Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mimi's Mini Goodbye!


Hi guys,

I'm so sorry that I've been AWOL the past few days! Something really big came up recently — something that resulted in loss and sadness and many complications — and we've been dealing with it ever since. I haven't had much time to blog in the past few days, and there's so much going on that I don't think I'll be able to blog in the next few days either.

But I didn't want to leave you guys without an explanation, so for now, I'm going to put my blog on a mini Mimi hiatus — just for a few weeks or so, give or take.

I don't like leaving my blog empty for long (it's like leaving your baby alone in a way!), but blogging takes A LOT of time. And right now with everything going on, I don't have that time to spare anymore. I'll be trying my best to stop by your blogs as often as I can and I'll definitely be around to chat on Goodreads. But I won't have much time to update my own blog.

I hope you'll understand.

Thank you SO MUCH for everything! I kind of, sort of, ABSOLUTELY love you guys, you know that? Blogging has been an adventure! I've had so much fun, met so many AMAZING people, found out about so many great books — and I can't wait to be back so I can do it all over again.

See you in a few weeks! I'm sure I'll have a ton to tell you by then. :)

 This isn't goodbye.

-Mimi

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Talk 101: Post Planning?


Hey, everybody! :)

It's been a while since I did a Book Talk 101 post, but I was inspired recently by one of my biggest dilemmas as a blogger, and I thought the best way to rant about it while not feeling like I'm ranting is to post it as a discussion! ;) So today's topic is...

Do you plan your posts ahead of time? 

Mimi's answer: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha you're funny! :')

No, I don't plan my posts ahead of time! I almost always write up my reviews and such the night before I post them. I know it's probably so much better to plan ahead (like maybe create a calendar where I can plan which review will be posted when or etcetera), but I never manage to know WHAT I want to post more than twenty-four hours before it goes live.  

PROS of the Mimi Procrastination Method: It makes me feel very spontaneous! And I find that my mind usually works so much better when I don't have time to second guess myself. I just write up my review, proofread it a bit, then usually post it up at midnight before I go to sleep. (In the morning before work/school, I reply to all comments then do the same thing randomly after.)  

CONS of the Mimi Procrastination Method: It makes me feel very unorganized! If I'm ever out late the night before, I often don't have enough time to write up a post for the next day and it could go blank. Also, what if I don't have any inspiration to write a post in that short amount of time? It's always be a problem when I can't get my feelings into words! (That happens A LOT when I really love a book/really hate a book/just can't agree with my brain at the moment!)

But the thing is, this night-before-planning-and-spontaneous-ideas-thing really works for me! I'm almost always able to prepare a post daily (except random days in between when I KNOW I'm going to be gone all day, or Saturdays a.k.a. Family Days). And I find I write a whole lot more efficiently when I don't have a chance to second guess myself.

Don't listen to me though! I might be the only person who does things this way and some people may be shaking their heads at me now, wondering, "How do you MANAGE, Mimi?!" :') And that's okay because everyone blogs differently, and it's only a matter of finding out what works best for YOU.

Soooooo....

How do you plan your posts? Are you as disorganized, spontaneous, and last minute as I am? Or do you write up your posts beforehand and have them ready to go way before? (I ADMIRE YOU PEOPLE.) Maybe you have another method? Which do you think is best and which method do you prefer? :)

-Mimi

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Snow White Sorrow


Time for another amazing Wednesday! ♥ :)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by the awesome Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 

Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Series: The Grimm Diaries #1
Links: Goodreads
What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?

Sixteen year old Loki Blackstar is no Prince Charming. His mother is a ghost. His only friend is a red Cadillac that talks to him through the radio. He looks like an Angel but acts like jerk. No wonder he has been banned from Heaven, which is the least of his troubles. Loki needs a job to pay for school and support himself.

Still, Loki has a rare gift: He is a Dreamhunter. One of the few in the world who can hunt and kill immortal demons in their dreams so they never wake up again.

When Loki is sent to kill a sixteen-year-old vampire girl the locals call Snow White Sorrow, he is pulled into a magical but dangerous world. The locals believe the monster to be Snow White.

The real Snow White... living in the ruins of an ancient castle in a small town. She is described as horribly beautiful, terrifyingly enchanting, and wickedly lovely.

What he finds instead is a beautiful monster girl filled with rage and hurt, who has an epic untold story to tell of things such like why the Brothers Grimm altered the fairy tale, who the Evil Queen really is, where the mirror came from, and who possessed it.

Snow White has killed every person who has dared come near the castle where she once lived with the queen. Mysteriously, she lets Loki live.

(summary taken from Goodreads)
Why do I want this book?
  1. I love fairytales and fairytale re-tellings! And one where Snow White is the evil killing machine instead of a damsel in distress? I don't know how anything could sound better than that! x)  ♥
  2. It sounds like Anna Dressed in Blood, which I really loved! I mean, awesome male protagonist and killer crazy yet beautiful monster girl... Doesn't it to you?
  3. THAT COVER. I would pay big bucks to have this gorgeous cover on my shelf! 
  4. After reading Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, I'm kind of in love with the name Loki. :')
I could probably come up with a list of a million reasons, but that's all for now! ;) 

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 

-Mimi

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: A Monster Calls

Book: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: N/A
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 215
Source: bookstore
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 5/5 (PERFECTION )
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

I never thought a picture book would make it onto my favourites list... but I was proved wrong a million times over by this story!

A Monster Calls is brilliant to say the least. As much as I claim to be an avid reader, I don't think a book has ever affected me as much as this one did. It stole my heart, broke it, and mended it all in the span of 215 beautiful pages. It's one of those books that change you deep inside and make you realize things that make you see things that make you...cry.  

My heart breaks for Conor. His mother is dying and he's being picked on at school. But he's probably the strongest, most brilliantly honest character ever. I cried for him just as much as I cried for everyone else who has to go through what he does.
“Stories don't always have happy endings."

This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him.
This book deals with cancer in its truest form. I couldn't help but be amazed at how perfectly, flawlessly, and beautifully Patrick Ness handled everything. From the way everyone treated Conor differently even though he just wished they'd stop with the pity, to the way it's impossible to know how to feel when someone you love it dying... It was truly genius. 

I cried SO MUCH when I read this book for the first time; I still cry whenever I read it again. And I'll re-read this when my dad dies and I'm sure I'll be bawling after that as well. A Monster Calls may be about cancer, but it's also about love, and loss, and grief, and pain. It's about nightmares trying to tell you something other than to be afraid. 

With a heartwrenchingly true storyline, darkly beautiful illustrations, and prose that tops even the best of writers, A Monster Calls is honestly perfection in its purest form. It's one of the most touching and heartbreaking books I've ever read, and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone especially if you know someone with cancer like I do.

BUY or BORROW?: Please, please, PLEASE skip the borrow and go straight for the buy with this book! And don't buy the e-book because then you don't get to see all the beautiful illustrations. The gorgeous hardback is the only way to go!  

-Mimi

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Unspoken

Book: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books
Pages: 370
Source: publisher
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4/5
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


(summary taken from Goodreads)
MY THOUGHTS:  

There's "bizarre" and "different," and then there's this book... which is probably the best of both! I loooooooooooooooooooooved it so much! 

Unspoken is one of those books that make you slap your forehead and wonder why you hadn't read it earlier. I couldn't stop grinning, yet at the same time, I couldn't breathe when it got intense. It kind of has the feel to it of Beautiful Creatures small town, fantastic cast, feared magical family, and rich gothic mystery except I liked this much, much more! 

Kami and Jared make up a totally unorthodox pair that I seriously LOVE! They've never met before (they used to believe that the other was imaginary), but they've been able to talk into each other's minds since birth. People look at them strangely for stopping randomly to laugh at inner conversations, but Kami and Jared don't care. They've been best friends since forever, and they're like two halves of the same whole.  

And when they do finally meet, it's so realistic! They don't know what to be at first (Friends? Girlfriend/boyfriend? Enemies?), but I promise your heart will go for a wild ride. 

It's not just the romance that's so different from what I'm used to, but the characters themselves. Kami (witty teenage journalist extraordinaire) is strange and she knows it. But there's no angsty outcast drama here! She still has wonderful friends and a wonderful family despite her strangeness. And Jared... Jared is a leather-jacket-wearing bad boy who'd move heaven and Earth for Kami. My heart broke for him, ached for him, shone for him.

The wit is off the charts! Kami has such a smart mouth and the kind of reckless brain all reporters are born with; the banter had me cracking up constantly. Sarah Rees Brennan is a mastermind at creating a dynamic story filled with wonderfully unique characters, NONE of that hair-pulling cliche drama, and ALL of the intenseness of a great mystery.  

Brilliantly witty and fantastically strange, Unspoken is an amazing novel that brings everything we've been looking for in YA without even knowing it! With a hilarious cast, smile-inducing dialogue, and a mystery that turns pages on its own, this book is sure to be a stunner! :)  

BUY or BORROW?: This book was buy-worthy the moment Kami cracked her first joke! I want to own this for all of its hilarious one-liners and originality, and you should too! ;)

-Mimi

Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview + Giveaway: From What I Remember!

Hi, everybody! :)

Last week, I was lucky enough to recieve a copy of From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas... and I loved it so much that I wrote a review for it ASAP! (You can read my review HERE.) It was fun, and hilarious, and sweet, and everything you could ever want in a contemporary book. I would recommend it in a heartbeat!

So I'm really ecstatic that the two amazing, sweet, quirky, and brilliant authors are offering up two SIGNED copies of From What I Remember for you guys! It's international, so anyone can enter. :) And Stacy also agreed to play a last minute game of THIS or THAT with me!

______

From What I Remember
By Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
KYLIE: MEXICO WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.

______

THIS or THAT interview with Stacy Kramer

Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate all the way. Not a vanilla girl, I'm just not drawn that way.

Paperbacks or ebooks?
Ebooks.

Summer or winter?
Summer.

School or work?
Work.

Good boys or bad boys? 
I married the good boy. I dated the bad boys.

Books or movies?
Hmmm. I really can't choose here. I write movies and books. It's like asking me my left arm or my right. 

Paranormal or contemporary?
Contemporary. The awful truth is i really don't get paranormal. 

Best friend or soul mate? 
Soul mate.

Spaghetti or lasagna?
Neither. Sorry, I'm going to have to bail on this one too. I'm not a pasta girl. I'll take a good loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese over pasta any day.

Going to graduation or being kidnapped to Mexico? ;)
Kidnapped to Mexico. You never know what will happen. ;)
______

Giveaway

Now it's time for the giveaway! Two people can win a SIGNED copy of From What I Remember. And because they're even more awesome, they're willing to ship internationally! (I would beam if one of the winners lived in Mexico LOL ♥)

If you haven't read this book before, then why wouldn't you enter?? This book is absolutely worth having on your shelf I'm SO happy to have this book on my shelf! And if you've already read it... why wouldn't you want to own a beautiful signed copy? :')

Just fill out the form below: 


______

And that's everything! A million thanks to Stacy Kramer for taking the time to answer my (very random) questions and for the lovely giveaway. And thanks to Valerie Thomas for co-writing the book with Stacy as well they both rock so much! :)

Have an amazing weekend, guys! I hope you don't get kidnapped by random thugs and get taken over to Mexico without your passport like Kylie and Max did... yet at the same time, wouldn't that be SO COOL?? :')

-Mimi

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door

Book: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Series: N/A
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: June 14, 2012
Pages: 395
Source: bookstore
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4.95/5
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS: 

FACT #1: I'm not a contemporary girl. I love paranormal books way more than my realistic ones; worlds that don't really exist enthrall me way more than real ones do. Because those supernatural books are usually more badass, intense, and fun than everyday romances.

FACT #2: My Life Next Door totally voids the first fact!!

Where can I even start with how much I loved this book? How much it took me surprise, grabbed my heart, and wouldn't let go? This is NOTHING like your average contemporary read! It's still sweet and romantic and funny and brilliant. But I thought I had a good guess to what the huge plot twist would be, and boy was I wrong! I didn't expect it at all, which doesn't happen with me and contemporaries very often.

And the cast — I loved every single character! They were all so perfectly, brilliantly, wonderfully written. There's Sam, who I ached for, because she grows up with the pressure to be perfect from a mother who doesn't  know the definition of fun. Then there's Jase, and God, I loved him so much! He wears a leather jacket, drives a motorcycle, and is the boy next door... but he is undoubtedly the SWEETEST book boy I've ever met. Ever. I'm not even kidding!

(I already have our wedding colours picked out. He's seriously WONDERFUL!)

But I can't forget mentioning the entire Garrett family! Made up of eight totally individual children and two adoring parents, the Garretts are my dream family. Loud, fun, hilarious, loving. Obviously Jase is my favourite, but George — Jase's adorable 4-year-old brother who watches too much Discovery Channel for his own good — was a close favourite! :')

The humor! The wit! The complexity! This book was funny like I didn't expect, and heartwarming in ways I never imagined. The only reason (and I mean ONLY) that this book gets a 4.95 instead of a full 5 stars is because I felt like the ending didn't wrap up enough.

With one of the funnest contemporary casts of all time, an extremely sweet and beautiful romance, and a twist that will be a surprise, My Life Next Door is undoubtedly one of the best contemporaries of all time — and one of my all-time favourites as well!

BUY or BORROW?: Why are you even thinking about this question?? I bought this book on a whim and it became a favourite. Start saving up your change because this is WAY worth the buy — I'm actually a little tempted to buy two copies!

-Mimi

P.S. My older sister read this book in two days... and she hasn't read a novel in six months! Now try and TELL ME that the amazingness of this book is just in my head! x)