Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Trailers (x5)

It's been a while since I've posted some book trailers, so I decided to check some out on YouTube. As always, the best ones I decided to share.

Dreamless has an incredible trailer. It grabs your attention and I love it!

Yes, yes, I know, Insurgent has come out ages ago. But I saw the trailer for the first time and I want to share it with the world.

And again, probably the last one to see this trailer too, but whatever. I read the book and it's cool to see a trailer and recognize the scenes.

This one is not by Harper Teen (I'm all for variety) and it looks really good too. It's called Whisper and I've never heard of this book before, but I think I may have to seek it out. I think they did an excellent job with the trailer.

I probably shouldn't have watched the next trailer since I haven't read From Bad to Cursed yet, but it didn't spoil anything for me. Plus the trailer is interesting.

So I hope you enjoyed those! And have a great Tuesday! :)

Review: Savannah Grey

Savannah Grey

Author: Cliff McNish
Pages: 234
Publisher: Orion Children's
Source: Library
Synopsis: 15 year old Savannah Grey has never felt she's belonged. She keeps her distance, so she's surprised by her attraction to the new boy Reece. Then strange things begin to happen: nature, it seems, is exerting an overpowering force on the world. Birds behave strangely; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah learns she has supernatural powers. Nature has a purpose for Savannah and her friends. For they are on course to meet the vile and evil Orcrassa, who wants to destroy the world by corrupting nature. And it wants Savannah Grey to help realise its savage intent.

Buy the Book (Amazon/ The Book Depository)

When I picked up Savannah Grey, I didn't know how I'd like the book. I knew there were monsters in the story and a certain creep factor but that's it. Was it a werewolf story? Vampire? Faeries? No, it's about monsters and it's an utterly unique story.

Savannah has this... thing in her throat. It's not something bad. Quite the opposite- it feels precious to her and she want to protect it. With that knowledge of her specialness we meet Savannah. Savannah is otherwise like any other teenager. Her friend Nina tries to set her up with guys but she's still waiting for the right one. She's been in foster care and has a hard time letting people in. But Savannah's loyal though and loves deeply. She's a compassionate person and I liked her. Her reactions made sense. She wasn't too heroic or too cowardly.

I have to say, the focus of the story was less about the characters than the actual plot itself which made for some interesting characters which weren't fully explained or explored. I don't think I know the cast as well as I want to but well enough so that I do care about them.

Now to the story... Wow, oh wow. Savannah Grey is told in predictably Savannah Grey's perspective but in some chapters/parts we get backstory about this very creepy villain, the Orcassa, a monstrous creature. I was so fascinated with the monsters. They were different and the backstory was so interesting and twisted but I couldn't help loving those parts and wondering how the plot would work. Then at the end when Mr. Cliff McNish revealed this hidden twist I was shocked. But also jumping up and down thinking that was an excellent plot device and very fitting of the villain. Needless to say, the story was the kind that pulls you in and at the end you feel content and happy.

I'm not sure at this moment if there's a sequel. The book ended in a way that a sequel isn't needed but if there was one, I'd be excited to read it.

All in all, if you're looking for a great story of love, with evil, friendship and nature, you should definitely consider Savannah Grey. It's a unique reading experience- in the best way possible. 4 stars,


Monday, June 25, 2012

The Weekly Progress

The Weekly Progress is supposed to be a weekly post basically recapping my week(s) in books. It's basically my version of a wrap up post (just a day late). All pictures link to Goodreads.

Currently Reading

Slice of Cherry Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

I'm reading two books at once which is kind of weird. I was originally reading Slice of Cherry but I had to spend the night somewhere and I realized I forgot to bring it with me. So now I'm reading Ashes. I'll go back to Slice of Cherry though. 

Previously Read

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)The Selection (The Selection, #1)DragonswoodCold KissCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

I wrote a review for, I think, all of these books. So stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for those! (Or just friend me on Goodreads to see what I rated the books.) I can say City of Lost Souls was my favourite of all these books. 

Next I'll Be Reading

Beauty QueensDark Angel (Dark Angel, #1)GiltImpulse (Impulse, #1)

It was a pretty good week

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let's Talk: E-Books vs. Real Books

This is my first time doing Let's Talk, a feature at i swim for oceans. It's a basically a feature all about discussion. 

Question: Do you prefer real books or those on your e-reader, and why?

I prefer real books. This is a really obvious answer for me because just yesterday, I realized I hadn't seen or even thought of my Kobo e-reader for more than a month. (Don't worry, I found it.) 

I love reading books on my Kobo, it feels like it's so high tech and it's light and pretty. It's this clean white on the front with the lilac textury thing at the back. At the same time, it still feels like something I force myself to do. It isn't very natural and maybe that'll change if I bother to use it more, but there's something to be said about opening up a new hard cover read, with the way the brand new pages feel and the smell of new book. (Does anyone else enjoy that?) 

I also feel really guilty whenever I read a book on my Kobo. I feel like I'm destroying a tradition and as much as I love technology, I don't want real books to disappear. (It's irrational, I know.) 

So that's why I prefer real books to ebooks. Thoughts? 

Cover Wars: Want vs. What's Left of Me

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun competition.

Want by Stephanie Lawton is really on a roll here. It seems to be steamrolling the competition! This week, Want will compete against What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang, which features another pretty cover. I'm very curious to see which cover will win this battle. They're both very different and it's up to you guys to pick whichever one you prefer by voting on the sidebar to the right. Let the Cover Wars... begin!

WantvsWhat's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

Have a great weekend guys and if you find any more beautiful covers, please let me know in the comments! Oh, and remember to vote!!! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

Author: Maria Padian
Pages: 352
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Library
Synopsis: This is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of two teen girls and the summer when everything changes for them. Both Henry and Eva are New Jersey natives and excellent athletes: Henry's a master on the tennis court and Eva is a graceful ballerina. When opportunity knocks for both of them the summer before their junior year in high school they throw open the door: Henry sees freedom from her overbearing father and a chance to build her talents on the court. Eva sees the chance to be the best as well as even more pressure to be graceful, lighter, more perfect on the dance floor. 

Soon, Eva's obsession with physical perfection leads her down the path to anorexia, and her health issues overwhelm everything else. But through it all these two best friends know that Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, and nothing will come between them no matter the distance.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Jersey Tomatoes are the Best deserves way more recognition than it has been receiving. It's a great story with two real girls who make strong choices.

Eva and Henry are both incredibly talented. Eva's a ballerina and Henry is a tennis player. They are both on the path to success which is actually pretty hard. They both have overbearing parents but they also have each other and are best friends. That kind of friendship is so sweet. It's refreshing to read of friends who are actually friends and not frenemies, who support each other and are equal. The story would have been good with only one of the girls as a character but with both it was fantastic.

I loved reading this book. I'm an (ignorant) Canadian so all I know about New Jersey is that it's near New York and there's Jersey Shore. So reading about all the Jersey jokes fascinated me. Jersey Tomatoes are the Best had this readability thing going for it too. The second I started the book I was hooked to the story. I wanted to know the ending, I was curious about the characters so much so that I didn't feel like I was reading a book as much I was seeing the story happen in my head. I LOVE when that happens.

Now a bit about the characters... Eva is a perfectionist. She has a thing for lines and is so sweet. Something does happen to her but I thought there were many hints and what happened happened in a way that was believable and continued the story. I do like that the story was more about Eva than what happened to her. Eva is funny, sweet, and a loyal friend though she does have a dark streak.

Henry is a character that radiates strength. She's deadly on the tennis court and like Eva, she has some issues but she's so real and teenage like about them that you can't help but be on her side. She's so relatable as she manages her life and makes strong decisions that prove the strength of her character. I really loved Henry.

What Jersey Tomatoes are the Best has going for it is the fact that there is not one sole problem and focus in the novel. There are numerous problems and events so the book reads truly like life with no clear good choices.

This is a contemporary read that should not be missed. It's not a super emotional read or full of light nothingness but an enjoyable genuinely good read. 4.5 stars,

**** & 1/2 *

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: What Would My Cell Phone Do?

What Would My Cell Phone Do?

Author: Micol Ostow
Pages: 224
Publisher: Speak
Source: Library
Synopsis: When Aggie Eckhart's family moves from Miami, Florida, to Denville, Alaska, because of her father's job, Aggie feels like a fish out of water. Not only is frozen Denville a far cry from sunny Miami, but she's got no friends, her mother is driving her crazy, and she loses her cell phone within the first monthÑ cutting off her lifeline to civilization. But when an online search for her phone (using the schmancy built-in GPS tracker) reveals that the cell is enjoying life up north much more than Aggie is, she adopts a whole new outlook. No more woe-is-me, now it's all WWMCPD (What Would My Cell Phone Do)? And before Aggie knows it, things are looking a whole lot brighter in this charming, fun, and lighthearted YA romance.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

What Would My Cell Phone Do is fun, snarky, and a good book about being who you are and challenging yourself to be who you want to be.

Aggie is upset (to say the least) with her parents' decision to move from sunny, humid Miami to Alaska. She whines and sulks and acts totally immature- which is relatable. I mean, who doesn't occasionally act childish? Besides that, she's the kind of girl who's happier to stay on the sidelines and in the shadows. Seriously, she won't even buy a red jacket because it has too much colour. I looked at my red coat sadly when I read of her lack of colorful clothing. What Aggie does have is attitude, and she's a great friend. She's not pretentious and while she does make many mistakes, she grows. I could relate to her.

What I loved about WWMCPD was the writing in Aggie's perspective. It was so snarky and sarcastic with bits of teenage girlishness that I loved. There was some rambling which may sound boring but it managed to capture my attention. Aggie was like a real teenager with her mixture of vulnerability and sarcasm being used to hide issues.

The plot was the only meh part of the book. Honestly, I loved the characters (seriously, Duncan!!!) and the writing but the plot itself wasn't capturing my attention much. Some parts I found very unbelievable (like the romantic interest) and a bit clichéd while others were original. Aggie changes through the course of the novel which is always fun to read about.

Quick comment about the setting too- Alaska was written about so well. The isolation was there but the author didn't really bag on Alaska. Micol Ostow wrote about lots of other things to do- hikes, see the Northern Lights, ski, cross country, dog sleds... Wintery goodness. (Oh, and skiing is fun! I've only done it a handful of times but it's not as hard as the melodramatic Aggie makes it out to be!)

All in all, if you're looking for a fun, light contemporary read with friendship, family, and a good little chihuahua, What Would My Cell Phone Do is perfect for you. 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Random Musings: To Vlog or Not to Vlog

A while back, I was browsing Twitter when I came across a really interesting discussion. It was about what people thought of vlogs. Now, I know most blogs have a post like this at some point. Bloggers want to know what their followers like. So I've decided in my ever organized manner to devise a pro and con list for vlogging.

Keep in mind I rarely vlog so I'm probably missing a bunch of points.


  • Super easy (all you do is talk!) and it doesn't take long so it's perfect for the days when you're short on time
  • You get to really connect with your readers because it puts a face to the blog. Readers will get to know you better and the better they know you/your blog, the more likely they'll stick around.
  • What better way to show personality? You can really gush without it being too weird that you're going off topic. 


  • Technology issues. I'm not saying everyone has them, but sometimes it takes forever to post to Youtube or to save/upload your file. And you may not have that time. 
  • Editing- Assuming you want to edit, this can take a while depending on how much you want to do and how good you are. The more professional ones are edited, but it's a lot of work.
  • Some people don't like to talk. Obviously, that will turn people off from vlogging. 
Now that was all from the vlogger's perspective. I may or may not have a post about vlogs from a blog reader's POV.

Do you vlog? Why or why not? Anything I'm missing?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 424
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Library
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Synopsis: The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

I'm a fan of the Mortal Instrument series. I love reading of Jace and shadowhunters. I love this series so I was super excited to read City of Fallen Angels.

As always when it comes to this series, I flew by reading this book. I always tend to do that with Cassandra's books. One second I'm on page 10, next I'm on page 237. CoFA was as readable as always with interesting descriptions and more of our favorite shadowhunters.

For the longest time, I had no idea what the plot was going to be. And then, the ending, BANG! Did that really happen? Way to end a novel. Needless to say, I think this was perhaps the biggest cliffhanger I've ever read, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I wish there was less angst earlier on in the novel and more action but would I have been caught off guard as much as I was? All I can say is that I wish Cassandra drew out the end longer so that there was more action overall in the novel. However, it's a good way to introduce a new plot line so I expect much more action in future books.

I won't spend too much time on individual characters because I enjoyed them and that's that. In CoFA, Jace was filled with angst. I was a bit annoyed; can't a couple ever be fine and have no insecurities? I started to like Simon more, Clary was Clary which means I didn't really like her that much more, Isabelle was amazing, Maia was cool, Alec made a brief but memorable entrance with Magnus... I just noticed there are A LOT of characters. A tiny bit I enjoyed was the references to Will, who I think I love even more than Jace.

All in all, I can see why so many people have issue with this book. For a lot of it, no huge plot is there except problems between relationships but I thought it was still pretty good. 4 stars,


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cover Wars: Want vs Days of Blood and Starlight

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun competition.

Sorry for the late post... school's finishing up and I've been trying to finish all my summative assignments on time while still reading a decent amount. Anyway, back to the actual post. 

Last week's battle was crazy. Both covers had a lot of support, but Want got the most votes! Congratulations to Stephanie Lawton! Want now gets to go against another stunning cover, Days of Blood and Starligh by Laini Taylor. This will be a real battle since both covers are pretty in different ways. Want is more classic while Days of Blood & Starlight has a more contrasting, darker feel. It's up to you guys to vote for your favourite cover! They're both worthy of winning. And let the Cover Wars... begin!

WantvsDays of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

Remember to share your thoughts in the comments and vote on the poll on the sidebar to the right! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Random Thoughts: Books You Won't Write Reviews About

As a book blogger, a lot of my posts are reviews. You wouldn't know that looking at my recent posts, but most of what I do for this blog is read and review. (And yes, I will post more reviews at some point. They're all written on my iPod, but need to be formatted for the blog.)

There are some books that I won't review though. Some books are perfect to review- you know what you want to say, you can clearly analyze the book. Others are harder. You have to think a little and you feel more "meh". What I want to talk about is those books that you don't write a review about.

What books are they? 

I recently have not written any reviews. I've also looked at reviews I've written and thought, "Gosh, what an awful, unhelpful review. No way I'm going to post that." This usually happens when I'm reading a book further along in a series or the finale. Cuz if I've stuck to a series for long, I usually have some type of emotional attachment and it's hard not to rave about the awesomeness of the characters or the plot. (Ex: Every review I've done for Michael Grant's Gone series or Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympian and Heroes of Olympus series.)

If I really like a book, it's hard to write about why. You ever read a book and you're thinking, OMG I LOVE THIS. Now try to explain why you like it. Sometimes you like something because it appeals to you and others may not understand that because different things appeal to different people. 

If I really hate a book, it's also hard to write about. My most negative reviews are not written on my blog. Books that have resulted in strong negative feelings will rarely get a review. They'll get a couple lines in Goodreads (that's why you should be my friend! For extras!) or maybe I'll write a really scathing and awful vent about why I couldn't stand the book, but then I'll delete it. (Happens more often than you'd think.) 

There are also books that are really popular and that I didn't much care for. (Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.) These are the really hyped, popular books. If I don't feel like I have much to add to the discussion, I probably won't review these books. It's kind of hard to have seen dozens of reviews a book and expected to love it just to find out it wasn't your type of read and you're not that into it for some reason that's hard to explain. 

Finally, there are books that I read for fun. Books (usually won in a giveaway, belonging to me, or after a reading slump) that I read just for the sake of reading. I always try to remember that I'm a reader first and a reviewer next. This is probably 1/3 books normally (recently: 5/6) that are read for the fun of it. If I constantly analyze a book it's hard to get into the story because I'll keep trying to evaluate a character's depth or a plot's originality. And sometimes I don't want to do that. Sometimes I just want to read for the sake of reading. 

In sum: 

I'm unlikely to review: 
  • books near the end of a series
  • books I loved
  • books I didn't like at all
  • books that overly disappointed me for some intangible reason
  • books read for the sake of reading
(It took me 5 paragraphs to say this. I love to ramble. :P ) 

How about you? What books will you not review? Agree/disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

And thanks for reading! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Bad Taste in Boys

Bad Taste in Boys

Author: Carrie Harris
Pages: 201
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Library
Synopsis: Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Wow. That'll teach me to actually read the synopsis before picking up the book. Bad Taste in Boys was a riot full of FUN! It had me jumping up and down and I loved the characters.

The idea here is that there is a zombie virus going around originating from the football team. Kate just happens to want to be a med student and she has various jobs on the team. She's our wonderful hero. Kate is so cool, even if she considers herself a now 50% geek (which she kinda is, but I love geeks so it doesn't matter!). She babbles a lot and has some really good friends and siblings. The only problem I had with the characters was that we didn't really go in too deep about them. Like for example, why did Kate like Aaron? He's sweet, sure, but what else does she see in him? That didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story though.

The zombie aspect to the book was again, fun. Zombies can be so depressing and that wasn't the case at all. While there was a sense of danger, Bad Taste in Boys was never really scary to me. It was amusing. The kind of book you read in one sitting and are happy because of the lack of angst.

I couldn't put this book down and I wasn't bored with it. The plot itself was satisfying but there were some points that were awfully convenient. That's okay though- I wasn't looking for a realistic read so much as an entertaining read.

If you're looking for some quick zombie fun Bad Taste in Boys is the book for you. A solid 4 stars,


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Weekly Progress

I did this a long time ago when I first started my blog, and for some reason I stopped. Well, I feel like this kind of post is just fun and keeps me organized, so let's do it. This is my wrap up of my week, in books. All pics and links are to Goodreads.

Books Read

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)The Fault in Our StarsThumped (Bumped, #2)Endure (Need, #4)Infinity (Numbers, #3)

Currently Reading

Shine (Shade, #3)

Next I'm Reading

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

Reviewed this week: 

*links to my blog of course! 

See What I See

Yeah, slow post week. Sorry bout that. School is ending so now all the teachers are piling on the homework. Plus there are summative projects being handed out, as well as exams coming up. I probably won't be around more next week. 

I'm also really sorry for not being able to answer all the comments this week. I appreciate them and I read every one of them. 

Have a great weak everybody! :)

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