Tag Archive: e-audiobook


IT’S ALIVE!!!!! ALIVE!!!!!!!

One summer when I was a teenager I decided that I needed to read more ‘classics’. You know, those works of fiction that everyone harps on you to read, saying that they’ve stood the test of time and if you don’t read them you’ll be lost in your life forever. Blah, blah, blah. Amirite? Anyhoo, a lot of these classics you’re forced to read in high school… depending on where you go to school of course. My high school focused a lot on Canadian literature, which meant that most of the books I read were by authors I’d never heard of before but now know are some of the most highly regarded authors in Canada’s literary world. (Why some of them are on the list boggles my mind… yes W.O. Mitchell I’m talking to you, but hey, what do I know?)

Now the people reading this who are into classic literature are probably coming up with an extensive list in their head of what books I should have read during this summer. Chances are what I read will not be on that list. Unless they’re a classic novel enthusiast who happens to love monsters that is. No Grapes of Wrath, War and Peace, or Pride and Prejudice for me! (Although another summer saw me read the entire collected works of Jane Austen. A lady that I will love forever for giving us Mr Darcy!) Nope, I read the great monster classics, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Dracula by Bram Stoker. At this point I think I got distracted by other books, and that ended my run of ‘classics’, but these two books have always kept a special place in my heart. πŸ™‚

So I credit this foray into the world of classic monster literature as part of the reason why I got SO INCREDIBLY CRAZY EXCITED when I read that this week’s book was coming out. So if you like monsters, or wonder what teenage boy goes on to create monsters… this is a book for you!

Let’s get to it shall we?

Book cover of 'This Dark Endeavour' by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

Summary:

Victor Frankenstein has things pretty good. He along with his twin, Konrad, cousin Elizabeth and friend Henry have the run of a huge castle (Chateau Frankenstein, don’t you know), indulgent parents and hoards of servants who care for their every need. It’s not shocking that Victor’s a little bit spoiled and full of himself. Wouldn’t you be? Thankfully Victor has Konrad to keep his feet firmly on the ground. Until, suddenly, Konrad becomes deathly ill. Victor is desperate to save his twin and will stop at nothing to ensure that he will not lose the only person he loves as much as himself. But what this quest to save Konrad will ultimately lead Victor to do may change the course of his life forever.

Review:

So Kenneth Oppel is a pretty famous Canadian author. (Interesting tidbit about Mr. Oppel? He wrote his first novel at age 15. Sent it to his fav author, Roald Dahl, who passed it on to his own agent and, presto, it was published in 1985.) I haven’t read any of his other books before… so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Like I said before, I don’t always understand why some authors are held in such high esteem, and this has made me skeptical. But I was very very pleasantly surprised!

The characters in this book were so life-like for me. I really felt that Victor was a real guy, experiencing totally normal emotions given the fact that his twin was deathly ill. I also really liked the love/rivalry that defined so much of his relationship with Konrad. I don’t have a twin, but I can only imagine what it would be like to have someone in your life that was physically identical to you, but different in so many other ways. The best part of Victor for me was how easy Kenneth Oppel made it to understand the things that Victor was willing to do. In the hands of another author I feel that Victor could easily have become a character that you could not relate to, one that was a villian rather than the genuinely conflicted young man that he seemed to be.

The pacing of this story was excellent. You not only got to know what was going on in the character’s heads, were given sufficient backstory to make them and the whole tale feel genuine, but it moved like a runaway freight train! There was just enough down-time in the story to give your poor brain a rest, but never enough to make the it drag or become boring. The historical setting was also very interesting. I don’t know much about alchemy or the history of modern medicine, but I really enjoyed learning bits and pieces about it through the story. Inadvertent learning really is the best, I feel. πŸ˜‰

Now, I know that my natural disposition is to want a sequel or series from any book that I like as much as I liked this one. This situation is no different. However, I could cope should there not be any other books about Victor Frankenstein forthcoming from the brilliant place that is Kenneth Oppel’s brain. This book is such a great standalone novel… it gives you lots of material to work with and although you would very much like to know what happens next, it is rather fun just imagining it for yourself. And I never think that. Ever. I always want my worlds to continue and my relationships to characters to last for more books than any author would ever want to write. So I think that either I’m coming down with something, or Kenneth Oppel has managed to do what I never thought possible. Create a world that I would like to explore in my own imagination without an author spoonfeeding me the story. It’s an odd feeling, but I like it. Kind of like the first bike ride without the training wheels… kind of freeing, but totally scary! πŸ™‚ So I think you should get out there and take off your training wheels… see what you think about this awesomely fabulous addition to the classic monster story genre!

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

I really liked this book! I was impressed with Kenneth Oppel’s ability to look beyond the classic story and imagine a world in which Victor Frankenstein became the man from Mary Shelley’s classic novel. I think this must have been very exciting to write, but I also imagine that he would have had some trepidation in adding to the story that is so well known and respected in western literature. But let’s see what he has to say about writing this book shall we? (Isn’t YouTube awesome?)

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook

And now, here’s a clip from one of my favourite interpretations of the Frankenstein Monster tale: Young Frankenstein. Clearly not your traditional take on the story. πŸ˜‰ But honestly people, dancing monsters? What’s not to love?!?!?

I don’t like horror movies. I don’t like gory scenes, or things jumping out at you from dark corners, or knowing that something really really bad is going to happen just from what music is playing during a particular scene. I’ve seen some horror movies (generally not by choice :S), and forced myself to watch some of the classics just so I would get the pop-culture references. Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock was one. And even though it is in black and white and I knew the basic plot, it was still more than scary enough for me. Generally speaking, I keep my movie watching limited to comedies, dramas, or other movies that I figure won’t cause me to jump and scream or have to hide my face.

Unless of course, it’s a Harry Potter movie.

Then I just squint my eyes and flinch and pray that the scary scene doesn’t last too long. Mostly because I forget to breathe during them… and well I’d hate to pay over $9 for a movie and then pass out for part of it. πŸ˜‰

So it is rather strange to me that some of my favourite movies feature the horror movie staple, Zombies.

Exhibit A:

Shaun of the Dead. Seriously, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost… they can do no wrong!

And Exhibit B:

Zombieland.

But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself this week. So I’ll let you read about this week’s book, and then I’ll explain why I’ve been rambling about horror movies, and zombies. πŸ™‚

Here you go:

book cover of "Enclave" by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Summary:

“I was born during the second holocaust. People had told us legends of a time when human beings lived longer. I thought they were just stories. Nobody even lived to see forty in my world.”

Duce lives underground, in a small community of other holocaust survivors. Everyone here has a specific purpose and is expected to do their job to support the community. Well everyone over the age of 15 that is. If you’re under 15, you don’t even rate a name. But that’s because most ‘brats’ don’t live very long in the enclave… so why bother to give them a name?

Duce has finally reached her 15th birthday and along with her name has also been given a job as a hunter. Being a hunter is the dream she has had for as long as she can remember. But she is partnered with the only hunter who has ever survived life outside the enclave, and she doesn’t trust him at all. Something that could be fatal, given how dangerous the Freaks (fleshing-eating monsters that eat anything that moves in the tunnels) make hunting in the tunnels around the enclave. But Duce quickly comes to realize that her new partner may be the only one she can trust with her life, both in and outside their home.

Reivew:

So everyone and their dog seems to be jumping on the dystopian bandwagon. I’ve already reviewed three such titles, as I’m sure you remember. (Find them here, here & here if you need a refresher!) So when I pulled this book off the new book shelf and saw that it was ‘for fans of The Hunger Games’, I may have rolled my eyes. But, I liked the book cover, and decided to give it a try. And you know what, I’m glad I did.

It took me a little while to get fully into the book. I liked Duce, but our relationship started out slowly since we don’t have much in common. I have never lived underground, although I have lived in basement apartments for many years… and that is almost the same thing. πŸ˜‰ Nor have I ever lived in a postapocalyptic world where one is limited to 3 job descriptions and only lives for a max of 40 years. Clearly my life experience hasn’t been very exciting. πŸ™‚ But, slowly and surely, Duce grew on me.Β  She’s a fiesty character, and is very interesting to watch as she trys to make sense of the new world rapidly unfolding around her. It wasn’t until things really started falling apart for Duce and her fellow hunter Fade, though, that I really started to sit up and pay attention. Unfortunately, as far as I was concerned, the book ended just as things really started to get good. Thank goodness it’s a series!!

So like I’ve indicated with my tags, this book is pretty action packed. It moves along quite quickly, especially in the latter half of the book, and there isn’t an epic amount of time spent on describing the local flora and fauna (yes J.R.R. Tolkien I’m talking to you!). So if you’re a fan of the action, this is another good pick for you.

And finally… like you didn’t see this coming right???… the Freaks that I mention in the summary? They’re so much like Zombies it’s unreal. Flesh-eating, blood-lusting, ravenous Zombies. (Amazeballs!) I’m sorry, I know this is a bit of a spoiler, but seriously dudes it is such a selling point for the book, I had to mention it! I would not have rolled my eyes if the tag-line on the front of the book had said ‘for fans of The Hunger Games and Zombies’! I would have been all over this book so fast it’s head would have spun. Well had it had one that is. *Ahem* Anyhoo… so if you happen to like Zombies, I suggest that you pick this sucker up. And from how Ms. Aguirre leaves things at the end of this book, I feel confident in saying that you’re going to want to pick up the second book when it comes out in 2012 (beware the spoilers through the link!).

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

Enclave, you get 4 out of 5, and most of that is because of the Zombies. Not going to lie.

However, had I not already made up my mind to give it this rating, I might have made it 5 out of 5 after watching this rather impressive book trailer. This takes the Gone trailer and just blows it right out of the water! WIN. πŸ™‚

Just FYI, I don’t remember the book being quite so charged with sexual tension… I think they’ve Hollywooded the trailer up a tad. Figures. But still awesomesauce right?? And who else thinks that the dude they have playing Fade looks a wee bit like Heath Ledger???

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook

Also, if you’re into Zombies and would like to see how they mesh with a work of classic literature, I suggest you pick up Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Oh book mash-ups, you make me so happy! *tear*

Finally, and this is not my find… all credit must go to my Zombie Apocalypse-Prepared boyfriend, there is this brilliant house. You may want to pick one up for the family … just in case. What a totally brilliant use of form and function. Frank Lloyd Wright would be proud. (Or not. I don’t know. I just know he was an architect. Sue me. :D)

I have to admit, I am slightly suspicious of writing juggernauts like James Patterson, Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel. Mostly because you have to wonder about someone who can push out that many books in a year (did they make a deal with a demon or something??). I mean, how do they find the time?!? Don’t get me wrong, I have read books by all of them, and enjoyed them very much. But I do get suspicious.

Another thing that makes me suspicious is when authors who have written a zillion and five adult titles* suddenly jump on the YA bandwagon. Yes YA is SO HOT right now. (Just like Hansel.) Yes, when something is SO HOT it is rather lucrative. And it has the ability to bring you, and your astounding back-catalogue, onto the radar of a new generation of readers. But should you be allowed to cash in on this trend if you’re not truly devoted to writing YA??? But this is just my cynical take on things… please make your own opinions! There is absolutely no reason you can’t read one of Mr Patterson’s non-YA novels after all. πŸ™‚

*According to Wikipedia (the most authoritative source ever obvs) Mr Patterson has written 71 books in 33 years. That’s an average of 2.1515151515151 etc. books per year. Doesn’t seem like much… but I think he’s become faster as he’s aged or something.

So, given how suspicious I clearly was about this week’s book… I found I was actually pleasantly surprised. And so, I present to you book number 3,654,842,108 in Mr Patterson’s career:

book cover of "Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

Summary:

Whit and Wisty Allgood are living normal suburban lives in a world that has started to become a little bit topsy-turvy. There is a new government in charge and it isn’t unusual anymore for armed soldiers to march down a street at 2am and take people from their homes at gun point. Or it is not unusual if you’re Whit and Wisty anyway.

If being taken into custody by the new government isn’t strange enough, try adding the mysterious disappearance of Whit’s girlfriend, Celia, 3 months ago! Nothing is going the way it should be for Whit and Wisty, and it is becoming clear that things are going to get much worse before they ever get better.

Review:

Like I said in my intro, this book actually surprised me. I was expecting … you know, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I’ve read some of James Patterson’s adult novels and remember enjoying them, but that was a long time ago and I’ve read so many books since then I don’t really trust my memory. But for some reason I think I was expecting drivel. (Sorry Mr Patterson!)Why, you ask? Well mostly because I’m judgmental about authors who churn books out more often than most of us change socks, and about authors who jump on the newest trends (in this case YA lit and supernatural stories) so they can make even more money.

Man, I’m rather cynical aren’t I? πŸ˜‰ But I think my cynicism comes from a good place. If you haven’t figured it out already, I love YA lit. I believe that it should be high quality and should never be produced just to make a buck. All readers of YA deserve this, but especially you readers who are yourselves young adults. This is your genre after all!! You have a right to demand quality and I assert my right to demand quality for you. πŸ™‚

But I’m getting off track aren’t I? So what I liked about this book is that it was a fast-paced and interesting story with likeable and believable characters. The pacing was great; if you like a book that moves and doesn’t stop for anything, this is a book for you!

I liked that the story was set in a world that clearly had magical people living with muggles (thanks J.K. for giving us that word!) prior to the new regime coming into power. But since new regimes always want to change the world to their particular vision, clearly these magical folks would need to go. What I did find rather frustrating about this book though, was the fact that it did a lot of assuming. (And you know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of u and me. It’s an oldy, but a goodie. :D) It assumed that you knew what the world was like before the new regime. That you knew about words or sayings when there had been no prior explanation in the book, or even in a footnote or glossary in the back. Rather frustrating, wouldn’t you agree?

My only other criticism was the lack of character development. Whit and Wisty seem like rather cool people (who am I kidding, I’d love to know a witch and wizard!!!) but we don’t get too much detail about who they are as people and what makes them tick. But like I said, this is a fast-paced, action-packed, thrill-ride of a book. So character development clearly wasn’t priority number 1. Which is fine, since it’s totally just my bias and personal preferences acting up again. πŸ˜‰

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

This book did not light me on fire. But nor did it completely offend my delicate sensibilities. Ergo, ipso facto columbo oreo, I give this book a fair-to-middling rating. I’m not going to rush out to read the sequel, but nor will I avoid it. πŸ™‚ You dodged a bullet Mr Patterson… carry on. πŸ˜‰

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook
  3. e-book

As with many YA books right now, and most of the books I choose to read myself, this book is part of a series. SHOCKING RIGHT? lol You currently have access to book number 2 (The Gift) through OverDrive as a downloadable e-audiobook. Book 3 (The Fire) comes out in December 2011. And if that’s not enough of Whit and Whisty for you, there is also a graphic novel (Battle for Shadowland).

I also found this book trailer for The Gift… and it makes mention of a movie?!? But I couldn’t find anything else on the interwebz to confirm or deny this. Your guess is as good as mine!!

Megalomaniac’s R Us.

megalomaniac (noun) – a person afflicted with megalomania.

megalomania (noun) – a lust or craving for power.

Just a couple of preparatory definitions to get you in the mood for this week’s review. You could also try dictator, Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin, and Adolf Hitler if you wanted a little historical context. Thankfully this book is much lighter than reading about what any of those men did!! (Not to make light of dictatorship and the atrocities committed under them. It’s important to know about what has happened in the world in order to stop it from ever happening again. But I digress…)

And your book for this week is…. drum roll please….

book cover of "I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President" by Josh Leib

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Summary:

Oliver Watson is a genius. The greatest genius in the history of the universe, in fact. Plus he is evil. However, he is only in the 7th grade. So this does put a bit of a cramp in the execution of his evil genius plans. In fact, not even Oliver’s own parents know he is a genius. They, and pretty well everyone else in the world, think he’s a drooling, moronic mess. But this will not stop Oliver from becoming his class president. Nothing will. He is an evil genius after all.

Review:

This book made me laugh out loud while I was reading it!! Thankfully I was only reading it in the privacy of my home… so only my cats looked at me strangely. Being embarrassed in front of one’s cats is much less embarrassing than being embarrassed in front of actual people. Cats are so much more forgiving of strange behaviour than people are. Maybe it’s because they will chase the red dot made by a laser pointer…

Oliver is a perfectly horrible little despot, and I loved every second of his maniacal scheming. Josh Lieb does a brilliant job at making such an awful character so hilarious and almost likeable. The other characters surrounding Oliver are the perfect foils for his evil genius, and watching him manipulate them for sport is so much fun.

This short little book, it comes in at under 200 pages, is a very funny and very fast read. Excellent for people who like their humour off-beat and a little silly. I honestly hope that Josh Lieb writes another book! I would definitely read it. πŸ˜€

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

I give this book 4 stars. It’s light, and zany and fun to read. And sometimes, that’s all you need a book to be. Thank you Josh Lieb for bringing your comedic talents to the page!

How to get this book:

  1. e-book
  2. e-audiobook

So for any of you wondering about Josh Lieb… here’s a short video to tell you about him.

And not only did he write and produce for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but for the Simpsons and other awesomely funny shows too. Pretty impressive right??? πŸ™‚

Who is Bernie Kosar again??

So every once and a while my mother asks me if I’ve read such-and-such a book. Generally speaking, if it’s not YA… I haven’t read it. And true to my 13 year old self, I don’t want to read it. KISS OF DEATH people. She tells me something’s good, I do not believe her.

Well that’s not entirely true. In fact it’s not true at all anymore. However, we have very different pleasure reading tastes; and, while I’m very happy when she’s read a book she loves, I usually don’t want to read it. Because it will probably be work for me. And pleasure reading is not about work. EVER. So never let anyone tell you off for not reading something they loved if it’s not something you love too in the first 50 pages. (This doesn’t apply to school. You will have to read books that you hate. I did. So move on, k?)

But like I mentioned above, YA is where my mom’s and my own reading tastes intersect. image of a two circle venn diagramJust like a Venn Diagram. (See, they do teach you good things in school!)

So several months ago, my mom asks me if I’ve read a book that her kids are all hepped up about. Since I hadn’t, and she’s never steered my in a wrong YA direction before, I immediately took her copy and devoured it. Good thing too, because now I get to be a cheerleader for yet another awesome YA series. So thanks Mom. Good job!

And the book is…

book cover of "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Summary:

Imagine that you have moved 21 times by the age of 12. You’ve never been to a party, never had close friends, and the only constant in your life is the man everyone assumes is your father. Weird right? Not even.

“John” (that’s his name now; but it has, and will, change) came to Earth when he was 5. He doesn’t remember much about where he lived before (Lorien was the name of the planet), and only barely remembers saying goodbye to his grandparents. It took a year of travelling to get to Earth, and he and the 8 other children he was sent with have not seen each other since they arrived. They can’t stay together you see. To do so would break the charm that protects them from being killed out of order. And they are being hunted.

“In the beginning we were a group of nine.

Three are gone, dead.

There are six of us left.

They are hunting us, and they won’t stop until they’ve killed us all.

I am Number Four. I know that I am next.” p. 9

Review:

I loved this book. And true love lasts a lifetime.

It is so amazing to me the books that are being written for YA readers right now. There are so many great books… makes me jealous that these books weren’t around when I was a YA.

But why do I feel this way? Well I think that this book was the perfect mix of escapism and realism. There was just enough different in the plot for me to go “What the…”, but not so much that I couldn’t relate to the ideas presented. I never moved as a kid, but I could totally imagine what it would be like to live like John, never knowing when you’d have to run again. The total chaos that would create in your life, and h0w resigned to it all that you would become. Other aspects of John’s life (which I won’t share due to their spoilerish nature) I couldn’t relate to at all, but that didn’t make them any less awesome!! And awesome is always good. Amirite?

John and Henri were totally relatable characters and I became completely invested in their story. I still am! I thought that Pittacus Lore used totally appropriate language for both of them… especially given that he is an elder from Lorien and English wouldn’t be his first language. Props to him, right?? πŸ™‚

As for the storyline… the real reason why I loved this book… well let’s just say that it was pretty intense. In an action-movie, thrill-ride sort of way. But better, because it wasn’t on a screen. This one was in my head… so I could see it just the way I wanted to! And sometimes that’s really better, isn’t it??

Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

A solid 4 stars in my book. I want to know what happens next!!

The reason it’s not 5 stars: the movie came out so quickly after the book. This superimposed Hollywood’s vision of the characters over my own before I’d had them totally solidified in my mind. And I hate that! Espeically because Hollywood is wrong. πŸ˜‰ (Why? Because I said so.)

But still, it’s an awesome book, and I will be in line to get the next installment when it hits stores. πŸ˜€ See you there!

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook
  3. e-book

Interesting factoids:

  • TPTB (the powers that be) made this book into a movie. In case you missed that memo, check out the trailer.

How do I feel about this?Β  BLARGH.Β  I think that sums it up nicely.

Basically, had I not read the book 1st, I would have coped. I like action-y movies, and I like when there is potential for sequels. I also like Timothy Olyphant (dude who plays Henri). But, unfortunately, I did read the book first. And so I sat through the entire movie like a Harry Potter-phile, picking apart every little stupid difference between the two. Hence the blargh.

I am not saying don’t watch it. Just don’t blame me if you have a similar reaction. I will do the told you so dance if you try.

  • Pittacus Lore’s author bio. Because it’s awesome.
  • Book 2 “The Power of Six” comes out August 23rd. Say it with me now… SQUEEEEEEEEE! πŸ™‚
  • Finally, some info on the mysterious Bernie Kosar. Because, honestly, who is this guy! (I totally did not know. So I will just save you having to look it up. You are welcome. πŸ˜‰ )

What are jorts you ask? BAM! These are!

Character Jacob from Twilight movies wearing cutoff jean shorts

Jorts are cut-off jean shorts… made famous by Taylor Lautner. Be thankful this isn’t the 80’s people. The 80’s didn’t have Taylor Lautner. Consequently jorts were much scarier then. Oh and we called them cut-offs.

And why on earth am I talking about jorts you ask? Excellent question.

Because, for a certain segment of the population (yes, I’m talking about twi-hards here… you know who you are) werewolves and jorts are like oreos and milk. They just go together. Or do they?

Our next review features a book with werewolves; but, strangely enough, no jorts. Go figure, right?

book cover of "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary:

Grace is an ordinary girl. Or as ordinary as a girl can be when she has survived a wolf attack. Sam, well now, he’s far from ordinary. But he saved Grace from the wolves. From his pack. And now they are connected in ways they cannot imagine.

One summer brings Sam and Grace together again. But will they be allowed to stay that way forever?

(Now I know what you’re thinking. What kind of summary is that?!?! But dudes, honestly, I’m not giving you any more. That’s about all I can safely tell you without ruining the book. And I don’t do spoilers!)


But here are two book trailers to further whet your appetites!

Review:

So this book and I… we struggled. And I hate to point fingers, but I think it was Grace that I struggled with the most. I just didn’t really connect with her… and given that half the book is from her point of view… well you can see my problem right? I honestly don’t think it had anything to do with the writing, or the idea behind her character… but we just didn’t click. Which sucks. Because I like werewolves. I liked them before there were jorts and Taylor Lautner. She just reminded me of Bella from the Twilight movies a little too much for me to really connect with her character. (And yes, I mean Bella in the movies. I have not read the books, so I don’t know what she’s like in them.)

I really liked Sam, and I was facinated by Maggie Stiefvater’s interpretation of werewolves and how someone lives with the werewolf …. curse? disease? gene? And the rest of his pack? I wanted to know more. More about who they were as people, and as wolves. So she totally hooked me there. Another character I quite liked was Isabel. She’s rude and a total smart-ass, but I dug her. If they make this into a movie, I would not mind at all if they gave her a bigger role. I think Isabel, if cast right, would kick butt.

I’m curious to know where this story goes. I won’t be rushing to read the 2nd book, but I’m pretty sure I will read it eventually.

Oh, but a note to the publisher, Scholastic: seriously people, this is Canada. We use metric. WHAT IS 44Β°F?? I don’t want to require a farenheit to celcius conversion chart to read a book. Lame. So for all subsequent editions of this book in Canada, change it. KTHXBAI!

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

This book gets 3 out of 5 stars. Mostly because I highly suspect that the issue was with me, and not the book. πŸ™‚ Let’s just chalk that one up to me being over 18 ok? And, despite my best efforts, I haven’t quite figured out how to change that. Jennifer Garner made it look so easy! πŸ˜‰

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook

If you liked this book, you will be very happy to know that it is part of a trilogy. The ‘Wolves of Mercy Falls’ trilogy to be precise. We have Linger already, and don’t you worry, as soon as Forever is released, we’ll be all over it too.

Other ‘squee’-inducing news? The entire trilogy has been optioned by a studio. This means movies, ladies and gents! In situations like this the first book is almost guaranteed to make it to film, and then the success of that movie determines the fate of the other two. Shiver is due to be released in 2012. When? Starring who? No idea. But if knowing more is what you’re all about… I suggest following this blog. They seem to be all over this.

A huge trend in YA lit right now is dystopian themed stories. This book is a kick-butt example of the best out there right now, hence it’s my pick for this week’s review!

book cover of "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Summary:

Todd Hewitt is the last boy left in Prentisstown. There are no other children, and no women at all. Only 142 men, Todd, and his dog Manchee. In 30 days Todd will become a man, but he is starting to sense that maybe something strange is going on in town. Aside, of course, from the obvious lack of women and children, oh and the fact that everyone’s thoughts can be heard all the time. ALL of their thoughts, ALL of the time. Needless to say, it gets pretty noisy in Prentisstown.

Very quickly Todd’s world is blown apart. He is forced to run away from his home by a hoarde of violent and angry Prentisstown men and heads into the wilderness without a clue as to where to go or how he will get there. With only Manchee for company, Todd’s run for his life very quickly forces him to see the world as it truly is, rather than how he had always thought it was… and what he and Manchee find is not pretty.

Review:

This book grabbed me by the face and didn’t let go until I had finished it. Twice I had to put it down and walk away because I was so shocked/upset, but within minutes I was back… dying to know what happened next. Totally not for the faint-of-heart, this is a book that if you start it at 9pm you will be up until 3am with your flashlight on under the covers.

Patrick Ness writes this book in a crazy, almost punctuation-free slang. Todd very quickly has a voice inside your head thanks to how unique the writing is; but, unlike some books with lots of slang, I didn’t find it hard to understand at all. I found that you could hear Todd and the other characters talking very clearly while you were reading, and that their voices were very unique. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the book.

I’m not normally a huge thrill-seeker in my reading, but this is one adrenaline ride I will be pushing at people for years to come!! Be prepared to laugh, cry, rage and be triumphant; not necessarily in that order and sometimes almost all at once. But whatever you do, you’d best hang on to your shorts people, and get reading!

Rating: 5 of 5 star rating

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for being, quite frankly, amazeballs. Books that make me cry don’t usually get rated highly… mostly because crying makes me look like a mess and my nose run. Ugh. Never a good thing in my view. But this one managed to escape this curse. So read it. NOW! πŸ™‚

How to get this book:

  1. e-audiobook
  2. e-book

Remember ladies and germs*, you will need your library card to access these online jobbies. If you don’t dig the online/downloadable formats, just call (705-645-4171), email or come on by and we’ll get it in for you from another library. This will also require a library card. Perhaps you should get one of those. Just sayin’.

*germs = my cute way of saying gentlemen. No disrespect intended. I swear.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to occasionally drop you some classic YA lit. And by classic, I mean I read it when I was YA-age appropriate or maybe my babysitter did back in the day. I will obvs have warm fuzzy feelings about it, and this is why I’m sharing. B/c when you have warm-fuzzies about something you just want the whole world to know.

Our 1st official Wayback Playback?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Summary:

Meg Murray feels like a freak. With her glasses, braces and mousey-brown hair; combined with her temper and being stuck in the lowest learning group in her class, Meg sticks out at school. And at home, Meg is faced with a brilliant and beautiful scientist mother, popular and athletic twin brothers and a father, who she loved more than anything, who has been missing for years. The only person who seems to understand her is her genius baby brother, Charles Wallace. But he’s only 5, as well as being a freak like her, so what can he really do to help?

When a strange woman stops by in the middle of the night, Meg and Charles Wallace’s world is turned upside down. Joined by one of the most popular boys in Meg’s class, Calvin O’Keefe, they are sent on a journey beyond imagining… beyond this world.

Review:

So like I said above, I’m sharing this book because I loved it years ago. And I still love it. It’s a small book, my copy has 190 pages, but this makes it no less exciting and mighty.

I would say that everyone, despite their IQ, feels like Meg at one time or another. And Madeleine L’Engle does such a fabulous job of telling us a story, and making Meg’s experience feel real. She contrasts this reality with an epic story of adventure and fantasy, but it feels almost possible the way she tells it.

There are so many things that I would love to say about this book, but they would spoil the story. So I’m going to restrain myself! And you are just going to have to trust me. πŸ™‚

If you’re anything like me, you will want to read the next book in the series to find out what happens to this extraordinary cast of characters. Take a look at the list below to find out about what to read next!

Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

I give this book a solid 4 stars. I read this book when I was younger, and because of that there is such a wonderful feeling of coming home again every time I read it. I also think that Madeleine L’Engle was a brilliant writer, and that is why her works have stood the test of time. Book love, ladies and gents… isn’t it the greatest? You can discover new reasons to love a book and things you missed with every reading, but it still feels like a friend.

How to get this book:

  1. book – don’t be offended that you have to go to the Children’s Dept to get this book. It’s just b/c they didn’t have the YA category back when it was written. True story.
  2. book on tape (Yes, that’s cassette tape. What?)
  3. e-audiobook

Like I said, if you want more you can have it! This is book 1 of the ‘Time Quartet’ series. Next up is:

Madeleine L’Engle also wrote these books which connect to the series as well:

  • The Arm of the Starfish
  • Dragons in the Waters
  • A House Like a Lotus
  • An Acceptable Time

So we only have one of the other titles, but I will be seeing if we can’t get the others very soon. Not having every book in a series irks the heck out of me. How about you? As usual though, we can get these books from other libraries. πŸ™‚ *Update, we’ve got more of the series in now! Check out the links above*

Graphic novel fan? Have no fear, an adaptation is in the works.

There was also a movie, but I refuse to link to the trailer. Mostly because it looks lamesauce. And I don’t want you to associate that lamesauce with the book. But I know you can google, so I’m sure if you want to see it badly enough, you’ll find it. πŸ˜‰

In case you have been out of touch with the world since 2009, this review will feature this little book here.

book cover of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Maybe you’ve heard of it??? If not, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you all about it! (With as few spoilers as possible. Promise.)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:

Katniss Everdeen is 16 and lives with her mother and younger sister in Panem’s District 12, aka the Seam. (Panem was founded in the ruins of what we call North America and is divided into 12 districts and one capitol territory.) They live in poverty, surviving on what Katniss and her friend Gale bring home from their dangerous and illegal hunting trips in the forest outside the Seam.

The morning we meet Katniss is a holiday of sorts in Panem. Called the reaping, it begins the Games; a huge televised event held every year in Panem pitting two children from each district against each other in a fight to the death. The winner of the Games each year is given fabulous riches and lives in luxury for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, to manage this they have to survive the unimaginable horrors of the Games.

At this year’s reaping Katniss’s sister, Prim, is the first person, or tribute, picked in District 12 to compete in the Games. Not willing to let her sister die in the Games, Katniss volunteers herself and begins the terrifying journey to the Capitol where the Games are held each year.

Review:

I LOVED this book. It moves so quickly, the story just pulls you from chapter to chapter. *Be warned, this might not be a good book to start before bed. You won’t want to sleep!* Katniss is a really well written character; and, while I certainly didn’t agree with all of her decisions as the story went forward, I understood her well enough to at least get why she makes the choices she does. I really felt that Katniss was a real person, she is so well described. I connected with her quickly and felt the whole range of emotions (terror to happiness) with her as she competes in the games.

Suzanne Collins does a really great job of helping the reader to see the world of Panem and the games clearly. Her characters are equally vivid, and she builds so much suspense in the story with her strong clear writing. Thankfully this is the first book in a series, so you don’t have to worry about saying goodbye to Katniss and Panem when this book ends. Also, you know that Suzanne will make the next books just as suspenseful and fun to read as the Hunger Games!

Rating:

four of five star rating

I give this book 4 stars. It kicked-butt and took names Γ  la Chuck Norris.

How to get this book:

Because I know you are now totally excited to read this book, I will share with you the 2 ways that you can get your paws on it from our library. And remember, you’ll need your library card for both!

  1. book (This link is currently broken… we had to get a new copy of the book, but it will be on the shelf and the link fixed soon I promise!)
  2. e-audiobook

Once you’ve read it, let me know what you thought!! Oh and btw, you are allowed to disagree with me. πŸ™‚

Want the next two books? Find Catching Fire and Mocking Jay at the library too.

P.S. This book is being made into a movie. I can’t decide if that’s a good idea or not… We’ll see!

Hot off the interwebs: Check out this killer glog (it’s like a blog smashed with a poster smashed with YouTube) for books that you may like if you liked The Hunger Games. I take no credit, some other awesome librarian did this sucker! πŸ˜€