February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. 


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand from The Book Depository: I am so excited to read this, I've read some really great reviews and can't wait to see what all the fuss is about.
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John: This sounds like such a great read, I love a book with anything to do with music, so this is right up my alley.
Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph: This one sounds like quite an inspiring read, so I'm interested to see if the book can deliver on its promising premise.

For Review:

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (from S&S galley grab): I've been dying to read Wither for ages, so I screamed when I saw that I could get it from S&S. I'll be starting this one tonight.
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell  (from S&S galley grab): Sounds like a quick, breezy read that won't involve too much thinking - we all need to read one of them every so often, right?
Stay by Deb Caletti (from S&S galley grab): This sounds like a really thought-provoking book about the dangers of an overly controlling boyfriend. I love contemps with a bit of grit and this sounds like just what I'm looking for.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (from NetGalley): Modern day Greek Gods? Check. Making a bargain with Hades? Check. Me already in love with this book? Check. Overall, so excited to read this.

What arrived in your mailbox this week? Let me know below!

February 22, 2011

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

  • Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011(books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2011 than you did in 2010See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
  • Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.
     Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books      Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books      Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books      I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

So I've decided to do this reading challenge that's being hosted over at The Book Vixen's blog. I was a very bad reader last year and only managed to read thirty or so books. This year I'm aiming to read 80-100, so I'll be aiming for the I'm On Fire! level. I figured this would be great motivation for me to keep up with this goal, so hopefully I can stick to it.

Books I've read in 2011:
1. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
2. Matched by Ally Condie
3. Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
4. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
7. I Am Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

February 20, 2011

Mini Reviews

Note: The first two books are reviewed by a good friend of mine, Michael. Thanks a bunch for your input :)
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
The book was a lttle jumpy at the start, however, it soon developed into a fast paced novel centered around a Catholic Nun (Sister Evangeline), an investigator (Mr Verlaine) and a wealthy family (the Grigori's), the Angelologists (the good guys) and the descendants of the Angels (the Nephilim - baddies) all seeking a prized artifact. The action takes place in modern New York, Eastern Europe and Paris in the Second World War. The author's writing style was lucid and exciting to read with enough history and believability in a branch of Catholic theology to give me a 'sense' of a true story that I like to read. The sniff of romance only adds to the intrigue. I'd thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who doesn't want to go to sleep without having read a good story.

PhotobucketAge of Iron by J. M. Coetzee
A relatively short book about an elderly Cape Town classics professor who writes to her daughter describing the events of her dying days set at the end of the 1980s as Apartheid is starting to fall apart. She is confronted by a raft of the true horrors of the lies and brutality of Apartheid. Her sole companion  as she faces her anger and despair is a homeless man who appeared on her doorstep. A fascinating story written in Coetzee's brilliant style - crisp, great analogies and short, powerful sentences (almost like a machine gun at times) which only reinforces the brutality of some of the events.

J. M. Coetzee has won two Booker Prizes - 'Disgrace' (another superb story and piece of writing that I would wholeheartedly recommend even though I enjoyed Age of Iron more) and 'The Life and Times of Michael K'. In 2003 Dr Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

PhotobucketAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I’m not really sure if there’s anything left to say about Anna that hasn't been said already, so I’ll try my best not to make this repetitive. I completely adored everything about this book - the characters, the plot, the setting. If this book doesn’t make you want to visit Paris, I honestly don’t know what will. The entire novel was a riot for me - Anna’s hilarious internal monologues paired with St Clair’s English humour was just a blast. The supporting characters were also refreshingly real, I loved them all and understood their actions even if they were, at times, annoying. I was pleasantly surprised by Anna and I found it to be the perfect example of everything a teenage chick-lit should be. I highly recommend it.

February 16, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (3) But I Love Him

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

PhotobucketTitle: But I Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace
Release Date: May 8th 2011
Publisher: Flux
SynopsisTonight was so much worse than anything before it. 
Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap. 

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved-and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything-and everyone-in its path. 

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

Why I'm waiting on it: It sounds like a heart-wrenching read, but also could be a beautiful story if told correctly. I hope it's as good as the synopsis suggests!

What are you waiting on this week?

February 7, 2011

Mix It Up Monday (New Meme)

Mix It Up Monday is a meme I'm hoping to start up. On the first Monday of each month I will post a review of a book that:
a) I wouldn't normally read, or
b) Wouldn't normally be reviewed on a YA blog.

If you would be like to participate next month, leave a comment and if there's enough interest I'll add a Mr Linky system in. Let me know what you think of this idea!

PhotobucketI Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne

Synopsis: “Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour. 

People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time. 

A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."

Review: I Am Ozzy is a hilarious autobiography by Ozzy Osbourne, former lead singer of Black Sabbath. It’s filled with humourous anecdotes from his life before and after the band and is a more than enjoyable read.
I’ve read a few musician’s autobiographies, and I can honestly say that none of them have ever made me laugh like this one did. I was laughing aloud at something on almost every page and I loved Ozzy’s British humour. There were some great stories about his time in the band and although the book was filled with humour, Ozzy also showed a sensitivity when it came to writing about the hard things, like death and drug addiction. 
Although I loved the book and the stories in it, I couldn’t help get the feeling that maybe there was some extra spice being added to some of the anecdotes. I mean, yeah, he was a crazy rocker, but after all these years and all these drugs, can he really remember as much as he claims to? Maybe so, but for me it didn’t quite feel right, so I was unable to fully ‘click’ with the book. It’s a real shame, because I really did enjoy Ozzy’s easy writing style.
I Am Ozzy was a fun read, but overall something just didn’t come together for me. If you’re looking for a musician’s autobiography that has plenty of hilarity go for this one, but just don’t expect too much depth. 
Rating: 3 out of 5

February 6, 2011


Hi everyone.

I'm just checking in to apologise for not being more active recently. I've just started back at school for my senior year, so I've been getting settled back in.

I definitely haven't given up on blogging though! I've got some exciting things planned, among these a new meme that I plan to launch tomorrow.

So stay tuned, and hopefully I'll have a more regular update schedule in no time. :)