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)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: The Sweetest Dark

Book: The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Series: N/A
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pages: 352
Source: the wonderful Candace (Thank you so much! )
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4/5
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.
(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

In my thesaurus for this book, The Sweetest Dark is synonymous to beautiful. Ordinary is not-a-fat-chance. And Shana Abe is something of a genius for creating a story so lush, so beautiful, and so different from your classic paranormal book! I just have to break it down! :') 

The world: Taking place in England during World War I, The Sweetest Dark is also set in the world of Shana Abe's adult Drakon series. Even though it may not be a big secret, I don't want to give away the type of creature that lurks around in this enchantingly bleak world (like Lora). But I can tell you that this isn't a vamp/were/witch/fey story!  

The heroine: At first, Lora comes off distant. She's hardened by her awful past, slow to trust and quick to reply with snark. But beneath her hard shell is a fragile girl made of so many layers, and I loved that part of her. I ended up loving ALL of her. She has a silent strength that's unmistakable, and my heart clicked with hers like that.  

The boys: Don't worry; you'll find that this isn't your traditional love triangle! Jesse a musical genius who doesn't care what other people think of him. Many think he's mute because he refuses to speak except to Lora, and it's SO sweet when he does. Then there's Armand, the arrogant aristocrat who Lora distrusts immediately. Both boys play a huge part in Lora discovering her heritage, and both unravel in different ways. 

The awesome: I spent much of this book in a daze, confused almost, but the last fraction completely blew me away! I cried like a baby. To be honest, even though there are still so many things I don't understand (so many things I hope will be explored in a sequel *hint hint*), this is simply one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and it gets my heart for that!  

The epic conclusion: Written with some of the most gorgeous prose I've ever read and told with the essence of a heartbreaking Grimm fairytale, The Sweetest Dark is a captivatingly original story that takes the phrase "hauntingly beautiful" to extremes. My chest is still aching! 

BUY or BORROW?: I'm borrowing this ARC from Candace [insert showering of hearts!!], so of course I need to get a gorgeous finished copy for my shelf! :')  

-Mimi

Monday, July 09, 2012

Review: From What I Remember

Book: From What I Remember
Author: Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Series: N/A
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 462
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (Thank you so much!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4.5/5
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.


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

Oh wow, I have a HUGE and absolute crush on this book! It had me smiling and aching and wishing it could be turned into a movie. I just couldn't get enough!  

Mostly taking place over the span of three days, From What I Remember is told through 5 different POVs which normally wouldn't be my cup of tea, but totally works here! Each of the characters are distinctive and fun and have their own personalities that make it so easy to tell them apart and even easier to connect with them.  

The romance between Kylie and Max starts out rocky but progresses beautifully through whacky events like being kidnapped and taken to Mexico. It's more than your average serious-smart girl and heartthrob jock love story. They compliment and bring out the best in each other, and everything was realistic and sweet and SO genuine! The pacing both with their relationship and the storyline was perfect, and I was never, ever bored!  

But the rest of the characters also stand out and make From What I Remember even stronger than it already is! There's Will, the gay best friend who is literally the funniest guy ever. His love for Kylie and their habit of quoting movie lines to each other made me smile. Somehow I even found myself empathizing with Lily, the resident mean girl. 

Another thing I loved was the amount of self-discovery and growing up in this book. So close to graduation, each of them go through their own epiphanies and growth. I think that this would be the perfect book to read especially if you're a teen who doesn't know where you're going. I was inspired by these characters and I feel everyone will be too! :)

With an amazing cast, a perfect pace, and an absolutely sweet romance, From What I Remember was an entertaining story about self-discovery and unexpected romance. I was captivated for all near-500 pages and I almost wished I could've had more! 

BUY or BORROW?: I love owning this book not just for the big amazing things, but the little amazing things too like the fact that each chapter starts with a quote from a well-known movie. Buy buy BUY! :) 

-Mimi

Friday, July 06, 2012

Review: Before I Wake

Book: Before I Wake
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #6
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 339
Source: publisher (Thank you so much!!!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 5/5
I died on a Thursday — killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul.

The good news? He didn't get it.

The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...


Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend.

But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life....


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:

5 Ways You Can Tell You're Reading a Soul Screamers Book: 
  1. It's about bean sidhes (pronounced banshees). I mean, what other series can use girls screaming for death in the most amazing way possible? Not one that I know!
  2. You want to scream, and cry, and hug the book AND Rachel Vincent for writing it! Reading this series is like going on a never-ending emotional roller coaster — and I mean that in the BEST possible way!
  3. The author isn't afraid to put her characters through hell and back. I'm absolutely serious! These characters go through SO MUCH that I wonder how they could possibly still be sane... and I also wonder if Rachel Vincent may be an evil genius!
  4. You never, ever, EVER expect what's going to happen next. Maybe the first few books, you could guess a bit. But by this time around, there are so many twists and turns and surprises that break my heart, and I can never guess a single one!
  5. TOD HUDSON. Hilarious reaper, snarky bad boy, totally adorable, and probably one of my favourite book boys of all time. Need I say more?? :')
Warning: May contain spoilers from previous books. 

I think it's safe to say that the Soul Screamers series is one of my all-time favourites, and I don't think there's anything Rachel Vincent could do to change that! 

In the previous book, Kaylee died. But now she's brought back to life and given immortality at age sixteen — not as a reaper like her undead boyfriend and snarky sweetheart Tod, but as a collector who's job is to reclaim stolen souls from hellions and rogue reapers.

I admire/love/look-up-to Kaylee more than you could imagine! She's selfless, caring, and has a huge hero complex, but she's also snarky, strong, and badass when she needs to be. And Rachel Vincent doesn't just say it — she shows it through countless obstacles and situations. Especially in this book, where Kaylee has to cope with death, her strength just shines.

And it's not just Kaylee who's amazing. There's Tod (OMG, he's the main reason why I love snarky boys ), and the rest of the cast is honest-to-God perfection too! Then there's the story, which also blows my mind, and I've always loved the Soul Screamers world. Bean sidhes, reapers, hellions, necromancers, and more!

Each book just gets better and better! You can never expect what's going to happen next and your heart always ends up crumpled by the end of the book. But the heartache is SO worth it. This series makes me want to be a better person, just because Kaylee's actions inspire me. (I mean, she still goes to school even though she's undead, just to protect her friends and classmates. Who else can say they would do that??)

AMAZING is an understatement and ORIGINAL just isn't a strong enough word to describe this. Before I Wake was an amazing installment to a series that doesn't know the meaning of predictable. An absolute and definite recommendation!

BUY or BORROW?: The only reason you'd consider this question is if you haven't read the previous books yet... in which I say you need to BUY THIS ENTIRE SERIES! The first few books are available in the first omnibus already, which should give you a good jump start, and the second omnibus should be in stores soon too! :)

-Mimi

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: ReAwakened by Ada Adams!

HI EVERYONE :)

If you've read my review of ReVamped, you'll have to know how much I loved it and Ada Adams! She's honestly one of the sweetest girls/authors/actresses who has a black belt in karate (cool, right?) that I've ever talked to. (She's also Canadian, which only makes her exponentially more awesome!)

That's why I'm so honoured to be able to take part in the cover reveal for the second book in the Angel Creek series, ReAwakened!

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ReVamped (Angel Creek #1) 
By Ada Adams
Release Date: February 20, 2012
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Chapters | B&N | Mimi's Review
A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.
Here's a snippet from my review to remind you of the awesome: 

With a fantastic cast of characters, a fun yet mysterious storyline, and vampires you'll wish lived in your world, ReVamped is a refreshing new take on the supernatural creatures we all know and love! I could never stop smiling at the vampire lore Ada Adams created. It was creative, fun, original, AWESOME. Definitely a novel you'll finish in one sitting! 

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And to reveal the gorgeous cover for the second book...

ReAwakened (Angel Creek #2) 
By Ada Adams
Release Date: Fall 2012
Links: Goodreads
No summary available yet. 
MY THOUGHTS: I'm soooooooooooooo super-duper excited for this!!! I know that the first book was a fun and fantastic take on vampires, but Ada promised us that this one is darker, sexier, bloodier, and a whole lot more serious... which sounds great to me!

And this cover.... I LOVE IT! Don't you? The theme is blood, as you can probably tell by the colour choice! ;)

Plus, Ada has been sharing a bunch of teasers on her website about ReAwakened, and apparently there's an appearance by a whole new guy! I just wanted to share this one snippet with you in case you haven't seen it yet, and boy did I swoon :')

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Teaser:
     “You finally understand what I’m saying, right? Or should I demonstrate the no clothes part for you?” he asked mischievously. My pulse quickened under his intense gaze.
     “No demonstrations,” I ordered, looking around the car for an escape route.I’d rather jump out of a moving vehicle than see you naked.”
     “Don’t lie to yourself, Dawn. I know for a fact that you’ve enjoyed the show at the pool. And I was only shirtless. Can you imagine—”
     “No. I can’t. Nor do I want to,” I snapped, trying to keep my thoughts from drifting to the memory of that night. “Anyway, you don’t have to worry about Sebastian and me. There will be no nudity on either of our parts.”
     “You say that now, but you won’t be able to resist your carnal urges.”
     “I’m not getting any urges. Trust me.”
     “Hmm…Is it because you’d rather get carnal with someone else?” He winked, smiling impishly.
     I groaned, partly annoyed by XXX’s cockiness, partly worried about the possibility of “getting carnal” in general. “Why don’t you pull over and let me out of the car. I’ll run the rest of the way home.”
     “Are you sure?”
     “I’m sure. I need to let off some steam.”
     “I bet you do,” XXX smirked. “Meet us at the house. Feel free to take a shower when you get in. I’d advise that it be a cold one.”
Oh my goodness!! *fans self* Apparently revealing his name is a spoiler, so Ada just calls him XXX for now. Are you as excited to figure out who this XXX guy is as I am??

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Giveaway:

Because Ada is awesome, she's offering one ARC of ReAwakened for a random person who comments on a cover reveal post! So if you leave your thoughts, you're automatically entered into the draw. And as a girl who loved the first book, I really think you're going to want to get this sequel in advance! ;)

For those of you who don't win the ARC, I think ReAwakened will be available on Netgalley in September if you're interested. So look out for that! :)

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About the Author:


Ada Adams - Goodreads | Website | Twitter

“Many people sing in the shower. I write scenes in my head and act them out.”

At the age of five, Ada read her first chapter book—Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. Ever since that moment, she developed an intense passion for stories and characters found within the pages of literature.

In her career as an actress and a writer, Ada currently spends most of her days immersed in imaginary worlds. Much like the characters she enjoys playing and writing about, Ada is a martial artist with a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. She is also a big proponent of lifelong learning, and has attained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (it aids in creating characters with unique quirks!) as well as a Master’s of Science in Education.

Ada strives to bring a fresh voice and perspective to fiction. She has been writing creatively for many years, and is an editor of a global fashion/literary magazine called VEUX. ReVamped is her debut novel.

She lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys adventurous nature hikes with her adorable puppies Cara and Oreo.
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And that's all! Ada is also doing an hour-long Tweet-chat about everything related to her writing, Angel Creek, characters, non-spoilery parts, and etcetera on July 5th (today!!) at 5 p.m. EST. So it would be awesome if you dropped by and said hello (or hi, since I've always thought hello was a little too formal for me!) ;)

I hope that all my Angel Creek gushing is convincing you guys to start this series if you haven't already!

Have a wonderful day, you guys!

-Mimi

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink

Book: Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Series: Pilgrims #1
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 204
Source: Thomas Allen & Son (Thank you so much!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4/5
A story of crushes, corsets, and conspiracy

Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. 


But at Camden Harbor, Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem.

(summary taken from Goodreads)
MY THOUGHTS:  

I've read a lot of cute, smile-inducing, and totally fun books in my time but Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is undoubtedly one of the CUTEST on my list!  

I have this epic love for Libby. She's a hopeless romantic, a lover of fictional characters, a super-fashionable teenager, and a total history girl... In short, she's a whole lot like most of us! She's bubbly and sweet and ridiculous and fun. Some of the things she says and does are so adorable that you just want to jump in the book and hug her!  

But where Libby is a genius with historical facts and working with kids, she's clueless when it comes to boys and that's what makes this story so giggle-worthy! Cam seems like the perfect prince charming who can recite Shakespeare and looks extra hunky to boot; Garrett seems like the jerky reporter who is nothing more than the boy that lives on the same boat as her. But they're both more than their first impressions let on.  

What I love about Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is that, even though it may be a little predictable, the romance is sweet and realistic in its own way. There's no eternal devotion, no I'll-die-if-I'm-not-with-you, and definitely no insta-love. It's very straightforward yet engaging, and I couldn't help but smile with the way the author tied everything together nicely (so it can be a stand-alone) yet made me glad that I'll be able to meet Libby again soon!  

Fun, adorable, and absolutely smile-inducing, Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink is the perfect romance with a hint of a ghostly mystery to read when you're seeking an escape from all the doom-and-gloom in YA! I can't wait to read more of Libby's misadventures. :)  

BUY or BORROW?: Do I love having this adorable book (inside and out) on my bookshelf? Umm, YES! When I'm looking for something quick and light, this is the book I'll be turning to! ;)  

-Mimi

Monday, July 02, 2012

Let's Celebrate Canada -- With Books!

Hi, everyone! :)

I'm sorry if I've been AWOL this weekend! Most of you probably know it was Canada Day yesterday (July 1st), and I think I was indoors for all of sixteen hours in total — mostly just to sleep. x) There were fireworks, and barbeques, and campfires, and marshmallows galore!


That means I have a lot of commenting and such to catch up on because of my very outdoorsy weekend. But I'm still in a very patriotic mood so I thought I'd post about some books by Canadian authors that I love! :)

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Books By Canadian Authors I Love

Hemlock (Hemlock #1)
By Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Goodreads
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
MY THOUGHTS: This was one of my top books of the year because it has two things I love in one: An original werewolf world and an awesome murder mystery! And then it has two more amazing things (in the form of two very amazing guys), but you have to read to find out about them! ;)

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This is Not a Test
By Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Goodreads
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
MY THOUGHTS: I was BLOWN AWAY by this book. The way Courtney Summers wrote her zombie apocalypse was harsh and true and realistic and SO heartbreakingly brilliant. She made me fall for every single character, and the only reason it was a 4.5 and not a 5 in my review is because of that abrupt ending! Otherwise: A definite must-read! :)

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Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1)
By Michelle Rowen
Release Date: May 29, 2012
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....
MY THOUGHTS: I adored this book the first time around (as you can tell from my review), but I loved it even more after I had the chance to meet both of the boys in this very epic, very swoon-worthy character interview (in which Kraven may or may not hit on me)! If that's not enough to sell you, I don't know what else I can say! Maybe that it's an awesome original take on angel lore? :)

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Darkest Powers Trilogy (Darkest Powers #1-3)
By Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: November 2, 2012
Goodreads
>The Summoning
The Darkest Powers Series, Book I


After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…


The Awakening
The Darkest Powers Trilogy, Book II

Book II in the Darkest Powers trilogy takes us deeper into a world where the supernatural intrudes on the everyday with riveting effect.

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl – someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment – not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a group of people who call themselves The Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us gain our freedom back before The Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


The Reckoning
The Darkest Powers Trilogy, Book III


Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.
MY THOUGHTS: I read this last year and had noooooo idea that Kelley Armstrong was a Canadian author until recently! But she is and I love her books so I couldn't be more proud :) I like The Darkest Powers series more than her Darkness Rising series, but I know that she also writes a lot of really good adult books too, if you recognize her more for that.

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That's kind of all I can remember right now, but I'm sure there are SO many more amazing books written Canadian authors. Are there any more that I'm missing? And how was YOUR weekend? Did you spend the entire time outside like my family or read to make a dent in your TBR piles like I'm going to now? ;)

I hope your Canada Day weekend was a blast whether you're Canadian or not! :)

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE CANADIAN BOOK? 

-Mimi