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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Book of (Holiday) Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Summary:
There's nothing like the holidays. They bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in everyone. Luckily, Neil Pasricha is here to remind us that not only are the holidays great but there's actually even more to celebrate than we realize. From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to such holidays as Mother's Day and Father's Day, Thanksgiving, and beyond, The Book of (Holiday) Awesome will show you why holidays are . . . AWESOME!
* Plugging in the Christmas lights from last year and having them all work.
* When the in-laws leave.
* Successfully regifting a present to someone who actually wants it.
* Drinking with Grandma.
* Just barely wrapping a gift with that tiny scrap of leftover wrapping paper.
* Knowing Kwanzaa is worth more Scrabble points than Hanukkah or Christmas.

Summary taken from Goodreads.com

Well you all know that I've veen getting into the hoiday spirit these last few weeks and so even though I havent read any of the other Awesome books by this author I decided to pick it up. I was actually surprised how much I liked it considering the book is just basically a list of simple yet awesome things to be thankful for.
I found myself agreeing whole-heartedly with most of the things in this book and I felt that this book was a light, fun, easy read and I like that the author is encouraging people to take a little time out of their day to appreciate the little things in life that we often forget with all the stuff going on in our lives.
This is definetly a book that I would recommend to people because it's such an easy read it's a book you can pick up here and there and just enjoy it.
I really hope to read the other books Neil Pasricha has written soon and I hope that if you're reading this you'll give his books a try too.
★ ★ ★


The Vagina Monologues The V-Day Edition by Eve Ensler

Summary:
I say vagina because I want people to respond," says playwright Eve Ensler, creator of the hilarious, disturbing soliloquies in The Vagina Monologues, a book based on her one-woman play. And respond they do--with horror, anger, censure, and sparks of wonder and pleasure. Ensler is on a fervent mission to elevate and celebrate this much mumbled-about body part. She asked hundreds of women of all ages a series of questions about their vaginas (What do you call it? How would you dress it?) that prompt some wondrous answers. Standouts among the euphemisms are tamale, split knish, choochi snorcher, Gladys Siegelman--Gladys Siegelman?--and, of course, that old standby "down there." "Down there?" asks a composite character springing from several older women. "I haven't been down there since 1953. No, it had nothing to do with [American president] Eisenhower." Two of the most powerful pieces include a jagged poem stitched together from the memories of a Bosnian woman raped by soldiers and an American woman sexually abused as a child who reclaims her vagina as a place of wild joy.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com


The word of the day is VAGINA.I grew up hearing about the Vagina Monologues  referenced in popular culture and for many years I've wanted to read it and so earlier this week I put on my big girl panties and put a hold on it at the library. I am very grateful that I did.I adore this book and feel that it may be one of the best books I have ever read and not just this year. I'm talking about one of the best I have ever in my entire life.
The way Eve Ensler writes is...REAL. Honestly that is the only way I know how to describe it. I am very thankful that I, being born in 1990 am not a part of that "down there" generation. The generation where the female pubic area was lumped together and just given a broad term as if it were something undeserving the generation that our mothers and grandmothers grew up in. Now in this day and age a girl can talk to her friends about her VAGINA . It is not something we have to be shameful about any longer ladies and I thank Eve and all the women like her, as well as the women who helped make this book possible. This book opened my eyes and I really enjoyed it. I found my heart aching for the women, cheering them on and relating to there words. Eve's message against violence against women broke my heart but I've known for a long time that these atrocities happen...unfortunately I'm not sure they will stop even within my lifetime and that makes me sad.
We should not feel dirty or ashamed for what we have, because without VAGINAS none of us would be here so ladies please read this. I hope it opens your eyes like it did mine.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas


Summary:
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas's new series begins during the most magical time of year
 ONE LITTLE GIRL NEEDS A FAMILY One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.



ONE SINGLE MAN NEEDS A WIFE The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister's will gives him the instructions: There's no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.

SOMETIMES, IT TAKES A LITTLE MAGIC... Maggie Collins doesn't dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.

...TO MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home...
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

This was my first time reading a book by the author Lisa Kleypas and I went into it with low expectations even though this has been sitting on my TBR shelf for over a year. I was first drawn to the book because of the cover which is lovely and since I've been reading Christmasy books the last couple weeks I thought this would be a nice heartwarming tale.
I was wrong. This book had no elements of a heartwarming tale, though I did love Holly and I liked Maggie a lot I just could not get over my distaste for Mark Nolan and his brothers Sam and Alex. I actually thought all three brothers were complete asses the who book. The fact that Mark didn't want Holly to have an imagination and didn't thin Maggie should still miss her dead husband really irked me. I also hated how pushy he was and I didn't like how Maggie did NOT appear to have a backbone at all. I mean sheesh she's a redhead. She SHOULD be fiery! 
I felt like the whole story was rushed and forced. It didn't seem to flow and it was as if the author didn't  know how she wanted the story to go. I wish that there would have been more warmth in the book and I felt that Holly and the dog Renfield were the best things in the book. I wish it had been better since this is the first book by this author that I've read so I'm hoping that the next book I read by her is better.
I actually don't think I would recommend this book to anyone but please, don't let my review stop you from reading this book. Try it and see for yourself how you like it :)
★ ★1/2

Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Affair by Debbie Macomber


Summary:
Rediscover the joy of #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber's delightful tale of unexpected love, second chances, and a cat named Dog.

Lacey Lancaster has always longed to be a wife and mother. However, after a painful divorce, she decides it's time to lay low for a while in her charming San Francisco apartment with her beautiful Abyssinian cat, Cleo.
Everything would be wonderful, except for her utterly impossible neighbor Jack Walker. When he's not arguing day and night with his girlfriend, begging her to move in with him, he's chasing down his cat named Dog, who seems determined to get Cleo to succumb to his feline advances.
Then Lacey discovers the awful truth—Cleo is in the family way and Dog's to blame. She's furious that neither Jack nor his amorous animal seem too upset about the situation.
But Lacey learns that things are not quite as they seem. Jack's "girlfriend" is really his sister—and his intentions toward Lacey are very honorable. And though she's not quite sure about Dog, Lacey begins to discover the tender joy of falling in love all over again.






Summary taken from Goodreads.com

I hate to say it but I was a little let down by this book when I read it today. It's my least favourite of the 5 Debbie Macomber books I've read. That being said it was still a cute read and very light hearted read but I felt that it lacked the heartwarming feeling that seems to be her magic touch.
I believe this is one of her earlier works that was printed in an anthology back in 1994 and I suppose that that is why he book didn't exude that heartwarming feeling that emmenate from her other books.
I liked Lacey but I think she was too cold for me even with her HEA with Jack. I really liked how Debbie made the cats more like characters in the story rather than props like other authors sometimes do.
I think that since this was only 102 pages long I went into it with high expectations and because  I have adored her other books I thought that this would be the same style. I'm still glad I read it though because now I can see the progression and the evolution in her writing over the past 18 years.
I recommend this book to those who want to get a feel for her writing and for those looking for a cute, quick and easy read!
★ ★ ★

There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber

 

Summary:
Bestselling author Debbie Macomber (who won a Quill Award for Best Romance with 44 Cranberry Point) delight her many fans with an annual Christmas romantic comedy. This time, she delivers not only love and laughter but also fruitcake.
Macomber's sweet romance pits Emma Collins, a young reporter, against pilot Oliver Hamilton. Yes, he's attractive; yes, she's attracted; but Emma has issues. She is estranged from her father, she doesn't trust men, and Christmas is just another day to go to the movies alone. A coveted feature assignment takes her by plane to interview the three finalists in a national fruitcake contest. By the time the article is finished, Emma has learned more than a little about life and love from each woman -- and, with Oliver's help, she has rediscovered the joy of Christmas. (Bakers, take note: Recipes for the winning fruitcakes are included -- applesauce, chocolate, and a special no-bake version!).
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

Debbie's done it again! I loved the Christmas love story by her. I love how she makes the characters seem so real and this one did not disappoint me at all. Infact I read most of it on my way too and from school today it was so good.
I really enjoyed the setting of this novel and the characers were really likeable though at time I wanted to smack Emma for being so dense when it came to her not knowing how Oliver felt about her. I was rooting for Oliver the whole time.
I thought the story itself was sweet, heartwarming and pretty darn cute and funny. I loved the dogs and the fruitcake recipies sound delicious. I think I may try to make a couple of them or maybe all three. I love how Debbie Macomber adds these things into her books for the readers. It makes her books just that more special.
I recommend this book to EVERYONE! I think I'm going to be passing this one on to my boyfriend's mother. Debbie Macomber writes the best Christmas romances in my opinion and I can't wait to read more by her.
I give this book:
 ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Imprint by Annie Frame


Summary:
This spine chilling book takes the reader into the realms of horror all the more believable because it seems reality not fantasy. The Imprints enter the soul of the narrator with determined power and describe each of their emotions in vivid detail. It is impossible not to be deeply involved, revolted and yet entranced at the same time as the linking of the personalities becomes apparent. Desperation, self destruction and fear are superimposed on the beauty of the rose with its blood red petals. Each bloom shows the astral image of the various characters as their lives have been lived, giving some hope for the future and the lessons offered to the soul as it evolves to enlightenment and bewitching knowledge.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

Let me say for a 74 page book it was pretty good, there was a lot going on in the book. I can honestly say hat it was very different from anything I have ever read before. It's not really a horror story but it makes you think about souls in a different way.
I think that the author Annie Frame did a good job with this one in my opinion. The story has a lot going on and it is probably best that if you were to read it that you take your time with it. Don't let the length fool you. Go Slow.
I do have some complaints though, I felt that at times there were things missing and that the story could have benefited from being another 10 pages longer. I also think that perhaps there should have been more of an explanation leading into the story.
However, despite those faults I think this is a good book. Perfect for those needing a quicker read perhaps for the commuter and I hope to read her other book she published. 
I'd like to thank Annie Frame who sent me a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review
★ ★ ★

Chibi Vampire (Karin) Volumes 5 - 9





*Note: Since I'm reviewing 5 volumes at once I will only be providing the summary for volume 5 since I don't want to ruin it for others.

Summary:
Karin continues to come to terms with her feelings for Kenta, but her flirting will have to be put on hold for now. Karin's grandmother is in town, and that's enough to put her entire family into a panic. Elda Marker is no silver-haired, cookie-baking matriarch. She's a hot and heavy vampire vixen with a taste for blood, but a distaste for everything else having to do with the human race. So how can Karin possibly tell her about her new human almost-sorta-not-quite-boyfriend? It's going to be one freaky family reunion that you're not going to want to miss! Also in this volume, get a glimpse into the Maaka/Marker family past in a side story that focuses on grandma and grandpa!
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

This series FINALLY got good! Unlike the precious 4 volumes these 5 did not annoy the hell out of me and make me want to torch them....okay maybe they weren't that bad but frankly they were just okay. So that is why I was so relieved to see the series picking up steam.
Karin and Kenta are still bumbling along the road of adolescence trying to figure out how they feel about each other and the fact that Kenta's dead beat dad and Karin's perverted Grandma come into the picture doesn't make it any easier on the two love birds.
I found that the story is progressing in a nice way and the writing has gotten much better. I'm thinking that maybe the reason that I didn't like the first 4 volumes as much is because of my newness to the genre. I am glad though that for whatever reason that these are getting better. I feel like Karin and Kenta are evolving from the cutesy 13 year olds that they seemed to portray and are now acting more their ages.
I can only hope that the series continues to get better and I'm glad that the artwork is still wonderful I definetly recommend these more now and can't wait to read the final five volumes.
I give these 5 volumes:
★ ★ ★ 1/2

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Summary:
Her fans have been asking for it - now, Laurell K. Hamilton delivers a look into Anita Blake's past! Written by Laurell K. Hamilton herself, along with Jonathon Green, The First Death takes place almost a year before the events being chronicled in Guilty Pleasures. Witness the first meeting of Anita and Jean-Claude, Anita's first time inside Guilty Pleasures, her first serial-killer case, and an early encounter with Edward. Prepare to be thrilled by this original story produced especially for comics! Collects Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death #1-2 and Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures Handbook.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

It's been many ears since I first discovered the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton and have only read a third of the series I've been left wondering how Anita met Jean-Claude. This explained it perfectly. It wasn't the best graphic novel I've read in the series but it was still good. I'm a sucker for the artwork. I think it's absolutely stunning! The story was short since the last half of the book is a spoiler-ish half where it summarizes Guilty Pleasusres and gives you info on characters and stuff.
This is something I would tell other fans to read and I enjoyed it. Go check it out people :)

★ ★ ★ 1/2

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank You, God, For Blessing Me by Max Lucado


  
Summary:
Meet Little Hermie-the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie's thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God's blessings.
Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!
With over 5.5 million brands units sold, the new Little Hermie books open the wonderful world of the Hermie & Friends garden to an entirely new audience.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

I loved the illustrations for this book! Hermie is an adorable little caterpillar who thanks God for everything in his world great or small. I found it to be a cute read for youngsters probably around the ages of 2-5 years of age.
We follow little Hermie as he says thank you for his friends, the stars and the flowers. I thought the book was written in a way that will engage the minds of toddlers because of the simplicity of the wording and the way that the story revolves around the illustrations.
                Now I know that this is a boardbook so it can’t be too long I just wish it had been a few pages longer in order to offer the kiddies more colourful drawings of Hermie, and to make the story a little longer as well. I think it’s a good read for little ones but because I don’t see many kids wanting to read this over and over again because of the length I worry about how long it will take a child to grow tired of the story.
                All in all it is a book I can see purchasing for my friends who want to raise their children with Christian values and might even add this to a gift basket or two for a baby shower.
I recieved this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
                ★ ★ ★

Friday, November 18, 2011

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo


Summary:
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven. Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
So earlier this year there was all sorts of buzz in my favourite Goodreads bookclub with several members reading this book and recommending it to the rest of us so I naturally jumped at the chance to review it.
                Since I typically do not read this genre I was surprised by how much I liked this book. Todd Burpo writes about his son’s account of what heaven is like in a wonderful way. I liked how Burpo did not seem overly preachy in this book, despite the genre. I also liked how he added in some nice dashes of humour. I also enjoyed reading this book because it is obvious that he loves his family with all his heart.
                As a person who had a ruptured appendix when I was 11 that went untreated for 3 days I can related to poor Colton’s situation. The poor little guy I remember how much discomfort I was in and can only imagine what it was like on his frail little form.  I found my heart breaking when he described his meeting his sister whom his mother miscarried at two months. 
                The story was heartwarming and heartfelt but the skeptic in me does not die easily. I think that it is up to the reader to form their own opinions on Colton’s escapade in heaven , but I also believe that there is no harm in reading this account. It’s a feel good book that doesn’t preach but relates one boy’s experiences. Whether they are true are not… I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.  
I received this book in exchange for free in for my honest review.                                
★ ★ ★

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Future Door by Jason Lethcoe

Summary:

The Future Door

Thomas Nelson | December 6, 2011
A mystery is afoot at 221 Baker Street, but will Griffin Sharpe be able to figure out the clues before the future catches up with the past?
When Sherlock Holmes moves out of Baker Street, a new tenant moves in-a mysterious woman named Elizabeth who has long been a fan of Holmes. When she discovers that Griffin and his uncle are also detectives, she becomes very friendly. So when Elizabeth goes missing along with a special invention, Griffin sets out to rescue her. But finding Elizabeth will take them on a race against the clock that bends time itself!
Summary taken from Chapters.Indigo.ca

I received my copy of The Future Door for free from www.Booksneeze.com  which is a great resource offering bloggers the chance to read books free in exchange for their honest reviews. Check it out everyone!
So I was browsing the selection of available print books on the website and since I am trying to read some YA/Children’s books in order to recommend them to my niece and nephew I decided that this is the one I wanted to try.
                I was skeptical at first because I have read other YA books that were dealing with a child sleuth and sometimes…it feels like the author was trying far too hard to make the main character seem witty and we all know that when an author tries too hard things can go bad. Very bad. Good thing for me though it seems that I picked a good book to review. I say this despite of it being Volume 2 in the series and I have not read the first volume I found it easy to follow and I plan on reading volume one soon.
                I absolutely adored Griffin! I love how serious he was but still managed to have moments when I was reminded that he was still a kid, despite being a genius. I loved how passionate he was when dealing with the Moriarties! I also loved his uncle Rupert though I like Griffin believe that he should have gotten more credit for inventions. Plus having Toby Sherlock Holmes’s dog in the book gave it extra brownie points for me. I love how the author Jason Lethcoe added humour into this book. It gave it a nice touch. I found it to be a great book for kids and adults and highly recommend it to everyone. In fact I think I may be passing my copy on to my nephew for Christmas time. I hope the series continues because I would love to read more of Griffin’s adventures.
 ★ ★ ★ ★


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui

Summary:
“I’m a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no.”

Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled—not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood’s case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. Her story even incited change in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, where underage marriage laws are being increasingly enforced and other child brides have been granted divorces.

Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story for the first time. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sana’a to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.


This book had been sitting on my To-be-read since January of this year and so last night seemed like the perfect time to read it. I found this book to be well written and touching.  She is so brave I cannot imagine being that age and going through all the things she went through.

I wish I could hug her and hold her close, she's the same age as my nephew and I can't believe that these things happened to such a little girl. Before reading this book I knew that these atrocities happen but I believe that reading the personal accounts of the victims is important. In my opinion it makes the problems in other countries seem more real to us.

I was struck by how intelligent this 10 year old illiterate little girl is. She is most definitely wise beyond her years, in part due to her abuse but also due to her environment. To see the world through her eyes is shocking yet surprising as she still manages to see the good in people, in her world even though the world has been cruel to her. I love how she retained her love for her family even though they were responsible for what happened to her.

All in all I found her to be a breath of fresh air. I think everyone should read this account and I wish her and all the girls like her luck. I think everyone should read this book. I highly recommend it!
★ ★ ★ 1/2

Monday, November 14, 2011

Today's Library Haul

Went on a book borrowing spree and came home from the library with these:

The Goodies

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1)  by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
Haunted Dark Delicacies 3 by Del Howison
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
A Kiss and A Promise by Jessica Stirling
Coming of the Storm (Contact The Battle for America #1)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Quarter Life Crisis Only the Good Die Yung by Evan Munday
When Blood Calls (The Shadow Keepers #1) by J.K. Beck
When Pleasure Rules (The Shadow Keepers #1) by J.K. Beck
Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft
Black Heart Loa (Hoodoo #2) Adrian Phoenix
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Any thoughts on my picks? Have you loved them/hated them? Gimme a shout in the comment box below :)

Books Bought Today

So I went BACK to the library sale and I only came home with these:




I bought these fo 50 cents each!

Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Summary:
This Christmas, Emily Merkle (call her Mrs. Miracle!) is working in the toy department at Finley's, the last family-owned department store in New York City. And her boss is none other than...Jake Finley, the owner's son.
For Jake, holiday memories of brightly wrapped gifts, decorated trees and family were destroyed in a Christmas Eve tragedy years before. Now Christmas means just one thing to him--and to his father. Profit. Because they need a Christmas miracle to keep the business afloat.
Holly Larson needs a miracle, too. She wants to give her eight-year-old nephew, Gabe, the holiday he deserves. Holly's widowed brother is in the army and won't be home for Christmas, but at least she can get Gabe that toy robot from Finley's, the one gift he desperately wants. If she can figure out how to afford it...
Fortunately, it's Mrs. Miracle to the rescue. Next to making children happy, she likes nothing better than helping others--and that includes doing a bit of matchmaking!

Summary taken from Goodreads.com

There's nothing like one of Debbie Macomber's Christmas novel to warm the cockles of ones heart. Reading this Mrs. Miracle was like coming home. It was a modern spin on the movie classic Miracle on 34th street. It was just what I needed to read yesterday. I read it in one sitting so that should tell you how good it was!

I really liked the romance between Holly and Jake, but my favourite character was without a doubt Mrs. Miracle. She remind me of my mother, because she was all knowing and she had a sense of humour. I really love how Debbie Macomber wrote this story it was so heartwarming and light hearted. After reading it I f4lt lifted. She really is the official story of Christmas, at least she is in my eyes. Her books are wonderful to snuggle up on the couch, in your favourite reading chair or in bed reading late in the night with a cup of tea or coffee beside you.

I definitely recommend this one to anyone. Young or old. I can't wait to read the other Mrs. Miracle book.

I gave this book: ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto by Liz Fielding

Summary:
Lucy Bright can't believe it when she's plucked from secretarial obscurity and transformed into the pampered fiancĂ©e of a slick retail guru. But then she discovers it was all a publicity stunt! Rushing away from the media frenzy, she bumps—literally—into the arms of delicious tycoon Nathaniel Hart….
Spooked by their instantaneous chemistry, Lucy flees—but Nathaniel is determined to find his barefoot beauty. Though all he has is one very expensive red designer stiletto to help him!
Summary taken from Goodreads.com


You know Christmas time is coming when I start cracking out the Christmas books. This year I decided to start getting into the holiday spirit by reading this book. I've been reading Harlequin's since I was 11 (probably shouldn't have been) but those were often the only books left in the house that I hadn't read already. Anyways Harlequin's have had a special place in my heart since then.

After a tough week at school I wanted nothing more than to settle down and read something easy, quick, cute, funny, and christmas-y. I was actually surprised by how much I liked this book. Sometimes, I find that though I've got love for the Harlequin books they get a little too corny for my tastes. This one had a Cinderella twist to it so I suppose it was a little corny. I like corny. I wouldn't be with my better half this long if I didn't (I mean that in a nice, loving way Babe). But I enjoyed it immensley.

It had the cheese factor but it was not over done. I found Lucy Bright the protagonist to be quite likeable, and I hated her Fiance Rupert for using her to make money (the sad thing is men actually do take advantage of women for financial gain more than we think). So I was glad that she found her Happily Ever After. I like how though she was blonde, she was not a ditz! Thank you Liz Fielding for giving readers a heroine with a brain and a sense of humour. I loved the ending!

All in all it was a cute, Christmas love story where I connected to the characters. I give it:
 
★ ★ ★ ★.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Books Bought Today

So my library is having a booksale from today until November 19th and I bought these goodies for a grand total of $3.00.

The Goodies:





I think I got a good deal don't you?

Today's Library Haul

Went to the library today and grabbed these books:

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Flower of Life Volume One by Fumi Yoshinaga


Summary:
Forced to enroll one month late after recovering from a serious illness, Harutaro does his best to remain optimistic about enrolling in a new school. The other students try to make Haru feel welcome – especially his chubby, loveable pal, Shota – but Kai Majima, president of the manga club and all-around hard case, seems intent on making Harutaro’s high school life a living nightmare. Join Harutaro as he makes new friends, learns to draw manga and discovers surprising facts about his “kinda gay” teacher!
Summary taken from goodreads.com

I'm starting to think that Manga will always be hits or misses with me. I really thought this one would be better because  though it's still a Teen manga it was more mature. Unfortunately the only thing to save this volume from a one star rating was the artwork. If it weren't for the artistry I doubt that I would have even finished this one.
The story was odd. It seemed very much like Yoshinaga was trying to hard to make the story seem more real. Sadly she just couldn't pull it off in my opinion. I found the story to be very flawed, it stopped and started with the frequency of a jackhammer. The characters were boring and I found the whole school setting to be dull.

I was so disappointed in this one that though I do have the next two volumes checked out of the library I doubt that I will be reading it. I don't recommend it to anyone but I strongly advise borrowing it from your local library to try it out before you buy it.
Due to the art work which was lovely I give this
 ★  1/2.

Whispers of a Legend, Part One-Shadows of the Past by Carrie James Haynes


Summary:
The legend, they say, is whispered within the winds along the magnificent Preda Mountain Range, the words and deeds never to be forgotten of the Time of the Nuxvenom, a time when the Sordarins crushed the impending threat, the dreaded Asmeodai, and once more Scarladin was safe. The mighty Sordarins, rulers of the sky! No, the Sordarins have slept well over the years secure in their knowledge the Great One watches over them, knowing the legends holds a mighty warrior will emerge if threatened again, born with a destiny only to defend their world. But subtle changes have emerged. Little by little fear beings to resurface that their world, their very existence is once again threaten. They look to the skies anxiously awaiting their warrior; questioning perchance if the Great One has forgotten them. I know this how? For I am the one born to defend their world. I, Kela Calledwdele, was born a Euchoun. I am their warrior.

So starts this epic fantasy...Whispers of a Legend saga. Kela Calledwdele was born with a destiny, a Euchoun with only one purpose in life...to protect. Torn between two worlds, Kela soon discovers she is the hope of both. Now she must find the courage to face the destiny fate has dictated to her.



Kela has always known what path in life she would follow. She was born a Euchoun. Half Witheleghean, a passive peaceful race where magic runs freely and the other half, Sordarin, a valiant warrior race of hawkmen who rule the sky, she knows well her parents gave the ultimate sacrifice to give her a chance to live. Yet, in so doing, they have left Kela unprepared to face the dangers that await her. Her instincts are to protect and in this she does, but in so doing it leads her into a world where she knows not whom to trust. In time her power matures and grows stronger when she bonds with a Sordarin warrior, Cono. She learns well why she holds the power. An evil as no other before, Asmeodai, has emerged but all is not what it seems as a dark cloak encompasses her family. Betrayal, distrust, treachery leaves Kela alone. She is torn by her desire for Cono and the purpose, the path, she has been given to follow. And when another emerges within her world, one who seemly wants only to help her along her path, she is pulled further away from her Sordarin.


Shadows of the Past, Book One of the Whispers of a Legend is the first in nine installments of the saga. It is a journey of a young woman’s battle to embrace her destiny. Whispers of a Legend follows Kela along this conflicting path, where as a young woman unsure of her ability and her confidence in facing the challenges before her to where she emerges as a strong leader who learns to lean upon her own strength, to stand not behind, but side by side with her warrior.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

After posting in a Goodreads group asking authors to review their books I was approached by Carrie James Haynes to review her book. I was so excited to read it and I would like to thank Carrie for allowing me the opportunity to review her book.

I have to say that the author did a nice job with the world building in this book. She did an amazing job with Kela (my favourite character and the protagonist). I love how strong she was and how much she cared for her family. I enjoyed seeing her grow as a character and I was rooting for her the whole way through all her trials and tribulations. 

This was not a long book by any means but it was packed with my 2 must haves: Adventure and Fantasy. This book did not fail to deliver and I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading books set in different worlds.

I give this book ★★★★ My only three complaints were that there were a couple of minor spelling errors, and the fact that I think it should have been a wee bit longer and the fact that I have to wait for the next installment!You can download this book for free by following this link ---> Whispers of a Legend by Carrie James Haynes


Vampire Knight Volume One by Matsuri Hino


Summary:
Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy's secret. Yuki believes that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully, but her partner has different ideas...

Summary taken from Goodreads.com

I went into this book with low expectations. Since I had a bad experience with Chibi Vampire I thought that Vampire Knight would follow the same fluffy pattern. Thankfully I liked this one more than Chibi Vampire.

I really admired the hardwork Matsuri Hino put into the artwork of this volume. It was stunning (despite the Sailor Moon skirt on Yuki can we get anymore stereotypical?).  It was wonderfully done.  It was nice to see that there was a connection between the art and the story.  I also like how the author added in little side bars explaining how the book came to be.

I really like Yuki but I don't like Zero and I feel wary when it comes to the Vampire Kaname and the Headmaster of Cross Academy. I was surprised about what happened to Zero and I can honestly say I was no expecting that. It made for a good twist.  I hope Yuki is more of the focus in the next volume.

I will be continuing this series and I hope that it gets even better. I enjoyed this volume and so I'm giving it ★ ★ ★  1/2 My hopes are that the story will get a little stronger. Though I enjoyed this volume I found some areas of the plot to be a little weak/flat. I recommend this to Manga lovers who want something a little less fluffy to read.

Rememberance Day 11-11-11


In honor of those brave men and women who fought for us and those wo are still fighting for us, I thank you. I ask all of you to have a moment of silence at 11:11am to pay respect to these heroes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's library Haul

Went to the library today and came home with these goodies!
Have you read any? Let me know in the comment box below :)

The Goodies:

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
A Memory of Love by Bertrice Small
A Bone To Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mystery #2) by Charlaine Harris
That Holiday Feeling (Includes Virgin River #8) by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr
Vampire Knight Volume One by Matsuri Hino
Cirque Du Freak The Vampire's Assistant Vol. 1 by Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak The Vampire's Assistant Vol. 2 by Darren Shan
Rasetsu Volume One by Chika Shiomi
The Stupidest Angel A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore
Quiver by Holly Luhning
Flower of Life Volume One by Fumi Yoshinaga
Flower of Life Volume Two by Fumi Yoshinaga
Flower of Life Volume Three by Fumi Yoshinaga
Witch & Wizard Volume One: Battle for Shadowland by James Patterson
Witch & Wizard Volume Two: Operation Zero by James Patterson
Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto by Liz Fielding (Harlequin Romance)
A Cavanaugh Christmas by Maria Ferrarella (Love Inspired Romance)
His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley  (Love Inspired Romance)
The Prodigal's Christmas Reunion by Kathryn Springer (Love Inspired Romance)
Mistletoe Matchmaker by Lissa Manley (Love Inspired Romance)
The Christmas Quilt by Patricia Davids (Love Inspired Romance)
The Cowboys Holiday Blessing by Brenda Minton (Love Inspired Romance)

Rasetsu Volume One by Chika Shiomi



Summary:
R to L (Japanese Style).
Rasetsu Hyuga works for an exorcist agency where she uses her special powers to banish evil spirits. There's a story behind the red flower mark on her chest though — it's a momento left by a powerful spirit who vowed to claim her on her 20th birthday. Unless Rasetsu can find true love by then, she is fated to become his.

Yako Hoshino, a young man with spiritual powers of his own, comes to the agency seeking help with a possessed book. He's seen a lot of strange phenomena in his day, but the last thing he expects to see is Rasetsu bearing a striking resemblance to his old love Yurura!
Summary taken from Goodreads.com


I grabbed this one by chance off the shelf in the library and didn't have high hopes for it. Though in this instance I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book since I haven't had the greatest luck in this genre thus far.

I thought that the overall premise was good. It was nice to read a more mature manga. I definately found myself giggling over some parts. Rasetsu is adorable. As for Yako...I don't care too much for his aloofness but hopefully he changes as the series goes on. I am interested is reading more about his past. I find it intriguing that Rasetsu looks so much like the ghost girl he used to love.

I hope the next book in the series is just as good if not better than this one. Unfortunately my library only has the first volume in the series in the system so it looks like I'm going to be having to buy the rest of the series in order to read this.

I recommend this book to people who enjoy T+ manga and those who like their manga less fluffy. My final rating for this volume is a read.

The Man With The Dancing Eyes by Sophie Dahl (Illustrated by Annie Morris)



Summary:
An old-fashioned, modern-day love story.

In the golden half light of a midsummer's evening, the sort where any kind of magic can occur, and often does, in the midst of a party held in a wild and rambling garden stood Pierre, teetering on highly unsuitable heels, surrounded by a symphony of overripe roses.

Pierre is the heroine of this loveable love story, and the magic takes the form of a tap on her shoulder which induces her to look into the most wicked and dancing eyes she'd ever seen. These are the eyes of her future beloved, and the book charts the course of their romance, from the streets of London to the streets of New York. There are waltzes and sweet peas and bubbles, a tragic breakup, a romantic makeup, and whimsical line drawings to accompany it all. Delightfully silly, occasionally serious, The Man with the Dancing Eyes is all about love-its beginnings, its endings, and its wonderful re-kindlings. It is a hopeful tale about the place of old-fashioned romance in a modern-day world, and will warm the hearts of romantics the world over.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com


So today while I went scouting at the library for some Christmas themed romance novels I found this book on the shelf in the fiction section. I was immediately drawn to the cover because of how cute it was and when I opened the book and saw the illustrations I thought I would love it.

I was wrong.

The story was bland it didn't seem to have any real thought put into it in my honest opinion. It was as if the author Sophie Dahl was just putting her random thoughts down on a page and hoping to make a story out of it. I understand that the book was only 80 pages long so there is only so much to put into the book but I've read several books that long that were wonderful.

I wish I could have gotten more into the story but I found the female protaganist Pierre to be annoying (a little had to do with her name being Pierre) and how she got over her lover's "indescretion" with time but when he shows back up in her life she welcomes him with open arms. I hate when women let a man walk all over them.

As for the illustrations they were cute and very much like the illustrator Quentin Blake's style who is famous for  illustrating the childrens books written by Roald Dahl (Sophie Dahl is his granddaughter). So for me they were the book's saving grace.

I hope if I ever read another book by Sophie Dahl that I like it more than this one. Due to the lack of direction, poor writing, and randomness I only give this book 2 stars out of 5. I don't really recommend it to anyone and I strongly suggest borrowing this book from the library and not buying it if you do want to give this book a try.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Trench (Megaladon #1) by Steve Alten

Summary:

Its appetite is ravenous. Its teeth scalpel-sharp. Its power unstoppable as it smashes the steel doors holding it in a Monterey, California aquarium. The captive twenty-ton Megalodon shark has tasted human blood, and it wants more.
On the other side of the world, in the silent depths of the ocean, lies the Mariana Trench, where the Megalodon has spawned since the dawn of time. Paleo-biologist Jonas Taylor once dared to enter this perilous cavern. He alone faced the monster and cut its heart out; and he wears the painful scars of that deadly encounter. Now, as the body count rises and the horror of the Meg's attack grips the California coast, Jonas must begin the hunt again.
But to do that means returning to the dark terror of the trench . . . where the Meg is waiting. Using himself as bait, Jonas will enter the ultimate battle - a fight to the death between man and beast in the darkest recesses of the ocean . . . and a fight for his sanity from the depths of his own tormented soul.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com


Forgive me if the review is short, but I'm running on no coffee here folks.
I started reading this series when I was 15 and I've read it completely out of order. I love Shark Week and I love creatures of the past. Plus I've loved all the other books in the Megaladon books so how could I resist reading this book?

Since I read the series out of order, it was nice to put the missing pieces in place and now I have the whole picture of how Angel the 72 ft megaladon came to be in the Tanaka Institute. It was also an opportunity that to see Terry and Jonas's relationship when they were younger before the kids came along.

I loved the sense of adventure in this book along with the blood and gore. I don't really have  anything bad to say about this book except maybe that it could have done without the character Celeste Singer. Maybe it's because I'm a woman and she made the moves on Jonas who is married. I hate home wreckers. 

All in all I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

P.S. I'll probably be re-writing this when I get some caffeine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Impromtu trip to Chapters

So I normally don't pay full price for books but since I needed it for my Women's Studies class I  had no other choice. So without further ado here's my purchase:
Perhaps this will be one book marked as required reading that I will actually read!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I brought home from the bookstore today!


These are the books I bought at the bookstore I went by on my way home.
They cost $3.95, $1.95, $2.95, and $1.95 respectively. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chibi Vampire Volumes 1-4 (Karin #1-#4) by Yuna Kagesaki


Summary: Karin is a cute little girl who also happens to be a vampire...with a twist. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding from her nose--we're talking gushers! In other words, she's a vamp with blood to spare, so rather than stealing blood from humans she actually gives her blood to them. If done right, this can be an extremely positive experience that benefits the "victim" as much as the vampire. The problem is that Karin never seems to do things right!
Summary taken from Goodreads.com

Since I don't want to give all of the plot away to potential readers I will not be adding the summaries for the volumes 2-4 in this review thus I will only be providing the summary and cover for Volume One.I hate when too much of the plot is given away by reading the summaries when the volumes at hand are reviewed in bulk such as these.

Now on to the review!

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I decided to grab these off the shelf in the teen graphic novel/manga section in my library last Thursday. Perhaps I was drawn to the covers. I'm a sucker every once in awhile for a cutesy book. This happened to be one of those occasions.

So yesterday I started reading them and was immediately drawn to the artwork. I'm fast coming to love the manga/anime style. I mean I was a fan of Sailor Moon (still am but now I pay homage to that show on the down low).  I mean I think the main character Karin is adorable. She's so tiny and cute! I had high hopes for this series since I was so impressed with the artwork but sadly the stories leave much to be desired.

I stuck it out through the first 4 volumes of this 14 volume series and I haven't seen any real plot progression. I find the story to be quiet boring and the characters to be very one dimensional no matter how cute they are. I especially hate Ren, Karin's older brother is a complete ass, her mother is a b!tch and her father is a little creepy. Speaking of creepy her little sister has a doll that's possessed by the spirit of a serial killer who murdered 13 people with a kitchen knife...but I actually liked that part. I love me some creepiness.

I think I may stick this series out just because I want to see what happens but I highly doubt that the author will impress me, which makes me sad since I so wanted to like these more than I did. It could also be because though this series is rated T+ for older teens it's still to kid like for me.

So far I'd give these 4 volumes 2.5/5 stars each as a rating and would only recommend them to younger teens, who like really fluffy manga. But I strongly urge those who decide to read this series to borrow them from the library and not buy them until you're sure you like them.

Go check out this giveaway!

My fellow blogger Kimba is graciously hosting a giveaway of a $10.00 gift certificate to B&N or Amazon (International followers one book valued at up to 10.00 from Book Depository) in honour of her 150 followers as a celebration ot their kindness for following her blog. She's awesome and does great reviews! Also she was one of my first followers so go enter people! DO IT NOW!!!
Here's the link Giveaway.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In My Library Bag

Here's today's latest library haul:
 Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1) by Lisa Kleypas
 Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1) by Eoin Colfer
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali
 20th Century Boys Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa
Fire (The Seven Kingdoms, #2) by Kristin Cashore
The Keeper's Tattoo by Gill Arbuthnott
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) by Kami Garcia
You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Timeless (Timeless, #1) by Alexandra Monir

I don't know what it is lately but I'm drawn to the YA novels again. Perhaps my hiatus from the genre is over.