30 December 2012

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Oscar Wilde
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary (I love you, Goodreads): Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was a succes de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895

My Thoughts: Dorian bothered me, to begin with. I know that he had to be self-centered for the story to work but still. Also, he said he was in love but got over her so quickly? Please! Then it goes awry and he's over it in no time. That's hard to believe. I know, I know, it needed to be so for the story. I did feel sorry for him though. He thought that the only thing that was important was his good looks. That's pathetic in itself. I love it when he goes kind of crazy. He moves the picture like that would make him feel better.

Some of the more minor characters bothered me but it might not have been them but rather how they treated Dorian, a human being, not a god or child yet impressionable to a fault. They weren't very smart when they were around him. Maybe it was just how people were during that time period but I don't really care...

I didn't like that the novel felt the need to go off on tangents. There was some useless information which is hard with classics because they are already hard to follow. You can get lost in the nonsense. I always have issues with getting off track. The older language and big words don't help that either but you do learn a lot of words.

The concept of this book is a bit crazy. Imagine that it actually happened. Also, imagine the fear that would eat at you if you had a portrait like that hanging around, waiting to be found, of course he goes crazy! I was sad that I knew how it ended. That's another problem with classics, you know how most of them end.

Final Thoughts: I thought that the story was enjoyable but it isn't close to being my favourite. Plus, for so few pages, it took a long time to read. I don't regret reading it at all, it's a good part of culture and I also understand his character in A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen better now (Good movie by the way).

27 December 2012


EasyReviewer: Kristen
Author: Tammara Webber 
Pages: 310 
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads): Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

My Thoughts: Now, don't let that 6 fool you. I enjoyed this book - it was easy to read and it made me want to finish it as soon as possible. However, there was just something about it that kept me from giving it a higher rating. Bare with as I try to explain. 

This book wastes no time - literally. Two pages into the novel and we're thrown into the story, which I actually really enjoyed. I typically hate all the fluff at the beginning of a novel. So, this was like a breath of fresh air. The story had a lot of promise, especially if you're into cutesy romance, which I totally am. I loved the way in which Tammara Webber wrote the story, and how she created something that read almost like it could be a diary. For the most part, I really liked Lucas (the saviour), but I couldn't shake this sketchy feeling about him throughout the novel. It was like I was waiting for him to do something, or some big secret to be revealed (which it kind of was, but not at all what I was thinking). There's something that just didn't feel right about him. I also think that Jacqueline forgave him too quickly for something pretty stupid he did - something pretty central to the story that I don't think was covered nearly enough. All in all, it was a good read. It was just missing something. Either there wasn't something that wasn't expanded upon nearly enough, or the fact sometimes the characters lost their believe-ability.  (Judge me for my made up words, everyone does!) Easy had so much potential, especially after reading rave reviews about it, but I guess this is just one novel that didn't cast me under a spell. 

Final Thoughts: Trigger warning, for those of you sensitive to violence against women. Good, quick read, but I probably wouldn't bother with it again. What'd you guys think!?

25 December 2012

A Christmas Carol

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Charles Dickens
Format: Paperback (all available) 
Pages: 89 (depending on copy but all short)
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (via Goodreads): Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn't like...and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill. Experience a true Victorian Christmas

Thoughts: Don't worry; it being Christmas, I'll keep this short. This was not my first Charles Dickens novel but it was definitely my favourite. I had never before read it but it's a Christmas classic so I needed to this year. I wasn't disappointed at all. I was glad to be thrown right into the life of Scrooge. The story would have been boring with extra background at the beginning. The reader did, however, need the description of him. In the first two pages, you understand what kind of man Scrooge is. This is good because the story goes right into trying to change him. This novel has some of the best descriptions I've ever read. Then again, my copy had a few pictures so...

I thought the whole premise was pretty incredible too. There are a lot of people that don't know what Christmas really is about and this book not only teaches that but also shows that people can change, forgiveness is possible and people can be truly happy. I can never really understand why the Ghost of Christmas Future scares everybody though. 

It was an easy read. My copy had huge font and pictures, like a said before. It was short, sweet, and to the point. I've seen many versions of this movie so it was great to be able to compare them to the real book. I love watching (or reading about) people changing.

In Conclusion: If you have the time before next Christmas, you should read this book. You might even make it a Christmas Tradition.

My Favourite Movie Versions:
A Muppet Christmas Carol: I loved this. Last year was my first time seeing it but I'm going to watch it every year now. The songs are catchy and who doesn't love the Muppets? I've never seen a movie that sticks so closely to the novel it came from. I read along with parts of the movie and entire lines were right from book. I loved it. The only big, big change was that the business partner in this movie was two brothers instead of one man, big deal!

Scrooged: This one is a bit more serious than the Muppet's version though there is a lot of humor in it too. The humor in this is more grown up. It is not exactly a children's movie but the ghosts are pretty hilarious  My favourite ghost is that of Christmas present because she hits him with a toaster! She's violent and it's the best. (P.S. The video doesn't go all the way to the end but it shows you what I mean. Sorry for the end!)

23 December 2012

Luminaire (Florence Waverley #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Ciye Cho
Format: eBook
Pages: 546
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 

*Spoiler Warning*

Summary (via Goodreads): Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans. But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

Everything hangs in the balance: her life, her world, and her love.

My Thoughts: After reviewing Florence, I was happy to have the opportunity to review the second novel in that same series. I loved this one just as much, if not a bit more, that the first. I thought that characters grew just the right amount (nobody can stay the same forever or the book, as well as life, would be boring). 

This novel had much more action than the first did. The majority of the book seems to be made up of action of some kind which keeps the plot moving and also keeps the story interesting. The action proves just how strong the main character really is. I would not be able to go through what she has. She has adjusted extraordinarily well and continues to grow stronger. She fights for what she wants which I love. It's great that she thinks for herself. She refuses to follow blindly behind someone, especially when she is offered the chance to fit in. It's no longer about that for her. It's a good thing that Rolan grew up because he was starting to get on my nerves. A few times, I told Kristen that I wanted to jump into the book and punch him in the face for being such a stupid boy.

I find that I am much happier with the way this book ended than I was with the last. I felt more satisfied than I previously did. In fact, I'm glad that it ended the way it did. The book left just enough questions and theories to make another book necessary. By that, I mean that I need to read the next one. I really want to know what happens. However, I was a little disappointed that all the nonsense with Kiren wasn't mentioned very often. There were a few references to him, what had happened, where he is, and what he is doing now, but nothing really happened with that story line. He was there, yes, but had little purpose in this novel. I thought that this one would be more centered on his plans, not the plans of others. Perhaps that will be in the third novel...

Also, where did Rolan's dad go at the end? I felt he was suddenly absent but that could just be me.

Closing: I think that this is the kind of series that you start and get sucked into. You want to finished them and kind out what is going to happen but you also need to finish them. I stand with what I said about Florence, this is an amazing book and I think you should check it out. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

17 December 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Ciye Cho
Format: eBook (Paperback also available)
Pages: 471
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary: "Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and brought down to Niemela--the hidden world of mermaids and mermen--Florence is the ultimate gift for Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of the dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul."

My Thoughts: I truly enjoyed this novel. I must say that it is the first books about mermaids that I’ve ever read. I loved the details about their underwater world. It seemed so beautiful that I wish I could do there. I’m glad that there was a lot of detail because I couldn’t have imagined it otherwise, it being so foreign to me, and the other characters would not have meant so much. By the end of the story, the characters were everything to me. One of the characters actually made an appearance in a dream of mine but maybe I just need to stop staying up until 3:00 am reading.

It killed me that I fell for the author’s trick. All authors have one. They set you up to love a character, place, or idea and you later find out that it was the worst thing possible. Luckily, I was in good company as Florence fell for it too. It just shows how good the author was at making you want something. You manage to ignore the clues given to the contrary. As much as I hate falling into this trap, it was well deserved for this book.

I was also glad that the author included so much of Florence’s real world and what she had gone through in her life. Without that background information, I could not have trusted any of her later decisions. It helped that I really understood how she felt while living her normal life. She was easy to connect to. Florence is much like every teenage girl. I’m happy she wasn’t the popular girl. Interesting stuff can happen to everybody and most people don’t see themselves clearly. Who doesn’t love a book with a message?

The novel offered changed in point of view a few times. Thank God, they were subtle because they weren't introduced and I didn’t notice to the end that it didn’t really fit with the story being told from Florence’s perspective. The book, however, needed this change because without it the reader would not have the necessary information. We needed to know what else was happening. The author found the perfect was to show that.

Final Thoughts: This book is an easy read but one that I was willing to stay awake all night for. I loved it. I would definitely read this novel a second or third time. It was a cute love story that had just enough action in it to keep it moving. It also had many different types of character, some mystery, and you can’t forget the incredible world in which it took place. I think that you should absolutely take a look at this book for yourself! Me?...I need the second one.

16 December 2012

Under The Never Sky

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Veronica Rossi
Pages: 375
Format: Paperback (eBook available)
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (thanks Goodreads): WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.


Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

My Thoughts: Damn you, creative authors! Damn you, for tearing my heart out and crushing it! I don't know what it is about this book -maybe the plot that pushes itself forward or the danger you somehow know is always imminent - but I didn't want to put this down. A little piece of advice from me to you, don't pick this up if you have something important to do! It's killer to put down. It took me a while to adjust to Aria's world, and to truly understand how she thought Perry was barbaric. The first chapter lacked something for me, though it was crucial to the story. So when I started, it didn't have me keep coming back. Don't worry, that quickly changes. Just get a few chapters in. It didn't score higher for me, because at some points throughout the story, there were just things that I couldn't picture. Now don't get me wrong, it is by no fault of the authors. Just some things were outside of my imagination, I suppose. I can't be the only one out there whose heart totally and completely breaks when there is a character who can't read. I don't know what it is about it, but my gosh! My heart aches for Perry. Perry, he makes more than just my heart ache. KIDDING. Kind of. I love him. I adore Perry.  I can now call myself a fan girl - and I do, proudly. 

To be honest, and I really need to stop doing this, I didn't expect much from this book. I haven't even really heard much of it, let alone know it was a trilogy. Suffice to say, I've ordered the next one. The book ends in such a jaw dropping way that I just need my hands on it. Too bad it's not out for another 20 something days. Let me just go back to that ending. HOW COULD YOU VERONICA ROSSI?! How could you leave it at that! My fragile heart....

Final Thoughts: I devoured this book. If you enjoy dystopian/ young adult, you need to get this... now. 

14 December 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Steve Cypert
Format: eBook (series)
Pages: 589 (according to the ereader used)
Rating: 7.5

Summary (via Smashwords): Scapemaker follows Matthew Namely, who is propelled into a whole new world following a few tragic events. After meeting a strange and beautiful girl, he learns the art of dreamscaping. Matthew will come to know of Sandman, who is after a special element called Magineum. Neck deep in skinwalkers, sandsleepers, zombies, night terrors, and more, Matthew must risk his life to save the magineum.

My Thoughts: When I first started this novel I was a little bit worried because the characters seemed off to me. This was partly because of what will from now on be known as writer warm up (the characters spoke funny but don't worry it stops). I was happy to find out that the real reason for this awkwardness was that they were hiding something. The author did an outstanding job of making sure that the reader understood the place the story took place in as well as all the strange...let's call it magic. I loved how original this was. It was different than anything I'd read; however, I felt like it was one of those things that could be real. It made me wonder if it couldn't. Harry Potter did the same thing for me. Why couldn't something like this be true? That thought, though incredible, is also terrifying after seeing the bad that can come from people who only want power.

This story was one of the best I'd read in a long time for explaining characters and their motivations. I'll even overlook the cheese 'I kinda like like you' moment that two of them had. Also, I thought it was great for two of the main characters to bicker. Dae was right though, Matthew was a bit conceded. I'm so glad he got over that in the end.

This novel ends with a lead into the next book in the series though so be prepared to be pulled into it before it starts and left with a lot of questions. I might need to get my hands on the next one to find out how it ends. I want a happy ending, really is it too much to ask?

Final Thoughts: Very few authors could pull off writing a whole new world where almost everything needs to be explained, this one can. This book has everything from ghosts to mermaids (sorta), zombies to love, action, mind reading, flying, and magic. If you like fantasy novels than this would be a good one for you. It has everything and more.

P.S.Nightmares after this book are the worst. I'm not saying it gives you them. It's just that I can't help but wonder if maybe the book is true after all...

6 December 2012

The Wolves of Mercy Falls

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Rating Overall: 9 out of 10

I loved this book. It was one of the best introductions to characters I have read. By the end of the novel, I cared so much for the main characters. I ordered the second one from Bookdepository.uk.co right away. I hated the wait. I found that the book flew by. I had just started it but it was already done. I would have read it if it had been 700 pages. Also, I might be in love with Sam...just saying. Then again, who am I to break up these two?

Original Shiver Review

I think that, of the three in this series, the second was my favourite. It was full of emotions of every kind. It is told from the perspectives of four different people so I was worried that it would become hard to follow but it didn't. I also found that the green print didn't bother me at all. By the end of the book, you can't even tell that it is green. I would swear to you that it was black print. Anyway, back to emotions. I felt what the characters felt. I felt the love that was shared. I could feel the character's pain. I even cried at the end when... kidding, I refuse to give spoilers. Let's just say that I had a total melt down and made my friend take me to buy the third. I couldn't even wait for it to come in the mail this time!

I was quite happy with the ending to this trilogy. I admit, I was horribly sad to let them all go and at one point I put the book down and refused to finish reading it because I was so upset by something that happened. I almost threw the book across the room. I fell in love with characters that had once driven me mad. Some of them, I still hated. It's okay though because they needed to be hated. The red ink turned black just like it had for the green ink. I was alright with the final ending though I wish I could have gotten something a little more concrete. I'll live. I really did enjoy this trilogy. I'm definitely going to be reading them again, soon. I think that they are worth your time.You should check them out.

Reviewers Note: I decided to only give a partial review because I hate reviewing all the novels in a series. I have this horrible fear of spoilers. I feel I should avoid them at all costs. With this series, however, I feel the need to say goodbye to characters and story line in a proper way. So anyway, clearly, I loved these...

4 December 2012

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Victor Hugo
Format: Paperback (others available)
Pages: 429
Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads, we cannot live without you): In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo's sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century.

My Thoughts: I feel bad saying anything bad about Victor Hugo. It's not that I want to. As far as classics go it is one of the better ones. I found it, for the most part, easy to understand. As I got closer to the end, the more into the story I found myself. Sometimes, though, I didn't have a clue what was going on. The story was told from many perspectives and we knew more than just what they were thinking. Also, I thought that a lot of the detail describing Paris could have been skipped but it's his book; he can do what he wants. In the beginning I was worried that I would end up putting the book down. It started a little slow for my taste. 

It kills me what Disney does to stories. This wasn't like the Disney movie at all. I'm glad I read it and discovered that. It is a lot more heart-breaking than the child's version. Actually, I'm kind of sad right now. Why does Disney hate us so much?

Final Thoughts: The only way to get the real, original story is to read it. This is one of the easier classics to follow so if you want to try one but not sure which you might be able to actually finish, this one might be a good place to start.

2 December 2012

True Believer

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Format: Paperback (others available) 
Pages: 336
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Summary (Thank you Goodreads): As a science journalist with a regular column in Scientific American, Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural and has a real nose for the strange and unusual. A born skeptic, he travels to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, determined to find the real cause behind the ghostly apparitions that appear in the town cemetery. What he doesn't plan on, however, is meeting and falling hopelessly in love with Lexie Darnell, granddaughter of the town psychic. Now, if the young lovers are to have any kind of future at all, Jeremy must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something he could never do before-take a giant leap of faith.

My Thoughts: It took me much longer than I expected to fall in love with Jeremy. I couldn't get a handle on him for some reason. I often found myself questioning his motives even though most of the story is told from his perspective. I thought that was bizarre. To be honest, Lexie bothered me in the beginning too. Half way through the story I started to wonder if it was all in my head and if another recently read book was destroying my thoughts about this one. (Can someone read this and let me know if I'm losing my mind or not?) I got with it eventually and started to really enjoy this novel. I found myself excited to see how it would end. I wished that I could jump into the story and kick Jeremy and shake Lexie and ask why they were doing some of what they were doing. Also, Alvin was a fun character just because he stood out. He was both strange and intelligent which I enjoyed. Also, I love the grandmother figure that Sparks' uses often. They always no what to say to help and always have a witty comment. I love a good chuckle every once and awhile too. This was, however, not close to being one of my favourites by Nicholas Sparks, hence the lowish rating.

Final (Yet long) Thoughts: It was a fast read, less than a day, but it was worth it. I really enjoy Sparks' novels. This is the fourth one I've read and I have more on order. Someone once told me that they were all the same and therefore a waste of my time but I disagree. Of course, they are a lot alike; they have the same author and are the same genre but I believe that each offers the reader something different. These books have the ability to be read over and over again, each time letting the reader learn something new. I love that about books. I definitely believe that everyone should give one of Nicholas Sparks' novels a try. Start with one you haven't seen a movie for. I bet that you will fall in love!

P.S. I think I died a little at the end. Good call on that one, author.

30 November 2012

The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings PlaybookReviewer: Kristen
Author: Matthew Quick
Pages: 289
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (via Goodreads): Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

My Thoughts: I'm sure that I'm not the only one who picked this up because I heard it was going to a movie. I'm awfully glad that I did! Matthew Quick effectively and tastefully ventures through the mind of Pat Peoples. With how sensitive people are to mental illness, this is quite the daunting task. However, Matthew Quick does it tastefully and without apology. Everything about this book screams at you to keep reading, and the plot drives you forward. Trust me, I didn't want to put this down even for a second. And I didn't. I loved Tiffany - so complicated, yet so obviously a God sent to Pat. I absolutely loved how Matthew Quick portrayed the family life, and how much he focused on how crucial they were to Pat. The relationship that Pat has with his brother Jake made me "awwwwww" a lot more than once! This is an exceptional read, and I encourage everyone to check it out! 

Final Thoughts: Give this a whirl! Especially if you like Perks of Being a Wallflower, or The Catcher in the Rye. You won't regret it. It's tasteful, and heartfelt, and definitely a breath of fresh air!

Movie vs. Book Thoughts: I'll admit to you, and only you, that I saw the movie before I read the book. I had every intention on reading the book first, but I ordered it online, and you never know how long those things can take! I'll also admit that I was really excited to see it because the previews looked great so Kels and I did go on opening day.... sue me! Back to the point though, if you're going to compare the book to the movie, I think you'll be disappointed. Standing alone, both are amazing pieces of work. The movie was heartfelt and remained true to the core of the story, but there were a lot of differences. One of the biggest being the portrayal of Pat's father, Patrick. In the movie, he's much more involved, and not as hostile, even though Patrick being who he was was so crucial to the book. The whole reason for the dance competition is different. In my opinion, both the movie and the book are great, and I recommend watching/reading both. 

Comparing the Book to the Movie, I'd rate it: 5/10
Appreciating the Movie as a separate entity: 9/10 
So I guess it just depends on what you're going in expecting with the show. Don't let this pass you by!  

Kelsey's Thoughts (on the movie): I loved it so much. When Kristen and I went to see it , we both kept having mini-freak-outs. I think I almost had a heart attack then died of happiness then had another heart attach. It was some of the best acting that I have seen in a long time. I believe that both Cooper and Lawrence should and will be recognized for it. It was great. I definitely recommend going to see the movie. I have the book on order so I'll probably let you know how that goes.

26 November 2012


Stolen: A Letter to My CaptorReviewer: Kristen
Author: Lucy Christopher
Pages: 301
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (where would we be without you, Goodreads?): It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

My Thoughts: I think it's fair to say, that this is an extremely mind boggling read. I read it cover cover, and quite literally did not know how I thought it would end. Moreover, I couldn't figure out how I wanted  it to end. The whole book is written as a letter to Gemma's kidnapper. I thought that they way Lucy Christopher described everything made the book come alive, and as I have never experienced a place quite like the outback, it made it a lot easier to follow. It's one of those stories with a driving plot that made it near impossible to even think about putting it down. The beginning started a little slow for me, and the end almost seemed rushed, but you can't have everything. It's not a particularly long story, and I think it's definitely worth your time to check out! 

Final Thoughts: Bizarre but consuming! 

Reviewer: Kelsey
Rating: 7 out of 10

My Thoughts: (I need to pay more attention because I've read this too!) I really liked this story. At first I just thought it was original (I'm a sucker for originality). Then I thought that Gemma was a bit crazy. I liked that this story was in the form of a letter. I had never read anything in that format before so I liked that it was different. I too read it very quickly. It was an easy read but you also need to find out how it ends. I agree with Kristen that the novel lacked a bit of balance. The beginning was slow but once the pace picked up, it really picked up. 

Final Thoughts: I made Kristen buy it, now you should!

24 November 2012

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Reviewer: Kristen 
Author: Jamie McGuire 
Pages: 437 (give or take)
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads, you da best!): Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts: I quite literally just finished this book, and I wanted to write this while the ideas were still fresh in my mind! I was so excited when I finally got this in the mail, because I've seen so so so many good things being said about this book. So, when I was finished, I was thrilled when everything I had heard lived up to the book completely! I loved the characters, especially Travis. Move over Edward Cullen, I'll take Travis Maddox instead. Though he does occasionally get a little crazy, (he is a fighter after all!) he redeems himself, and Jamie McGuire makes you feel so strongly for all the characters involved. I loved how Abby was developed and I love that secondary characters aren't forgotten about half way though the story. That happens way too often, and I like to know what's happening with everyone! I literally couldn't put this down though. There were some inconsistencies that drove me a little bonkers, but it was easy to look over in the grand scheme of things. (For example, sometimes I'd think they're in class, but suddenly they're back to the apartment. So you just kinda missed the walk.) I got it yesterday, and started reading it before I went to bed. I should have known that I would literally have to force myself to put it down! Even once I had, I had to employ some serious self control to not get right  back into and figure out what happens! I dreamt about the book, I can't stop thinking about the book, and I cannot wait until the companion (Walking Disaster) is dropped in April! 

Final Thoughts: I had read a few reviews that said Jamie McGuire glorified an obsessive relationship, but I disagree! I think this was written tastefully, and it left me wanting more.  I really enjoyed this book! I anxiously await the day I can get my hands on Walking Disaster! Do yourself a favor, and pick this up.... now!

23 November 2012

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 375
Format: Hardcover (paperback & ebook available)
My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars 

SPOILERS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T YET READ THE FIRST ONE. (you really need to get on that. This means you, Kelsey.) 

Summary (Thankya Goodreads!): I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,

pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,




like Raven taught me to do.

The old life is dead.

But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame. 

My Thoughts: Umm.... a book haven't left me speechless in what seems like such a long time. I have no words for this novel, which is ironic as I'm sitting here trying to review it. I'm almost mad at myself for not hearing about this book earlier. Okay, I've collected myself. Let's really get into this review. 

I tore through this book, cover to cover, in one sitting. Do you know how often a sequel is better than the first book? Never, okay rarely. But Lauren Oliver has accomplished that. This book left me flabbergasted, antsy and desperate for the next one. The way that Lauren Oliver has strung this together is genius, literally. It's unlike any book I've read before. It goes from "Now" to "Then", and though that may sound as though it has potential to get confusing, it really doesn't. This book could break my heart, fill me with this unprecedented anger at a character, and leave me smiling like a goof all at the same time. Lauren Oliver has gotten me to love Lena, admire her even. Lauren Oliver has a knack for getting inside what would be an eighteen year olds head (my age, mind you), and presenting a totally believable mind set. The writing is perfect, that you can quote me on. 

Final Thoughts: I tried to avoid spoilers as much as possible, despite the big red sign at the top. I neeeeeeeeed the next book. Lauren Oliver has created such a gripping novel, that this story won't be leaving my mind for a long, long time. If you're reading this, go out and buy Delirium. But pick this one up while you're out, you're going to need it. Trust me.  

Reviewer: Kelsey
Rating: 9 out of 10

My Thoughts: I loved this book! It was a great follow up to Delirium and I loved how it was laid out. I'm glad it went back and fourth between "Then" and "Now". It was a fantastic way to explain everything without over loading the reader and expecting them to remember every single important detail. It doesn't get complicated like one would believe, thank God. Like Kristen, I think I have fallen in love with Lena and all that she stands for. She is incredibly strong and knows what she wants. She knows what's right and I admire that. I fell in love with some of the new character and, though it caused me some pain, I'm glad I did. Sadly, I saw the end coming. Luckily, I was still happy to read it and it still killed a small piece of me. I'm not sure how I feel about it (no fault to Lena...). I'm sure there might be some debate between Kristen and I...

Final Thoughts: You're wasting time. Go buy it.

Follow Friday

FF 2012 (Thankful) Feature & Follow #124
It's that time again! 

Q: Are you thankful for a fellow blogger? Tell us about him or her.

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American followers! 
To be quite honest, we're just getting back into the swing of things, and I haven't chatted with many other bloggers, but there are a few that religiously read!  I wish I had a better answer! 
- Kristen 

Happy Thanksgiving! I think I have antisocial personality disorder. Not really but I am a bit of an introvert. Does Kristen count? I like her...

20 November 2012


Delirium (Delirium, #1)Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 441
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (thank you, Goodreads): Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Thoughts: This book is aces. Seriously, this is a great read! It's one of those books where you literally have to know what happens next. I finished it within the span of a few hours, and I sincerely thank everyone who told me to read this book first! It's so interesting to watch Lena's transformation. She goes from this true believer of the cure, to this rebel. She's such an intriguing character. And than Hana, can I just say that I love Hana. She's a rebel until she needs to be, and to see Lena and Hana foil each other is pure genius on Oliver's part. This book kept me awake, and I love how original this book feels in a world where vampires and werewolves are quite dominant. Give this book a go, you won't be disappointed. I sure as hell wasn't! 

Final Thoughts: All I think I need to say is, I've already placed my order for the next book. Read this, now. 

Reviewer: Kelsey
Rating: 8 out of 10

My Thoughts: I really loved this book. Kristen told me that I had to read it. She was right. It was super original. There were so many twists and turns that I stayed interested in the plot and in the characters. Lena was not a flat character, thank God. I felt for her. In fact, I felt for the whole world. You can ask Kristen, I just kept saying that the world was crazy and asking who would do this. As the story progresses though, I begin to understand. Of course there are things in my life that I wouldn't kill to remember. It's interesting to think about what the world could become. Lauren Oliver was brilliant to keep the world close to what it is now. I didn't have to fight to understand what new technology was, what a strange word meant, or what caused the world to do something. The motivation was the same as ours is now. 

Final Thoughts: Kristen gave me the second book which I am hanging in front of my face as a prize to finish a certain classic that is killing me slowly. Trust me when I say that I'm rushing through the classic to get to the second. Apparently, it's even better. Now, what are you waiting for? Go read it!

Blue Smoke and Murder

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 404
Rating: mhmm...urg...gr... 6.5 out of 10

Summary (thank you Goodreads): Jill Breck was just doing her job as a river guide when she saved the life of Lane Faroe, son of two of St. Kilda Consulting's premier operators. But when a string of ominous events--including a mysterious fire that kills her great-aunt and a furor in the Western art world raised by a dozen Breck family paintings--culminates in a threat to her life, Jill reluctantly calls in a favor.

Zach Balfour works part-time as a consultant for St. Kilda. His expertise is gathering and analyzing information from unlikely and often dangerous sources. Though he's got the skills to be a highly effective bodyguard, being a bullet catcher isn't his preferred way to spend time.

Protecting Jill will take him into familiar territory--among a strange, savagely competitive bunch of collectors who'll do anything to stay at the top. But Jill is in deeper waters than she's ever known; as she soon discovers, the perils of running wild rivers are tame compared with the hidden dangers in the high-stakes game of art collecting.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel. It was hard to rate because I'm not quite sure if I would read it again though I would recommend it to some. I guess this was the fourth in a set, not series, but I didn't really noticed. A few things can be assumed about other characters so that it is not important to read the others. I did enjoy the characters though I felt that more attention was given to the story line and explaining the world of art (which was good since I lack in that area) but little was given to explaining why Zach and Jill became so close so quickly. I can get over that though since the action was decent and I felt an insane need to find out what happened to them in the end. I love finding out how people get out of sticky situations or how they survive things. I am a fan of the classic fighting-won't-give-up character. This story has those.

Final thoughts: Some parts of the writing were rough. I laughed a few times at some lines in both a good way and a bad way. I found one mistake (I like that. It makes it more real to me somehow.) but it didn't hurt anything. I loved the characters. I'm glad they were smart and believed in the truth instead of only caring about themselves and revenge. It is a romance novel though so keep that in mind if you are on here looking for YA. I really did like it!

18 November 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Amanda Hocking
Format: Paperback (Series book)
Pages: 318
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (via Goodreads): When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

My thoughts: I need to start by saying that I accidentally read the second and third books in this series before reading the first one which kind of confused me. Luckily, they are good enough to pick up on the second and still be able to understand. I don't really recommend this, however, and definitely not for the third book!

I really enjoyed the idea behind this story. Let's say that I'm a fan of awesome, super, magic powers. The characters were relate-able (not all the cool magic stuff but who they were as people and the fact that Wendy was in denial). Finn made me a bit mad but he is better explained towards the end of the first novel and in more detail in the second. Thank God! My favourite part might be that the character, for the most part, had redeeming qualities to make up for their weaknesses. 

What I didn't like was how certain words were too often repeated. Sometimes the same word would be in the paragraph four or five times. You can get past it by putting yourself deep into the novel. After a time you stop noticing them. This is a small error and I just attribute it to the age of the writer. 

Final Insights: I love that the author is younger. Being a young writer myself, it gives me some hope for my own work. This causes me to want to support the writer. Point for self-publishing. 

I really enjoyed all three of these books. This is truly a story that you can get lost in and characters that you can fall in love with. I could even understand the motivation for the bad guys! I would definitely recommend this novel.

<---Book two                                     Book three --->

17 November 2012

Stacking the Shelves [3]

This is getting embarrassing. My list, again, hasn't changed much since the first time I've posted. BUTTTTTTTTT, I have ordered about 9 books.... so, I'll post those this week! This is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, so you should hop on over and take part in this too!

Here goes my list of books I have coming in the mail!

  1. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (received, review up later today)
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (received, reviewed a while back)
  3. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  4. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  5. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
  6. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire 
The rest are Christmas gifts, so, that's my list! What's yours?
- Kristen

I guess I'll post what I have coming in the mail too!

   1. Blue Smoke and Murder by Elizabeth Lowell (exception to the in the mail theme)
   2. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Second in series)
   3. A Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
   4. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
   5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver (because Kristen is making me!)
   6. The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks (I think I ordered about three of his books. I enjoy them and they are easy reads.)

I'll leave it at six though I have a about 10 on their way and countless others on my shelves in my room. Seriously, I have a shelf and a drawer of to-read books. It's killing me but I have to little time! Sorry everyone.
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