Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Rescued by the alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue werewolf brutally killed her parents, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. But then she discovers Chase, a newly turned werewolf locked in a cage in her alpha’s basement. Seeing him, Bryn feels a bond unlike anything she has ever experienced--but speaking to him brings up questions about her mysterious past. The hunt for answers will drive her farther from the wolves who raised her, and closer to a truth that will change everything.

For a while I had been hearing that Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a fantastic writer, but I hadn’t read anything by her. So I decided to pick up Raised by Wolves figuring I couldn’t really go wrong with a book about werewolves. Turns out I was right and I loved every minute of it.

Bryn may appear to just be a regular 15-year-old girl but she’s much more than that. Having grown up with a back of werewolves can have quite the effect on you. The rules are not the same and in certain situations your life may depend on those rules. Bryn has always looked up to Callum and always seen him as a gather. Callum was the one who saved her from the rabid wolf who killed her parents hen she was found years old and he’s the one who has taken care of her since then. But what Callum has been telling her might not have always been the truth. When Bryn discovers a boy in a cage in Callum’s basement, she doesn’t know who or what to believe anymore. And can she still trust Callum after he lied to her? And what if the person who’s kept her safe all these years is the one person Bryn can no longer trust?

I can now see why everyone has been saying that Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a fantastic writer. The story she wrote in Raised by Wolves was absolutely captivating and a whole new take on werewolves. Here you have to be born a werewolf in order to be one, and as far as they all know there is no other way to become a werewolf. That alone had me intrigued for the better part of the book. Plus the way Barnes writes just makes you want to keep reading on to find out what happens next. But what I loved most was the voice she gave her characters.

Bryn was an incredible character with an incredible voice. I don’t think the book would have been the same if she hadn’t been the one to narrate it. I loved that she wasn’t boy crazy and was never afraid to stand up for herself or speak her mind. And she was pretty much as stubborn as they come. For that, Ali was probably the best person to balance her out and keep her in check. As the only other human in the pack, she’s the only one who could really understand everything Bryn was going through. Devon was one of my favorite characters, he just didn’t strike me as the type of person who would be a werewolf. Plus he was the best friend Bryn could possibly ask for. Callum sort of puzzled me. Most of the time he seemed to care about Bryn but at other times, his actions seemed to say the total opposite. And Chase was wonderful, but I don’t want to give away too much about him.

Raised by Wolves was an incredible book and I’m glad I finally discovered Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It was such a great book that I pretty much ran out to the bookstore in order to get myself a copy of the sequel, Trial by Fire, and I started reading it right away. What can I say? I was completely hooked. 

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire (Wildefire #1)
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her.

But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school--being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot local park ranger--Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood...and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time...

And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Wildefire is one of those books that has been getting a lot of hype. Now that I’ve read it, I can see what all the fuss is about. It was an amazing book that had just enough of everything. Humor, action, romance, there was definitely something for everyone and that’s only scratching the surface.

In an attempt to get away from her crazy sister and the damage she left in her wake, Ashline Wilde decided to enroll at Blackwood Academy. A boarding school hidden away in the Californian redwoods seemed as good a place as any to start over. But Ash soon discovers that her decision to transfer to Blackwood may not have been as random as she would have thought, there was something that drew her there. Soon enough, Ashline finds out that she has more in common with some of the other students than she would have expected. Even more unexpected, she learns that they are the reincarnation of gods and goddesses, and that she herself is an ancient Polynesian goddess. Now not only does Ash have to figure out what this all means, she also has to find a way to stop Eve, her crazy older sister, who seems to be hell bent on destroying everything Ash cares about. And to think all Ashline ever wanted was to start over and lay low.

This book was absolutely incredible and Karsten Knight is a fantastic new writer. In Wildefire, he has crafted an extremely interesting and captivating story that completely drew me in. I have to admit that at first it took me a while to get into the book, but once I did I wasn’t able to put it down. And I mean that literally, it kept me up until the early hours of the morning because I just had to know what happened next. And that ending. I sort of saw it coming but even then it took me by surprise. It was an absolutely cruel ending considering I now have to wait a whole year for the sequel.

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of Ashline. But the more I got to know her, the more she grew on me and I liked her. She was definitely was different from a lot of the other YA heroines out there. She was tough in so many different ways and she was never afraid to speak her mind. Most of all I loved how sarcastic she was, and her particularly diverse background only made her more interesting. Eve and Ash were similar in so may ways but unlike Ash, even didn’t really have all that many redeeming qualities. May in her mind she thought she was doing good, but she didn’t really go about doing it in the right way. What truly kept me interested in the book was the relationship dynamic between Eve and Ashline. I mean, things can only end well when two sisters are fighting and one is a volcano goddess and the other a storm goddess.

Wildefire was a truly amazing book that took me on an incredible ride. I had really high expectations before reading the book and they were all met, if not surpassed. To put it simply, Wildefire completely blew me away.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week was a good one for books for me. I received a few for review and also got some from contests and from other bloggers. I am happy to say that I didn't break by book buying ban and only have just under a month to go until I can start buying books again. Hopefully it will go buy fairly quickly. So here's what I got this week.


- Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez (Simon Pulse October 18th, 2011) - I haven't heard all that much about this book but I've seen it floating around the blogosphere. From what I understand from the summary on the back, it sounds really interesting. Plus it has a really gorgeous cover.

- Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (Simon & Schuster November 1st, 2011) - I had heard nothing about this book until it showed up in my mailbox this week. The summary makes it sound really interesting so I'm looking forward to reading it. Plus it's from by a Canadian author, so I'm happy to show some support there.


- Hereafter by Tara Hudson (HarperTeen June 7th, 2011) - I've been looking forward to reading Hereafter for a while now and I'm happy to finally have a copy of my own. I love ghost stories, so it sounds like this book is right up my alley. Thank you to Maryam of Books Glorious Books for sending me this through R.A.K.

- Seizure by Kathy Reichs (Sampler - Razorbill October 2011) - I really enjoyed Virals when I read it earlier this year, so I'm really looking forward to Seizure. Now I have a sneak peek to tide me over until the book releases. Thank you to Penguin Canada and PenguinCanadaYR on Twitter for the contest.

That's it for me this week! Let me know what you got in your mailbox!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long--and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is...the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend--the gorgeous Hale--and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

After having finished Heist Society, I rushed to the bookstore to get myself a copy of Uncommon Criminals and started reading it straight away. I had a lot of trouble putting it down and I enjoyed every single page of it.

Kat Bishop is back in the thieving business, but not quite in the traditional sense. Instead of stealing for the sake of stealing, Kat now steals art pieces that were stolen by Nazis in order to return them to their rightful owners. So when Kat is approached by an old woman and her grandson about stealing the Cleopatra Emerald, Kat accepts to help. But the emerald is cursed. And as soon as Kat has the emerald in her possession, she loses it. But everything may not be quite as it seems. With the help of Hale and their crew, Kat has to steal the emerald back and return it to its real rightful owner. But doing so may prove to be a little easier said than done, what with the emerald being cursed and all.

Much like with the first book, Uncommon Criminals is a very fast paced book and there is never a dull moment. And things also never seem to go the way they are planned. The story was also interesting. What I particularly liked about it was that not only did I learn more than I ever cared to know about pulling off heists, but there was also some history woven into it. I also liked that there was a little more romance in the story, especially between two of the characters, but I don’t want to give too much away.

I loved getting to know better the characters I met in the first book. Kat once again kept me on my toes and I never know what to expect from her. She was as unpredictable as ever. But I also liked that she opened herself up to others a little more. And I especially loved her budding relationship with Hale. Though I like Hale a lot, there is still so much about him that I don’t know. And that may just be a part of his appeal, he’s mysterious and doesn’t really give anything away. As for the rest of the crew, they are still as crazy and interesting. Though they don’t play as important a role in the story as Kat and Hale, I don’t think the story would be quite the same and quite as interesting without them.

Uncommon Criminals was a fantastic read. It was fast paced and filled with twists and turns. I am now eagerly awaiting the next book to find out in what crazy mess Kat and her friends will find themselves in.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interview with Margie Gelbwasser

Today I have the pleasure of having Margie Gelbwasser, author of Inconvenient, on the blog to answer a few questions about her book, her characters and her inspiration. But there is a catch, all the questions had to be answered with lines from the book, which might not be as easy as it sounds. Here is was Margie Gelbwasser had to say.

Is there a character in your book you feel closer to or to whom you relate more?

I can't say I'm exactly like Alyssa. I think there's a part of me in Lana, Alyssa, and Alyssa's mom. But Alyssa is the one I feel closest to because she's the voice I heard first, and she's the one who's story I wanted to tell, and I'm proud of how she's grown through the book.

Which of your characters do you dislike the most and why?

“Jerky Jake. He takes beer, vodka, and shot glasses out his backpack. He tosses a beer to each of us, and then lies back down next to Lana. To living single, seeing double, and sleeping triple, he says.”

If you were in the book, where would we be able to find you?

“The swings, spinning ourselves, twisting the chains until they were tight.”

Has anything similar to the events in the book happened to you?

“I hate that even though we went to Hebrew school with many of the kids, we're just pegged as Russian. After we studied the Cold War in history class, some guys at school decided to go retro and call us 'commies' for a few weeks.”

Out of everything in the book, what would you most and least likely do?

Most likely: “Hunched over her computer heavily engrossed in an assignment.”

What I'd love to do more: “Run past the CVS, past the pool, past the Russian stores we get dinner feet flying through the puddles...”

Least likely: “It's almost three in the morning, and I'm sandwiched between Trish and Ryan, our bodies moving in sync to pulsating music....The room spins faster and I feel vomit rising in my throat. I can barely move, but I make myself run to the bushes."

What is the best or your favorite line from the book?

“Through the wind whipping our faces, the numbness creeping into our toes, the darkness heavy and sparkling.”

Thank you Margie for answering my questions is a rather creative way. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for Inconvenient through The Teen Book Scene. And if you missed it yesterday you can see my review for Inconvenient right here.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser

Title: Inconvenient
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: November 8, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
In fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, having a few drinks is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshki. So when her mom’s midday cocktails turn into an all-day happy hour, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices--or cares. Her dad is steeped in the nightly news--and denial--and her best friend Lana is too busy trashing their shared Russian heritage so she can be popular.

Alyssa would rather focus on cross-country meets and her first kiss with her running partner, Keith, but someone has to clean up her mom’s mess. But who will be there to catch Alyssa when her mom’s next fall off the wagon threatens to drag Alyssa down, too?

Inconvenient is one of those books that deals with difficult subjects that often don’t get talked about enough. It was a truly great book and once I really got into it, I was hooked and didn’t put it down until I was finished reading it.

In Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, drinking with most meals is considered perfectly normal. But she notices that her mother has been drinking more and more and doing so more often. But Alyssa seems to be the only one noticing this or even caring about her mother’s worsening condition. Except that Alyssa doesn’t want to deal with her mother and no one seems to be willing to help her out. All she really wants to do is focus on her cross-country running and her potential relationship with her teammate Keith. But with everything happening with her mother, Alyssa may have more on her plate than she ever bargained for. And maybe with everything else going on in her life, will Alyssa get dragged down by it all.

The story in Inconvenient isn’t a fluffy, make you feel better type of story. It deals with subject matter that isn’t always dealt with but should be talked about more. In this particular case, Margie Gelbwasser deals with the subject of alcoholism beautifully, writing a touching story that stays with you even once you’re finished reading it. What I especially liked about the story was that it was set in a different culture, one that was different from my own but at the same time shares similarities with it. It was a different approach to the subject of alcoholism that kept me interested and taught me more. It was a truly great story, one that’s going to stay with me for a while.

Right from the start, I felt for Alyssa. It just felt like nothing was really working for her and that she didn’t really have anyone who really understood her or what she was going through. Despite not ever having really gone through what she has, I still felt like I could relate to her. Plus, I liked that she was a cross-country runner like I was all through middle and high school. At first, other than Alyssa, I didn’t really like any of the other characters. Lana just seemed to be a little too self-centered to be a truly good best friend for Alyssa. Keith I didn’t really think much of at first but as the story moved forward, I saw that he really cared and was really good for Alyssa. And the same for for Alyssa’s dad. By the end of the book, I really like them both.

Inconvenient was a really great book, one that deserves all the attention it gets and even more. I really look forward to reading whatever comes next from Margie Gelbwasser.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week was a relatively good week. For the most part I have stuck to the book buying ban my roommate has imposed on me and I received one book in the mail. I also finally went to my library and got myself a library card. Why I waited so long to do this is a mystery to me. So here's what I got this week


- The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen (Point June 1st, 2011) - I've heard really good things about this book and it sounds like a new twist on vampire stories. I can't wait to start reading it and see what it's all about for myself.


- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books June 7th, 2011) - Ever since I first heard about this book I have wanted to read so I'm happy to have a copy of my own. I can't wait to see how the story and the pictures all fit together and find out more about this awesome book. Thanks to Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte and Random House Canada.

From Library:

- Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (Katherine Tegen Books May 19th, 2010) - When this book first came out last year I heard plenty of good things about it and now that the sequel is out it has been getting some attention again. Mermaid stories are always fun so I thought I would give this one a try. Plus it sounds like the perfect summer read.

- Freefall by Mindi Scott (Simon Pulse October 5th, 2010) - This is a contemporary that I remember hearing a lot of good things about last fall. I don't read nearly enough contemporary books so I thought I would pick this one up and see what happens.

- The Candidates by Inara Scott (Hyperion August 24th, 2010) - Once again, another book I heard nothing but good things about when it came out last year. The premise sounds really interesting and I can't wait to dive right in.

- Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala (Harper Teen September 20th, 2010) - I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book. It came out almost a year ago and still people are talking about how good it is, especially with the companion novel coming out in the coming months. And it's another contemporary and I need to read more of those.

All in all this was a pretty good book week for me. I only broke my book buying ban for one book and that's because my roommate allowed me to buy the book since it was signed. But she also tacked on two more weeks to the ban. That means I can't buy books again until August 22nd. This may be quite difficult with all the amazing books coming out in the next few weeks. Hopefully it won't be too bad, I have plenty to read plus I'll be on vacation for a while so I'll be away from bookstores.

That's all for me this week!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post: Janet Ruth Young

Today I have the pleasure of having Janet Ruth Young on the blog to talk about where the inspiration for her upcoming novel, The Babysitter Murders, came from. I had read that she had a background in psychology so I decided to ask her how that background influenced and inspired her writing in The Babysitter Murders. Here is what she had to say.

When I was thirty (about twenty years ago), I was troubled by violent and sexual thoughts like Dani Solomon’s. I didn’t know what was happening to me or where the thoughts had come from. Like Dani, I began to avoid the people and activities that triggered the thoughts. I also looked for a therapist, and I found that virtually none of them had heard of symptoms like mine. One I spoke to on the phone was obviously afraid to meet me, and the referring therapist at my HMO asked whether I was hearing voices in my television set telling me to kill people (he thought I was psychotic).

Fortunately, I found a therapist who used a variety of techniques to help me in all areas of my life over a two-year period. We discussed some form of genetic obsessive-compulsive disorder possibly being the reason for my symptoms, but we considered many other possible causes as well.

Not until ten years later, when my librarian sister came across the book The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts, by Lee Baer (Dutton, 2001), did I see my symptoms definitively diagnosed as a form of OCD. Now another ten years have gone by, and this form of OCD is still not on the map of people’s awareness. The problem is that OCD is connected in the minds of the public and most medical professionals with germ phobias and with rituals and behaviors such as counting and hand-washing.

In fact, of the approximately 80 people whom I’ve told the premise of The Babysitter Murders (“It’s about a babysitter who’s tormented by thoughts of harming the child she cares for”), only one person asked, “Is it about OCD?” If I had said “It’s about a teenage girl who can’t function because she’s constantly washing her hands,” I believe almost all of them would have asked that question.

Since I write novels about mental illness anyway, I thought it would be exciting to put this little-known illness on the map. I had been able to go away and heal in private, but what if a character’s most horrifying secret thoughts became public…became known at school…were published on TV and in the newspaper?

The dramatic treatments Dani undergoes in Boston with Dr. Mandel are real. They’re called “exposure and response therapy,” and a wonderful OCD specialist who advised me on the technical aspects of the novel, Kimberly Glazier of Yeshiva University, told me they’re the “gold standard” for treating OCD. One of the paradoxes of this illness is that the only way to get better is to expose yourself to the triggering situations rather than avoid them, and that’s what brings the story to what I hope is an exciting climax.

Thank you Janet for sharing this with us. It's always interesting to find out more about where authors get the ideas or the inspiration for their stories.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour through The Teen Book Scene and if you haven't already done so, check out my review of The Babysitter Murders.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young

Title: The Babysitter Murders
Author: Janet Ruth Young
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Everyone has weird thoughts sometimes. But for seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon, strange thoughts have taken over her life. She loves Alex, the little boy she babysits, more than anything. But one day, she has a vision of murdering him that's so gruesome, she can't get it out of her mind. In fact, Dani's convinced that she really will kill Alex. She confesses the thoughts to keep him safe, setting off a media frenzy that makes "Dani Death" the target of an extremist vigilante group.

Through the help of an uncoventional psychiatrist, Dani begins to heal her broken mind. But will it be too late? The people of her community want justice . . . and Dani's learning that some thoughts are better left unsaid.

What originally drew me to The Babysitter Murders was the premise. I’ve babysat my fair share of young children and never had thoughts about hurting them in any way or form. So I was really interested to read the story and see how it all played out.

Ever since she heard about a father killing his stepdaughter on the news, Dani has had weird thoughts about hurting people she cares about and loves. Scariest thought of all is the one of killing Alex, the little boy she babysits. No matter what Dani does, the thoughts don’t go away and keep spreading to more and more people Dani cares about. Looking for ways to help herself, Dani tries to tell her friends and family but things backfire. Now things spiral out of control and Dani doesn’t know what to do anymore as she starts being the victim of personal attacks when her secrets are revealed to the world. Now Dani doesn’t know what to do anymore and becomes increasingly afraid that her thoughts might become reality.

The story was an interesting one to say the very least. It was one I had never even considered despite how realistic the subject matter is. I have to admit that when I first heard the premise, I was a little worried about what it might entail, especially how far the whole murder aspect of it all would be taken. But it turned out it was really well done and I really enjoyed the story. It was fast-paced and while some aspects of it were predictable, it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable. While I don’t necessarily have an interest in psychology, in this case it really added to the story and made it different from other books of its type.

The way the characters were written left me in a position I don’t normally find myself in when reading a book. For the most part, I would find myself feeling like the people in town did when Dani’s secret came out. I would want things done to ensure my safety and that of those I care about. But at the same time, I would probably do the same thing Dani did if I ever found myself in the same situation as her. To me this says that Janet Ruth Young did a really good job at writing all the different characters in the book. Most characters I liked, but Malcolm I just couldn’t seem to warm to. While I could understand to a certain extent where he was coming from, his actions just really didn’t feel justified.

The Babysitter Murders was a really interesting book, one that was different from most other books. In the future, I will definitely look out for more books of this type.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

This week was relatively slow book wise. I didn't get anything in the mail but I did buy two books. So here's what I got this week:


- The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (Delacorte Press May 22, 2007) - Like I so often do, I went to the bookstore just to browse and one of the employees came up and asked if I needed any recommendations. As it turned out this was the only book she recommended to me that I hadn't already read or didn't already own. So I decided I would pick it up and see what it's all about.

- The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Delacorte Press October 6, 2009) - I absolutely love dystopian books and this is one I haven't picked up yet. I've heard nothing but good things about this series and I look forward to reading it and discovering a new dystopian world.

Thankfully, I didn't add too much to my TBR pile this week. And unless I get books for review or from contests I hopefully won't be adding more myself. My roommate has challenged me to not buy any books for the next month, mostly because it has gotten to the point that she is reading some of my TBR books before I even get to them. We'll see how it goes. Maybe because it's not just me putting myself on a book buying ban but someone challenging me not to buy anything I'll actually stick with it.

That's it for me this week!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Title: Heist Society (Heist Society #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Source: Purchased

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection has been stolen and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled off this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully, just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

I have had Heist Society sitting on my bookshelf for the longest time but I didn’t actually pick it up until quite recently. And mostly I finally read it because I knew the sequel was coming out. But once I started reading it, I wanted to slap myself for not having picked it up sooner. It was a really fast read and one I enjoyed a lot.

Katarina Bishop thought she had gotten herself out of the family business after conning her way into private school. But that was only until she got herself expelled for something she didn’t do, despite the incriminating evidence, and before her father was accused of stealing a man’s private painting collection. Now Kat has to try to find those paintings and find a way to steal them back. But all that may be a whole lot easier said than done, because if she fails, everyone she knows and loves could be in danger. With the help of a teenage millionaire, her crazy cousin, a computer mastermind and Scottish brothers, Kat is going to have to pull off one of the greatest heist of all time, one everyone is telling her just isn’t possible.

This was the first time I have read anything by Ally Carter and I absolutely loved it. There was never a dull moment and it got to the point that I never knew what to expect next. The story was just plain interesting and it hooked me right from the start. I also loved the pace. I hate when the story drags on and this never even happened once. I also now know a lot about pick-pocketing, cons and planning heists, more than I ever thought I would know. Now if I will ever be in a situation that requires me to use that knowledge is a whole other story.

There was not one character in this book that I disliked. Kat was great and unpredictable. I honestly rarely knew what she was going to do next. She was also a big part of why I enjoyed the book so much. She was different from a lot of other protagonists, mostly because she wasn’t boy crazy which was absolutely refreshing. But there was still Hale. I don’t really know how to describe him. He’s mysterious and sounds like he would be an amazing friend. No matter how crazy Kat’s ideas were, Hale was always the first to jump on board. The rest of Kat’s crew was interesting to say the least. Gabrielle always seemed to have the right outfit for everything, Simon was always a little hesitant but somehow still wound up helping and the Bagshaws just seemed to love making stuff explode. Like I said, interesting.

Heist Society was an awesome book. So much so that I ended up at the bookstore a few days later when Uncommon Criminals came out. Now I will definitely go back and read some more of Ally Carter’s books.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.

The Canada Post strike is finally over!! I finally received three books I was waiting on and bought some more. And once again I went to Chapters and the Buy 3 Get the 4th Free sale was still going on, and I just couldn't buy one book for obvious reasons. Anyways, here's what I got this week.


- Tithe by Holly Black (Margaret K. McElderry June 20, 2008) - I have read and loved the first two books in Holly Black's Curse Workers series so I decided to pick this one up. If it's anything like the Curse Workers books then I'm sure I'll love it. Plus it's about faeries so I can't really go wrong here.

- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Delacorte Press February 9, 2010) - This book has been around for quite some time already but I have never actually read it. I've heard so many great things and read so many great reviews for it that I decided I would finally give in and pick it up for myself.

- Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (Point May 1, 2009) - A couple of months ago I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes and I absolutely loved it. I haven't read the sequel yet but I decided to pick up this one simply because I loved Maureen Johnson's writing the first time around.

- The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver (St. Martin's Griffin February 1, 2011) - This book came out earlier this year and received a lot of rave reviews. If I'm not mistaken the second book is coming out soon really soon, so I decided I would read this one and so that I can pick up the second one when it comes out.

- Hourglass by Myra McEntire (EgmontUSA June 14, 2011) - I have heard nothing but good things about this book. Plus I love stories that involve time travel so I can't wait to dive right in to this one.


- Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad (HarperCollins February 2, 2010) - Much to my surprise I enjoyed Lauren Conrad's first book when I read it last year. Now, thanks to K of The Lady Critic's Library I can see what happens next in this story.

- The Ivy by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur (Greenwillow Books August 31, 2010) - I've heard good things about this one, plus it's a YA book that takes place in university so maybe I'll be able to relate that much more to the characters. Thanks to April at Good Books and Good Wine for giving these away.

- Secrets by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur (Greenwillow Books June 1, 2011) - This is the sequel to The Ivy and that's pretty much all I can say about it. Once again, thanks to April at Good Books and Good Wine for giving these away.

That's all for me this week. Comment and let me know what you got in your mailbox and I'll come check it out!

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