Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: True by Hilary Duff

I have been a big fan of Hilary Duff for awhile. I think her music is fun and I think her movies are sweet. She is one of the most age appropriate starlets. She has been writing a series of books, Elixir. The last book in the trilogy comes out April 16, 2013. I have to be honest, I haven't actually read any of the books but I do plan on reading the first two before the third comes out.

Here is the cover! Enjoy :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Losing Elizabeth AND my first book giveaway!!!

I received a copy of the book Losing Elizabeth from the author Tanya J. Peterson. The book follows the story of Elizabeth as she enters into an abusive relationship with a popular athlete at her school, Brad. Throughout the novel she begins to forget the things she once loved: friends, sports and school work. The story also follows Elizabeth's best friend, Meg, as she struggles to get her friend back. The story talks about a lot of issues that young people face: friendships, relationships, identity, self-esteem and abuse.

I read the novel on a flight from Toronto to Regina. It is a really quick read. The story is very simple but still incredibly powerful and speaks to a lot of things that young people are starting to deal with. The characters are all very interesting and you can definitely relate to a lot of them at different times in the story. I think it would be a great book for schools to adopt.


I have a giveaway this week as well for a copy of Tanya J. Peterson's Losing Elizabeth. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me what book you are reading right now! The contest closes on August 1st and I will randomly draw a name from the entries.
Good luck everyone :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Very First Book Tour: PLEDGED!


I have recently joined a book tour for an upcoming YA novel called Pledged. For the next few months I will be posting different things about this book AND I have 5 copies of the book to give away to my readers :)!

Today I am going to start by releasing the book cover and synopsis of the book!

Here is the cover reveal:

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.

How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.

I am really excited to read this book and keep you posted about my thoughts on it! I am going to be doing an interview with the author in a few weeks so please keep an eye out for that!

I was nominated for a Liebster Award!


I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Book Crazed Girl and GingerRead! Thank you for your nominations!

What is the Liebster Award? The award is for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Awardees get to share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions written by the person who tagged them, choose 11 more questions, and tag 11 more bloggers to answer those 11 questions.

Here are 11 facts about me:
1. I watch A LOT of TV - maybe too much. Just this summer I have watched Community, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, Californication on top of the shows I already watch weekly. I am always looking for a great show to watch and love talking about them!
2. I have no siblings and no cousins.
3. I have never broken a bone.
4. I have or will be flying on 10 separate planes this summer.
5. I am a HUGE Kirsten Dunst fan.
6. I would rather spend a night in playing board games with my friends than go out to a bar.
7. My favourite movies is Garden State and my favourite song is Colorblind by Counting Crows.
8. I hate raw onions
9. I am currently working on my third university degree (and if I could be a student forever I would)
10. I can't eat fries without sweet and sour or plum sauce.
11. Fall is my favourite season.

Nine Questions For Me:
1. What "paranormal"-being would you choose to be and why?
I would probably choose to be a witch because I was mildly obsessed with the movie The Craft when I was younger.

2.When did you start blogging?
I started blogging about 2 months ago. I started because I was inspired by a friend of mine Browsing Bookshelves

3. How do you choose whether or not to read a book?
I TRY really hard not to judge a book my its cover but I do put a lot of weight in the title of the book. I also will usually give it a chapter or two and if I'm not totally invested I'll try to move on to another book. Although I have a tendency to feel the need to finish a book once I start it even if this means I sometimes waste my time reading pretty awful books.

4. Name your favorite bookish couple? and why?
My favourite bookish couple... hmmm... Is it super obvious if I say Romeo and Juliet? It is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and I love every film adaptation! (also Daisy and Gatsby as a close second)

5. How did you come up with your blog name?
This is pretty simple - I am currently in library school to become a librarian and every time I enter a bookstore I have to stop myself from buying everything.

6. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to try and motivate myself to do a bit more reading and try and read different types of books. I also really wanted to get more involved in this community and make connections with authors and publishers.

7. How many books are in your to-read pile?
Too many to count.

8. Do you usually read mainstream or indie authors?
I think a mixture of both. Unlike movies I don't really think of books in those types of terms - I really try and read what I like and what I think is good. Whether an other is mainstream or "indie" doesn't have any influence on it.

9. Name a book that you could have done without reading? And why?
Ask Alice - I say this not because it was a bad book (because it was really a wonderfully written book) but it made me so devastatingly sad.

10. If you could teleport yourself into any fictional world, where would you go? And why?
This would definitely have to be Hogwarts. Probably not a very unique answer but come on! Who wouldn't love to live in Hogwarts!

11.If you could be any Character from a book, who would you be and why?
I would chose Lux from The Virgin Suicides.. I know she has a rather tragic ending but I think she is a such a beautifully written character.

My 11 Questions:
1. What is the first book you can remember reading?
2. What is one book that hasn't been made into a movie that should?
3. Who is your least favourite character in a book?
4. How many books to you read at once?
5. If you could recommend one book to a complete stranger (not knowing the type of books they usually read) what book would it be?
6. What is your favourite part of blogging?
7. What book is the most over rated?
8. Have you ever stayed up for 24 hours reading a book you couldn't put down?
9. If there was a book written about you what would it be called?
10. Who is your favourite character from a book?
11. What book have you reread the most?

People I have Tagged:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

They did WHAT to Sweet Valley High?!?

Remember that time I said I would post a review on Sunday? Well I never did, did I? Shame on me.

But I have TWO reviews for you now and they were worth the wait!

Did any of you read the Sweet Valley High books when you were young? (or are you reading them now if you are currently still young?) You know those books "written" by Francine Pascal but actually written by her team of ghost writers.

Well I did. I loved the SVH, SVU, thrillers, even the TV show. I was both Jessica and Elizabeth at the same time (probably more actually like Elizabeth but wanted to be Jessica). I recently came across the UPDATED version. Did you know they updated the books and filled them with current pop culture references.

The first book in the series is Double Love and tells the story about how Todd and Elizabeth start dating. It also introduces us to how absolutely evil and manipulative Jessica is. If she were my sister, I would not have gotten over things the way Elizabeth always seems to. We are also introduced to Jessica's BFF Lila Fowler and Elizabeth's BFF Enid Rollins. The story itself is similar to the original expect for the super blatant pop references to things like The Fast and the Furious and Louis Vuitton.

The second book is called Secrets and we learn a lot more about Enid in this story. We also learn even more about how much of a evil person/sister Jessica is and how much of a massive pushover Elizabeth is - why did I worship these two so much when I was little? And where did I learn to have self-respect if I was constantly reading these books...

But I digress...

I give these revamped versions of Sweet Valley High 2 soon to be out of date references out of 10. HOWEVER, I do encourage you to go and find the ORIGINAL 1983 versions. It's a nice walk down stirrup pant lane.

ASIDE: Diablo Cody is currently working on a new Sweet Valley High project and considering how much I LOVED Young Adult I think it's going to be AH-MAZING!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Month Later...

I am officially the worst blogger. Here is my excuse: I am still kicking it in Regina and the adjustment was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Somethings got neglected and this was one but I do have some things to discuss a new review post is coming today! I also have some books sent to me by authors sitting at home in Ontario but I will be home in a week and a half to pick them up. Look for those reviews soon. Until then... here are some fabulous looking movie trailers all based on books. Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

1. Les Miserables - release date: December 14th, 2012

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - release date: September 21, 2012

3. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - release date: June 20, 2012

Those are some that I am most excited for! Any movies (book related or not) that you are excited about?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A rant about libraries

OK, I am a currently in library school training to be a librarian. I feel strongly about libraries and what they stand for. Free and open access to information is something that we should all stand behind. I have been a patron of a library ever since I can remember. Libraries are places of comfort and familiarity. No matter what city you are in you can count on the public library to be there for you.

This summer I am living in Regina, Saskatchewan. I am working a co-op in a health library. I have been here for about two weeks and the other night I went to the public library to sign up for a library card. Signing up for a library card in a new town that you live in is almost a rite of passage. I don't truly feel like I belong to a community until I have done this. I went to the library armed with a copy of my job contract because I knew I would be asked for proof that I am a citizen of Regina (even if it is just for a little while). I was disappointed to learn that this wasn't good enough. The staff member helping me didn't even seem to think that my lease would be good enough either. Instead, she suggested that I could have the library mail me a letter and then I could bring that in to prove that I live there.

Let me pause for a moment to explain that I understand how library funding works. I recognize the importance of patrons being a residence of the region (or surrounding region) that the library serves because it is their tax dollars that help to fund the library.

However, I felt that I had provided sufficient information to prove that I am indeed living here for the period of my job contract. While I will take the extra steps to provide more information about my housing, most people would not. I feel like I am a bit of an oddity when it comes to enthusiasm about library use. I believe that it is fair to say that most people use the library because it is a convenient alternative to purchasing information materials. I'm not saying that this is the only thing the library offers. It is a community space, a centre of enriching programming for all ages and and educational institution among others. If the library was inconvenient people would not use it. As librarians, one of our biggest issues is how to increase our patronage and ensure that patrons continually use our services. Without patrons, the library itself is meaningless. It is policies like this one that discourages people from using the library. Instead of setting up roadblocks we should be creating bridges for our patrons to help them use the library.

So, am I going to go back to the library with even more proof that I am real person who is really living here? Yes, of course I am. But would you?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book review: 50 Shades of Grey

I need to preface this blog post by stating that this is NOT A YA NOVEL.

I picked up E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey because I had heard a lot of buzz about it. I was not entirely sure what it was about but I knew that it was created from a piece of fan fiction written about the main characters from Twilight. I am a sucker for all things that are the new pop culture fades. I don't know why but I just can't resist getting caught up in it all. I also have a huge problem giving up on a book part way through. I figure that if I start it, I need to finish it or I am a huge failure as a reader. I know this is ridiculous and I waste a lot of time reading terrible books.

As for 50 Shades of Grey, if the character of Bella took female power down a notch Anastasia Steele drops it down another 10. Ana meets a high powered, young and attractive business man when she interviews him for her roommate's newspaper. She is immediately drawn to him and it appears that he is just as infatuated with her. After he aggressively pursues her she decides to enter into a rather indecent relationship with him. That's the PG rated version. The book itself is NC-17.

None of the characters are likeable. They are all terrible exaggerations of people I would never want to meet. I am all for a good looking main male character that totally disarms the female character but this was not enjoyable at all. It really shocks me how popular this book has become because it is so poorly written with a story that leads no where. I also cannot believe that this book is getting make into a movie - I can't see how it could possibly be done but apparently Ian Somerhalder is dying for the role.

Anyway, I have recently moved to Regina for the next 15 weeks so that is why I haven't written this sooner. I will post many more reviews in the coming weeks!

Happy reading :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This is my very first Waiting on Wednesday post! This week I am featuring a book that I read about on the Savvy Reader.

Title: Debutantes
Author: Cora Harrison
Release Date: August 2, 2012

It's 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away. Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country. But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans - ruin everything - forever.

This book looks so decadent! I love the cover art. I am really interested in early 20th century history and have recently become obsessed with the show Downton Abbey. This book is right up my alley and I cannot wait until it comes out!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Movie Review: Bully

Ok, ok, I know this is suppose to be a BOOK REVIEW blog but I am still working my way through 50 Shades of Grey and I am not ready to
review it. However, I did see another film today, Bully, and wanted to post my thoughts.

Bully follows several different kids who have all been affected by bullying. Some are still battling bullying in their daily lives and others have killed themselves due to the effects bullying had on them. The themes of this film are powerful - we have all been affected by bullying on some capacity. Either we were bullies or we were bullied. Most likely we have played both roles at some point in our lives.

I found the film hard to watch. We hear the principal of one of the schools create excuse after excuse for her students. She suggests that one of the victims "try to be friends" with his bully. If only it were that easy. It appears as though she is apathetic to the bullying situation and is more concerned with the daily operations of her school. I have worked in the public school system and unfortunately these types of individuals are common. As a teacher, it is hard to take up the issue of bullying without administrative support.

One of the things that struck me the most about this film was the kids who decided (or their parents decided) to allow them to be apart of this film. We see a handful of relentlessly mean kids. These kids are both physically and emotionally abusive to their peers. While I do not condone bullying of ANY kind nor do I seek to justify these kids actions it is important to remember that they are kids. It is easy for me to say in my mid twenties that bullying is wrong. I can see the effects it has from a distance but as a child, who has had far less worldly experiences, it is more difficult to look at the situation with perspective. This film has branded them "bullies" and one day they will be adults who will, hopefully, better understand the consequences of bullying. However, they now have a recorded time capsule that illustrates their malicious behaviour. I just wonder about the consequences of this...

I do think this is a powerful film and one that should be shown to everyone. The recent string of adolescent suicides has certainly brought bullying into a more mainstream light but this film helps to flesh the issue out. It is not a perfect documentary by any means. I question the ethics of the filmmakers and the authenticity of some of the scenes but Bully isn't trying to be a "GOOD FILM", it's trying to start discussion about a really hard topic and I think it did that well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Lucky One

This evening I went to see The Lucky One. Let me begin by saying that I was REALLY looking forward to this movie. I may have a MILD crush on Zac Efron but really, who doesn't? I also want to begin my saying that I have not read the book by Nicholas Sparks. I'm not a big Nicholas Sparks fan. I have read The Notebook and A Walk to Remember and I thought in both cases the movie far surpassed the book in terms of enjoyment.

The Lucky One follows Logan Thibault, a young marine, who finds a picture of a girl while serving in Iraq. Finding the picture causes Logan to narrowly escape a bomb that hits his camp. He then travels to North Carolina to find the girl that caused this good fortune in his life. There he meets Beth, the girl from the photo. Due to a series of poor communication, Logan is unable to tell Beth why he is there and ends up working for her at her kennel. Logan ends up entangled in Beth's life which consists of her seven-year-old son and her abusive ex-husband.

The movie itself is picturesque. It portrays a gorgeous North Carolina setting with endless streams and romantic fields. There are a lot of shots of the sun streaming across the camera (I'm sure there is a very technical movie term for this but I can't think of it now). Google tells me it's a "lens flare". We'll go with that. Director Scott Hicks likes them a lot. Almost too much. We get it, it's a beautiful place that they live. The movie is so filled with gorgeous things to look at: gorgeous actors and a beautiful setting. That's pretty much where the good stuff ends. I found the story itself to be totally predictable. The "villain" of the movie is Beth's ex-husband played by Jay R. Ferguson. His character is so built on stereotypes that it is almost laughable.

If you like romantic comedies and you enjoy Nicholas Sparks movies you'll probably enjoy this one. It was pretty much what I anticipated going into it and I would never complain about getting to see this face for an hour and a half.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Movie Review: Hunger Games

Hunger Games follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who lives in a fictional post-apocalyptic world called Panem. This fictional world is divided into 12 districts. Each year the districts must send two of their children (age 12-18) to the Hunger Games. During the Hunger Games, all the children will die except one winner. This event is meant to remind the districts that they are controlled by the Capitol. This book is part of a trilogy and has been immensely popular in book sales. I read all three books last summer and I had been looking forward to the movie for quite some time. The trailer gave me the chills every time I saw it.

If you haven't seen it yet:

Now, onto my review. The first thought I had when I left the theatre was, "wow, that was fantastic acting!" It's unfortunate that this series is being compared to Twilight because it is so different from that set of books. The themes, messages, characters, etc. are all so unique. However, I see the similarities in terms of the target audience and sudden mass appeal of the franchise. Both books seemed to sky rocket out of no where and suddenly everyone was reading it. So, with that said, I will try not to compare The Hunger Games to The Twilight series in this review but I will begin by saying that compare the Twilight, the acting in The Hunger Games is far superior. Actors like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Wes Bentley complete the older group of characters. These actors provide a real depth to the film and new comers like Jennifer Lawrence (who, at only 21, has already been nominated for her fantastic role in Winter's Bone where she plays a very Katniss-like character), Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson can easily play against these highly developed actors.

The film is gorgeous. Director Gary Ross does a fabulous job of depicting three very distinct world, District 12, The Capitol and the arena. The world he has created is all encompassing. I am so thankful that the film opted to remain 2D as opposed to 3D. Ross was adamant that the franchise would remain 2D but with Ross now out and a new director on the horizon who knows if this will remain to be true.

The only possible downside of this film is that it is not a stand alone film. It really works in conjunction with the books. There are a lot of innuendos that would be lost of viewers who have not read the book (this is also a widely criticized fault of the Harry Potter series). However, as an avid reader I would say that this is a positive for the book community because it will (hopefully) push viewers who would not otherwise read the book to pick it up.

Overall, I would say that this film is a fantastic depiction of The Hunger Games. It speaks to the audience of the books and, while not overly violent, it stays true to the violent themes in the book.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In the beginning...

Welcome! If you are reading this it means that you have stumbled upon my blog (lucky you!). I will be using this space to write about books I am reading, current news in the land of books, films I have seen, or just general comments about the world of librarianship.

I have developed some goals (because if there is one thing I have learned so far in library school it's that we have to work towards a set of carefully constructed goals).
1. I want to blog at least twice a week and read at least 50 NEW books by the end of the year.
2. I want to use this blog to stay up to date with news in the world of librarianship.
3. I want to interact with some of my favourite authors through this outlet.

This list is flexible and will change as this blog evolves into different things.

Currently Reading: 50 Shades of Grey

This book has been very buzzed about recently. It looks as though Universal just bought the rights to turn the trilogy into a film and it may very well be the next Twilight. I'm flying to California on Saturday and this is my official "airplane book". I'll be blogging about it when I get back.

Happy reading everyone :). Hit the comments and let me know what you are reading right now.