January 29, 2013

Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners


The Newberry and Caldecott Award winners were announced yesterday by the American Library Association and I just had to give a special shout out for these authors!

Congrats to the amazingly talented author Jon Klassen for his Caldecott win for This is Not My Hat. You can read my thoughts and my interview with Jon here.





Congrats to the incredibly talented Katherine Applegate for winning the Newberry award for the masterpiece that is The One and Only Ivan. My thoughts on this book you must read:
                                                                                                              


January 28, 2013

Book Review: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff–Blog Tour

Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Published by Razorbill January 8th 2013
Hardcover- 306 Pages
Source: ARC provided by publisher for review

Summary:

         The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.
With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

My Thoughts:


    I was happy to be asked to be a participant in the blog tour for Paper Valentine. I haven’t had a chance to read the author’s previous books and knowing how positive the reviews have been, I was excited to read it. There is a lot happening in 306 pages. Though not quite what I expected, I enjoyed many aspects of the book, especially Yovanoff’s writing style.  The story revolves around Hannah and the murders of girls in a her town, but that seems like a secondary storyline compared to Hannah’s grief at the loss of her best friend to Anorexia, six months earlier. Actually, my favourite parts were the moments between Hannah and Lillian. I thought the description of Lillian’s obsession with her weight, was realistic and well done. Hannah is slowly discovering who she is, and who she wants to be without Lillian. It’s Lillian, that compels Hannah to begin her own investigation into the deaths of the girls. The ‘creepy’ factor was definitely present and I could not read the book at night or if I was in the house by myself. 
*spoilers ahead*
I think because there was so much happening in the book, anorexia, a love interest, murders, grief, ghosts; there were many questions that went unanswered. I wanted to know why Lillian appeared to Hannah? What made the “Valentine Killer” kill the girls? The ending wasn't satisfying but perhaps that was the point? I liked Paper Valentine and I know that other bloggers on the tour have absolutely loved it, but I just expected/wanted more.

Favourite Quotes:
“Sometimes I think that’s the whole reason she’s still here-she’s weighted down, anchored by all the things she couldn't let go” (15) -love this quote sooo much

“Kissing him is like the wildest, most thrilling thing that has ever happened to me. It’s like diving into the deep end over and over” (187)


January 26, 2013

What Makes Me Happy (2) Boy Crush




There are so many things in life that make me happy. Great books, music, movies, T.V., family, friends…the list could go on and on. I wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect on these things and figured the blog was a great place to share what brings me joy in hopes it might make you happy too!

Today (and everyday) I am thankful for:

Damonsalvatore

     Every Thursday I am glued to the TV. I love Vampire Diaries yes… it’s totally my kind of show…but I also love to watch this guy…my ultimate boy crush. I'm actually ridiculous about it and my husband whom I adore won’t even sit on the same level of our house when Vampire Diaries is on because of my loud sighing, clapping , and overall smitten school girl behaviour.  Question is… it more Damon or Ian that I adore?  Not sure…. and it's not like I'll ever have the chance to find out, but seeing those eyes, eyebrows, his grin and ahem… everything else… makes me happy, and sometimes silly and I love him for it.

Who’s your crush?

January 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous blog
Each week we are invited to post our top ten lists on a variety of topics.
 I’m a  little behind on posting, but I really want to share this list:

Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

Jellicoe Road Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) Revolution Storybound (Storybound #1)  The Miseducation of Cameron Post
White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) Amy and Roger's Epic Detour Shine Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) Sorta Like a Rock Star

I know. Your jaw is dropping. You can’t believe I can call myself a reader when I’ve missed the amazingness you found between the covers of the books above. But before you lose faith in me….I’m going to remedy this! I will read these books this year!-which is why there are 12 listed…one for each month.

So tell me below in the comments-which one should I read first?

January 21, 2013

Review: Everyday by David Levithan

everyday

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers 2012
336 Pages
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Summary:

   Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

My Thoughts:

   Aside from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I’m embarrassed to say that this is my only other David Levithan book.  It  definitely won’t be my last.  Everyday has a unique premise, A (who is genderless) is a seemingly lost soul that resides in someone different every day. It never knows who it will be next;  the people it might meet or the situations it might have to survive.  A meets Rhiannon and life as A had know it changes. A love story, complicated by the fact the his/her appearance is different every day. Can we love someone for only what's on the inside?

Completely compelling and as I turned the last page I felt there had to be more, I wanted more. He’s writing a sequel right? I became so use to A’s voice, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Days after reading I’m still thinking about it. Highly Recommended.

Quotes I LOVED:

“The clock always ticks. There are times you don't hear it, and there are times that you do.”

“There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.”


January 18, 2013

What Makes Me Happy- Once Upon a Time

a moment

There are so many things in life that make me happy. Great books, music, movies, T.V., family, friends…the list could go on and on. I wanted to take a moment’s pause to reflect on these things and figured the blog was a great place to share the things that bring me joy in hopes they might make you happy too!

Today, I share my gratitude for this show:


 
I didn’t watch it last year. Sundays tend to be crazy busy for us. But my family gave me Season 1 on DVD for Christmas and I am HOOKED. So is my 11 year old (almost 12), my husband too! Our biggest challenge is only watching a couple of episodes at a time. I’m transported each and every time I hit play on the remote and for that hour escape, and time with my family watching something we all enjoy-I am grateful.
Do you have a show on TV/DVD that resonates with you, one that you can’t wait to see or talk about with someone?

Share in the comments-maybe I’m missing out!

January 7, 2013

Best Reads of 2012


Hi! I want to first take a minute and thank you for your support, kind emails and tweets! I've missed you!
I know that this post is a little overdue, but I still wanted to share my favourite reads of 2012!

Best Adult Read:

The Virgin Cure

Easily decided... The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay. Beautifully written, compelling story...


Best Young Adult - New Author (for me)

7896527

So so good! Epic fantasy meets kick-ass assassin. 
I don't think this book is receiving the attention it deserves. (yet)


Best Young Adult-

ravenboys

Maggie Stiefvater never lets me down. Worth reading and re-reading


Best Young Adult Follow-Up-

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

This was a harder choice. I loved Insurgent by Veronica Roth and The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting; 
but Pandemonium is a stand out. 
If you haven't read Delirium yet... READ it! and then follow up with this amazing sequel!


Best Middle Grade/Junior Fiction:

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Another hard decision. I loved Wonder by RJ Palacio, but there was something incredibly special about the voice of Henry. It resonated with me. It also won the Governor General Award as well.
Review Coming soon!