!

That's all for me this week! I can't wait to see what everyone else got!

Friday, January 10, 2014

One more reading challenge - Book Bingo

2014 Bingo Challenge-01
Ok, so I was really going to limit myself on my reading challenges this year, but then I decided I had to add one more. Partly because I've met Kristilyn is real life and she is awesome!

BINGO Challenge 2014-01
Of course, a challenge isn’t really a challenge unless there are some rules and guidelines:
  1. Be awesome. If you’re not, this isn’t going to work.
  2. The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2014.
  3. If you want to participate, you can join in any time of the year! Feel free to write up a blog post with the rules linking back to my and Anne’s blog in your sign-up post. You can add your post to the Linky at the end of this post!
  4. If you read one book for the “1 book” in any category, you can’t change it later on when you read another book to “2 books.” Once a square is crossed off, it’s crossed off for good! (Feel free to print off the scoreboard to keep track!)
  5. Books read for one square are for that square ONLY and cannot be counted towards another category. This is all about reading ALL THE BOOKS.
  6. The FREE SQUARES are a little different this year — now you can use those squares to read ANY book you like of any genre! Woo!
  7. You can start your board over again, but ONLY if you receive the stamp of awesome by completing a blackout. The “winners” of the challenge will be the ones who achieve the most winning combinations by the end of 2014.
  8. You can feel free to post your reading list for each category, though it’s not a requirement.
  9. Having a blog or writing reviews for books read is not required. So long as you want to have fun, you can participate!
  10. Every 3 months I will post an update here and all participants can link to their own updates. An update post will go up April 1st, July 1st, October 1st, and December 31st.
  11. This isn’t a race, but don’t be afraid to rub your reads in the other player’s face. This will be seen as encouragement. Feel free to use the hashtag #BookBingo2014on Twitter!
While you can definitely “win” by the boring ol’ vertical or horizontal (or diagonal!) lines, the best ways to win are as follows:
BINGO Wins 2014-01
Like it says in the guidelines, the ONLY way to start a new board is to become the SUPER READER! The goal is to read ALL THE BOOKS! To be a winner (thus, to become the awesomest reader around), you’ll want to accomplish as many wins as possible!

I'm not going to get too worried about this one and basically not set a goal and see how far I get. Maybe once I finish my other reading challenges, I can focus on this one.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Purchased

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.

I am in love with this book. Seriously! Best book I've read in months.

Sometimes it's hard to write reviews of book you love that make sense and aren't completely filled with fangirl flailing. But here it goes:

Characters: Awesome!
Plot: Awesome!
World-building: Extra Awesome!

There were so many little details and excellent minor characters. Like Iko, who is probably my very favourite character. The world-building, as I said, was a highlight for me. It was so good. There were no noticeable info dumps, but I felt like I really knew the world.

The only possibly negative thing I have to say is that it was a touch predictable. Retelling often are, by their nature, but the big twist near the end I predicted on page 116. This didn't matter to me though, I still loved the book and having guessed the ending didn't diminish my enjoyment at all. In fact, it probably increased it because I got to shout "I KNEW IT!" at the top of my lungs. So satisfying.

Basically, I loved Cinder and wish I hadn't waited so long to start it. But on the bright side, now I can dive straight into Scarlet.

 Find the Book:
 Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depostiory

Find the Author: 
 Goodreads | Web | Facebook | Twitter

Don't Just Take My Word For It:

Xpresso Reads

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cover Compare: The Fault in Our Stars

Oh, The Fault in Our Stars. I'll read you one day, I promise. Until then, here's a cover compare.

Wow, this one has been translated a boat-load of times. Some are lovely (Hebrew anyone?), some are ugly (sorry Dutch) some look like every other YA book ever (Lithuanian and Spanish) and some are just bizarre (the strangle childlike Indonesian cover). Overall, I think my favourite is the Hebrew. I do like the US cover, not neccessarily for the cover, but for the way it looks on my shelf. I can pick it out immediately when I glance over due to it's beautiful bright blue spine. Which is your favourite?


Monday, January 6, 2014

DNF Files (2)

4 to 16 Characters - Kelly Hourihan

This one was a case of not being able to stand the main character for one more page. She was so annoying and bitchy and arrogant. I liked the idea the author was going for, but the format didn't quite work either. But mostly I just wanted to punch Jane in the face.

The Mayfair Moon by J. A. Redmerski

This one was more boring than bad. There was nothing particularly terrible about it, I just felt like I'd read it before. It has a serious Twilight feel, so if that's your thing you might love this one. But Adria was boring and seemed a bit dumb and I just felt like my life wasn't going to be any better for having read this book. Also, look at how creepy that dude's hand is! Eww!!!!

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

I feel so bad for DNFing this one! I love YA sci-fi and honestly wish there was more of it. However, These Broken Stars didn't do it for me. I had two main gripes with this one and I know 100% that one of them in totally personal preference. That's the romance. It felt like the ENTIRE story, which is crazy considering there's a space ship crash. But I felt like everything was thrust into the background to make room for Lilac and Tarver trying to deny their feelings. I definitely prefer romance to be secondary in books, so this one wasn't for me for this reason. Secondly, Lilac drove me insane. She's really whiny and useless and annoying for me. I mean, I understand that it has to do with her class, but I found her really annoying and unlikeable. Considering at one point she says "the ultimate humiliation" is for Tarver to see her smiling because he gave her a compliment. Really? THAT'S the ultimate humilitaion? Seriously. I'm definitely the black sheep on this one, as most other bloggers seemed to have loved this one!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme by Tynga's Reviews to share the books you've recently acquired. I haven't done one in a couple months, but I've really tried to cut down on the number of review books I request and books I buy.

For review:
Poor Little Dead Girls by Lizzie Friend - Thanks to Merit Press!
Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose - Thanks to Flux and Netgalley

World After by Susan Ee
The Gathering Storm By Robin Bridges
Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin -  This one was acutally a Christmas gift for the bf