Guess who we almost met in the bookstore tonight?

Oh my goodness!  I tell you there are days where I wish I was a little bit more confident and outgoing.  Why do you ask?  Well I’ll tell you…  My daughter and I stopped at our local Chapters tonight – I knew there was a book that she wanted, The Hidden by Jessica Verday and I wanted to pick up Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany.  We’re browsing the YA section, which was moved because of renovations….  and well there’s this tall gentleman talking with one of the staff members, telling stories and signing books.  We stuck around and I tried so hard to figure out who he was without going over and asking…  He signs all the books that are available and leaves.  The salesperson leaves to help someone else, but a couple of minutes later she returns and I just had to ask.

It was Eric Walters!!!  Ah…  I should have said something!  So..  you know what I did – yup! bought one of the signed books 🙂  And now I know that next time I’ll be a little bit more outgoing and ask directly.  I talked to the salesperson who said he does that – stops in every once in a while and signs all of his books in the store.   Like WOW that’s just great!

I have really enjoyed all of his books to date – I should say all of his books that I’ve read so far.  So…  which book did I buy?  Beverly Hills Maasai – the Sequel to Alexandria of Africa which I absolutely loved.  And I can’t wait to finish my current books to read this one!

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Misfit by Jon Skovron

I really enjoyed this book but it really didn’t fit into the type of books that I’ve been reading lately.  Yes, it is a YA book and yes it is fantasy – but it didn’t have all that teen angst and teen drama that I’m so used to.  To be honest it was kind of refreshing to read a story without all that drama (although I do enjoy reading my drama 🙂 )

Jael Thompson, finds out on her 16th birthday that she’s a half-breed, human and demon.  She learns that her mother was a demon and that well…  the demons in Hell hate her and want her dead.  This also explains why she and her father have been moving around so much during her childhood – to keep the demons at bay.  It was a story – or think of it as a fairy tale.  It was the type of story that I wanted to see it through till the end – so find out what happened next.  There were no cliffhangers per say but I personally needed to know what would happen to Jael.

I haven’t done any research as of yet – but I suspect there may be more stories about Jael.  The author did a nice job at introducing the possibility that there may be more than just Belial searching for her – there are 4 more Dukes that would like to see her done away with. So I’ll be keeping my eye out for those.

This book trailer may be a but old – in that it is a holiday trailer it does give you a little inkling to what the book it about.  enjoy!

Recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Skovron, Jon (2011). Misfit. Amulet Books.  Advanced Reader’s e-proof from Net Galley.

Author website:  http://jonskovron.com/

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

This is one of these books that has been in the house ever since it was released – because my daughter absolutely LOVED The Iron King and as soon as it was released – well..  we had to have it.  I know we have a copy of The Iron Queen here as well – now to find it.  As some of you know – my daughter and I have similar reading tastes but it’s come to a point where she’ll hide the books that she’s read from me until she’s read the entire series!  I mean really!  That’s just not fair!  Somehow I was able to sneak this one in 🙂

And I really enjoyed it!  I’ll admit I enjoyed The Iron King a bit more – but I think that was because the whole concept of the book really grabbed me and spoke to me.  With the Iron Daughter – I just loved the back and forth of the relationship between Ash and Meghan.  Again I so LOVE that Ash is the prince of the Winter Court – whereas so many other Faery books have Ash or Aislinn as a female – Nah…  I like the dark, brooding, good-looking male characters 🙂 I feel bad for Puck – but really you don’t let her know who you are for how many years?  how can you expect Meghan to have the same feelings?  A little harsh – sorry…

I so love the very strong characters in this book: the Iron Horse – so enjoyed his return 🙂  Grimaldin – I so enjoy his nonchalant attitude about everything!  Don’t know if you could write this story without him – he’s such a HUGE part of everyone in this series!  And of course, Meghan, Puck and Ash…  Ah….   Cannot wait to find The Iron Queen in the house now to see what happens next.

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quotes:

“….Of course not, healers don’t rest.  They can just drink one of their special potions and stay up all night, for days on end, ready to jump at every emergency that comes banging on their door at five in the morning!”                    p. 278


Kagawa, Julie. (2010). The Iron Daughter.  Don Mills, ON: Harlequin Teen

Author website:  http://www.juliekagawa.com/

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

This was one of these books that I couldn’t wait for it to come out and I was NOT disappointed!  I so enjoy these stories that are based in mythology of some type and just build and build until it has its own reality.  Love love love!

Wolfsbane picked up from where Nightshade left off – which is another aspect of this story that I really like.  Nothing worse than trying to figure out where the first book ended and how the one you’re reading now picked up from somewhere 🙂  Definitely not the case here – Nightshade ended with one event and it felt, to me at least, like Wolfsbane picked up right after that event.  Perfect!!!

So…  where are we?  Hmmm….  if you haven’t read NightshadeI’d really hate to ruin the storyline…  so.. let’s try to take the vague approach…  hmmm…  not working…  so this will be a plot spoiler for Nightshade 😦  After the big escape, once Calla wakes up – she learns and discovers all the lies about her society, who and what the Guardians really are, who are the Searchers and Keepers – how are they all tied together…  Who is Ren?  Why are their 2 worlds warring and how does Calla and Shay fit into the big puzzle of saving their homes?  With all these questions rolling around, Calla struggles with her decision to leave Ren and her pack, especially when she discovers the truth of what happened after she left.  There are so many lies that she’s no longer sure of who she really is and who she really loves.

I really enjoyed this book and series –  and yup I can’t wait for the next one 🙂  Cannot wait to see what happened to Ren? Will Shay find the remaining parts of the Scion?  Ugh…  so many questions and unknowns … January 24, 2012 cannot come soon enough – when Bloodrose, the final book in the Trilogy is released 🙂

Here’s an awesome Youtube clip with Andrea Cremer talking about the Nightshade Series:

Highly recommended

Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quote:

“….”It’s cliche because love matters, Silas,”  Tess snapped, eyes misting over.  “It’s one of the few things on earth that actually makes people take risks.”  ”                          p.  158


Cremer, Andrea. (2011). Wolfsbane. Toronto, ON: Penguin Group (Canada)

Author website:  http://www.andreacremer.com/

Blood by K.J. Wignall

Just finished this one today and another fabulous book!  As I’ve noted before in a past post – I think I’m drawn to trilogies and series.  And yes 9 times out of 10 I don’t even realize the book I’m reading is the first in a trilogy or series.  Hmmm…  makes me wonder though – would I have started reading some of these books had I known?  And yes it also goes to show you all that I don’t really look carefully at the first few pages of the Galley or Book – since had I looked it clearly states Blood:  Book One of the Mercian Trilogy.   Doggonit!  I need to read more carefully! or maybe I’ll continue on the path I’m already one – because this was another one of those great books!

I’ll admit I had my reservations at the beginning – another vampire story!  But heck! it seems I’m picking really awesome vampire stories – they’re never the same!  You know you listen to people around you – in the bookstores or your kid’s friends and YES! they’re still going on saying things like – Oh another vampire story!  They’re all the same!  Suck blood fall in love…  yada yada…  But hey guys!  I’m here to tell you that’s ALL wrong!  You must be reading the wrong books – because I have yet to read another vampire story that is set like the Twilight series!

So…  enough of that rant – Blood is about William, a vampire who really doesn’t know what he is – he only knows what he needs and what happens to him.  He’s 750 years old and continues to return after each hibernation with a sense that he needs to reclaim his family name and honour, without knowing how to go about this.  This time, when he wakes, things are different…  he encounters Jex who appears to know something about him, then Eloise, whose destiny is somehow linked to his.  Will feels that somehow he may find the entity who bit him and gave him this disease and discover what his true destiny really is….

As I stated earlier, another great book – the unknowns and the way we were led into each scene was great!  I was never left going Oh no…  not again – this was an entirely new approach to vampires and I loved it!  The mystery part of this story was awesome as well.  The ending leaves me with more questions which I love!  Ok I hate it too…  but it was very well done!  Now I know that there are a few more forces at play here than I originally suspected and am dying to know where they take us!  So bring on the next book in the Mercian Trilogy!

Recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite Quotes:

“The more that’s known about the world, the more people seem determined to search for what is lost or hidden.”                    p. 10


Wignall, K.J. (2011)  Blood: Book One of the Mercian Trilogy. Egmont USA. Advanced Reader’s e-proof from Net Galley.

Variant by Robinson Wells

EEK! This has got to be one of my absolute favourite books I’ve read so far this year!  Benson Fisher, just received a scholarship to Maxfield Academy, a private institution that he believed was his answer to everything.  He was seventeen, only a few months till he was an adult and could leave the Foster family system forever.  However, the offer from Maxfield Academy could take him away from all his worries and give him an education now…

Well…  nothing could have been further from the truth.  Maxfield Academy turned out to be a prison of sorts, one that no one was willing to see, one where everything wasn’t what it appeared to be on sight.  Upon arrival, Ben had to choose which gang he would align with, which determined who he could and could not befriend.  So…  what do you do when you start to fall for someone and you’re desperately trying to escape at the same time?  You learn a LOT of very HARD lessons.

I thought this was a fantastic book!  Think of it as a modern-day Lord of the Flies…  with a whole modern-day techie twist to it 🙂  The writing style kept me coming for more…  the unknowns kept me wanting more…  and our main character Ben and the influence he had on the population of Maxfield Academy made me crave more.  Absolutely fantastic!  I will also say that I have not read a book in a very long time where the ending COMPLETELY surprised me!  Never, never, never have I been so unprepared for that ending!  So – of course I CANNOT wait for the next installment!

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quotes:

Oh well…  this was one of these books that I got so wrapped up in that I didn’t stop to catch any quotes…  Sorry!


Wells, Robinson. (2011). Variant. HarperCollins Publishers. Advanced Reader’s e-proof from Net Galley.

Author website: http://www.robisonwells.com/

Catching up today…

I know I’ve been trying to hold everyone’s attention by posting a little blurb here and there – and yet not really getting back to blogging.  Well…  you know how life can throw you some curves every once in a while – maybe they happen to test who you really are or what you’re really made of – who knows…  but it’s always great to know that you can always turn to a book and there’s another adventure out there that you can lose yourself in.

So…  that’s what I’ve been doing – despite my lack of blogging this past month or rather summer – I’ve been reading and I’m so excited to share with you some of these awesome, awesome books I’ve been reading.  I’ve got 3 to write about here – so my apologies for doing these all together – but if I don’t get them off my plate now with so many books on my TBR I may never get them up.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and here’s to some great books!