Every Never After by Lesley Livingston

every_Never Oh my goodness!!! Really??? You can’t leave me hanging like that!  That is just totally unfair!  Just when everything was happening and coming to a close – BAM! – I feel like I was dropped in one of those time warps!  So when is the next one coming out?? Soon I hope?

A great second read in the NEVER trilogy.  I’ll admit it has been a long time since I read Once Every Never – turns out it was July 2011 and yes I had forgotten some of the book  – but Lesley did a great job at throwing in relevant bits and pieces of it in this book.  I usually hate it when authors do that – but it was seamless here and perfect!  Brought me up to speed when I needed it!.

So what is this about?  It’s a continuation of Allie and Clare’s summer in England with Clare’s aunt Maggie.  They’re now off to an archaeological dig site, one that should not have any lingering magic around.  Ha!  Leave it to these 2 to find it and continue on their journey with time-warping and such.  I don’t want to give too much away – but it’s a GREAT story!  As I’d mentioned in my previous post I really enjoy authors who find a new line of stories – especially ones that I have yet to read.  Going back in time, shimmering, and meeting up with historical figures – is just cool!  Keep them coming 🙂

The one aspect of this book that I found really fun were the “self-conversations” both Al and Clare were having.  They are in the midst of making a decision and they’re both struggling with their inner-thoughts.  At one point, when Al was trying to escape and she sees Marcus in the river..  I just love her thoughts and how she struggles with what she sees and what she thinks she should be thinking or feeling.  Hilarious!!  But I believe a true reflection of what most 16-17 yr olds do 🙂

…and NO I’m not being biased!  Yes I’ve noted in previous posts that I love Canadian authors and maybe I enjoy their works more because of that – nope not here!  I just loved this story!  And I’ll also admit I did NOT like how it ended – completely up in the air!  Ugh!!!  What happened???  I cannot wait so I really hope the 3rd installment is due out fairly soon…  PLEASE!!!!

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up

Favourite quote(s):

“The find was deemed interesting enough to round up the usual bunch of pasty-white library lurkers and send them out into the field to soak up some vitamin D.”   (p. 12)

” ‘…What did Al tell you to tell me to tell her so she can tell you what to do because you told me to tell her so?’ ”        (p.173)

Livingston, Lesley. (2013). Every Never After. Netgalley.

Author website:  http://lesleylivingston.blogspot.ca/


Silver and Stone (Bloodlines #1) by J.D. Thompson

Ah!  If it wasn’t for the workday – I would have read this in one sitting!  It was fantastic!  Kept me guessing until the very end – I had no idea what Alexi was or who Lucas really was until the very end of the book.  The anxiety of the story kept building and building and came to a great climax… and there were no give away moments that ruined the surprise for me.

Alexi is starting her senior year at Weatherford Preparatory School but has been playing hermit the entire summer because of her Mother’s death.  She’s scoffed at and ostracized by many of her “friends”…  Her whole world changed the day her Mom died… but now Lucas Alexander has stepped into her life and has re-awakened her heart.  But things are not always what they seem to be…..

Just to reiterate – I really enjoyed this story – it was easy to read and kept me guessing throughout the book.  The only drawback…  once the mystery was revealed to me I wondered whether I’d read something similar before..  After thinking about it a bit more – not the same but a bit similar…  however I still LOVED this story and am looking forward to the next installment, Blood and Champagne.

I also LOVE to read novels created by fellow Canadians 🙂

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up

Favourite quote:

”  ‘Unfortunately, the universe wasn’t built to grant wishes.  And as for God, well…  He doesn’t bother answering any personal requests.  All we have are a series of predetermined events handed to us like cards, summing up the buil of what we call life.’ ”     p.36

Thompson, J.D. (2011). Silver and Stone (Bloodlines #1).  Smashwords Edition.  ebook.  Provided by the author.

Dangerous by Kelley Armstrong

For those of you who have read the Darkest Powers trilogy will love this!  Chances are you’ve already read it 🙂  What’s terrible is I don’t remember how or where I found this…  I guess the proper term would be a novella?  It gives us a bit more insight to who Derek really is and how he became part of Simon’s family.  It was a great read!  Ok I loved the whole series so it would be really tough for me NOT to like this one.

What’s it about?  Well – Derek and Simon.  It takes us back to the beginning…  we learn about Derek’s earlier “childhood” and how Simon’s Dad adopted him.  The story is a great lead in to the Darkest Power trilogy – in that it gives us the background or rather it takes us through the day where Simon and Derek’s Dad disappears and it also introduces us to Lyle House.

This is a definite must for those of you who have read or planning on reading The Summoning, The Awakening, or The Reckoning.

Favourite Quotes:

“…. (Dad) says you can’t explode at someone and bounce back, expect everything to be okay.  I didn’t see why not.  I wasn’t mad anymore.  He knew I got moody and didn’t mean to blow up, so I should be able to say sorry and go back to normal.  Apparently no one else sees it that way. …”         p. 75

“You can’t just make decisions like this based on a feeling, an opinion.”         p. 87

“Welcome to Lyle House, boys,”  she said, and ushered us inside.            p. 107

Armstrong, Kelley. (2010). Dangerous. Downloaded from… Sorry this is terrible – I should really know 😦

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

Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

Oh you know I really like Lesley Livingston’s books – ok she’s Canadian from Toronto, just down the road from here – so you know I’m probably a little biased – but heck if you haven’t read her stuff you should!  Now that I’ve expressed by bias and my thoughts on the author I’ll admit that I did enjoy Once Every Never but not as much as I enjoyed her previous Fey series.  You’re going to laugh at this – it wasn’t the story –  which I did LOVE – it was the perspective it was written in.  Every once in a while I had to stop go back and reread to see who was talking.  Maybe I’ve been reading too many 1st person books??  This one is written from the 3rd person perspective but like I said every once in a while I had to stop and figure out who was talking – there were a lot of conversations between and within characters.  Many of which were from Clare’s perspective and I think at times it felt like it was her talking or telling the story (1st perspective)….  I don’t know maybe it was just me.  But all in all I REALLY enjoyed the book.

So what’s it all about…  A really cool mix of sci-fi and Druid folklore.  Clarinet Reid, really messed up at home (something about a Facebook party – ask your teens at home about this one 🙂 ) and is shipped off to spend the summer in London with her archaeologist aunt.  Terms of her “punishment” are very clear – no extra-curricular activities, no boys, no shopping… all while living an aunt who watches her every move and has a very shallow opinion of her niece.  In any case, Clare and her best friend Allie fly to London with different expectations for their summer vacation.  First day there, they are indeed summoned to the British Museum, as expected, where Clare’s aunt Maggie, works.  Clare struggles to keep her interest up while touring the museum for Allie’s sake until they enter the room that houses the “Bog Bodies” where something just seems to grab her interest.  When they head down to the Restoration Room to meet with Maggie, Clare breaks her Aunt’s number one rule: “No Touching”.  From then on Clare’s summer vacation turns into an adventure and mystery of a lifetime or rather lifetimes.  Clare has somehow been linked to the artifacts recently acquired by the Museum.  The artifacts are 2000 years old and hail from Queen Booudica’s rule.  Along with the help of Allie and Milo, her once-geek turned hottie cousin,Clare discover that she has a new talent and that she can no longer call herself “average”.

Again – an awesome story!  I continue to be fascinated with authors who have this talent to create a story that is new! Sounds silly I know – but this whole area was new to me and it was great!  Sucked me in…  yes I did read it in one and half days – it helps when the sun is out and it’s too warm to garden 🙂  and you have a great book that keeps calling you back….  Looking forward to more Lesley!


Ages: 12 and up

Favourite Quotes:

“The whole thing was giving her a headache.  It was like one of those word problems in math class crossed with that broken telephone game.”         p. 80

“‘Clarinet.  I’ve never met anyone like you.’
‘I can believe that.’  Clare had come a long way from thinking of herself as just an average teenager from Toronto. She laughed a little. ‘I’m the kind of girl a guy like you only meets once every – I don’t know – never?’ ”          p. 211

Livingston, Lesley. (2011). Once Every Never.  Toronto, ON: Puffin Canada.

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

Lure by Deborah Kerbel

Yes I LOVE Canadian YA authors! And if you’ve read my posts you know I also LOVE a great ghost story. Put these two loves together and what you get is another fabulous story by Deborah Kerbel.  Ahh….  and to think I could drive a little ways east of my home and check out this house myself…  may take a bit of convincing to get my daughter to join me – but you may see me out in Thornhill this summer 🙂

So – what is this book about?  Well…  it’s written from 2 perspectives – Max, a lonely 16-yr-old boy who just moved to Thornhill from Vancouver and just doesn’t seem to be fitting in, and John, a lonely ghost with a story to tell.  (did you notice it’s written from 2 perspectives – yup – another favourite of mine – Max talks then John talks).  In any case, Max gets lured by Caroline and her dog Peanut to visit 10 Colborne Street, the local Library branch.  He starts coming to visit every Wednesday morning and gets drawn in by the ghost stories Caroline has to tell him.  Well without giving away too much of the story one thing leads to another and to another and well….  you have to read it!  Then there’s John, the lonely ghost.  He spends his time telling us his story – how he spends his summers with his cousin William in Thornhill – learning his father’s trade and fishing on the weekends.

When I started reading this book – you know I love the 2 perspectives – but it did take me a while to figure out how these 2 views were ever going to come together.  I envisioned reading this book like the letter Y.  The right side of the top of the Y is John’s story and the left side of the top is Max’s story – and then they join in a very fascinating and scary way!  I was shocked and amazed at how the characters were all related in the end of the story – it was fantastic!!!  So is there anything else I can tell you to convince you to read this?  I think not!

Ah…  you know I enjoy Book Trailers – I found 3 for Lure check them out:

Here’s Book Trailer #1 – not my favourite…

Book Trailer #2 – I think this one may be my favourite..

And… Book Trailer #3 – I like this one too 🙂

Highly recommended

Ages: 12 and up

Favourite quotes:

” ‘Smoke bad for you?  Ridiculous, woman!  I breathe the smoke from the coal fire all day and I’m as strong as an ox. …’ ”     p. 30

Transgression.  That word had always possessed a strange power to make me feel guilty – the sound of it was like a priest breathing down my neck. ….”        p. 70

Kerbel, Deborah. (2010). Lure. Toronto, ON: Dundurn Press.

Author website:  http://deborahkerbel.com/

The Fifth Rule by Don Aker

Yes I’m totally biased 🙂  When I find a book that is written in Halifax I have to read it!!!  I spent most of my childhood in Lower Sackville, one of Halifax’ suburbs – well I think we can call it that.  In any case, I love reading a book where I can clearly see the roads and buildings so I can place the characters in my “known” world.  And this book met all my expectations…  it was great!!!  Only problem is that after finishing it and reading the author’s notes did I come to learn that The Fifth Rule is a “sequel”.  Now the big question – um…  do I go back and read The First Stone or not?  I didn’t need it to read this one – but do I know too much now to read the first one?  If anyone out there has read both of these books please let me know….

Reef Kennedy did the unthinkable two years ago, nearly killed Leeza in a moment of rage.  He was tried and sent to North Hills Home where Frank Colville – really taught him how to become a valued member of society again.  In the 2 years since his ordeal, Reef has finished his community work and continued it in an effort to help other young offenders.  He’s made quite the impact on a number of young people’s lives.  But a day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t think about Leeza…  Leeza has spent the last 2 years trying to forget the accident and the betrayal she felt from Reef – but really hasn’t begun to live her life.  With an overprotective mother, she can no longer move without her consent.

With the death of Frank Colville, Reef returns to Halifax to pay tribute to his mentor and avoid causing any more harm to Leeza…  but fate has other plans.  The two try desperately to stay away from each other for their own reasons – but the selfish actions of an individual vying for a political career end up forcing them together.

Boys I hope I didn’t say too much about the story – it’s fantastic!  I really love the way one chapter is Reef then the next is Leeza.  How their two lives are so closely intertwined until they meet again.  Awesome writing!!!  Never let me down for a moment!

Highly recommended

Ages: 14 and up

If you want to take a peak at this book visit Browse Inside by HarperCollins

Favourite Quotes:

“There is always so much she doesn’t know about people.  So mush she admits she understands but really doesn’t.”    p. 89

Experience has taught me that winning is a completely arbitrary concept.  The only thing that truly matter is the last man standing.”      p. 164

Aker, Don. (2011).  The Fifth Rule. Toronto, ON: HarperTrophyCanada

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

Fishtailing by Wendy Phillips

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while…  It won the 2010 Governor General’s award for Children’s Literature – Text – and that got me really curious :).  Well… I bought it yesterday and read it last night –  my curiosity is now satisfied and the book – it’s awesome!

It’s written in prose from 4 different teen perspectives with a teacher and guidance counsellor mixed in.  It is such a different way of presenting these teen views.  Now, I have read the Ellen Hopkins series (Crank, Glass and Fallout) also written in prose with Fallout written from three perspectives but this one grabbed me in a different way.  I think it was the shortness of the pages – the author had to convey her message in a very short poem for each person.  She did it with such punch I couldn’t put it down.

From the Canada Council for the Arts website Fishtailing is described as follows:

“In this highly-inventive, poetic narrative, four compelling characters take the reader on a wild ride through the dangerous terrain of friendships threatened by manipulative acts. Deftly switching voices, Wendy Phillips creates a powerful momentum in Fishtailing that leaves the reader breathless.”

I really enjoyed how the tone of the poems written by some of the characters changed depending on where they were in their relationships.  The conversations between teacher and counsellor were annoying at times on so many levels – but they really did fit the situation and I appreciate them.  I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.  I have to wonder what the potential is to incorporate a book such as this one into a school curriculum?  Now – am I being silly?  Who knows…

Highly recommended

Ages: 14 and up

Guess what?  There’s a book trailer 🙂  Here you go….

Favourite quote:

“Homework is a constant mutter
class is a drone
except for the short, sharp
bite of the bell.”      p. 50

‘The librarian tells us
we’re here to distill
the truth
from its many representations.”     p. 44

Phillips, Wendy. (2010). Fishtailing. Regina, SK: Coteau Books for Teens.