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

To Be Read Soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Covergasms♥ (3)

Covergasms♥ is an original Book♥Hooker feature that discusses all things cover related!

Today's Covergasms♥ post is brought to you by Bumped-Megan McCafferty's new dystopian novel that comes out today!

In celebration of her new novel, I'm going to showcase the covers of her amazing Jessica Darling series: Enjoy!

All of these covers are awesome, and most importantly, they match! There is nothing worse than a series that decides (I'm not really sure who does make this awful decision!) to change their covers half way through the series, or even multiple times throughout. I mean why? Why? WHY??

Anywho, I love the covers, I love the titles, I love the stripes, and I love the pictures. They are different in their own way, but still tied together perfectly. I absolutely adore that they all have that little graphic that says 'a novel' but still contributes so much to the uniformity of the series, and gives us clues into the plot of the novels! Totally rad, I say!

I must admit, I'm not usually a fan of books that showcase real people/photographs, but this one works perfectly and shows the diversity that the novels attest to.

Love it, love it, love it! 

This series is a definite must-read, and the content is even better than the covers, if that's even possible...

Spread the love--Cheers & Enjoy♥

(Related) Reminiscent Reads (2)

Reminiscent Reads is a feature that Cait at A Life Like Mine and I started recently to showcase the books we have read before starting our blogs. From time to time we will choose a few, good/bad, related/not, and do a mini-review explaining a little bit about the plot and our overall opinions.

This is the second post of the feature, done by me, and will be featuring the related novels of Megan McCafferty in honour of her new book coming out today, Bumped. I am so excited to get my hands on this one, but hopefully this post will sate mine and your thirst until that time comes!
P.S. This is NOT a Spoiler Free Review! I didn't give everything away, but like most series, it is really hard to talk about them all without giving away some important tidbits.

I guess first I should start out with a little bit of background about the series, as I usually do with my book reviews. These books were not actually originally acquired by me. They were chosen and purchased by my mother (the first three books in the series actually) based solely on the fact that she liked the covers (stay tuned for an accompanying Covergasms♥ post!). So about three pages into Sloppy Firsts, she decided the series wasn't for her, and I inherited it. At first it didn't seem like my cup of tea either, but I continued on, and well, the rest is history...


As I said earlier, I originally didn’t like the book, but it definitely grew on me, and is one of my all-time favourites. Jessica Darling’s best friend moves away, commencing obvious turmoil, but also giving her a chance to delve into all of the things that make this series golden.

She encounters Marcus Flutie, the underappreciated softie who captures her attention (and ours!) At first, he doesn’t seem like romance material, but he eventually grows into someone worthy of the warm place I hold for him in my heart. In McCafferty’s debut novel, we see the spunky and hilarious Jessica Darling dive into what is only the beginning of this amazing series.


In the second book of the series, I only get more and more fond of Jessica and her crazy life and antics. Jessica’s sister is now pregnant and Jessica is a senior at her school which brings a whole new slew of comedy and diversity to the series.

Loveable and mysterious Marcus Flutie is present again, and kept me wanting more. The incorporation of this dynamic romance is epic, and one of the best ones I have ever seen! McCafferty wrote everything to perfection, and kept me on the hook for more of Jessica and her hilariously narrated goings-on.


Probably one of my favourites of the series, Charmed Thirds did not disappoint! Jessica is now in college, but didn’t lose my interest, despite the fact that she left me behind in High School! Jessica adapts to her college life like a pro, never losing her hysterical wit and charm. Marcus is not as present in this novel, which is okay. As I said before, the Marcus/Jessica relationship is far from perfect, but that just adds to my absolute adoration for it!

My favourite part of this novel, and probably the whole series, are the post cards. I won’t say anything more, just so that I don’t spoil EVERYTHING, but it almost brings tears to my eyes, just reveling in the memories of me reading the book and remembering Marcus in all his amazing awesomeness :)


The fourth book in the series marked the point when I had to wait for the remaining books’ releases. If you remember, I had the first three books in my possession from the get-go (which I devoured in like a week!) and I was devastated when I couldn’t read Fourth Comings until it was released.

Let’s just say, rather predictably, that I was once again amazed by the versatility that McCafferty shows in this chapter of the series. Jessica, now living in New York and still dealing with Marcus, is now an adult and has a psychology degree to back her up! Even though the series spans Jessica’s life so immensely, and I was still much younger, the book never seemed too old, like a lot of other books I have read. I never lost the sense of camaraderie with Jessica, and I feel as if I lived through all of her ups and downs with her. Truly fantastic!


Ahhhh... That’s what I do everytime I remember this artistic gold in book form. I loved this book. I devoured it! It completes me... It was the absolute perfect conclusion for Jessica and Marcus, and was so very mature. I can’t help but think that this series was so tailored for me, but I also get the feeling that every reader would get this vibe! This series is just remarkable.

I don’t want to give too much of this masterpiece away, but I will mention that Jessica and Marcus are both in it, but it is also very different from the rest of the books in the series. McCafferty once again delivers this amazing narrative that brings Jessica back, very different from the last book, and serves us a heaping plate of impeccable ending, with a delectable cherry on top!

These books all get an A+ from me, and I loved re-visiting the amazingness of the series, and hope you did too, or will read them soon! You should definitely pick them up, they are all available in Paperback, and have recently been re-released with a little bit of a different cover, but still amazing. Also don't forget to pick up Bumped, available now, because I'm sure this one will be amazing as well!

Read them all!--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

When Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta (Paski)'s father returns to Taos from a business trip wearing a velour Juicy men's track suit, she knows her life is taking a turn for the worse. Paski and her father move to Southern California, where his comic strip has been optioned for a movie. 

At her new high school, money is everything and the haters rule - especially beautiful, cruel Jessica Nguyen. While Paski tries to concentrate on mountain biking and not thinking too much about ultra-hot Chris Cabrera, she is troubled by visions. Her psychic grandmother warned that ignoring her gift would lead to trouble. Can Paski ever find a home in the land of the glamorous haters?

                                                                                                                       -Fantastic Fiction

Like many others, this book has been on my shelf for a while, and what really pulled me into buying it was the amazing cover and the synopsis that seemed to promise an edgy and unusual twist to the typical YA high school drama novels. It didn't really deliver the edginess and uniqueness that I longed for, but it was still an O.K. novel that I recommend to readers who don't mind the over-done cheesy high school plot.

Having said that, probably my most favourite element was the romantic relationship that ensued between our heroine and Chris, and Paski's Dad's reaction to it as well. I found that it was so well executed and realistic, and I can tell that the author's views on sexuality are the same as mine, and I loved the subtle incorporation into the book.

So the book jacket did also promise some psychic abilities on the part of Paski, but I don't know if it was just me, but I think I kind of ignored that in favour of the 'Haters' aspect mentioned. I think I pictured more of a darker bullying theme, rather than the quite inconsequential and light mean girls aspect that was woven throughout Paski's odd struggles with clairvoyancy.

Overall, I think that the messages in the novel are great, even if some are a little bit too predictable and unrealistic. This book should be read by young readers who enjoy mean girl themes with a little bit of supernatural tied in. The message about sexuality is definitely the selling point, and I think that it can be related to every reader, and sends a very realistic and strong message that should not be ignored, and really should be present in all YA novels!

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

So the book starts out rather predictably with Paski moving to a different place after her (quite weird) father gets a movie deal for his comic book series. Of course Paski has trouble adjusting, but I was hoping for a less cliché aspect to be present, which kind of peeked out a little bit at me, but never really delivered completely.

For instance, I loved how twisted Jessica Nguyen seemed when she practically tries to kill Paski and throws her in the pool after her friend drugged her. But the reactions and developments of the characters never seemed to encompass the dysfunctionality that I was expecting. I think that the author was trying to convey too many important plot aspects, and didn't really have time to develop any of them into greatness. The visions were probably the thing that I could've done without the most. They seemed way too cheesy, and I didn't really expect them to be so out there throughout the novel. I hated how Paski seemed so blasé about them and how she just went around telling people without repercussions. It came across as very tacky.

Probably my favourite part, as with any book, was the romance aspect. At first, the relationship between sexy Chris Cabrera and Paski seemed cliché and predictable with a hint of unrealistic, but I was willing to overlook that in favour of the amazing allegorical themes that a young reader would hopefully take away from the book: that sex should be talked about, and it is OK to see it in young adult novels. Nothing about it was vulgar or obscene like our society dictates, and what teens really need to know is the exact sentiment expressed by Paski's father: that sex is something great shared between two people who love each other, and is perfectly normal, as long as the proper precautions are taken in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The hook-up scenes seemed so realistic, and I kept thinking to when I was in high school, and it was like she took the memories right from my head! Valdes-Rodriguez definitely hit the nail on the head by going beyond regular YA novels. I felt that just the right amount of awkwardness was present, and it depicted perfectly the struggles that teens face today, in regard to dealing with their sexuality.

Ok, moving on... I mostly found the book well done, if a little predictable. The ending did seem to wrap up rather suddenly, some of the dialogue was a little cheesy, and at times I felt that our heroine, Paski didn't deserve as much sympathy as she thought she did, but I think this book is worth reading!

Yay for sexuality!--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

(Riveting) Reminiscent Reads

Reminiscent Reads is a feature that Cait at A Life Like Mine and I started recently to showcase the books we have read before starting our blogs. From time to time we will choose a few, good/bad, related/not, and do a mini-review explaining a little bit about the plot and our overall opinions.

This post, marking the first post of the feature, is dedicated to Riveting books. So basically just a few stand-alone novels off the top of my head that really stood out as being awe-inspiring. Enjoy :)


This is one of the first books that I read that got me back into reading, way back in 2004, and one could argue that it renewed my reading rhythm :) It is YA, but a very freaky one, jam packed with tons of murder and suspense and overall creepiness. I don't remember too many specific details about the book, except that people around Britney kept turning up dead, and, obviously there was intense mystery behind who the culprit was.

One thing I am sure of though: the ending was absolutely fantabulous. I remember it as if it was yesterday, and it was sooo good.


I read this book a few summers ago, I think, and it was completely riveting. I recommend it to everyone, although it is saturated with dark content. It’s actually being lent out right now! So basically the book deals with kidnapping and kind of coming of age, but in a very different setting and situation. It is so very sad, yet powerful at the same time. But in a depressing sort of way. If that makes any sense.

It’s a very short read, but the themes are so intricately woven that it will stick with you forever. Overall, read it!


Such an amazing narrative! So sometimes my Maj and I have bets on random things, and when we do, I always choose books for my prize (and of course I always win!) This happened to be the random book I chose for one of my winnings. And wow was it ever the right choice. Another book with the kidnapping theme, but with a very unusual love aspect woven within (which may have only been wishful thinking on my part, and a totally dysfunctional one at that).

I also loved the setting of the book, and the fact that the narration is based on a letter to the heroine’s captor. It made the book just that much better. A must-read for sure!


Wow, I read this so long ago, but the feeling of greatness, I must say, has never dissipated. The plot follows a young girl who has recently been murdered, and she embarks on a journey of truly understanding her deceased sister. I am actually quite surprised that I had the wisdom and understanding to love this book to such a degree at that age, because I know that the type of books that I liked then and the type of books that I like now are so vastly different, mostly because I am not a shallow little high-schooler anymore.

Anywho, I think that this just solidifies the greatness and relatability, even to a younger audience, and conveyed so effectively the emotion and maturity it warranted. I think every young girl should read it, and they would certainly be positively changed after having read it.


This book is the perfect love story. It is so amazing and sublime. I cannot even really describe the emotion that it brings out, and the intricate way that the love story comes to fruition, but it is breath-taking. It’s not like any other love story I have ever read, and although there are also important family plot-lines as well, for me, the love story prevails.

The love is just so pure and right and unconditional and patient and selfless; in one word: perfection.

Stay tuned for more (and for Cait's!)--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Monday, April 18, 2011

Covergasms♥ (2)

Covergasms♥ is an original Book♥Hooker feature that discusses all things cover related!

Just thought I would post something book related, since I have most definitely been slacking in the reading department. Also to get rid of some of the guilt I feel. Selfish. I know.

So again I am going to do some gorgeos covers that come off the top of my head. Let me know your thoughts! Enjoy.



What do all of these beautiful books have in common? 
I am dying to get my hands on them for my devouring pleasure :)  Too creepy?

1) Possesion by Elana Johnson
          I am dying to read this book, and the cover is absolutely amazing! The simplicity is remarkable, and adds to the dystopian theme that I know I will love. I can just feel the strength and independence of the heroine perfectly illustrated with the ice cube. Too bad I have to wait until June 7th to get it.

2) Ash by Malinda Lo
          This book also evokes such drama with its simplicity, and I really cannot believe that I haven't read this retelling of Cinderella since its release in 2009. I cannot get over the exquisite simplicity of this cover. I love the colour scheme, and the font is magnificent. Absolutely delectable.

3) Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
          Once again, a dystopian read that I want now, now, now! The concept seems really cool, and like nothing I have read before. The amazing cover just confirms it: I need this book! For me, the image just screams dystopian, and I almost feel claustrophobic just looking at it. At first it seems like something that wouldn't work because of the colour scheme, but it just comes off as different and simply mysterious. Look for this one on the shelves in May!

4) XVI by Julia Karr
          Um, why do I not own this book yet? It has everything going for it: great dystopian plot, great cover.. I can tell I am going to love it. (Also, some other great blogs have given me some insight-tehe). I love also that the title is so ambiguous, and that it literally becomes the cover art. Very clever, I think. I also love the tag-line, and that it gives a juicy little tidbit into the plot that leaves me wanting more :)

So what do I take away from all of this? I need to buy more books! Uh oh... this is not always the healthiest realization for me to come to...

New books, yum yum--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Evil Customer Archetypes

Another long day of work is complete, and I am once again left in wondersome resentment at the awfulness of some customers. I often ask myself how these people become so awful.. Have they never experienced or been exposed to the life of a cashier? And even then, are they stupid enough to not have the ability to wrap their little brains around MY situation...? I digress.

So today was particularly torturesome, and really the only thing that gets me through the day are the artfully sculpted descriptions that float into my mind and keep me going until I return home. Surrounded by my books. Able to relay my dreadful histoires to Cait (who is really quite a trooper for putting up with my over-zealous ranting-that-escalates-quickly-into-yelling). And most importantly, to blog about said douche-balls.

Thus commencing:

Evil Customer Archetypes
(feel free to turn on some evil music here, perhaps some death metal?)

The Voluntary Houdini
          n. Often characterized by something or someone, usually an annoying customer, who disappears without a trace, often at the height of the lunch-time rush and also leaving behind items that have already been scanned through the cash, leaving the cashier very much 'up the creek without a paddle', so to speak.

          Example from today: Today's special example was excitingly much more dreary than usual. Picture this: we are very busy, and have about 15-20 people waiting in line, and when I announce that 'I can help the next customer in line' a girl that I am all too familiar with meanders up to my cash, baby stroller in tow, and, as usual, love handles protruding. Now I know this may seem harsh, but this girl is clearly a teen mom, which really warrants no sympathy from me, and she is about 2 sticks short of a match-book, if you know what I'm sayin'. So on this particularly fine day, she comes to my cash, and renders me slightly baffled, as she appears to have no merchandise (which is actually quite common, as people with baby strollers do use their strollers as carts, which is fine-most of the time). When I am about to ask what I can help her with, her phone starts blaring a delightful rap melody (yeah right) and she proceeds to tell ME 'one minute', and answers her phone. (!!) I kid you not. Like okay, I'll wait. (NOT!) So the other customers are very much as confused as I am, and try to come and purchase their items, with not much success, as she is completely blocking my cash register with her dysfunctional-in-every-way baggage. So after a few minutes of chatting it up with who-cares-who, she decides to just leave the store. Without paying for anything. And I'm like, 'whaaaaa... ?'. So long story short, she ends up coming back in after, I assume, finishing up her uber-important convo, just to ask me how many Optimum points she has, which turns out to be, like, 2. FML.

The Misdirected Angry Psychos
          n. Referring to anyone who gets unnecessarily angry at someone who the blame does not fall with. Most often seen when a 5¢ charge is applied to a bag, a chip reading debit machine is not present, or when a price is not to their liking, often accompanied by 'that's highway robbery!' or, my personal favourite, anything that implies that I had anything to do with it.

          Example from today: A man who vehemently questioned me on the exorbitant price of his cranberry juice. Like really sir, I do not know why it is this expensive, I DO NOT MAKE THE FREAKING PRICES OR POLICIES. It really never ceases to amaze me, that the types that usually berate me on the unfairness of the bag charge or the absurdness of not having a chip reader* are usually the really intellectual types, whom I really quite pity over not having the ability to think outside of their pathetic little 'I'm-better-than-you' box. Like you really think you are sooo smart, and you can't even realize that yelling at me is not going to do any more than yelling at gas would make the price of it go down.

*One guy actually said to me the other day (after the usual tango of me saying "go ahead and swipe" and him replying "swipe or chip?" and me stressing "SWIPE") "Oh so you don't like the chip, eh?" to which I replied, "I guess THEY don't".  Like yes, no chip, ONLY at my cash, because I get to decide. Really? REALLY??

The Downright Bitch
          n. This phenomenon can be characterized in many ways, and as such, is hard to really define. It can range anywhere from outright absurdity and ignorance, to just plain rotten and aware of it.

          Example from today: A lady approaches my cash (also when there was a large line-up, it was really busy today) and proceeds to purchase her items, which were two cases of water. (which I had to reach over the cash and retrieve out of her cart, because apparently I am expected to memorize the bar code of every item in the store, but whatever, not a big deal, I was completely ready to let it slide). So the policy at our store is that no carts are allowed out, since we work in a very large mall and we are not able to find them if customers take them. Rarely, we let customers take them out, or go out with them so that we can bring the cart in, if they have too many items to carry out, but in this case, the lady had two people with her that were perfectly capable of carrying the two cases between the three of them. So I proceed to tell her that the cart is not allowed out. Woah, did that ever not go over well. Basicially this bitchtastic freak-face completely lost her shit and threw a temper tantrum worthy of a 2 year old (and believe me I've seen my fair share of these as well, as our store is directly across from Toys 'R Us). She balled up her receipt and pitched it on the floor, piled the two cases of water on her daughter (poor thing), and careened the cart backwards towards the remaining customers stating, "FINE, take back you own fucking cart!" and "I'm never shopping here again!" Really?! You promise?! I definitely don't want to see you anytime soon, or ever!

Still seeing red--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inside the mind of a Book obsessed knowledge monger (2)

Episode 2

So as I was falling asleep last night, which is always filled with thoughts running at a million miles per minute, I kept coming back to a mind-boggling question:

               where does the wax go when you burn a candle?

You may be wondering, how Holly, did this come into your brain? Well I will explain, as I know you are dying for answers-tehe. I was thinking about the candle that I purchased of late-a Febreeze WoodWick Ambiance candle in Cherry Blossom Whimsy-because I cannot stress enough my deep desire that it needs to last at least 27 years in order for it to be worth the price that I paid (which can only be described as my soul). All jokes aside, it does seem to be doing rather well, as I have lit it for about 6 hours total within the last 3 days, and it seems hardly even melted.

However, during this tangent, I was quickly directed into wonder-osity when pondering where the wax does in fact go when the candle is done. I mean, Cait and I burn tea lights all the time, and when they are done, there is literally nothing left but the pathetic little wick-endy-thinger. And I mean, I totally get the concept of evaporation, but doesn't that only work for substances or liquids that are thin, like water, ones that can fit their little moleculies into the spaces between the oxygen particles?

Thus beginning my desperate line of questioning:

Are we all walking around with wax particulates on our person?
Does this ever contribute to the unexplainable phenomenon of 'dewy' complexions?
If I were to light, like, a trillion candles in my apartment, would the air become so thick that I would be slowly asphyxiated by the pleasant yet deadly aromas that have taken the shape of wax cloud murderers??

I know that there are probably scientific explanations, as Cait so studiously pointed out, but I am going to revel and frolic in the happiness of my inquiries. And I hope that you do the same ☺

Let me know what you think--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Meredith and Mallory Brynn, are mirror twins born on either side of midnight one New Year's Eve. They have always been inseparable. But after they are nearly killed in a mysterious fire on their thirteenth birthday, the bond that has always joined them unravels. They begin to have visions and dreams that reveal the deep secrets kept by the people around them.

Meredith and Mallory realize they have each been given a gift: Mallory can see deep into the past, Meredith can see the future. But when they discover that one boy is not what they imagined, their lives will be changed forever. If they can survive...

                                                                                                                -Fantastic Fiction

The Midnight Twins is the first book in a series by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which explores themes of twin telepathy and the 'sight'. I thought that this book was simply O.K. I have had it for a while, sitting on my bookshelf, and finally decided to read it when resident book picker, Cait, chose it over all the others.

I am kinda at a loss for words here... I guess I had a little bit more expectations for it all, but I think overall, it came across as a little too confusing. Everything was explained in the book, the girls always being joined by twin telepathy, and then losing it or gaining it, or it was always there, now there was extra senses added. The whole book went on like this without really achieving anything. I guess it felt more like an intro to a book then a whole book in itself.

Having said that, there are more books to come, so I am hoping that those books go more in depth, and really complete the showcased ideas in The Midnight Twins. I'd also like to mention that there wasn't a whole lot of romantic development between any of the characters, more like a little seedling of an idea, which I'm hoping develops further in the books to come.

I recommend this book to teens looking for a new series that includes an element of super- or paranormalcy, but it is not, by any means, crazy unplausible or really out there.

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

So the book starts out with a good intro and background information about the two twin girls, Mallory (Mally) and Merideth (Merry), but never really takes the next step into full-blown novel. The girls are born, yada yada yada, and right off the bat, they are different from other people in many ways; their mother notices that they have some kind of unspoken bond between them in which they can communicate, they are pretty tiny (not even reaching 5 feet), and they also share a secret language (which I never really understood the importance of...). Within themselves though, despite that they are twins, there are significant differences, almost complete opposites of one another, which is pretty paramount to the plot, I think? Merry is popular, and sweet; she really cares what people think, and has lots of friends. Mally is sporty and has a 'don't care' policy, keeping more to herself. They were also born in different years, on New Year's Eve, one at 11:59, one at 12:01. This seems to become more significant as the story progresses, but like I said, I still don't really understand the significance.

As the book went on, it just seemed to stay in that intro stage, never progressing through the regular story 'map' if you will, with no set crisis or denouement. The fire seemed like it could qualify, but then that was still demonstrating the initial idea of the plot: that the two girls lose their ability to see each others dreams. Which, to tell you the truth, I never really understood the significance of either. When they were described as having twin telepathy, I interpreted that as being able to talk without words, in their heads, essentially. At some point I think I missed that this also dictated that they were able to see each others dreams as well, which even hearing after the fact seems so very unimportant. Then when the girls lose the powers, I thought that they couldn't hear each other at all; they had lost the ability to communicate in their heads, because in the hospital they both were frantically listening to see if the other one was ok. Then, as the book progresses, at some point they can all of a sudden hear each other again, but not see their dreams?? This whole thing just seems like a jumbled mess that I was never really able to wrap my brain around. 

Then they start seeing the future and past, or something.. But I had a difficult time understanding this concept as well. In some ways too much time was spent explaining everything, but somehow not enough information was evident, and the story was not clearly understood. Then there was the whole thing with David. I guess this would be considered the main event of the book, but once again it wasn't that evident. There was so much time spent after his death that just seemed to contribute more to the intro.

Overall, reliving it all whilst I explain it, the book is more and more frustrating and really so unclear. Just not at all crisp or clean or organized. The thoughts were so all over the place, and I'm not sure what I was supposed to take away from the story in the end. I'm hoping that things start to make sense in the following books.

Still making sense of it--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Covergasms♥ is an original Book♥Hooker feature that discusses all things cover related!

Covergasms♥ is a little feature that I will do now and again to show the beautiful covers that make me swoon :)
(and perhaps sometimes I will show ones that are not as worthy-AKA that I loathe).



I recently realized, while trying to justify my pickiness to Cait, that I really do not have strict rules that dictate whether or not I am going to like a cover. And unfortunately this does carry a little bit of weight when I am choosing books to read (I have already mentioned how shallow I am).

1) The Time Travelling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky
            I actually just stumbled upon this book about 10 minutes ago, and was absolutely taken in by the cover. I am not sure if I'm going to read it yet, because the reviews and story-line seem mediocre, but there is no doubt in my mind that if I were to see this at Chapters, there wouldn't be a force strong enough in the world to stop me from buying it just based on its beauty.

2) Wither by Lauren DeStefano
            I love, love, love this book! I have read it, and you can read my review here. This cover, paired with the great plot concept, made it one of my must-reads of this year, and it did not disappoint. There is just something so devastatingly poetic and high-fashion about the cover, and the uniqueness carries through the book, right down to the copyright page!

3) Matched by Ally Condie
            This is another book that I have been dying to read, and it's only a matter of time before I get my paws on it! The simplicity and beauty of the cover cannot help but catch my attention, and just affirms, with the synopsis, that this book is going to be a page-turner, and a sure-fire favourite!

4) Vixen by Jillian Larkin
          I have read this book as well, and when I picked it up in Coles I had actually never heard of it before. This just goes to show the strength that this beautiful cover-art depicts, and its magnetic power over me :) 

So there you go, some beautiful covers to brighten your day.

Lots more out there--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Was a Teenage Popsicle by Bev Rosenbaum

Teenage girls always want to be cool. But frozen is another story. 

Floe Ryan was frozen-or 'vitrified'-at sixteen. She and her parents had a rare disease, so it was their only choice until a cure was found. Now she's been thawed and it's ten years in the future-but she's still a teenager. And her parents are still chilling out...

So now her little sister is her older sister, and she's making Floe suffer for every snotty thing she ever did. It's hard getting used to...not to mention a new school, new technology, and a zillion other new things that happened while she was napping in the freezer. Luckily, she has Taz, the hottie skater boy who was a popsicle too, so they get to reintegrate together. But now they're trying to close the Venice Beach Cryonics Center-with Floe's parents still in it! It's up to her to save the clinic and her parents-so she can finally have a somewhat normal life.                                                  -Fantastic Fiction

It seems like I always say this, but I have wanted to read this book for a while, which can only be explained by the fact that I have a very large ongoing booklist that dates back, like, 5 years or more. This was actually one of the books that I was most excited about, which is why it got purchased before the other ones on the list.

Let me say that it did not deliver. Whether or not this is the case just for me or not, I do not know. I have seen a handful of other reviews on the book which were all very positive, which makes me think that it is possibly my age contributing to my absolute loathing of the plot-line and cheesy clichés. (Ironically, though, I did really relate with the writing style, and found myself thinking many times that it seemed like something I would write or say, but the content was just crap... so... writing style = good, plot = crap).

Having said that, my reading style has been evolving at a pretty rapid pace lately, and I have been finding that I am not as interested in the cookie-cutter light, fun chick-lit reads that used to make me feel light and giddy way back when. That is why I am going to say that I hypothesize this book to be a good pick for the youngon's but really no one else. And that's all I'm really gonna say, as I refuse to let this book take up any more of my time that could be spent reading the next best book, with COMPLEX plot lines or really just mediocre plausibility.

Bitter, I know--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman

Born into poverty in 1820's Liverpool, Linny Gow escapes the life of prostitution her stepfather has forced her into, learns how to be a young lady, and flees to India, where the British Raj is in its infancy.  There she finds heartache and suffering, but also true love and freedom.

                                                                                                                                                  -Chapters Canada

I had this book recommended to me and lent to me by someone who saw me reading the Outlander by Diana Gabaldon series. Although I don't really see the connection (other than the fact that they are both in the past, and in Eurasia [hate that term-it sounds like a venereal disease]), the book was amazing none the less.

I knew going into the book that it was going to be very dark, which I think is something important to understand, because this type of book is not for everyone. It's that type of book that kind of just has to be good, based on how extremely depressing it is, if that makes sense to anyone. Having said that, it is very sad and there aren't very many triumphs for our heroine Linny, but that just strengthens the ones that we do see.

The writing was phenomenal, and it's one of those rare books that, after reading a book after it, solidified its greatness. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but when a book is just so good, the book that you read after always seems awful, simply because it cannot possibly live up to the complexity of the first book. This is exactly what happened for me (as you can see if you read the review following this one).

Overall, if you can't tell already, this book was pretty darn amazing, and I recommend it to anyone who has the stomach for extremely depressing content. This book may not be the happiest one, but I definitely think that the heroine prevailed and demonstrated exactly what was needed, just not in an obvious way; which is the best kind.

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

The book starts out with us gaining a little bit of information about Linny, set after the beginning of her story. I thought this was a wonderful little tidbit that served as a nice reference point, a little bit of foreshadowing, and something to give us just enough hope throughout the heavy content that is to come. Linny has a son in this prologue, and is also smoking opium, but swears it is her last time; just enough to steady her head and mind enough to tell her son (and us) her story.

Then we are introduced to a very strikingly innocent Linny, right on the precipice of darkness. Her mother has been dead for about a year, and her step-dad has decided to pimp her out to the highest bidder (while he simultaneously watches and jacks himself off-so incredibly disturbing, I know), which only commences Linny's career as child prostitute. Although this is so extremely sad and heartbreaking, we also learn about how nice Linny's mother was and all of the big dreams she has for Linny. Linny never seems to forget these, even through the darkest of the dark, Linny seems to keep a tiny fibre that she can pull back when she needs it most, to renew her faith, hope, and expectations of herself, which I believe to be Linny's only salvation.

The book goes on to show the hardships that Linny faces: nearly dying when her father takes her to an insane syphilis-stricken man with the promise of improving her 'job'; enduring years and years of living in a brothel and selling her body on the streets of dirty Liverpool's Paradise Street; losing the baby that she so coveted on the same night that all of her life savings (and her dreams) are savagely stolen from her. When Linny meets Shaker Smallpiece, it seems like her luck has turned around, but it is all too clear that it is too good to be true. Linny is so depressingly broken, that she cannot even find peace and solace in what is really good. There is a man that she wants badly to love, but the only thing she has ever known in men is hurt, rape, betrayal, and violence.

So off Linny goes to India with her seemingly adventurous only-friend Faith, under the guise of Linny Smallpiece, modest socialite, with big dreams of escape and fulfillment. All the Linny gets though, is more repression, restraint and subservience from Faith, after she is very much sobered from the 4 month trip to Calcutta, and the fervent search for a husband before she is seen socially as a spinster. Linny persues the satisfactory social season, despite still hating men, and simply yearning to be able to escape the English prison that has followed her to India. During this time, Linny meets a man that seems like more than the dry, submissive men and women who inhabite the English dominated section of Calcutta that she is restricted to. She soon finds out that she has mistaken the mystery and rebellion for malicious and broken Sommers Ingram. He seems to know that Linny is not all that she claims, and is outed himself as being an imposter, when Linny stumbles upon him shamelessly raping one of the Indian servant boys. Sommers convinces Linny that the only reasonable explanation is for them to marry, for Linny obviously has no interest in the other men, nor Sommers the women, and he needs to marry to fulfill his dead father's will, in order for him to inherit his fortune.

Linny is then promoted to colonial wife, where she is repressed even more, and watches as Faith slowly falls more and more into herself, becoming a shell, when she marries a half-caste (a man who is half Indian) and is shamefully ousted by everyone, including her family. Linny is so controlled by Sommers, and isn't even allowed to see Faith anymore. She helplessly tries to rebel but is literally and figuratively beaten into submission by Sommers and the other social wives living in India.

Linny finally seeks salvation, when her and Faith are allowed to travel North for the hot season in Calcutta. It's not long into the journey that Faith divulges the secret that she is carrying her half-caste husband's child, but is afraid of the consequences of bringing a dark skinned baby into the world. It's not long after this that Faith ends her life by freefalling over a cliff while her and Linny are picnicing. This is ironically when Linny gets her first glimpse of freedom, ironically after being captured by the dark, handsome and mysterious Pathan man, Daoud.

Linny is swiftly transported to Daoud's camp and experiences a new yet phenomenal feeling: desire. However short lived and lacklustre the romance seemed between Linny and Daoud, it was emotionally amazing to see Linny finally become un-broken, and experience a small respite. Linny is promptly returned to her violent husband, but not empty-handed: Linny is pregnant, and renewed in her sense of life, probably for the first time. We finally see Linny living in colour instead of the shades of grey thus far in her life. She is forced to invoke the rape of Sommers, to ensure that he thinks the pregnancy is his, but Linny is now so affected and emotional now that she knows the real meaning of sex and desire and love. She cries often, because her humanity is seemingly reinvoked upon her.

The end of the book may seem pretty anticlimactic to those not able to grasp the true meaning, but I found it quite simply perfection. Linny ends up killing Sommers when he has a bad bout of Malasia, and after he promises to take her child away and send her to an insane asylum. She returns to England to live with Shaker and his new wife, which may seem just O.K., but for Linny, I just know that this means the world. She is finally free, and lives with the constant reminder of her reason for living and surviving, her son. She may never see Daoud again, the only man she has ever shared herself with completely, but it is understood that the option for love and companionship is open to her now, if she chooses to pursue it or not. She is complete in her life, and is finally proud to sport the name Linny Gow.

Overall, a great read, and one that I think can be interpreted in many ways and molded appropriately to the reader and their own darkness echoed in their lives, whether it be as extreme or not. If you have read this book, and have some other info to add, don't hesitate, as I feel this book NEEDS to be discussed in it's totality and glorious perfection.

Longing for more like this--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Inside the mind of a Book obsessed knowledge monger...

Episode 1

This may only apply to the Canadians out there, or the International people who have varying currencies, but here goes:

What do Canadian strippers do with loonies and toonies 
at the strip club?

I mean, it doesn't really follow the same logic as American strippers, (which I have to say are the only ones I am ever exposed to in movies, TV, or books) who receive $1 bills... Do they have some kind of satchel, strategically placed to not cover up the very 'special spots' earning them said rewards? Or are the horny pathetic advantageous lads just that generous to give the Strippers $5 bills.... Or maybe there is some kind of system, where the men kind of count and then after 5 tricks (??) they give the strippers the corresponding amount of money.. Or perhaps Canadian strippers are just that good, that it warrants spending upwards of $5 instead of dirty American strippers who only derserve ones?? Oooo, maybe it comes down to economics, and our fives are really just worth the same as a $1 bill....

This may just come down to me being too naive, but let me know what you think, or enlighten me with the reality of the situation :)

Still pondering--Cheers & Enjoy♥

State of the Union

It is official: Josh Hutcherson will be playing Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth will bring Gale Hawthorne to life in The Hunger Games movie set to come out March 23, 2012.  I am really just too sad to even dignify a response, and that is probably why I have waited this long to relay the tristesse.
Refer to previous posts labelled The Hunger Games Movie, if you would like to see the very origins and reasons for my sadness...

On a more happy note: there is yet another Glee album coming out this month and I am uber excited for its release.  It is going to be just music from the Warblers, the all boys school that Kurt is currently attending, but I have decided that this is okay, as I feel that they have more than enough awesome hits to justify this album.

Also the cover art is amazingly fantastical, and I feel it is complete perfection :)

April 19th guys, can't wait!

Today marks the last assignment/project/presentation that I had to complete before exams. Which makes me so very content. So much so that I can't even bring myself to sleep, even though I promised myself this morning that I would reward myself with a nap upon returning chez moi.

(Slight aside, I had to mention that my fravit song just came on the radio-Rolling in the Deep by Adele-and I love it more and more, I must admit!... 
We could've had it a-a-a-a-allllll! ♪, anyway, continuing on, without getting too carried away... :)

Another thing that has been lurking in the back of my unconscious this whole stressful time filled with projects, papers and such, is my complete conundrum regarding The City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare.  Don't get me wrong I absolutely cannot wait to get my paws on this tome, but I only read this series last summer, when all the books were available in Trade Paperback, ergo this is the form in which I own them, and buying the newly released Hardcover edition would really screw up the aesthetics of my book shelf. This is clearly unacceptable! So I put myself on the waiting list at the library.. I am currently 273 in line, so I figure I can read it in, I dunno, 2047?? So Ridiklissssss....

I guess this about sums up the main points floating around in my mind...

More to Come--Cheers & Enjoy♥

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Catching Up.

So it has been quite a while since I have shared my life with you lucky followers :)

Here is some more.

There are some things that come to my attention right away, and some that I am sure I have forgotten which is very unfortunate for every party involved-boo!  I have not been reading quite as much recently, which will hopefully be remedied after this dreadful prison I call University loosens its death grip on me.  Geesh. I am SOOO ready for summer!! Only one more week of class, and then two more weeks of exams, and I will be free! Cue rejoicing music (perhaps Rolling in the Deep by Adele-which I happen to be very obsessed with at the moment, although I do question its validity to this context).

To update on the ever changing yet interesting status of The Hunger Games movie, more specifically, the casting, I am still not quite satisfied. The role of Katniss has gone to Jennifer Lawrence, which I don't really have an opinion on other than to mention that I am absolutely elated that the role did not go to Alyson Stoner! I feel that Jennifer Lawrence should do the role justice, if they can manage to convey her properly physically. As for the more important people, in my opinion (well really only one person): Peeta. So I was completely overjoyed to learn that Liam Hemsworth was being considered, until I found out that he was being considered for Gale and not Peeta. I think a little piece of me died actually. I really do not want this to happen for two reasons: a) Liam fits perfectly into what I want Peeta to look like and be, and b) if he does in fact end up playing Gale, then I know that I will end up rooting for Gale in the movies (not unlike what happened in the Twilight franchise when god sexpot hottie Taylor Lautner conveyed Jacob so completely perfectly and muscularly), and this is not what I want to happen! I love Peeta Mellark, and I do not want to forget about him as I have Edward Cullen!!

Note To Future Self: Holly, I know that you are very easily swayed, but do not, under any circumstances, root for Gale.  Peeta is perfect, remember Peeta? Your lover? Katniss's saviour? 
Bottom Line: Peeta > Gale.

Moving on....

I don't know if anyone has seen the new Ke$ha video (I am also not certain that it can be considered new, as I do not watch music videos that often)... It is sooooo twisted! I actually had to call Cait into the living room, and she like never watches music videos, pretty much as a rule. I don't remember the last time I was so completely flabbergasted and speechless. And it's not like her other videos have been even remotely close to normalcy.. So long story short, there are creepy unicorn headed humans, and this just commences the non-sensical bull-pucky. Like I mean that in the most literal way... she says something about a bear, and the president, and getting elected to.. ibikistan?? So this segues into the song, which is completely unrelated to the video content. And then James Van Der Beek, whom I haven't seen in forever, appears, and goes on to partake in a very creepy and not at all funny way. He uses the whole "Key-dollar sign-Ah" joke that was, like, totes already done in Glee? Like hellloooo?? Lame-o... This is right around the time when I finally called Cait in to view this atrocity (seeing as she is pretty much obsessed with Dawson's Creek), and we returned to the living room, just to sync up perfectly with Van Der Douche and his creepy pelvic thrusting.. So pretty much the rest of the video is what appears to be a rainbow-lazer-tag war between the two. Overall, very strange...

One must ask themself: why in the world would James want to be in this video/what could Ke$ha's people possibly offer him that would be enough to outweigh the humiliation? I must admit that he did look quite dashing with this hairstyle (not the long blonde hair that makes me want to gag), even if he was apparently wearing a bra..

Another Fun Fact from this week: I met the Harlem Globetrotters! More accurately, I saw said Trotters, and met one of them. They came into the mall where I work (and might I add that they are freakishly impressively tall) and one of them came into our store, and purchased his 5-Hour Energy and Tiger balm from yours truly. I felt remarkably special :)

I have also seen a few movies since I last posted, and will preceed to tell you all about them now:

Red Riding Hood
I finally saw this after reading the book, and I must admit it was pretty creepy, and like most cases, I did enjoy the book better. I actually didn't expect this to be the result because, in this case, the book was based off of the movie. But there was still much more character and plot development in the book. So kudos to the author on that. Having said that, I still think that the movie was pretty good, and the most remarkable thing in my mind is the amazing casting of the gorgeous dudes that play the leading men. Like wow. Perfection. The two guys in the love triangle were so perfect, and signified the good and bad themes perfectly. Good did prevail in this case, for me, ergo I am amazingly obsessed with Max Irons! He is so yummy, but moreover, he acted spectacularly, and I think he conveyed the emotions stupendously. The acting in the entire movie was overall well done, and I recommend this movie to anyone looking for a fantastically creepy, and slightly thrilling movie!

Due Date
I have been wanting to watch this movie for a while, and was not disappointed. It was very funny, and Zach Ga-blah-blah-watsit and Robert Downy Jr. complemented each other perfectly. The plot wasn't golden, but the humour outweighed in all aspects!

I have also been wanting to watch this movie for what seems like eons after reading the book, but probably put it off as long as I did because I was slightly disappointed with the book. The movie, though, was better. I loved the actor playing Bryce, because I did just see him in I Am Number Four (see how easy it is to please me/how easily I can be swayed? All you need to do is be associated with something that I like!). I found the movie very cute and more dynamic than the book, and it definitely had a better ending, leaving the romance aspect open for Julie and Bryce, which I felt was not portrayed properly in the book. Unless I am just not remembering correctly, which is completely plausible, since I do read sooo many books. If I am wrong, don't hesitate to comment and let me know your thoughts :)

Well I guess this is all for now.. I will try and post more often, and if there is anything specific you would like to know my opinion on, or a movie you want me to see, don't hesitate to mention it!

More after the devil University is done with me--Cheers & Enjoy♥

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