A room without a book is like a body without a soul - Cicero

To Be Read Soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?           -Chapters Canada

I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the cover. I know this seems shallow, but come on, who would not take the time to notice this beauty. You'd have to be crazy not to! This is possibly one of my favourite covers ever! (Ok, rant complete). So not only was the cover dynamically fantabulosa and high-fashion-esque, the description made my hair stand on end. I love dystopian novels, and this one spoke to me like Nutella on a spoon!

Let's just say it did not let me down. I loved the premise of the book, obviously, and it was so completely refreshing and novel, which is always uber-important to me. The polygamy aspect (which I somehow did not pick up on until I started reading the novel) was the cherry on top of this bloody sundae, and I loved all of the references to 'sister wives'. The romance aspect was in some ways not quite strong enough, but overall came out as frothy perfection, if that makes any sense. Romance is pretty much the first thing I look for, and was not as evidently strong at first, but seemed to be woven in just the right way to complete the other themes present throughout: sister wife comraderie, secret longing, and dealing with inevitable death.

My one teensy-weensy complaint (which kills me to mention, for fear of ruining the happy mood) is that the ending somehow seemed eerily easy. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it somehow rang a little bit off with me. I will just have to wait for more action in the follow-up...

Overall, great read, and I recommend especially to fans of dystopian fiction, but also to anyone looking for their next great read!

Spolier Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book starts out with immediate action, right when Rhine is captured, which makes me a little bit sad that we didn't get to see Rowan, Rhine's twin brother who gets left behind, at all, but also makes me think it was genius to have this element, as I'm sure that in the future, if/when we do get to see Rowan, the reunion will be even more epic!

We then get introduced to this amazing dystopia which takes place sometime in the future, when everyone lives to either the age of 20 (for females) or 25 (for males). Basically, our generation has screwed up (which is a theme that I never tire of learning in dystopian novels) and messed up the world. Girls are coveted because there is such need to keep the population going; cue pilagamy theme. Rhine has just been captured, and is luckily chosen out of about 20 girls to become one of the wives of a rich Governor. Rhine stays conscious just long enough to hear the rest of the unchosen girls being executed.

When Rhine gains consciousness again, she is at a palatial 'plantation' of sorts, where she is quickly married off to a rich Linden whose current wife is dying of the virus (that's what they call the thing that is ending everyone's life). But Rhine is not the only captive, she has two sister wives: Cecily, who is tragically too young to be so desperate for their husband's affections; and Jenna, whose sisters were among the girls killed, and has accepted that she will die in two year's time.

As the book plays out, we see the dynamic of this strange modern family. Rhine maintains a short-lived friendship with Linden's first wife, and watches as she tragically dies, and holds onto the wisdom she passes on. We see Cecily lose her innocence and bear a child to Linden, only to see her suffer when Vaughn (Linden's creepy psychopathic father) slowly takes the baby away. We see Rhine struggle through all of these intricate and complex emotions that throughout the entire book just seem ridiculously unfair.

At the same time, people are struggling to find a antidote to the 'virus', and Housemaster Vaughn is supposedly trying to find it, but is eerily secretive and violent. As more and more secrets come to light, it only just builds onto the thirst of truth that I am dying to be quenched in the coming installments.

And on top of everything else is love. Love: which Rhine is desperately trying to understand. The love that she clings to from her twin she had to leave behind. The love for her new sister wives through all the trials they face. The confusing love for her husband who is frustratingly innocent throughout the whole book. And finally the love for Gabriel, which is so forbidden, and I'm sure is about to get more dynamic as this trilogy unfolds.

DeStefano has woven so many complex themes together to produce such an amazing tapestry of dysfunction. I love the tragedy of everything, and I am longing to venture into more of the brilliant fiction of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.

Still high on hope--Cheers & Enjoy♥

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Mia Winchell seems to be a typical teenager, but she's keeping a huge secret from everyone who knows her: sounds, numbers, and words appear in color for her. Mia has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. When trouble in school forces Mia to reveal her condition, her friends and family can't relate to her, and she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation for her gift. Spiced with wit and humor, A Mango-Shaped Space is a poignant coming-of-age novel that will intrigue readers long after they've turned the last page. Praised by reviewers and award-winning authors alike, A Mango-Shaped Space has brought renewed attention to the fascinating world of synesthesia, which includes famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Serge Rachmaninoff.                                                                  -Fantastic Fiction

I have had this book on my shelf for a while, and decided it was time for it to Come On Down!.. (hehe-Price Is Right), and give it a go.

The book was alright, but kind of came off as a 'slice of life' kind of narrative, which is sooo not my cup of tea!  From a psychological standpoint I found it fascinating to learn all about synesthesia, the term attributed to seeing colours for noises, letters, numbers and words.

The protagonist was a young girl, about 13, which made the book feel a little juvenile, but did make for a subtle coming of age plot. The book was filled with tragedy, a little bit of immature romance (which unfortunately never seemed to fully develop), and friendship. I can't help but feel that I'm just a tad bit too old to enjoy the day-to-day occurrences in Mia's life. But at the same time I feel that someone who was young enough to enjoy them would not fully comprehend the psychological aspect, which was really all this book had going for it. I just feel that some of the sadness was displaced in all the wrong places, and that none of the main events really seemed important to the overall story.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book starts out by introducing us to Mia, who is about 13, and we learn that she has synesthesia: a condition that means she sees colours for every letter, every number, words, and even noises. In my opinion this is pretty much the only interesting thing that this book has to offer. Of course no one knows about Mia's condition, really the only thing (in my opinion) meriting this book interesting.

As Mia begins to tell people about her condition, some people don't believe her, but no one's reaction seemed accurate enough, and just seemed like there was too much going on (which was completely irrelevant) for anything to truly develop into importance.  Mia starts to like a boy at school, but that turns into nothing. She has a best friend, and they get into some fights, but that never seems to be genuine either. Mia starts to have a penpal, which seemed to scream promise, but never came to fruition. Everything was so very lacklustre.

Finally, the book ends with Mia's cat, Mango, dying. Finally we see a shred of emotion that seems to be misplaced. Mia is absolutely devastated (and I mean questioningly so) which makes me see from a psychological standpoint that Mia finally cracks, and shows all the emotion that should have been expressed throughout the novel, but if this was the goal of the author, it definitely doesn't seem this way. Just seems like the reader has to come up with their own conclusion to make SOMETHING worth while about this book.

The only thing that I found interesting was the rare condition that has come up briefly in my Intro to Psych class.

Moving on--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

I had a life anyone would kill for. 
Then someone did.
The worst part of being dead is that there's nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It's enough to kill a girl all over again. But I'm about to get something no one else does - an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.
 Now Emma's desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me - to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she's the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?
 From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.                                                             -Fantastic Fiction

I want to start out by saying that I love The Pretty Little Liars series, both in books (first) and in TV, therefore I love Sara Shepard.  Before I read these books, I was a little puzzled as to why she would choose something so similar to the end of the PLL series, but as soon as I started reading this book, I realized it was completely different. It almost has a Lovely Bones vibe, which I love.

The mystery was pretty amazing, Shepard's usual M.O., and I enjoyed the narration by not only Emma, the living twin, but also Sutton, the dead twin.  Very creepy... but entertaining nonetheless to see what both girls think of each plot development.  I really enjoyed the romantic aspect as well, Emma having to deal with Sutton's current boyfriend (while Sutton watched, and finally explains the feelings she does know), and also the introduction to a new guy, Ethan, who is as broody as Garrett is preppy.

My only complaint would be that I didn't feel a whole lot of development, whether it be to do with characters or plot. I expected a little bit more to be revealed, but I guess I will have to just stay tuned!

If you like the Pretty Little Liars series, I don't know how you could pass this up, or even not have read it yet!

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book starts off pretty intriguingly with us introduced to both twins: Sutton, just realizing she is dead and that she is invisible to her alive long lost twin, and Emma, who is just about to stumble upon the realization as well. So somehow the girls got separated at birth (which we annoyingly still do not know how, even after the book is done) and Emma got the shit end of the stick. She has been in the foster system her entire life, and has not been treated nicely pretty much ever. At first we don't know much about Sutton, as she doesn't remember anything about her life, but then things become clearer as the book progresses. Emma's trashy foster brother pretty much sets her up, and shows his mother (Emma's foster mother) what seems to be a snuff video of Emma getting choked unconscious, and then coming to. Obviously they think she's a freak, and just shows again how completely misunderstood Emma is, and affirms how crappy her life is.  So clearly Emma is freaked because it appears to be her doppelganger, but is definitely not her. Thus beginning the investigation into her long lost twin sister.

So she contacts this estranged twin, and gets a reply back that she wants to meet her, although we know that this cannot possibly be Sutton, as we know that she is dead; her spirit told us so! This was definitely a very interesting aspect, and I loved that it was slightly reminiscent of The Lovely Bones. From then on Emma goes to where Sutton lives, and pretends to be Sutton (she thinks temporarily) when people mistake her for her twin. She tries to tell Sutton's family, but Emma discovers that Sutton lead a pretty sick and twisted life, and they just think that she is playing another one of her tricks. Also, Sutton's murderer contacts her and tells her that she better keep up the act, or she is killed next.

The story goes on and basically just confirms the notion that Sutton and her friends were pretty messed up, and not nice people at all. I found it kind of unrealistic, though, that if Emma was clearly so morally different from Sutton, how people would not notice that she wasn't the same girl. Just didn't gel with me... also that the apparition of Sutton, that is quasi-narrating the book, seems so innocent.. definitely leaves me with some questions that I hope are cleared up in books to come. And also that the book is called Lying Game, when I know this is referencing the 'club' that Sutton and her friends have, just to make glorified pranks on each other and unsuspecting victims. It kind of annoys me that this is the title, because it just didn't really seem all that important. Oh well, we'll see..

Overall, I have a slight feeling of disappointment because it did seem kind of predictable and every twist was so obviously not what it was made to look like. Like obviously it's not something so simple as her friends, or her sister. I guess I am willing to overlook this, and am hoping that things will get more intense and mysterious as the series progresses. I really do feel like there wasn't enough revealed though. Like when I think of what actually transpired, I feel like we are not much farther from where we were in the beginning. Like I'm hoping that we all realized from pretty early on that she didn't actually die by strangulation in the video, because right when the brother showed it to Emma and the foster mother, she came back to consciousness. So all we really discovered is that Ethan saved her, and now he can be her ally, seeing as how he is the only one who knows Emma's secret.

Pretty fantastic read, and I have high expectations for the series :)

More to come--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fishbowl by Sarah Mlyknowski

Allison, Jodine and Emma set their apartment on fire. No, they didn't do it on purpose. What kind of lunatics do you think they are? And don't go worrying. No one got hurt, although they did go to the hospital. Unfortunately, there was no one in white yelling stat!, no one climbing aboard a gurney to thump life back into someone's heart and no hot paramedic performing artificial respiration.

What they do have now is one giant repair bill and no money. Problem? No way! Not for three bright women with a great fund-raising idea—they'll organize swanky soirees and dating seminars.

Perfect. How could this possibly go wrong…?
                                                                                                                      -Chapters Canada

This book has been on my list for a long time (like seriously more than 5 years, I swear), and I decided it was just time to buy it already, so I could cross it off my list. Also it is set in Toronto, CANADA! Wooo-hooo!

It did not disappoint. I was again surrounded by the author's witty humour throughout, and love this about Sarah Mlynowski.  Just like her other books, this one was very light and fun, definitely for those who enjoy devouring chick-lit. This book was very directed toward college/university students, and I think was very relatable. The only thing I found myself being a little disappointed with was the ending.  Somehow it just didn't seem to sit well with me. There were some parts that were predictable and some that weren't, so I'll give her that.  But I still wasn't completely satisfied with how the girls ended up.  Having said that, I guess that the ending was very realistic though, and what I imagine would happen in this type of situation. So kudos on that....

Something that I cannot really decide if I liked or not was the omniscient narrator that we got to see a few times.  Can't decide if this was genius, or just plain confusing and unnecessary... Overall a pretty good read, for something light and funny.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

So the book is based on three girls who are just entering adulthood, and are moving in together without knowing each other first. Allie, Emma, and Jodine are all very different, so right off the bat there is tension and humour. All of the girls have boy issues, which do seem to be annoyingly predictable, but do not really end up that way.

Jodine just kind of ignored me with her woes about Manny, and because of this, I wasn't really sure if I was rooting for him or not. When George the bartender was introduced, I thought for sure he would end up being her prince charming and curing her of her obvious psychopathy. But this was so far from what happened, and she didn't end up with anyone. I was kind of hoping she would. Emma was pretty much just a slut. I mean we obviously knew she wasn't going to end up with 'Nick the Prick', who was hot, but that was the only thing going for him. What Emma does to Allie, though, is completely unforgivable. Which brings me to Allie. I felt sorry for her the whole time, even though it was so obvious that she would end up with the cute handy-man with the undying love for her.

The main conflict though: the girls completely scorch their kitchen, and none of them have insurance.  So they have to come up with $10,000 to cover the damage, lest their landlord finds out. Although this is supposed to be the focus of the book, I found that it didn't really read like that to me. I found the dynamic between the girls to be the most interesting, which is why I was slightly disappointed in the ending, because it was just kind of anticlimactic for me. And I found myself really pissed at Emma (and still do) because of what she did to poor innocent Allie.  And she really didn't even feel that bad. But I will say again, that however lackluster the ending was to me, it did ring true with how I imagine this scenario would play out in real life.

Not epic or extraordinary by any means, but worth picking up for light entertainment.

Hitting the books--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Milkrun by Sarah Mlynowski

Must think happy thoughts. Julie Andrews dancing. Cadbury's chocolate Easter eggs. But no amount of positive thinking changes the fact that Jeremy-—the man of my dreams, the man I would marry, the man who should spend his whole life worshipping me and lavishing me with kisses-—went to Thailand to find himself.

Obviously I''m not as cute and witty as I thought I was, since while I''ve been sitting around every weekend, he's been sleeping with half of Thailand. And then he found Someone Else. That someone not being me.
I have been pathetic.
But now I will date. I will become the queen of dating. I will forget all about him.
Single in Boston, that's me. But not for long…
                                                                             -Chapters Canada

I have wanted to read this book for just about forever, and decided to just buy it already!  It wasn't a huge disappointment, but let's just say I wouldn't be lacking some earth shattering awesomeness if I had put off buying it for another little while.

It was very light and is definitely chick-lit.  Very girly with pretty equal parts friendship, family, and romance.  One thing I did really enjoy was the humour of the author, and I think that must be why her books are still on my list.  This just wasn't one of my favs.  I found the intro to kind of last forever and was pretty disappointed in the ending.  I just found myself not satisfied, but still worth reading.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

So the book starts out with what I would call a pretty lengthy introduction.  Like I get that the inciting incident happens to be that this pretty cheesily pathetic guy, Jeremy (who we know all too quickly is not a winner), breaks Jackie's heart, which is kind of just sad for me, because he is totally skeevy, and really does not deserve all the attention.  So right off the bat I was kinda annoyed with our female protagonist.  I was however happily distracted with the uncanny similarities to my life, which are described quite humorously. I know this is not especially for me, but it definitely got my attention.

This launches Jackie (and eventually her much more likable roommate) into the club scene, and a few pretty terrible dates, which Jackie definitely does not foresee.  I actually found it kinda endearing how naive she was. And the dates were a pretty humorous addition, although I could tell that Andrew was her perfect match all along. If only she would have been stronger and realized it, as well as staying away from her skeeze-bag ex-douche-ball.  But probably the biggest let down was the ending. These light, fluffy books do not usually disappoint me! That's usually one thing I can count on: a happy ending that wraps up like a perfect little amouse-bouche. But not this time folks.  We had to have ambiguously disappointing instead. Boo!

Not much else really happens. At least not that I can remember, which seems pretty bad ... but it's just the truth.  Definitely not something for a reader who is looking any deeper than a $2 scratch lotto ticket...

More Momentarily--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Monday, March 7, 2011

Long time, no blog...

So since I reinvented my blog, so to speak, I haven't been blogging as often.  I decided to target my blog more to books, and omit the television component because it was simply too much to keep up with, and was finding that for some shows, I really had to try and say things because some of the episodes weren't really comment worthy.  So of course I will still mention memorable moments on my day to day posts.  But that will be all. 

You will also notice that I changed my blog name to Book♥Hooker. I wanted to change it a) because there were already numerous blogs named ChatterBug and, like of course when I get famous this is soo not acceptable, duh! tehe. b) because I wanted something more targeted to book reviews, because that is what I want my blog to be about, a place where book lovers can come to read reviews and such, and c) I also wanted something more original.

So I chose Book♥Hooker because I wanted something that was related to books, obviously, and because I thought it was fun.  I wanted something to show that books are my passion, but in a totally fun way, like me :)
And thus Book♥Hooker was born.  I just hope that people get that I don't have sex with books for money. (I do not).
Bottom-line: let me know what you think of my new and improved blog so far☺

Now coming full circle, I must say that since I altered my blog, I do not seem to have enough to blog about.  This being caused by the fact that I now need to complete a book before blogging about it.  But I do want to change that soon.  Just not in the near near future because I am really busy.  Which sucks, and let me just say that I am soooo ready for school to be over.  And Summer to start.  Well, not even summer.  I'd settle for spring.  Since it's completely hypothetical I would say Autumn, because that is my favourite season, but that would mean that school would be commencing again, and that is definitely not what I want.  So Spring it is.  Really just anything devoid of snow, and where the chances of getting more snow is pretty nil.

Case in point: After the Winter Casserole that we experienced over the weekend (that consisted of equal parts ice pellets (the weather network's term, not mine), rain, and then snow, actually waaaaay more rain than anything else) let's just say the daily commute has been a little slippery.  A lot slippery, actually, since Sunday.  And might I add that just because you work Downtown and in a pretty Skyscraper tower, does not mean that you are immune to snow, and can wear high heels in the height of winter storminess.  Like come on!, and definitely don't get in my way.  I will push you.  Just watch me.... (actually you will not, in fact, be able to watch me because I will come from behind like an ice-treading ninja, and knock you on your primped out ass!)

Oooo, also since the last time I blogged, I saw a few movies!, and now I will precede to tell you all about them.. YAY.

No Strings Attached
So yes, I admit, I went to see this solo, because Cait is a bully and saw it without me when I have been waiting for her to come to come with me to see it for, only, like, ever. (I'm just joking, I forgive you♥)
I thought it was alright. There is something about it though, that never really gelled with me.  I don't know if it's because I have been struggling with whether or not I hate or love Natalie Portman lately, or because I found the first sex scene between her and Ashton Kutcher so creepily disturbing.  After that it was pretty good, I mean, I love Ashton in anything.  I found that I couldn't really comit fully to Natalie's character though, but I don't know if that is due to the aforementioned notion, or because her character was just really unlikeable and cold altogether.  I did absolutely adore the secondary characters though, and the parallel relationship between Patrice and Eli to be just fantastical!

I Am Number Four
So obviously I have to say something about this movie.  I read the book (because I wanted to see the movie) and I am absolutely obsessed with Alex Pettyfer.  Even more so now!  The movie was actually kinda different from the book, which surprised me only because I think since I read the book right before (which is not usually the case with book-to-movie films) I was expecting it to be identical.  I actually kind of liked how everything went down in the movie, despite it being slightly different, and wasn't really angry like I usually am when this occurs.  I would change the fact, however, that they didn't really talk enough about the planet and all of the history, and also I am completely flabbergasted that they didn't include the training scenes.  I mean, I understand that there is only so much content that can be woven into a 2 hour movie, but at least a little bit could have been touched on!  I also now view Diana Agron in a totally different way.  She is so mature in the movie, and so different from her pretty shallow character in Glee.  I definitely look at her completely different now, and am really looking forward to seeing what else she can do.

Also a book-to-movie film, and also one that I have been waiting to come out for over 2 years!  I first learned that this book was being turned into a movie when I was in my first year, 2008, and read the book then (actually, I borrowed it from this exact library).  It was supposed to come out, I think two times last year, but continued to get pushed to a later date, so I was understandably elated when I learned that it's debut was so soon!  And it definitely didn't disappoint.  Which is pretty amazing to say the least because I went in with a pretty pessimistic attitude, since I absolutely loathe Vanessa Hudgens.  But she also surprised me, and I found her overall quite likeable.  Of course Alex Pettyfer was completely delectable, and also turned out to bring quite a bit of humour into the movie as well.  Also a sure thing was Neil Patrick Harris, who I was actually a little bit weary of seeing in this movie, my thinking being that it would be too serious for him.  He was in fact fantastic as well, and really quite hilarious.  Me and Cait also loved all of the parallelisms to the original Beauty and the Beast, one of our favs.

I really do hope that Alex Pettyfer is cast in the lead of one of my favourite book series getting projected on the big screen, The Mortal Instruments.  I think he would be absolutely perfection playing Jace Wayland

More after Reading--Cheers & Enjoy♥
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