Tuesday, 31 January 2012

"I've Uploaded This Hug, I Hope She Gets It"

My friend and I came across this amazing video a couple of weeks ago and I loved it so much that I thought I should share it with you guys here on my blog. It showcases a beat poet named Marshall Soulful Jones talking about how the world of technology has changed the way we interact with people. Not a fan of beat poetry? You still need to watch it! His words ring so true I was blown away!

After watching this video I sat and thought about how much time I spend online or using my cellphone rather than actually interacting with the world around me. If people are this bad right now I can only imagine how disconnected we are going to be from one another in the future! Maybe Marshall Soulful Jones is right...maybe in the future we'll upload hugs to each other rather than actually giving them out.  What do you guys think of this video? Enough computer time for me today! I'm off to go interact with  some people face to face!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Book Fetish: Volume 3

Time for another round of amazing bookish gifts for people who love to read! As you'll probably notice, the majority of the items that I'm posting about have been coming from Etsy, and today is no exception! I'm starting to wonder if I should rename this meme Etsy Finds (or something like that)! Anyways, without further ado, here are the items that I'm drooling over this week!

Book Purse

How gorgeous is this book purse!?!? Although I feel somewhat sorry for the actual book it was made out of (assuming that they had to rip out all of the pages to make this). Nevertheless, I think this purse from NovelCreations is super cute! Other book purses include Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, and The Chronicles of Narnia. At $45.00, they are pretty much the same price that one would spend on a regular purse, but these have the added bonus of being unique! 

Book Birdhouse

I LOVE birdhouses. My dad and I use to make one together every summer. So, when I stumbled across this book birdhouse I got pretty excited! Repagination takes old classic books and uses the cover as a roof, and pages from the text to decorate the sides. Although this isn't something I would necessarily spend $35.00 on (as I would be scared it would get ruined pretty quickly from bad weather), I think I might try to make one myself once the weather gets warmer! 

Save The Date Bookmarks

While I'm not getting married anytime soon (that usually requires getting engaged first right?), when I do these Save The Date bookmarks will definitely be on my list of things to get! As the majority of the people in my family are readers it would be perfect! Plus, I think it would be kind of unique to give out a bookmark compared to a simple note in the mail! Thoughts?

Friday, 27 January 2012

ARC Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy 

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Ever since I first saw the cover of this book back in the fall I have been absolutely itching to get my hands on a copy. A book about a girl who loves art and falls in love with a handsome guy at school? Sold! You could imagine my excitement then when I won a free ARC copy from a contest the author, Melissa Jensen, was having on her twitter account! There was definitely a lot of excited squealing involved! When it came to actually reading this book, however, I was slightly disappointed.....

Now I should start off by clarifying the fact that just because I was disappointed doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy The Fine Art of Truth or Dare! It was a really cute story, but it just wasn't as good as my expectations had built it up to be. I think this was partly due to the fact that it was compared to Anna and the French Kiss on Goodreads. While the concept was somewhat similar to Anna, I found Jensen's writing style and execution to be more like Meg Cabot than Stephanie Perkins (in a good way!). Like Meg Cabot, Jensen's writing keeps things nice and light, with plenty of humorous pop culture references to keep readers amused.

Where I ultimately found myself disappointed was the way the romance plot unfolded. Although Ella and Alex were interesting characters, I didn't feel the sparks flying between them like I did for Anna and St. Clair, or Lola and Cricket in Perkins' novels. Even putting the Anna and the French Kiss comparison aside, the romance plot just didn't have the drama or excitement that I was looking forward to. It seemed like Alex just fell for Ella way too easily, and the courtship period didn't last as long as it should have.

Strangely enough I found myself more drawn towards the story of two of the minor characters in the book, Frankie (Ella's gay best friend) and his twin brother (a bad boy with what seems like a heart of gold). If anything I would LOVE to see Jensen write a spin off story about these two brothers. Their personalities and back story had me intrigued the whole time I was reading, and I kept wanting to find out why Frankie hated talking about his twin with his friends (an answer I never got in this novel).

Overall, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare was cute, and certainly enjoyable, but it was missing a certain something that could have made it great. While I may have personally been disappointed, I definitely think it is still a book worth checking out, especially when you are looking for something light and fun to read. My fingers are crossed that Jensen will write about Frankie next... a novel that I would certainly love to read!

Recommended to: Fans of Meg Cabot

Rating: B - 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Grave Mercy

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

For some reason I've really been drawn to books about girls who are involved with gods of death lately (like Croak and Undeadly which were my WOW choices a couple of weeks ago). Am I being morbid? Or do you guys find yourselves being drawn to these kinds of stories too? Anyways, this one sounds like it could be really fascinating if it is well written! Apparently it is going to be a series so I'm interested to see what direction the author might be taking. An added bonus is that the cover is gorgeous! I love the colours they used in it! Grave Mercy is set to hit shelves on April 3rd, so keep your eyes peeled! I'll definitely being looking forward to reading some blogger reviews on this one!

Monday, 16 January 2012

ARC Review: The Disenchantments

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?
Morris Award—finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.
(To be released: February 16th, 2012)
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour was a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting! When I received a copy for review from Razorbill I initially put it aside after reading the synopsis, thinking that it probably wasn't something that I was going to enjoy. Boy was I wrong! The Disenchantments was a heartfelt and emotional read that explored the difficulties of dealing with your family, leaving your friends behind, and ultimately growing up. 
When Colby discovers that Bev, his childhood best friend who he is secretly in love with, has abandoned their plan to skip college and tour Europe for a year he is faced with a million questions. Why would Bev leave him behind? And most importantly, what should he do with his life now? As Colby, Bev, and their band travel around the Pacific doing shows, the group discovers that growing up is probably one of the hardest things they will ever have to do. 
While I didn't  experience anywhere near the amount of problems faced by the characters in this novel when I was their age, the difficulty of growing up was the one thing I could definitely relate to. Everything the characters were feeling about leaving their childhoods behind were emotions that I myself went through when I graduated from high school. Heck, I even get some of those emotions now as I find myself coming to the end of my university career! The emotions that Colby was feeling were so deep that I even found myself getting teary eyed from time to time, especially at the end of the book! I had become so attached to Colby's narration that I found it hard to let him go, which just goes to show what an amazing job Nina LaCour did with the writing of this story!
While I really connected to The Disenchantments on an emotional level, that isn't to say that this book was absolutely perfect. I'm sure some readers might become annoyed by Bev and her cat and mouse game that she plays with Colby, but I think the overall message of the story will overshadow this slight irritation. Overall,  The Disenchantments really is the perfect road trip story! The cast of characters that Colby and his friends meet along the way will humour and delight you, especially Melvin and Jasper!  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently graduating from high school, or for those who have ever felt some twinge of nostalgia for their teenage years.
4.5 Stars
(PS. Just thinking about this book while I write this review has made me teary eyed again. I told you it made me emotional!!!) 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

In My Mailbox: January 15th

Here is my latest video edition of In My Mailbox! Hope you enjoy it! :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Book Fetish: Volume 2

It's time for another round of bookish things that I am currently drooling over! If you're as involved in the book world as I am then you may have already seen these items before (for which I apologize). Otherwise I hope you find them as fascinating and covet worthy as I have!

Out of Print Clothing - Book Shirts!
As soon as I stumbled across this website I was officially in love! Outofprintclothing.com sells t-shirts, tote bags, coasters, and journals all based on the covers of some of the world's most classic books! Some of the t-shirts, like this Wuthering Heights one ($28.00), are definitely going on my birthday wish list!

Dumbledore Light Switch Cover
I love quotes, especially quotes that come from some of my favourite books! You can probably imagine my excitement then when I found this classic quote from Dumbledore imprinted on a light switch cover from Etsy! "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light." The designer also allows buyers to select the colour of the cover using a Bertie Botts colour guide! For only $9.99 this could be the perfect gift for the Harry Potter fan on your list!

Chapter Quote Infinity Scarf
This scarf has been floating around twitter and tumblr a lot lately so I'm sure many of you have already seen it. Since I am MADLY in love with it though I just had to share it anyways! Available on Etsy, this silk scarf can come with one of the chapters from your favourite book printed on it! My personal favourite is the Chapter 60 scarf from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. I'm on the waiting list for this scarf so hopefully I'll be showing it off to you all soon in one of my IMM vlog videos!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Book Review: Wishful Drinking

Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It's an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty -- Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher -- homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

Here is a random fact about myself: I am a nerd. Not only am I a nerd, I am a Star Wars obsessed, fan expo attending super nerd, who let's out a squeal of excitement every time she comes across any kind of jedi or wookie related merchandise. I even have a statue of C3P0 in my bedroom and a collectible Admiral Ackbar mighty mug sitting on my shelf. With that confession out of the way, I'm sure you can see how it was only natural for me to feel the need to pick up Carrie Fisher's memoir Wishful Drinking and give it a read! 

 Now, you would probably think that reading about Carrie Fisher's struggle with alcoholism and depression would make for a rather bleak and cheerless book, but it was quite the opposite! Wishful Drinking was both fascinating and laugh out loud funny! Between the tale of her parents' divorce to her thoughts on what it was like to be a sex symbol for nerds everywhere, I found it difficult to put this book down! The outrageous stories that she shares with her readers will only have them begging for more! 

In fact, my only complaint about this memoir is probably that it was far too short! At only 176 pages Wishful Drinking can easily be consumed by even the slowest of readers in about a night! I'm sure Carrie has more stories that she could have shared in her memoir, but for some reason chose not to. I was especially disappointed that only a couple of pages were actually dedicated to the filming of Star Wars. Although she references Princess Leia throughout her writing, I would have enjoyed hearing more about what it was like working with the other actors and being on set. 

Putting my disappointment aside, Wishful Drinking is a captivating read that will especially interest anyone with a love of Star Wars. I think those who have no idea of Carrie Fisher's background or life growing up will particularly  be surprised and amazed! As I already knew about the details behind her parents and their divorce I wasn't as shocked as I think other readers might be for that particular chapter. Nevertheless, I'm definitely looking forward to any other writing that Carrie Fisher might produce in the future to come!

Rating: 3 Stars

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Fault in Our Stars is Here!!

That's right everyone! John Green's newest release, The Fault in Our Stars, is on bookshelves now! So what are you doing still sitting here in front of your computer? Get up and go to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy now!!! The story revolves around Hazel, a young girl who is diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12. Now 16, Hazel has miraculously lived longer than any of her doctors possibly imagined. When Hazel is matched with the drop dead gorgeous Augustus at a cancer kid support group the two hit it off and begin to redefine what it means to live and die.

Sadly my pre-ordered copy of The Fault in Our Stars has yet to arrive in my mailbox (I thought that was the whole point of pre-orders?). As I wallowed in my self pity this afternoon I stumbled across John's newest vlog video where he answers questions about The Fault in Our Stars for poor readers like myself who are still waiting for their books. As always John's video is hilarious and frantic, and was a great source of consolation! I've included it below so check it out if you are interested!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Book Review: Frostbite

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…
It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

Rose Hathaway is back and ready to kick some serious ass! Frostbite, the second book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, completely swept me off my feet and captured my attention from page one! With the number of Strigoi attacks increasing, the students of St. Vlads are sent to a luxurious ski resort to spend the Christmas break with their families. While one would think that such a remote location would keep Rose and her friends out of trouble, the danger and drama only increases! Without giving any spoilers away I can honestly say that the last few chapters will definitely have readers on the edge of their seats and scrambling to get their hands on the next book!

Besides an amazing plot, one of the reasons I loved Frostbite was the fact that it allowed readers to see Rose grow and mature some more. It seems that with each book she leaves a bit of her impulsive attitude behind and becomes more reflective and wise. For example, while her interactions with her mother have never been good, by the end of the novel Rose seems to come to terms with their relationship and better understand the struggles that her mother has had to go through herself.  I can't wait to see what Rose's character has become by the end of the series!

Another aspect I loved about Frostbite was that it introduced some intriguing new characters! Tasha, Christian's aunt, is especially badass, although she creates some interesting conflict between Rose and Dimitri. I really hope we'll get to see her some more though throughout the rest of the series! And then there is Adrian, one of the Moroi royalty who just happens to start a flirtation with Rose. I absolutely LOVED his character and all of sarcasm that he brings. I can definitely see a potential love triangle occurring at some point because of him, although I think it's obvious to everyone that Rose and Dimitri belong together.

The only criticism I have about Frostbite was the fact that the first few chapters focused a lot on explaining the events that had occurred in the previous book. Although I can understand its importance for someone who might need reminding, for someone like myself who is reading the books in close succession to one another I found the repetition somewhat boring. Luckily this passed quickly and I was soon launched into the excitement and new surprises of the second book.

Overall, Frostbite was a thrilling and gripping read that kept me on the edge of my seat! It was the perfect follow up book to Vampire Academy, and I'm already dying to start reading the next instalment! If you haven't already read the first book in this series you need to get started on it now! It's simply amazing (and that means a lot coming from someone who usually hates books about vampires)!

Rating: 4 Stars

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Kindle Users Get Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side for Free!

Do you have a Kindle? Looking for a great new book to read? Then today is your lucky day! Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey is currently free to download on the Amazon website for Kindle users! Just click here to get to the page and let the reading begin! Although I personally haven't had a chance to read this series yet I have read TONS of reviews from other bloggers who have all loved it! The story revolves around a high school girl named Jessica who discovers that she is a Romanian vampire princess by birth when a hot new exchange named Lucius shows up at her school. Jessica is then faced with the challenge of stopping a global vampire war, saving Lucius' soul from damnation, and getting rid of her biggest rival, all while learning how to become the perfect vampire princess.

Have you read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side before? If yes, did you like it? For those of you who haven't yet read the book, do you plan on downloading it?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Chosen Ones

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger. 

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

Based on the synopsis of this book I think it could either be really enjoyable or utterly terrible. I'm hoping that it will fall more within the enjoyable category! I love dystopian novels, but their sudden popularity has given rise to a lot of story lines that aren't as developed as they could be. In any case, I love the cover of Chosen Ones, and it's little catch phrase "Love can't be engineered." I'll definitely be on the lookout for reviews online to see what lucky readers with ARC copies think of it! Chosen Ones is set to be published in April 2012. 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Book Fetish: Volume 1

As a book addict I find myself drawn towards any kind of item that is bookish in nature. Whether it is a unique set of book ends or a perfume based on the characters from one of my favourite novels, I just can't help but drool over them all! I recently came across a post on Bookriot.com called "Book Fetish: Bookish things for those with a fetish for books!" I fell so in love with it I decided to start my own regular book fetish postings in order to display some of the amazing book related things I happen to stumble upon online. So without further ado, here is my first ever volume of Book Festish! Enjoy :)

1. BookBook for iPhone

Hold. The. Phone. There is a book shaped phone holder that doubles as a wallet!? This bookish creation may be the one reason I break down and actually buy and iPhone! Available through Firebox for $49.99. 

2. Typewriter Earrings

I'm in LOVE with all things Austen, so there is no way I could resist these earrings when I found them on Etsy.com! The designer also has typewriter earrings for Alice in Wonderland, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Gone With the Wind, amongst many others! The best part? They are only $16.00! Totally affordable!

3. Book Tent
I am head over heels in love with this book tent from Fieldcandy.com! At $900.00 though it is WAY out of budget for me! I couldn't help but share it with you guys though because it is just soo cool! Maybe one day when I win the lottery I'll have be able to go camping in my very own book tent! 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

In My Mailbox: Christmas Edition!

So this morning I did my first ever video blog posting! Since this is my first video, it's a little bit rough, but I hope you like it! It ended up being 8 minutes long due to the fact that I just had SO many books to talk about! So anyone who manages to stick around to watch the entire thing is an angel! Do you guys think I should do more video postings or just go back to writing? Your honest opinions would be greatly appreciated! :)