Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Edit: The Big Vampy List Update

Somehow blogger posted the below post without correcting the edits I made (or maybe it was my mistake).  Regardless here is the post after edits which isn't much different then the uncorrected post except for a few minor changes and less spelling mistakes!  

WOWZA is all I have to say.  Thanks everyone for responding to my "call for help".  The Big List of Vampire books/series is growing quickly.  I am working hard on catching up to all the suggestions and linking it to the available information on the web regarding each book or series.  Please keep the suggestions coming!  For those of you who didn't see the original post please click here and feel free to participate!

I will respond more in depth to your comments and suggestions soon as well as get a handle on posting the recent blog awards I have received from my fellow bloggy friends ASAP.  Seems I am drowning in lists!  I also have two or three reviews on some entertaining books I have recently read. Hopefully a trip to Chapters will happen in the next few days as I am desperate for a good book or two to read!

Additionally I am very excited that my husband is returning home today from a business trip to France.  I am really hoping that he will be making a guest appearance on my blog soon so as to offer a male perspective on the books he enjoys reading! Should be interesting since we are known to get in heated discussions over just about everything one  can discuss.  Lastly I am really excited as I woke up to an email requesting an interview regarding my blog!  I won't say any more about until its actually complete but regardless I am stoked (and now feel a little silly regarding the uncorrected post I did with all those spelling mistakes if he or she read it!)

I started this blog not really knowing what to expect and with so many book blogs out there I felt a little intimidated.  I am not a professional reviewer (although how fun would it be to be payed in more then free books to do reviews), I won't often search for hidden symbolism in the books I read or ask you to discuss it with me (most of the time), my spelling and grammar are hideous, and I will not post three page reviews.  What I will do is tell you about books that excite me, that I read while hiding under the covers, that make my dreaming romantic heart swoon over, that I can't put down even for a minute, and make me laugh at all the right (and wrong) moments until the tears stream down my face.  Simply put I love books so much and because I have bothered my friends and strangers at chapters enough with both solicited and unsolicited book recommendations, I decided to branch into the wonderful world of book blogging.  (I have used brackets a little to much eh hehe).

I can't wait to get this BIG list up and running and hopefully over time it will continue to grow as more and more tasty vampire books/series are released.

Happy reading all!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Help me make a BIG Vampy list!!!

So I have this big plan that I am hoping you will all help me with!  I am compiling a list of "vampire" books.  I plan for each entry to have a link to the authors web site so more information can be easily found regarding the novel or series. 

Now, I have A LOT of books with vampires as the main theme but I certainty haven't read them all by far so that's where you come in.  If you have a moment please share one or more of your favorite books or series that has a fairly significant amount of vampire "action." 

The reason I want to compile a list like this is a) I love vampires, b) I have run out of authors/series that have vampires in it and need new reading material, and c) I have spent time looking for lists such as this and have only found one or two good ones out there so I thought I would make my own (with your help of course). 

I am thinking this list should be organized in some particular way.  I could do a traditional alphabetical list by author, series, or genre, or do sub categories such as YA, Horror, Mystery, Erotica, etc.  If you have any ideas on how this list should be organized please feel free to comment with suggestions!  I will launch this list asap and continue adding to it as I discover more and more yummy vampy books!  Thank you for all those who comment and pass on suggestions :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boarding school Books: Vampire Edition

This is the second last edition of my themed posts on books that take place in boarding schools.  The next post will focus on books that are not part of a series, books that I may have forgotten, and books that were recommended to me by my readers.  This is going to be a long post so I am going to shorten it up a bit by only providing a synopsis of the first book in the series but links will be included for each series so you can quickly find more information if you need to!

First up is a relatively new series that was released just over a year ago by Claudia Gray.  It is a hugely popular series and I can't wait to read the newest installment of the series, Hourglass, which came out in the beginning of March 9th.  What appealed to me most about this series (other then the fact that it takes place in a boarding school) is the mystery that unfolds throughout the first two novels in the series.  The main characters are well written and I was really able to make a connection with Bianca, the female protagonist.  Claudia's descriptions are written in such as way as to enable the reader to visualize each scene with clarity and the tone and pace of the dialogue is easy to read.  Despite all the wonderful things I could say about Claudia Gray as a writer the most important thing is she is an excellent story teller which is after all the most important thing (to me) about a writer. 

Title: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Published: February 9, 2009

Claudia Gray Website

From the Publisher: 

Bianca wants to escape.
At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.
When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful-even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

-- Prologue

The burning arrow thudded into the wall.

Fire. The old, dry wood of the meetinghouse ignited in an instant. Dark, oily smoke filled the air, scratching my lungs and making me choke. Around me, my new friends cried out in shock before grabbing weapons, preparing to fight for their lives.

This is because of me. 

Arrow after arrow sliced through the air, stoking the flames higher. Through the haze of ash, I desperately sought Lucas’s eyes. I knew he would protect me no matter what, but he was in danger, too. If something happened to Lucas while he was trying to rescue me, I could never forgive myself.
Coughing from the soot-thick air, I grabbed Lucas’s hand and ran with him toward the door. But they were ready for us.

Silhouetted against the flames, a dark, forbidding line of figures stood just beyond the edge of the meetinghouse. None of them brandished weapons; they didn’t have to in order to make their threat clear. They had come for me. They had come to punish Lucas for breaking their rules. They had come to kill.

This is all happening because of me. If Lucas dies, it will be my fault. 

There was nowhere to go, no place to run. We couldn’t remain here, not with the blaze around us roaring, already so hot that it stung my skin. Soon the ceiling would collapse and crush us all.

Outside, the vampires waited.

Claudia Gray's website has a lot of fun things to check out.  From here you can access the prologue from the second and third book in this series, Stargazer and Hourglass, various items to purchase such as t-shirts and mugs, and interesting links to character specific web sites. What I was very excited to learn is that their will be a fifth book in the series titled, Afterlife, coming out in March 2011 as well as a standalone novel about Balthazar which does not yet have a publication date. I have included a few videos I found on youtube including a video of Claudia Gray talking about the first book in the series, Evernight.

Fan made trailer for Evernight

Next up is my personal favorite in the "boarding school" genre and one of my favorite YA series of all time, the Vampire Academy Series, by Richelle Mead.  Of all the books that take place in a boarding school that houses teenage vampires this is the one I can most relate to as an adult.  The main character, Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a half human half vampire who is dedicated to protecting Lissa Dragomir, a mortal vampire known as the Mori.  Both attend St. Vladimir's Academy which is located in the forests on Montana where Rose is training to be a professional bodyguard.  While the plot is filled with mystery, magic, friendship, and fighting what makes me keep reading this series is the intense and exciting forbidden love between Rose and......(I'll stop here in order to not spoil anything!!!).  If you like vampires, romance, and boarding schools THIS IS the series for you!

Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Young Reader Group
Published:  August 21, 2007

Richelle Mead's Website

From the Publisher

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 night-time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi - the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires - make Lissa one of them forever.

More cool stuff:
For those of you who have read the series and CAN"T WAIT for Spirit Bound to come out see below for a video filmed by Penguin where Richelle Mead reads an excerpt from the yet to be release book

Last but not least is the famous House of Night Series by P.C and Kristin Cast.  When I began reading this series I was completely enmeshed but the last two books left me feeling kind of bored.  I love the spiritual element and the incorporation of native myth and legend.  I love the relationship between Zoey Redbird and her grandmother as well as the, at times, comical characteristics of Zoey's friends.  What I don't like about the series is Zoey's constant change in love interests and how they portray the male characters in the novel.  There are seven books in this series at this time and it all takes place in such a very, very short period of time (hence my dislike for her constant change in love interests).  I am still very interested in reading the next book in the series and I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this type of book but I would be interested in hearing how my readers who have read this series feel about the last two books.  I hate writing anything negative about books but I also hate being dishonest.  In summary I do LOVE the vast majority of this series but I hope the next book in this series makes me forget some of the elements I have disliked in the last two books.

Title: Marked
Author: P.C & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: May 1, 2007
Book Order: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned (Release date for burned: April 27, 2010) 

From the Publisher:

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird''s world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire—that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school''s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

I suggest checking out the House of Night Website where you can find A LOT of really fun stuff including, upleading your own picture to see what you would look like "marked," a yearbook where you will see pictures and character bio's for all the main characters, and information on the upcoming novel, Burned.
For those of you who don't already know the House of Night Series is being made into a movie.  The only current information I can find is that Empire Pictures purchased the rights to the film and a screenplay for the book Marked is being developed by Kent Dalian.  The projected release date for this film in sometime in 2011.  I can't wait to see who they cast as all the main characters!

There are A LOT of fan made trailers to be found on youtube however this one is I believe one of the official book trailers for the series.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Themed Post (Books that take place in a boarding school): Gemma Doyle Series

I think one of the things that set this series apart from other boarding school books is the time in which it was set. The novel is set at Spence Academy for girls in England in the year 1895 where our protagonist, Gemma Doyle is sent to after the tragic death of her mother in India. Starting a new school is always uncomfortable but having visions of the future that often come true is even more so.  These novels are packed full of mystery, love, friendship, old world standards and expectations for women, girls who rebel against them, and otherworldly magic.  When a spirit leads Gemma to find a mysterious hidden diary that unlocks the secrets of a mysterious order they find themselves in another world filled with new possibilities both fantastic and deadly.

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Book 1)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: March 22, 2005

From the Publisher:
It's 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls-and their foray into the spiritual world-lead to?

Title: Rebel Angels (Book 2)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: December 26, 2006

From the Publisher:
Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy-spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify-visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.

The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms-or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother''s greatest friend, now Gemma's foe-Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .

This sumptuous companion to A Great and Terrible Beauty teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the rich backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light . . . where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.

Title: The Sweet Far Thing (Book 3)
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Random House Children's Books 
Published: December 26, 2007

From the Publisher: 

IT HAS BEEN A YEAR OF CHANGE since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a
laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

I think this is a great series for any YA enthusiast.  This series had many attributes that kept me reading but it was the unfolding mystery that really had me captivated by this series.  I felt as though the main characters as a whole were believable, genuine, and accurate based the historical period in which the novels take place.  I felt as though a lot of emphasis was placed on beauty and money being the most desired and important qualities a woman has or doesn't have however that is still fairly accurate to the period in history.  The magical "other world" created by Libba Bray was very well written and her descriptive words had me clearly envisioning this world with vivid clarity. I think her unique portrayal of an alternate universe is refreshing to the YA genre as a whole where we are currently being bombarded with an overabundance of vampire fiction. 


Check out Libba Bray's website where you will find a few interesting goodies including sample chapters of each of her novels.  Although IMDB still has this book categorized as "in production" with a estimated release date of 2010 I think they need to update their site as according to Libba Bray Icon relinquished the rights to this film and it will not be made into a movie for the foreseeable future (BOOOO).

I posted yesterday a really well done fan made trailer of, A Great and Terrible Beauty but it seems fitting to end this post with it again!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Update!

Time has flown by this past week!  I didn't realize it had been a week since my last post.  I started a new job, celebrated my best friends 30th birthday at Le Scandinave AKA heaven on earth (if you are Canadian enjoy their luxury outdoor baths ALL DAY for only 45.00.  If you are not Canadian but visiting Canada you should include this on your "list" of places to visit), and said goodbye to my husband for a few days as he travels to France for business (lucky man!).

I will be posting the next part of my themed, "books that take place in a boarding school" post series which will highlight the talented author of the popular Gemma Doyle series, Libba Bray.  I found this really well done fan made trailer for first book in the series, A Great and Terrible Beauty.  Many of you may have already seen this but for those of you who haven't enjoy!

Lastly a week or so ago B. Kienapple at A Certain Bent Appeal asked my husband to answer a few questions about his book reading habits to be included in her series post titled, I Am Not a Target Market.  She thinks my husband is funny...I sometimes think he's just being a pain in my book loving butt with his "hilarious" remarks concerning my reading selections.  Regardless he is a good writer (and book lover himself) and he had fun answering her questions.  I have actually been thinking about getting him to guest post on my blog regarding the books he reads so as to offer a male perspective but I am a little afraid of opening that particular Pandora's box!  The point is feel free to check out B's blog and my husbands "hilarious" responses to her questions!

Lastly I have not forgotten that I have gotten a few more awards from fellow book bloggers which I am really excited to get however, coming up with 15 people to pass the awards onto is something that takes awhile to do so it may take a little while to get to that while also writing my next blog post.  I'll hopefully have both of these things done by Sat evening!

I forgot to post this week asking people to vote for my next series post (which will take a bit to get to since I am slightly behind on this one) but if you get a chance please vote on the upper right side of my blog! 

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Themed Post Winner: Books or Series that take place in a boarding school

Big thanks to all those readers who voted in my pole on what my next themed post would be.  As you may have guessed by the posts title, boarding schools won!  I hope you enjoy this first installment of many for books or series that take place in a boarding school!

Hallowmere Series by: Tiffany Trent

Series: Hallowmere
Author: Tiffany Trent
Publisher: Wizards of the Boast, Inc
Price: 8.95 (11.95 Canadian)
Hallowmere Web Site

Click here to read the first chapter of first novel in the series, In the Serpant's Coils.

From the Publisher:

As the Civil War ends, Corrine's nightmare begins.

Ever since her parents died, Corrine's dreams have been filled with fairies warning her of impending peril. When she's sent to live at Falston Manor, she thinks she's escaped the danger stalking her. Instead the dreams grow stronger, just as girls begin disappearing from school.

Then Corrine discovers letters of forbidden love by a medieval monk who writes of his entanglement with a race of vampiric Fey -- the same Fey who haunt Corrine's dreams. Who are these creatures and what do they want? Corrine knows only one thing for sure: another girl will disappear soon, and that girl just might be her.

My review:

I began this series about a year ago with the first novel, and recently purchased the rest of hte series when Chapters had a great sale going on.  I would consider these books to be paranormal fantasy/fiction and they are published for young adults.

While I don't believe they are the best books in this genre they are a very entertaining read and I am eager to read the rest of the novels in this series.  What I liked most about this series thus far, is the mystery element in regards to both plot and character as well as the somewhat spooky atmosphere the author creates. Additionally I found the flow and pace of the novel to be perfect for my reading tastes and her writing style was eloquent and easy to read and understand.  Her characters were believable and genuine and the author didn't force too much information about them on you at any one given time.

I am absolutely captivated and obsessed by books that take place in boarding schools, especially when you involve the "magic" element.  The idea that somewhere out there, a school exists, where all fantastical things are possible (and I am crazy enough to believe this is true) makes my little whimsical heart sing!  Her descriptions of mythical creatures, sch as faeries, are not modernized or romanticized but rather stayed true to traditional descriptions which I found rather refreshing.

While as a series, these novels are not as popular as others that take place at a boarding school they are well written, entertaining, and will hopefully keep you turning the pages in eager anticipation.

Lastly I will include a list of all the books in this series in order with pictures and for your viewing enjoyment I have included the teaser trailer for the Hollowmere series.  I hope you have enjoyed the first installment of my newest themed post featuring books that take place in boarding schools,  Thank you all for voting for boarding school books to be my newest feature.  It worked so well that I think I will continue to base my themed post choices on your votes! (See upper right poll with new voting content).

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Humbly Request Your Advice (and I got another award to pass on)

My themed posts (see Books With Impact (part one, two, and three), Time Travelling series, and Canadian Authors) seemed to go over really well and I enjoyed doing them emensly.  I have decided to do more but I thought I would see if anyone was interested in doing a poll (see the top right side of my blog on the side bar) to vote for what theme I should choose.

As you can see the options are, Boarding Schools, Faeries, Ghosts, and Vampires vs Werewolves.  I hope to do them all eventually but since I can't decide I am hoping all my bloggy friends and followers out in the blogosphere will vote and help this indecisive book guru make a decision!

In other news I got another Beautiful Blogger award from, Lily at  Lily's Bookshelf.  Her blog is so pretty and stylish!!  Thanks so much for passing on this award Lily!!

This is Lily's Button 

And this is the award she gave me

And these are the rules:

If you are awarded, here are the rules:
1. Make a new post and add a link to the person who gave it to you
2. Pass this award on to 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and whom you think are fantastic.
3. State 7 things about yourself!

So the bloggers I would like to pass some love onto are:

7 More things about me....

1. I have a level 54 Draenei Female Hunter on World of Warcraft
2. I don't have cable
3. I have 7 tattooed snowflakes on my foot each one different
4. I live in a really tiny house
5. Try as I may I can't keep the floor of my bedroom free of clothing
6. I once tried to save a toad from being eaten by a snake...he died anyway but I carefully wrapped him up in toilet paper and had a funeral for him in my back yard
7. I used to tell a childhood adult friend to tell me "stories from his mouth" and my favorite one was "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."  (I especially liked the "who swallowed a spider, that wriggled and squggled and tiggled inside her.")

Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday = Eclipse Trailer = YAY!

While doing my nightly book blog snooping/enjoying I did a little happy dance when I came upon the new Eclipse trailer at The Book Vixen's  web site.  There are lots of reasons to check out her site (so head on over there) but I am passing on the Twilight video love to you!

Now I am very excited about the newest installment to the Twilight movie franchise however I am still disappointed that Bryce Dallas Howard will now be playing Victoria rather than Canadian Actress Rachelle Lefevre.  It is apparently over a scheduling conflict.  For Rachelle's statement click here,  for Summit Entertainments response to Rachelle's statement click here.  I really don't know what to think either way but I do know that I really dislike actor/actress changes mid series.  Here's hoping Bryce Dallas Howard does a good job but I'll miss my fellow Canuck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Books With Impact: Final Installment

I think that I will have to so another edition to this themed post in the future but for now this is the final installment of my Books With Impact themed postings.

Title: I Heard The Owl Call My Name
Author: Margaret Craven
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

From the Publisher:

In a world that knows too well the anguish inherent in the clash of old ways and new lifestyles, Margaret Craven's classic and timeless story of a young man's journey into the Pacific Northwest is as relevant today as ever. Here amid the grandeur of British Columbia stands the village of Kingcome, a place of salmon runs and ancient totems - a village so steeped in time that, according to Kwakiutl legend, it was founded by two brothers left on earth after the great flood. Yet in this Eden of such natural beauty and richness, the old culture of totems and potlaches is under attack - slowly being replaced by a new culture of prefab houses and alcoholism. Into this world, where an entire generation of young people has become disenchanted and alienated from their heritage, Craven introduces Mark Brian, a young vicar sent to the small isolated parish by his church. This is Mark's journey of discovery - a journey that will teach him about life, death, and the transforming power of love. It is a journey that will resonate in the mind of readers long after the book is done.

This is one of my favorite novels of all time but it is also one I am hesitant to ever read again because I cried a significant amount throughout the book.  I don't usually connect well with male protagonists however I felt as though I was tethered to Mark throughout his journey.  Although I am not Native I worked for a local Native organization as a Coordinator for Pre Natal services.  I can't tell you how many stories I listened to regarding the impact of residential schooling on the Native people.  Their personal stories touched me deeply and provided me with a better understanding and appreciation for Native culture and history.  I found a quote from the book online at Goodreads,  

"'We are glad you have been ordained as the first priest of your people. Now you can help us with their problem.' Tagoona asked, 'What is a problem?' and the white man said, 'Tagoona, if I held you by your heels from a third-story window, you would have a problem.' Tagoona considered this long and carefully. Then he said, 'I do not think so. If you saved me, all would be well. If you dropped me, nothing would matter. It is you who would have the problem.'"

I found myself reading this quote over and over again as if it were a riddle I needed to solve.  I am so interested in how other people and other cultures think especially when their was of thinking is so foreign to me.  Once I thought about it enough.....I can't explain was as though my own perception has changed.  It was like a light bulb went off and I had an "ah ha" moment of understanding and clarity.  I love when that happens, don't you?

I highly recommend reading this book.  It is an incredibly well written, insightful novel, that paints a picture of a different way of life so clear that when I put the book down and realized I was not in fact in a remote Native village I was momentarily surprised. 

Title: Where the Red Fern Grows
Author: Wilson Rawls
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
From the Publisher: 

Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann -- a Boy and His Two Dogs...

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains -- and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that''s only found...

An exciting tale of love and adventure you''ll never forget. 

This synopsis does not do justice to this incredible childhood favorite of mine.  I would recommend anyone to read this novel but it is one that is often recommended for parents or teachers to read to their children or students.  This novel takes you on such a wonderful, heart warming, and heart wrenching journey with the main character, Billy.  I will warn you now I have never met anyone, myself included who wasn't reduced to tears by the end of this novel (and by tears I mean sobbing/doing the ugly cry).  Although it is an unforgettable read this book has more impact with children then adults.  It provides children with lessons in hard work, family, love, and loss all wrapped up in an exciting story.

I knew there was a film made a long time ago (1974 to be exact) but I didn't realize Disney made this into a movie in 2003.  I recommend books over movies any day but since you may be interested check out the trailer for the movie!

Title: Night
Author: Elie Wiesel

From the Publisher:

A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel
"Night" is Elie Wiesel''s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie''s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author''s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man''s capacity for inhumanity to man.

"Night" offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

I have sat here for a good ten minutes thinking about what to write regarding this novel.  It is a book that shredded a piece of my heart still reserved for naive conceptions about the world.  I don't think my heart has ever been more broken by a book then this one and yet at the same time uplifted by the resilience, courage, and strength that Elie had.  What he and so many others endured can not be grasped or understood, we can only listen to the stories, pass them on to future generations and hopefully...hopefully learn from our mistakes.

Of all my books that I have recommended in this three part post, this is the one that stands out above all others.  It left me breathless, angry, frustrated, and unable to speak for at least an hour.  If you have read it you will likely understand.  If you haven't read it take some time and do so.

Thanks everyone for all your comments on this three part themed post.  I'll be making this a frequent thing so keep checking back for my next post!!!!!

Feeling the Love

Today is a great day I got some more awards!!  Special thanks to Demon Lover  for the Stylish Blog award!  Thank you for reading my blog and for the yummy man candy and excellent paranormal romance book suggestions found on your site!

I am gonna pass some love onto the following "Stylish" blogs! (Please pass onto your other fellow Stylish Bloggers!)

1. The Book Junkie's Bookshelf
2. Book Bound
3. Spellbound By Books
4. Lily's Bookshelf
5. Tina's Book Reviews
6. Bloody Bookacholic

I also received an award from Kathy Martin at  Inside of a Dog.  She emailed to let me know that she was giving me this award because she enjoys reading the content of my blog!  Thank you so much for the award and for reading and enjoying my posts!!!


A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive...keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!

2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award. (see above).

3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to (this post), which explains the origins and motivation for the award.

4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we can get to know the other winners. (Click here for the Mr. Linky page)
I would like to pass this award onto the following 7 people;

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Wrap Up

Its Friday yay!!!  I am really excited about the weekend as I get to visit some family and go see Alice in Wonderland!  This week I had a great time doing two feature posts (with a third to come) about books that (to me) have impact.  For those of you who have been commenting on my blog and those posts thank you so much!

I am really excited that I combined with blogger followers and networked blog followers I now have over 100 people following my blog!  When I started this blog a month ago I had no idea that in such a short time my blog would have grown so much.  I appreciate all your comments and follows so much and I also have really enjoyed finding other book bloggers out there!

I also received another award this week!

I received the Beautiful Blogger Award from Sara over at Along For the Ride :) Its really flattering to receive any award from my fellow bloggers so thanks super duper lots Sara!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link to the person that gave you the award
2. Pass the award onto 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic
3. Contact said Blogs and let them know they've won
4. State 78 things about yoruself

I recently received another award that I had to pass onto 15 people as well.  I had a hard time because I
was trying to find blogs I loved who hadn't received the blog yet.  This time I am just going to pick some of my favorite blogs!

1. Spellbound By Books
2. Paper Cut Reviews
3. Mindful Musings
4. Endless Reading
5. Jessica's Vision
6. SciFiGuy
7. Star Shadow Creative Mishaps
8. the Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying object
9. The Unread Reader

Hmmmmmm 7 things about me :)
1. Obviously I love books :)  But more specifically I love the places they can take me, their smell, the sound a page makes when you turn it, and that they can be taken anywhere.
2. I have lots of tattoos though people are generally surprised by how many.
3. I am Canadian!!!!!
4. I am a Child and Youth Counselor
5. I have two cottages.  One is on a an island in a lake and its heaven.
6. I have a husband and two ridiculous cats.
7. I watch at least three Harry Potter movies a week.  

Jen over at, Crazy-for-Books started a blog hop that I think is a great idea.  Please go check it out if you are interested in finding new book blogs to follow and its a great way for other people to find you to!

Thank you all again for all your support and if you have any suggestions on how I can make my blog even better please let me know!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Books With Impact: Part 2

This is part two of my, Books With Impact post.  I am particularly excited about this entry as I will be focusing on three novels that take place is the future that is vastly different than our current reality.  All of these books left me thinking for days about the choices the characters made, what choices I think I would make in the same situations, and the plausibility of a similar society being born in our reality if circumstances were the same or similar.

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Web Site: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
From the Publisher:

Jonas''s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

I have read a few reviews on this novel and was struck by one particular sentence that a blogger wrote.  This individual said, "Jonas lives in a perfect, utopian community, where there are no choices."  I feel like those two descriptions of Joans's world are in such contradiction to each other.  To suggest the the world is perfect and that in this perfect world there are no choices really doesn't describe any "perfect" world that I or others might describe. I realize that the "idea" of this world is that society has attempted to create a utopian community for themselves and future generations, and one of the ways they have been "successful" at creating said utopian community, is by taking away choice.  A friend of mine who has a personal blog at, Five by Five said that taking away choice is taking away humanity.  I really agree with that statement, do you?  I think this novel really highlights the lack of humanity in the members of this community, especially when we learn what happens to unwanted or "defective" children.  I understand that everything I hate about the way they run their community and the values they have are the norm for them but I truly found myself frustrated throughout the novel by the seemingly uncaring and controlling community who are so accepting of their reality and "place" in the world.

This is an incredible novel that although may be slightly slow paced (for such a short novel) packs an emotional punch and can spark endless hours of philosophical conversation about humanity, utopian communities, freedom of choice, family, and more.

Title: The Secret Under My Skin
Author: Janet McNaughton (Canadian)
Web Site: J. McNaughton
Publisher: EOS

From the Publisher:

In the year 2368, humanity struggles to recuperate from a technocaust that has left a generation of orphans in its wake. Strict government regulations convince people that technology is dangerous; confusion and fear rule the earth. 

Blay Raytee is a government work-camp orphan. Her future seems as bleak as that of the world around her. But when she is chosen for a special mission by a guardian of the environment named Marrella, Blay begins to discover that all may not be as it seems. The secrets she uncovers could hold the key both to the healing of the world and to her own past. What she learns may just empower her to join those who struggle to restore democracy -- and to discover at last who she really is.

Master storyteller Janet McNaughton vividly imagines an all-too-believable future where one child''s brave search for the truth could restore a broken world.

Janet McNaughton is an incredible Canadian author who's writing style is clear, descriptive, and at times beautifully poetic.  This novel highlights environmental and technological issues of the "Dark Times" and how that has shaped Blay's current reality in the year 2368.  In addition to shedding light to some heavy topics in an age appropriate way, McNaughton's character development is excellent and done in a way that allows you to develop a deep connection with Blay.  This coming of age story set in a futuristic dystopian society is to me a must read.  If you enjoy this novel I highly suggest you read the sequel to this novel, The Raintree Rebellion which reunites you with Blay Raytee.  In the first novel it is revealed who Blay Raytee really is, and now, at eighteen she is returning to the city of her birth where she begins to search in the past for answers to her present while making difficult life choices along the way.

From the Publisher:

Blake Raintree, the heroine of The Secret Under My Skin, is now 18, returning to the city of her birth as an aide to a justice council charged with trying to address the wrongs of the technocaust. While in the city, Blake submits the ID code from the microchip that was implanted in her arm in infancy by her parents, hoping to find out more about her past, and especially her father. What she learns will cause her to question everything she knows about herself. Torn between a terrible anger and a search for the love and acceptance she has been denied all her life, Blake faces a harsh choice. A 2006 JAB ( Junior Advisory Board) Pick, The Raintree Rebellion is nominated for the OLA Red Maple Award.

Title: The Bar Code Tattoo
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Web Site: S. Weyn
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
From the Publisher:

The bar code tattoo. Everybody''''s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.But what if you say no? What if you don''''t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There''''s no option but to run . . . for her life. Individuality vs. conformity.. Identity vs. access. Freedom vs. control.The bar code tattoo.

I really believe this is an excellent book for YA readers out there.  As a youth you are (or at least I was) seeking to develop individuality, their own set of values and morals, and deciding when to conform to societies rules and expectations and when to rebel against them, this book explores this same journey in a fictional, futuristic world though the eyes of the protagonist Kayla.  In this novel Kayla faces some hard choices in her search for the truth, choices that could and do lead her into joining a rebel movement set against the government.  This book is full of mystery, suspense, and adventure and is sure to please the lovers of dystopian novels (I think this type of book is becoming its own popular genre). The sequel to this book, Bar Code Rebellion, is equally if not more thrilling then the first and reconnects you with Kayla as she once again is forced to rebel with the odds stacked against her.

From the Publisher:

Kayla has resisted getting the bar code tattoo, even though it's meant forfeiting any chance she'd had at having a normal life. Without the tattoo, she's an exile. But when someone very important sets about to bring her back in again -- WITH a tattoo -- Kayla finds herself a part of the resistence, where her unexpected allies and even more unexpected enemies include three clones of hers.

An edge-of-your-seat, teen's-eye-view thriller that merges the headlines of today with the world of tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Books With Impact

Although I read books primarily in the Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre I also have a passion for reading books that have an insightful moral message, books that question societies values, and books that spotlight sensitive topics such as drug abuse, homosexuality, physical, mental, and sexual abuse, death, and rape.  You may or may not know that I graduated a year ago as a Child and Youth Counselor so many of these topics are very real for the youth I work with and are therefor of great personal and professional interest to me. I have compiled a list of books that I have read over the years that have truly bring these topics to light in a unique way. Although many of the books you'll see listed tackle heavy subjects they are all about so much more.  They are messages of hope, examples of courage, and role models in life.

Quite a few years ago I picked up a novel in a used book store called, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Since that time this novel has increased in popularity and even become part of high school and college curriculum.  In 2004 it was adapted into a film staring, Kristen Stewart who is best known for her role as Bella in Twilight.

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Thorndike

From the Publisher:

Melinda is a friendless outcast at Merryweather High. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. It is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and who is still a threat to her. It will take another violent encounter with him to make Melinda fight back. This time she refuses to be silent.

Speak Trailer:

Its been years since I read this book so I apologize for any inaccuracies.  To me Speak was a novel about resilience and courage.  I really enjoyed the slow progression of this novel and that the entirety of the story is not revealed to you all at once.  To me this novel was like putting together a large puzzle, clarity came slowly as more and more of what happened to Melinda is revealed.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because I could see myself in Melinda.  Although (thankfully) I am not a survivor of rape, throughout high school I expressed my own life challenges through art and spent many lunch periods alone or with other art students expressing ourselves through various mediums.  The awkwardness of high school, making friends, and having the courage to speak out are things most youth struggle with and overcome.  I believe this to be a "must read" novel for any young adult or adult.

The next author has two books that I think are fantastic.  High school can be a scary place where through our life experiences we slowly begin to discover who we are (I don't think we ever stop).  I can still remember trying to figure out who I was (I was in a rush), maintain decent grades, make friends, find acceptance, and generally try and pass through the day without attracting to much attention (I hate attention). The novels, Luna and Keeping You a Secret, by Julie Anne Peters bring to light issues surrounding sexual orientation and the search for love and acceptance for two very different teenagers.

Title:  Luna
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Website: Julie Anne Peters
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

From the Publisher:

Regan''s brother Liam can''t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister''s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam''s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen''s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

Title: Keeping You a Secret
Author: Julie Anne Peters

From the Publisher:

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden''s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.

I LOVED this coming of age love story and it brought to the surface may of the awkward moments I experienced when falling in love with my first boyfriend.   I also really respected the honesty of this book and the characters.  I was especially frustrated by the expectations of the adults in this novel, I was angry at the harassment issues the main characters faced, and pleased that this novel tackled some of the stereotypes that exist surrounding sexual orientation.

At the end of this novel Julie Anne Peters writes a letter to her readers and in it she says,

"Readers, from my heart to yours: May you find the happiness you seek, the peace and you and comfort of community.  May you be save and secure and strong.  Be proud of who you are.  Be visable so you can see each other, find each other, show the world our humanity.  Be true to yourself and those you love. Use the words and actions against you to strengthen your will.  Teach acceptance and celebration of difference and diversity.  Keep your sense of humour.  Recognize your place in history and continue to work for positive, peaceful social change." - Jule Anne Peters

AMEN to that!

I have about seven or eight more books for this post but this is getting long so I think I'll continue this post throughout the week.

If you have any books that changed your life, the way you viewed the world, or that highlighted topics such as the one above please share!  If you have any comments or questions I always love hearing from you!

Bits and Bobs & My First Award!

I am getting ready for another themed post but with so much to choose from I have had a hard time deciding.  I also finished up reading Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison ....I am breathless.  I was absolutely fantastic!!   I have said before, I am more curious then a cat and can't not read spoilers in other bloggers reviews, so when I read a spoiler I got really upset because I thought it was going to ruin a very important part of the book for me.  I was WRONG!  I completely misinterpreted the quote (thank goodness) and although I still found myself wiping tears from my cheeks it was the lesser evil of what I originally though was going to happen.  It's tempting to write more but I'll leave that for my review post.

Awesome news!! I got my first blogg award from The Dazzling Mage at A Reading Kabocha !!!  I have only been doing this blog for just shy of a month and I am sooooo flattered by everyone who has taken an interest in my blogg.  Thanks Dazzling Mage for passing the love along!

The rules are:
•Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
•Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
•Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
I made it to 10 other newly discovered blogs.  I have more but they all already had the award! I'd like to pass the award to:

1. Cookies Books & Bikes
2. The Unread Reader (Content Warning)
3. Paper Cut Reviews
4. Ninja Librarian
5. My words and pages
6. Maybe Tomorrow?
7. Imagination in Focus
8. Gossiping About Books
9. Endless Reading
10. Alison's Book Marks

The Dead Tossed Waves Trailer

I normally think book trailers are a bit corny but I really loved the simplisity of this trailer and the end completely creeped me out!

Karen Marie Moning also has her February newsletter sent out which includes a teaser of the book (I'll take what I can get until the next book is released).

Hopefully this weeks planned blogs will go as planed and I'll have a review up of Black Magic Sanction as well as my themed post.

Thanks again to The Dazzling Mage for passing on the award to me!

Happy reading,