Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Charade Blog Tour: Meet the Characters + Giveaway!!


Welcome, all of you awesome people! :)

Today, I'm so lucky to be a part of the blog tour for Charade by Cambria Hebert! Ever since I participated in the fun Masquerade read-along, I couldn't help but fall in love with the cast that Cambria created, so I'm really excited to have her here to introduce them to you.

So without further ado... Say hi to Cambria! :)

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Hi Everyone!!

I want to say thank you to Mimi for having me today at this wonderful blog as part of the Heven and Hell Tour: Charade. My post today is really fun and if you haven’t read the Heven and Hell series and haven’t met the characters then this is a great post to be introduced to them! If you have read the books then this is a great refresher post! And you might learn something you didn’t know!! 

The Heven and Hell series so far:


So let’s get to the fun! 

Meet the Characters!

HEVEN:

16 -year- old Heven is blond, blue eyed and used to be the most beautiful girl in school. Then one night everything changed. A night she can’t remember but bears the marks of something awful. Ever since the accident that turned her into a freak, all Heven does is try to make it through the day.

SAM:

18-year-old Sam is new in town.... or is he? He has golden good looks, a deep raspy voice and drives an old pick-up truck. He has an agenda that no one knows about; he knows things sees things that no one else has. He has to find a way to get close enough to Heven to keep her safe, yet stay far enough away because he has secrets.... secrets that he doesn't want anyone to know.


KIMBER: 

Kimber is 16 and spoiled rotten. Mommy and Daddy don’t have time for her so they give her the best that money can buy. She drives the cutest car and has the best clothes. Her curly red hair is proof of her fiery attitude and likes a good party (which she frequently throws at her awesome house on the lake). She’s the only girl in school who still treats Heven like she exists.

COLE:

Cole is 16. He’s popular, a star football player and dating the most stylish girl in school, Kimber. Never mind the fact that they fight every five minutes and he feels an intense need to watch out for Heven.


THE HATE (Masquerade character):

Someone is watching. Someone is waiting. Someone is plotting Heven's demise. When Heven looks over her shoulders, they slip into the shadows and laugh. The next time you feel a chill... watch out because someone might really be there.


AIRIS:

An angel...


GEMMA (new character in Charade):

Gemma is a warrior fallen angel. She comes into Charade to help Heven and Sam on their quest. Gemma is strong, wise, and can beat anyone in a fight. LOL!! She doesn't take crap and doesn't usually make friends. She holds her true feelings back and never really shows what goes on beneath her tough exterior.

LOGAN:

Logan is Sam's baby brother. He is only fourteen but he already has been through so much. He is quite the mystery and Between is a novella based entirely on him. Favorite color: Green.




And those are some of the key characters in the Heven and Hell series!! So glad you could get to know them and be here today! BUT WAIT! What was that I said? A Giveaway!!! Free stuff!

Ya-Hooo!!

Here are the goodies: A signed paperback of Charade, two signed bookmarks, a notepad with a quote from Masquerade on it, a pen with the Charade cover image on it, and a magnet with Sam's picture on it (the picture above).

Be sure to enter to win and thank you so much for being here today!!!

-Cambria

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To enter the giveaway, just fill out the form below:



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About Charade: Goodreads | Amazon

Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.
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You can follow the rest of the tour on Cambria's blog HERE.

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Isn't Cambria the most enthusiastically sweet person ever? I adore her to bits! x) And I adored her first book, Masquerade, too, so if you have the chance to check it out, I highly suggest that you do! :) 

Have a wonderful day, you guys!  

-Mimi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: The Last Princess

Book: The Last Princess
Author: Galaxy Craze
Series: N/A
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 295
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (Thank you so much!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 3.5/5
Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.

When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.

Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope—and to love—once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become... The Last Princess.


(summary taken from Goodreads)
MY THOUGHTS:  

When you look at this book, you think of a dark, dreary, and dangerous dystopian set in a ruined London. And while it is a dystopian set in England and can be very dark at times, it's also so much more enjoyable and lighter than I expected!

You don't have to worry about being bored with this book The Last Princess is fast-paced and engaging from beginning to end! But sometimes it's a little too fast that it skims over details and shies away from world-building, leaving so much room for plot holes and questions. (I mean, there are cannibals! Creepy-cool idea, right? But we never flesh out why there are cannibals or how London became as ruined as it was.) 

On the other hand, the speed helps avoid the slow beginning that many dystopians tend to have! The story focuses more on the current monarchy and a dictator's revolution to take over it. It's surprisingly political, but in an interesting, cool, and not-boring way. 

Eliza isn't your average princess she's more like a princess-turned-soldier, forced to flee and join the revolutionist army as a spy to save her siblings. She may start out as your typical kindhearted and naive girl, but she matures and proves her bravery by the end.  It's hard not to adore, admire, and ache for her with what Galaxy Craze puts her through!  

I just wish that, like with world-building, we had more investment in the other characters. Cornelius had so much potential to be more than the one-dimensional villain he was (although he was still easy to hate, that's for sure!). And Wesley was a sweet, secretive, and intriguing love interest, but we never got to learn his secrets or motivations.  

With a fascinating premise and a plot that races like your heart, The Last Princess is a unique and adventurous story that you'll probably finish in one sitting. It may not be a flawless book, but it sure is enjoyable to read! :) 

BUY or  BORROW?: If you're looking for a fast and absorbing novel, then this book is definitely worth picking up!

-Mimi

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone

Book: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Grisha #1
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 368
Source: Raincoast Books & Macmillan (Thank you so much!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 5/5
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
(summary taken from Goodreads)  
MY THOUGHTS:  

There's no doubt in my mind that this will end up being one of the BEST books of the entire year! Best world, best heroine, best writing, best romance... There are just so many breathtaking things in this book, I can't believe I ever had a doubt!  

Shadow and Bone is high fantasy at its best. (There's that word again!) The world-building of Ravka is flawless. It makes you believe and fear the terrible Shadow Fold that splits it in two, with its ravenous monsters, but there's never an overwhelming dump of information. It's always showing not telling, captivating not repelling, and kind of perfect which I don't say for high fantasy very often (or at all)! 

Alina smart, strong, vulnerable Alina is one of my favourite heroines ever! She's not blindingly beautiful or perfect with her new found ability at first; she doesn't always know the right thing to say or the right people to trust. But she's one of the most REAL characters I've ever met, and she grows, learns, and loses so much that I almost wish I didn't care about her like I do so it wouldn't hurt as much. But of course, with Alina, that's impossible! 

And I loved the rest of the cast too especially the Darkling, who seriously brings a new definition to the word mysterious, and Mal, for never giving up on Alina and always being the sweetest best friend ever! The romance is really a spoiler on its own, but I promise it's not your average best-friends-plus-one romance. I adored it so much!

Also, I can't even say whether or not I expected the big twist near the end because I was so enamoured by the everything that I didn't pause a second to make any guesses!

With some of the best writing and most brilliant worlds ever, Shadow and Bone will undoubtedly be topping people's favourites lists everywhere. I can honestly say that it's my favourite high fantasy book of all time... and that's coming from a fantasy-loving girl. ;)

BUY or BORROW?: You will buy this book and love it and be at Leigh Bardugo's feet with me, begging to read the sequel! This is an absolute MUST, and I can't even stress how buy-worthy it is enough! (Want a reminder? Count the number of times I used "best" in this review!) 

-Mimi

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Showcase Sunday #2


Sunday Showcase is a cool new meme created by Vicky @ Book, Biscuits, and Tea! It's a great new way for bloggers to showcase the books they've gotten in the past week, and I'm excited to take part. :)

FOR REVIEW: 


Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
I've never heard of this one before, but doesn't it sound really good? It's about a guy who gets accused of murder even though he's innocent, and the girl who believes him. Yay for mysteries!

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Tell me you didn't look at this book and think, "That is SO Mimi!" Because even my mom took one look at the cover and pegged it as my kind of book LOL. I'll be starting this one soon! :)

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
I actually already read & reviewed an ARC of this one a few months ago (you can read my review HERE), but I loved it so much that having a gorgeous finished copy come was a really nice surprise! I'll probably end up gifting it to a friend to share the love like I always do with extra copies :)

The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
I just finished reading this one last night and surprisingly enjoyed it! I'll be reviewing this book sometime this week, so stay tuned!

Winter White by Jen Calonita
Soooooooooooo excited to read this one! I crazily-adored the first book, Belles, and you don't even know how pumped up I am to be able to meet up with my favourite girls, Mira and Izzie, again! It may not be coming out until October, but I'm starting it ASAP! ;)

GIFTED: 


A signed A Temptation of Angels bookmark and book plate from Michell Zink! Thank you so much, Michelle! They really go perfectly with the copy of A Temptation of Angels that I already owned. I still haven't read it yet, but as soon as my review schedule clears up, I definitely will :)

BORROWED: 


New Girl by Paige Harbison
This book was heavily hyped up by the usual blogs I follow when it first came out, some good, some bad... But I have to admit that the main reason I want to read this book is because I've heard that the MC's name isn't revealed until the very end, and I really want to know what it is! x)
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
This is going to be my first book by Maria V. Snyder! I tried to get Posion Study but they don't seem to have that one in my library anymore... Still, I've been recommended MVS since day one, and it's about time I found out what the hype's about! :)

I will never, ever, EVER get tired of getting books! You have to be a hard-core reader to understand that, which I'm sure all of you are too ;) Thank you so much to the fantastic representatives of Thomas Allen & Son and Hachette Book Group Canada for sending these squee-worthy books to me, and to Michelle Zink for the sweet bookmark and book plate!

WHAT BOOKS DID YOU GET THIS WEEK? 

-Mimi

Friday, May 25, 2012

BookTalk101: Stars For Books -- Yay or Nay?


Hi, everyone! :) Release the confetti; blow your horns; do your Lotto 649 dance... It's the weekend! And it's almost June too, which means that I have less than a month of school left before exams and summatives are due, and I couldn't be more nervous-slash-excited x)

But that's not what today's post is about! BookTalk101 is a new little feature I started for the first time two weeks ago, and I thought it was time for another Mimi-crazed, blogging-related discussion (if you don't mind!). Today's topic is:

Stars For Books Yay or Nay?

In other words: What do you think about rating books?

The 5-star rating system is this whole huge controversy right now because everyone rates their books differently (what some people consider a five may be a four for someone else, and etcetera), but I just have to say that I've never done anything but write my reviews with that system.

I read a variety of different reviews from bloggers who use different rating systems, but I've always found that ranking books from between one and five stars has always worked for me personally. It may be hard sometimes, but it's also easy sometimes too! :)

Here's how I rate my books:

Just like the way I write my reviews, the way I rate books has changed so much since I first started blogging! I feel like I give out 5 star ratings a less frequently now than I did before. Now I only save those for books that I REALLY recommend, and I'm a little more stern on what deserves what rating.

Like reviews themselves, rating systems really reflect on the blogger! Different bloggers use different rating systems and value their stars differently if they do use the same one, and that's A-OK. :) There's a short little note of how I rate books on my side bar, but here's a more detailed breakdown of what I think of books I rate with each star count:

5 STARS: If I was stranded on a desert island, I would take this book with me! Absolutely AMAZING and addictive and unputdownable! It's the kind of book you finish in a night and think about all day. 5-star ratings for me are usually saved for books I think are perfect and brilliant, but occasionally I'll give this rating to a book with a minor flaw that can be easily overlooked since I love everything else so much. :) Buy-worthy, for sure! 

4 STARS: This book is SO easy to enjoy! My 4-star ratings are most difficult to pin down because many 4-star books can be so much better than others. (I think that 4s and 3.5s are my most common rating on Goodreads.)  But overall, 4-star books may have one or two minor flaws but nothing that takes away from the story too much, and they have to be books that I can fly through really quickly too. I would definitely recommend these!

3 STARS: A 3-star book isn't perfect and will probably have a couple note-worthy flaws, but I never regret reading these novels. They're usually sweet, maybe a little predictable, but well worth the read. :)

2 STARS: My 2-star books are saved for ones that are either hard to get through (slow-paced, bad writing, awful MC, etc.) or have something about them that frustrates me enough that it drags my overall view of it down a lot!

1 STAR: I didn't like this book and I probably wouldn't recommend it. :(. I don't rate very many books with only 1-star because I'd usually stop reading before I'd have a chance to finish if I didn't like it this much LOL unless it's a review book, of course, because I have a vow to review every ARC I get. But I'm really careful to never request a book that I would probably hate, so it doesn't happen much! :)

DNF: Did not finish. If I listed all of my DNF books together, you wouldn't believe how many books would be on it! x) I used to never not finish books, but lately there are just too many that I want to/need to read that if I can't get past the first 100 pages of a (non-review) book, then I'll set it aside for later. (Maybe I'll pick it up again, but maybe I won't.) I never rate these books, but I might write mini-reviews if I feel they're necessary.

(I'm also really abusing half-star ratings in books now too LOL it's just so much easier than carrying bigger differences of awesome between fellow 4-star books and all that!)

And here's another thing...

You don't have to rate a book according to what everyone else thinks. When I first started blogging, I felt so weird writing negative reviews for books that all my other friends seemed to enjoy! I always wondered if posting my lukewarm reviews was wrong somehow. But now I've learned that I shouldn't feel obligated to like a book just because other people did.

If you don't like a book, I would LOVE to hear why! In the end, I always end up reading a gazillion reviews on Goodreads before I make the decision to buy a book anyways, and I never just look at the positive reviews most of the ones I read are actually more on the negative side so I can get a feel on whether or not the negative aspects mentioned would bug me or not. :)

I'd probably want to read a book more if it was given 4-stars and an honest, critical review than if a book was given 5-stars and a simple "It's awesome, go read it!" It's the same thing with trusting reviewers who have a variety of ratings more than someone with a plethora of 5-stars! ;)

Do you use the 5-star system when reviewing your books or something else? Do you like reading reviews without ratings or with them? What's your overall take on book ratings? 

(And do you ever get frustrated with rating a book because you have no idea how to label it like I do sometimes? LOL)

I hope you guys have an amazing weekend! :)

-Mimi

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Fated

Book: Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: Soul Seekers #1
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 306
Source: Raincoast Books (Thank you so much, RCB!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 2/5
Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.


(summary taken from Goodreads)
MY THOUGHTS:  

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write! I tried to like Fated, I really tried to, but the writing was hard to get through, Daire was hard to like, and the story started so hard and slow that I had to re-start this a few times before I finished.  

Daire was... difficult. As the daughter of a celebrity makeup artist, she was selfish, disrespectful, and your classic I'm-not-that-gorgeous-but-guys-love-me-anyways type of girl. I couldn't understand what she was doing most of the time or why she was doing it.  By the end, she did improve a bit but only to the point where I tolerated her rather than loved her.  

Fated was very slow-paced. The characters spoke in monologue. And as a grammar girl, I was constantly frustrated by how there were so many sentence fragments that it was hard to tell what was complete and what wasn't! There's something about Alyson Noel's writing that you'll either love or hate, and I just couldn't get into it this time around.  

BUT: I really liked the supernatural aspect of this book! As a part of their Soul Seeker magic, they can sort of draw energy from the earth and channel it into cool things like merging energies with a cockroach. It was different from the razzle-dazzle I'm used to in a cool way. Also, I liked the dynamic of Cade's evil twin to Dace's good twin; Cade's villain to Dace's Prince Charming.

With a gorgeous cover and fascinating premise, Fated was a book that I wanted to like so much more than I did! Maybe it had to do with the fact that I wasn't a huge fan of The Immortals series either. But if you did enjoy her other series or if you want to give the cool magic of this book a chance, then you might enjoy this series too! Who knows? Maybe I'm just one odd fish out of the water. :')  

BUY or BORROW?: Unless you really liked Alyson Noel's other books, then I think that I'd recommend you borrow this book first! It's really hard to get into at the beginning, and there's a 50/50 chance you'll love it, give or take. 

-Mimi

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Star


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: 

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.


(summary taken from Goodreads
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Series: N/A
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters

After watching The Avengers for the second time this weekend (and if you haven't watched that movie yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Robert Downy Jr./Tony Stark/Iron Man is my favourite!), I'm really in the mood for an epic superhero book! I don't even think that epic will be a strong enough word to described this, but hey, we've got to start somewhere! ;)

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 

-Mimi

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Preloved

Book: Preloved
Author: Shirley Marr
Series: N/A
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Pages: 272
Source: author (Thank you so much, Shirley!!)
Links: Goodreads | Fishpond 
Stars: 4/5
If you had a second chance at love, would you do it all over again?
Amy has enough to deal with for one lifetime. A superstitious Chinese mother. A best friend whose mood changes as dramatically as her hair colour. A reputation for being strange. The last thing she needs is to be haunted by someone only she can see.
Logan is a ghost from the Eighties. He could be dangerous. He's certainly annoying.
He might also be Amy's dream boy.

(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS: 

This book defines the word adorable, brings a new definition to the word contemporary, and manages to mix hilarious and heartwarming scenes with the perfect degree of effectiveness! In other words, Preloved stole my heart and I'm not demanding it back anytime soon.

Preloved revolves around Amy, your classic sidekick girl. She's in love with The Princess Bride, has an amusingly superstitious Chinese mother, and has best friend that she believes will be the heroine of a story someday. Except instead by some fluke chance Amy is the one who ends up with the ghost-inhabited locket. Thus beginning her hilarious journey!

I couldn't have loved Amy more than I already did if you paid me to! She was quirky, and funny, and strange, and absolutely the kind of girl I'd admire in school. When she meets Logan (the swoon-worthy ghost from the 80s from the locket ) her world is turned upside down. Yet she deals with it exactly how any girl would! First she questions her sanity. Then she tries to help him out, because who wouldn't try to aid the sweet albeit slightly infuriating ghost?

Shirley said, "It's more a bad romance, less of a love story." And that's so true! When the boy is a ghost and the girl isn't, you can't expect a happily ever after although I was craving one anyways because of how attached I became to the characters. But HEA or not, the ending is bittersweet and perfect in its own way. I turned the last page with a smile with my tears. 

Adorably sweet, funny, and heartwarming all the same, Preloved is a book I loved with all my heart! I loved all the characters, from Amy to her best friend to Logan and more; I loved the way it dealt with family as well as the difficulty of being friends with a diva.  

This book is a contemporary read with a touch of ghostly romance. Would I recommend it? Absolutely and completely and totally, I would! :)  

BUY or BORROW?: Do yourself a favour and buy this book ASAP! It will definitely bring a smile to your face, and it will give all sidekick girls hope that they'll be the main character of their own story soon as well! :)  

-Mimi

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Showcase Sunday #1


Thanks to the awesome tips from you awesome people (hi there!), I've decided to participate in the new meme created by Vicky @ Book, Biscuits, and Tea, Sunday Showcase! It's a cool new way for bloggers to showcase the books they've gotten in the past week, and I'm excited to take part. :)

FOR REVIEW: 


Croak by Gina Damico

I think all of you need to go get your hands on Croak ASAP — I already read, loved, and reviewed it HERE! And I don't read very many middle grade reads, but mermaids and ghosts? I just had to say yes! Will be reviewing these for my blog tour dates soon :) Thanks so much to Thomas Allen & Son and Sourcebooks for sending these!

BORROWED: 


The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Haven by Kristi Cook
A Million Suns by Beth Revis

BOUGHT: 


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Already read and loved CoLS and Insurgent! Have I been reminded of how both Cassie and Veronica are pure geniuses? YES. Heck YES. :')

That's everything for this week! I'm trying to cut back on how many books I request (both from publishers and from the library) because my TBR pile seriously towers over my house, but sometimes I can't help myself. x) Thanks so much again to Thomas Allen & Son and Sourcebooks!

And I have this habit of assuming that everyone has the same holidays as we do here in Canada (or as I do in my school LOL), but I hope you're all having a great weekend, regardless of whether or not it's Victoria Day for you on Monday or not! :)


WHAT BOOKS DID YOU GET THIS WEEK? 

-Mimi

Friday, May 18, 2012

Top Twelve Summer Books I'm Dying To Read!

Hi, everybody! :)

Just because I've spent a lot of time pining over books that I'm dying to get my hands on lately (to the point where I'm constantly distracted!),  I decided to make up a post of the top twelve (because trying to make a list of ten just didn't work) books I'm dying to read that are released this summer! Here they are, in no particular order:

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(Covers & titles link to Goodreads)


1. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1
Release Date: June 12, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: I am and always have been Team Adrian, and I actually liked (please don't kill me) Bloodlines better than Vampire Academy! I would trade in various organs to get my hands on this book now. :')

2. Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #6
Release Date: June 26, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: It's RACHEL VINCENT. It's about REAPERS. It has TOD HUDSON in it. This series is one of my favourites of all time, so you can only imagine how excited I am to be a part of the blog tour for this in June!!!! I danced around forever! ♥

3. Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson
Series: Lila #2
Release Date: August 2, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: Because Hunting Lila was one of my faves of 2011 and I'm already hovering with my mouse over the clicker to add this one on my list right next to it! ;)


4. Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
Series: Nevermore #2
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: I read the first book, Nevermore, in 2010 and was so sad when they pushed the release date back for this sequel because I want more gothic Varen and kick-butt Isobel. But now I'm just happy that it's coming out soon! :) 

5. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Series: N/A
Release Date: June 14, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: Part because I really need a contemporary book on this list, and part because I have a weakness for the boys next door! Doesn't this one sound really sweet?

6. Defiance by C.S. Redwine
Series: Defiance #1
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: Have you READ the synopsis? I fell in love with the idea of it immediately, and I'm crossing my fingers and legs and toes that this won't disappoint!


7. Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental #2
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: The first book was made of epic amazingness (just like Brigid herself and the five amazing boys she created in Storm!), and I don't think anyone who's read the first one is going to pass up the chance to know more about Gabriel! ;)

8. Auracle by Gina Rosati
Series: N/A
Release Date: August 2, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: Authors are starting to get back into writing crazy original stories with cool premises, and this one (about astral projection) is just one exhibit in a really big museum! Thank goodness for that! :)

9. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #2
Release Date: August 14, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: If you need to ask this question, I'm going to assume that you haven't read Obsidian yet and I'll gladly drag you to the nearest bookstore to pick this up! Aliens and book bloggers have never made a better mix than in this book! :)

10. Inbetween by Tara A. Fuller
Series: Kissed by Death #1
Release Date: August 14, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: More reapers!! *dances happily* They're really starting to top witches as my favourite paranormal creatures now, and I want this to be one of the books that helps turn me!

11. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarrey
Series: N/A
Release Date: July 31, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: Another contemporary! (See, you can't say I didn't include any!) A few of my blogging friends recently raved about it, so I'm prepared to go into this one with tissues and a cozy blanket!


12. Foretold by Richelle Mead, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, etc.
Series: N/A
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Why I'm dying to read this: I'm not usually an anthology girl, but this one has authors like Richelle Mead and Meg Cabot and Laini Taylor contributing, so this is a definite MUST!

______

And that's just a fraction of the many books that I've been dying to read this summer! (A lot of them are a part of a series of some sort haha... but I did sneak some standalones in there too!) Can you imagine how big my pre-order lists for the next few months are? Because they would seriously put any book-lover to shame! :') 

What books are you dying for this summer? 

-Mimi

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Croak

Book: Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Series: Croak #1
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 311
Source: Thomas Allen & Son (Thank you so much!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 5/5
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

Absolutely 5 SHINY (like this cover) STARS! Sometimes I think I read so many books that finding an original and captivating gem in the bunch gets harder by the day, but Croak reminds me why I love to read. It's knee-slappingly fun but still dark at the same time! 

As a huge Soul Screamers fan, I already have a weakness for reapers but Gina Damico still brings something new to the table! These reapers carry actual scythes and only have the job of carting souls off to the Afterlife, where quirky ghosts like Elvis and Edgar Allan Poe can wallow in peace. 

Lex has to be one of the most spunky, temperamental, and stubborn heroines I've ever met but she's also one of my favourites! She doesn't take crap from anyone, not even her twin sister Cordy, but her fair heart still makes her wince when she has to reap the souls of a murdered victim. Along with her swoon-worthy partner Driggs and a whole group of misfit apprentice reapers, they will make you want to move to Croak ASAP!

But it's not just all fun and games. The mysterious murders in the novel add a serious undertone, along with how Lex is wholeheartedly against unfair deaths. And that twist at the end... Break my heart, why don't you, Gina?? Intense is only the beginning of this amazing debut!

With a hilarious cast, a mysterious plot, and creativity packed to the max, it's safe to say that I love Croak to death! Like Adam Rex said, there are so many books with worlds that I would love to live in, but dying in this one doesn't sound like such a bad idea. ;)  

BUY or BORROW?: If my five stars aren't enough to convince you, maybe me adding this to my Favourites shelf will? I usually don't pre-order books this far in advance, but I'm already planning on buying the sequel, Scorch! :) 

-Mimi

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Revived

Book: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Series: N/A
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 336
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (Thank you so much!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 3.5/5
As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:

Imagine dying 5 times and being brought back to life after every single death! This is Daisy's life in a secret government agency led by an ominous figure they call "God" and as a test subject to a drug that they call Revive. *cues oooh-ing* 

Revived was nothing like I expected it to be! Instead of a fast-paced book about a zombie-like test subject, this book has more of a contemporary feel to it: sweet, warm, easy to relate to. I may be an expert at guessing what's going to happen in a book early on, but the deceiving first half made me unprepared for the surprise twist in the faster last quarter!

Daisy is a character I adored from the get-go. Along with co-hosting a hilarious blog (yup, she's a blogger!) with her best friend Megan, she has such a big heart and brings the word real to teenager without being unbearable. They say curiosity killed the cat, but Daisy's curiosity is what drives the mystery behind the whole God operation.

Matt's a nice guy (although he's definitely no Luke Henry!), but I just couldn't connect with the romance. It didn't have enough development or chemistry to entrap me, and the way that Daisy told Matt everything so soon made me want to shake her. But you'll love the other colourful characters, like Matt's sister Audrey and Daisy's "parents."

With the same kind of flowing prose and smile-worthy cast that Cat Patrick brought in Forgotten, added to a fresh new idea never taken up before, Revived asks you the question: What would you do if you had the chance to live again when other people didn't? :) 

BUY or BORROW?: This book wasn't exactly the intense must-buy I was expecting, but it shouldn't be a book you skip over! I actually really adored it and am glad to have it on my shelf. ;)

-Mimi

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Purity

Book: Purity
Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: N/A
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 218
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (Thank you so much!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4/5
A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS: 

Warning: This book will make you laugh! You'll be smiling so much that your cheeks hurt at some points, and at others you won't be able to help aching for Shelby as she learns difficult life lessons without a mom to guide her, which no kid should have to do.

Shelby has 5 weeks to lose her virginity before she has to vow against impurity at the Princess Ball. The idea may sound juvenile at first, but it's actually NOT. It's sweet and honest. Shelby is bound by three promises she vowed to her mother before she died of cancer, and even when it's difficult sometimes, she's devoted to following them always. So when two of the promises conflict, she has to rush to fill that loophole before it's too late!

I want to give Shelby a medal of epic snark; she was such a fun, adorable, and heartwarming character! Unlike most teenagers, she takes her promises seriously. But like most teenagers, she's flawed and quirky and ridiculously fun. Along with her best friends, Jonas and Ruby, they make one hilarious trio that you'll be rooting for until the very end.

This is a book about family and friendship, love and loss and yes, sex, but it's not explicit at all so I feel comfortable recommending it to all growing teens, adults, and any fan of Jackson Pearce! She expertly writes about the strained, awkward, yet totally sweet relationship between a daughter and a father who are trying to reconnect.

Absolutely hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt, Purity is a book that has the heart, soul, and quirky fun necessary for a great read. I finished it in one sitting and itched to pick it up again immediately after, all for the reason that it was so much more than I expected! :)

BUY or BORROW?: This is one short and sweet book that will always be able to warm your heart, even on those darkest days! I don't care what people say, but this is buy-worthy in my opinion! ;)

-Mimi

Friday, May 11, 2012

BookTalk101: How to write reviews!


Hi, everyone. :) I decided to do something new today where I talk a little about blogging, so I hope you'll hear me out! Today's topic is:  

How To Write Reviews

I know what you're thinking: "Pshh, what does Mimi know about writing reviews? She's no pro!" And that's totally true! But I'm not here to talk about how you should write your reviews; I just wanted to talk about how I've learned to write MY reviews, and what I've noticed about everyone else's. :)

I've been blogging for a while now, and one thing I've noticed is how every single person writes their reviews differently! To name a few: Sophie's are sweet, simple, and to the point; Hilda's reviews are always so easy and fun yet informative to read; I can always trust Sam for an honest and thorough review; Jenny writes the most beautifully worded reviews ever; Heidi actually splits her reviews up between what she likes an what she doesn't; and more! For bloggers I've been following for a while, I can easily tell their reviews apart!

And me? The way I've been writing my reviews has changed so much from before I started blogging to now! I like to think they've changed for the better, but I guess I'm kind of biased. x)

A Breakdown:

MY REVIEWS (when I first started blogging): Quick, simple, and 100% gushing! I'm pretty sure the majority of my sentences ended in exclamation marks and I went on for paragraphs just about how hot the love interest was... It was sort of like I was yelling in your face! And they were looooooooooong. Like, I went back a few months ago and edited out entire paragraphs to shorten them and they were still long! Not my best. :P

MY REVIEWS (a few months ago): Easier on the exclamation marks, but so much shorter now almost too short! They were still more enthusiastic gushing than review-worthy material, but they weren't as terrible as my first few and they improved overtime! These were so easy and fun to write :)

MY REVIEWS (now-ish): Now I've learned to include more purchase links in my reviews, a little more information on the book, and more critique! I still struggle with trying to keep my reviews fun and informative at the exact same time, because I want to be able to convince people who have no idea what the book is about without boring people who DO know what it's about too. Because my wort fear is that I bore you with my reviews. Please slap me if I ever do!

And sometimes when I love a book so much, it's hard to contain those exclamation points! (They just pop out of nowhere!)

My recent reviews have been much harder to write because I keep second-guessing myself: Should my review be longer? Is it too long that it will be boring to read? Do I have enough information? Am I gushing about the hotness of Character X too much?? 

(I've also become a little harder with how I rate books too. I mean, I recently rated City of Lost Souls as a 4.5 out of 5 and Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors, so you know something is up! 5 star books don't come as often as they used to.)

But here's what I've learned...

Even though I always try my best to write reviews that will appeal to my readers, it works best if you try to write the kind of reviews that YOU would like to read! Think: What info would I want to know about this book before reading it? Writing your thoughts on a book comes easier that way, I find.

Everyone may write their reviews differently, but that just makes it so much more fun! ;) ♥ That's how we get to read different opinions. Don't worry about making your reviews like anybody else's. Just find your own reviewing style, and people will start remembering you for that!

How do you like to write your reviews? And which kinds do you like to READ best: short and sweet, long and detailed, completely professional, or totally hilarious? :)

Sorry for the Mimi babble there! I hope I didn't bore you too much. x) 

-Mimi

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss

Book: Dark Kiss
Author: Michelle Rowan
Series: Nightwatchers #2
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 348
Source: Kismet Book Tours (Thank you so much!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4/5
I don't do dangerous. 

Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me... something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing and I don't know if I can get it back. 

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me...

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

You have to admit it: This gorgeously dark cover is probably the first thing that piqued your interest. But even though I've been burned by stunning covers before, I'm happy to report that Dark Kiss isn't a deceiving one! :)  

In Dark Kiss, two angels and two demons are sent down to Earth to work together on a mission to get rid of the grays (soulless beings who can drain the souls out of others through kisses). This is one of those books that blurs the line between good and bad. Whether you go to heaven or hell is really like a lottery with 50/50 odds and that makes it so much harder to know who to trust and who to push under the bus!

Sam may seem like your regular girl on the surface but she has a heart of gold underneath. Even though she's far from perfect, she's also incredibly determined, loyal, and admirably brave with the way she deals with the meddling angel/demon team. I only wish we'd gotten to know the characters more not just Sam, but the angels, demons, and her best friend Carly as well. 

Bishop isn't your average angel! Dark and brooding, he harbors a mysterious past that only makes him even more alluring. And even though there's no love triangle in this book, trust me when I say that this is one where you actually want one! Kraven, one of the demons on the four-man team, is the snarky, rude, and totally inappropriate character that adds hilarious commentary at the perfect times. I alternated between the urge to smack him and kiss him.

With Michelle's fantastic writing style, a sweet romance, and the original and intriguing angel/demon lore, Dark Kiss is the first book I've ever read by Michelle Rowan but it definitely won't be the last! She's a one-sit kind of author, that's for sure! :)

BUY or BORROW?: I'm probably biased since I'm buying a copy just to have this gorgeous cover on my shelf, but I think that this book is well worth the read and buy! ;) 

-Mimi