Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I didn't really want to do thsi, but University is kicking my butt right now, so I need to take a break from blogging to concentrate on my studies. I'll probably be back at the beginning of December.

I'm a little sad to have to do that, but I don't a choice anymore. School comes first, after all....

Waiting on Wednesday: Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
February 2013

This is about the only thing I could find written about it:
Michael Hassan’s shattering debut is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It’s a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADD-diagnosed glory. And it’s a powerful mediation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal. Enter to win an advanced copy of this powerful new knockout.

I heard of it on the ARCparty with Epic Read last week, I've been really excited for this book ever since. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 312
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from Publisher
She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . . Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy. 
I never thought I would get as caught in the story of Who I Kissed as much as I did. Wow. What a brilliant novel. It is about grief and guilt. And the strange thing about this book is the idea of someone dying because of something you ate. I think it is part of the reason why you just need to know what will happen, how everything will end for Sam. There’s more going on in the novel than just Sam’s own guilt, which is already a good part of the novel. There’s also everyone’s reaction to Alex’s death, his or her grief. We can’t forget about the media coverage, which add another layer to everything Sam has to go through.

Sam’s pain was simply heartbreaking. The story shows how one little mistake can change your life and the life of others forever. Things aren’t easy for her already, with everything going on. She also doesn’t make thing easier. She ends up punishing herself over his death. We also meet Alex’s family, his best friends and everyone who knew Alex. All those characters were simply gripping, and they simply felt true. The emotions rang true, I could understand the motives behind the actions of the characters, and it’s something that is really important for me. It makes thing believable, even if many will find the idea of someone dying because of a kiss unbelievable.

This was my second novel from Janet Gurtler, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. Once again, I was given an amazingly written contemporary book. Janet Gurtler’s style is captivating and addicting. She knows how to balance everything perfectly. The book is in no way boring. There is always going on, leaving us wanting more and more. There’s a mix of drama, guilt and a little touch of romance that will seduce many readers. The ending was slightly predictable since I’ve known people allergic of peanuts, and how affected they can be by only the smell. If you still haven’t read anything by Janet Gurtler, you really should do so soon! Her books are really worth it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer #2
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Number of Pages:527
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Source: Bought
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. She can’t. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren’t. She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Okay. Let’s do this.
*Two hours later * Let’s do this now that I’ve had time to get my emotions in check.
Wow. Seriously Michelle Hodkin, I hate you. And I love you. But I also hate you. This book is seriously a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed, smiled, giggled, cried, and felt my soul breaks. There is no word to describe everything this book made me feel. It’s just unbelievable. This reminded me why I loved The Unbecoming so much. Wow.  I literally cried when I finished this book. Michelle Hodkin had so many twists in this book, so many things I did not see coming. Yes, there were some I did see coming, and most of them I was screaming at Mara to just SEE them. Seriously, I just love this book. If you plan on starting this book, please schedule a few hours for you to read it, because you simply won’t be able to put it down.

I just adore Mara. She’s broken up with everything that is going on, yet she is still so strong. She’s an impressive character, and you just can’t stop yourself from rooting for her. And then, there’s Noah, the amazing, sexy, and absolutely unbelievably awesome male character. He just makes me weak in the knees every time I read about him. Still, I think we cannot forget about the other characters, like the family. I just adored their presence, and the way they really did want to help Mara get better, even if it sometimes didn’t agree with her. There were just those few scenes here and there that makes smile, especially since you have Mara who has kind of a great family dynamic and you have Noah who hasn’t one. It was just a great little touch, and it something that I really liked. Finally, I can’t forget about Jamie, who’s back! Jamie had those hilarious little scenes (my favorite being the slow-clap one. Just perfect.

This book should really be coming with a warning. You will feel all the things. It will leave you laughing (meaning reading on the subway may result in people looking at you strangely), or simply crying your eyes out (do keep kleenex near). I’m already dying to read the third book (2013 is soooo far away), since there a few things that happen I just refuse to believe really happen. Just heartbreaking.

The Trailer

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom by Fiona Paul
Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Number of Pages: 432
Publisher: Philomel
Source: ARC from BEA
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
Damn you editor, for raising my expectations with that letter. Of course, the only thing it did was make me disappointed with this novel. No this novel isn’t bad, but when you promised something as amazing as what the editor presented, you’re bound to be a little disappointed. The thing is, the first half of the book felt really slow, and with the size of a really great few elements, some were just okay, but none of them left me speechless, which was what I was hoping for.

The one thing that really bugged me was the Italian words and sentences that kept appearing in the novel, and before you judge me, let me explain. To me, unless the sentence is in another language than what the narrator is supposed to speak, or if it’s an expression that has no English equivalent, it usually bugs me. I can’t really explain why, but it really annoyed me. Yes, sometimes I can be that picky.

I have to give Fiona Paul points for her setting. That’s probably the thing that I loved the most about this novel. It really made up for the characters that simply bored me a little for the first half of the book. Cass just didn’t impress me until the very end, and I felt a little disappointed in that. I felt like she fell so easily for Falco, who she seemed to follow way to easily. After all, he’s a perfect stranger, he is clearly a bad influence, and she goes with him when there’s a killer on the loose that wants to kill her. Yes, best idea ever. One thing’s for sure; I wish we could have seen Luca a little more. I know we don’t get much from him, but he did charm me in his few scenes. I really hope to see him more in the next book.

Even though this book ended up being slightly disappointing to me, I’m pretty pumped about the sequel. The ending gave me everything I needed to see the potential for a breathtaking sequel. And to be honest, the world is simply gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want to sink back into that! One warning though, this book has some scene that may not be suitable for the youngest readers. This is definitely a novel for the older YA readers.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

The Innocents by Lili Peloquin
The Innocents #1
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Number of Pages: 288
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ARC from BEA
Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie. Friends didn't. Boys couldn't. Their family falling apart never would.Until they got to Serenity Point.
 "The Innocents" is the first in a new series of young adult novels that weave a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and gothic mystery.
I guess this novel wasn’t really for me. I’ve seen it compared to Gossip Girls (a series I haven’t read), and I can see why, but I found that this book was really hard to get into. The thing is, there’s not much going on during the first half of the book. I like a book that has a goal the main character is looking to reach until the end, this one didn’t really have (and the “goal” doesn’t have to be really extreme. It can be something as simply as finding a truth.) The feeling I got with The Innocents is reading something that could have been a pilot for a series, meaning it sets a story that could be great, but you’re left still unsure if you’ll watch the next episode (or read the next book.)

The two main characters are Alice and Charlie, two different sisters. We get to see both point of views, and I think I would have preferred only to get one, either one of them. The length of the book simply made it harder for me to really get everything I wanted to learn about the characters. It felt like a superficial presentation of those characters, and even with the plot it felt superficial. I wanted to get more.

Alice’s story was a little more interesting to me, with the conflict with Richard, her search for the truth, her secret romance. On the other end, Charlie’s story is full of potential, with a friendship we aren’t sure if it is true or not, a little romance with a guy full of issue, who also leaves us wondering about his true intent. That’s probably the one thing I liked about this book, it’s that were never sure of the other characters motivation when it comes down to their relationships with the girls.

Overall, I think The Innocents is a series full of potential that will please many readers looking for some drama. To me, it felt like it was missing something, and I hope to find it in the upcoming sequel. The first half of the book may have been a lacking in captivating factors, but the second half does get better.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Number of Pages: 379
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. 
 That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.  
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.  
This novel is one of Julie’s books that will have you demanding for the second one as soon as you finish your read.
There is so much excitement in sinking back into a world you loved, and the Nevernever and the Julie Kagawa’s is one of those. The Iron Fey series was so addicting, and fans will be happy to fall back into it with Ethan. Wow. So much time seems to have pass since we have last seen him. He isn’t a child anymore that’s for sure. The Lost Prince really made me extremely happy, and made me smile constantly (well, except when I was laughing out loud, something I did way too often.

In The Lost Prince, we meet new characters, and we have some exciting appearance of known characters. One character I was so happy to see again was Grimalkin. I absolutely adore him. He makes me laugh so badly, simply by being him. Then, we see Ash, Puck, Meghan, and many more. I was happy to see them again, but I was even more excited to see them only once in a while. They don’t take too much importance; this book is really about Ethan Chase and his friends.

Now, Ethan Chase isn’t what I would have expected at first, but his changes are easy to understand. He has the Sight after all, and he has to hide from the Feys. I like that he was really different from Meghan, without being complete opposite. There are some familiar qualities in him, but he’s not her. Now, Ethan isn’t on his own in Nevernever. There’s Kenzie, who will remind you of a certain other girl we may have met in the Iron Fey series. One thing’s for sure, there’s a great relationship building between her and Ethan. That’s something I like (And no love triangle. Do I need to say it again? NO LOVE TRIANGLE!) The last character I really want to talk about is Keirran, that some of you may remember from The Iron Knight. I won’t say much if you still haven’t read Iron Knight, but I think I squealed when I read his name. So happy to see him again, and he is just as I would have imagined.

Now, Julie Kagawa’s never failed to impress. This book is far from disappointed, and will please the fans of the Iron Fey series. Even those who haven’t read the series can start it with The Lost Prince; you won’t be lost, but you’ll know how the series end. If you love Julie Kagawa’s book, just read it. It’s more than worth it!

Waiting on Wednesday: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
May 2013

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

Andrea Cremer and David Levithan, do I need to say more?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Skinny by Donna Cooner

Skinny by Donna Cooner
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: Point
Source: ARC from BEA
Find your voice. Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.
 But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over. With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.
I have to say I’m a little on the fence about this book. It’s a book was really intrigued with, and I really wanted to like it. This review is something I have been dreading a little, since I find it hard to put word on what this book made me feel. On one side, the internal struggle of Ever really touched me and in a way relatable (to a certain extant). On the other side, the idea of a teenager getting a gastric bypass surgery makes me cringe. I can get where the author wanted to go, but I couldn’t stop myself from getting a feeling that this could make an obese teenager want to surgery. And I think it can help in certain situation, but to me, I felt like Ever’s problem came from a mental problem, which should have been where the help should have been given.

Ever is over 300 pounds, and she has been gaining weight since her mother’s death. That’s the first thing that made me question the gastric bypass surgery on a 15 years-old teenager. Wow. She clearly has an issue, which probably is at the first thing that should have been addressed before getting the surgery. Am I the only one who felt like it’s one of the first real attempts to help her lose wait? A dangerous surgery? Still doesn’t help the issue that is the CAUSE of that weight problem. Am I too harsh? I just have trouble understanding why. The books about weight issue can be really tricky, especially in Young Adult, and this book just doesn’t live up to what I would have expected of the book.

This book just didn’t live up to my expectation. I was a little disappointed to see Ever go to the surgery so fast, and not to see really her dealing with her issue as much as I would have wanted. Some may really enjoy this book, but for me, it just didn’t work.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Beta by Rachel Cohn
Annex #1
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: ARC from BEA
Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.
 At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind?
 If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor-rupted world.
Wow! Way to throw you a hell of a twist at the end, Rachel Cohn. I’m impressed. What was supposed to simply be a book to keep me entertaining while I was waiting for my dad ended up being a book I simply couldn’t put down. I liked the story, I like the critique that can be seen in the story, and I liked the idea behind the book. To me, it felt more than just a pretty story. There’s a message in there, for those who want to find it (or I’m just reading way too much in this book…)

I found Elysia really interesting. There are a great variety of characters, and I think they help understand the world the story is set in. The other clones share what really goes on with them, the importance of their enslavement in a way. That’s what the clones are for after all. The family she is brought in help us understand how differently a clone can be treated. Some treat her as a normal person; other just treat her as a toy for them to do as they please. When it comes down to Tahir’s relationship with Elysia, it was both interesting and strange. Without giving too much away, I was left with a couple of questions regarding Tahir’s real motives. And of course I can’t forget about Alex, who we can’t be completely sure if he wants Elysia or Astrid’s image.

As much as I liked the book, I have to say that there are a few things that made me really unsure. One comes from the finale twits, which kind of goes against what we were told earlier. Other than that, the book just was a great read. It was easy to follow, interesting, and simply addicting. There’s just so many things that got me hooked; the story, the characters, the world, and all the element of critique that can be seen. It is crazy scary to imagine that we could maybe arrive to that world one day, where we clone people for our own pleasure.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Eve and Adam #1
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Number of Pages: 291
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC from BEA
And girl created boy… In the beginning, there was an apple— And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal. Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy. Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?
I was surprisingly excited about this book, since I didn’t know much about it and I hadn’t read anything by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. I have to say that I expected the story to be connected with the classic story of Adam and Eve, set in a dystopian or sci-fi setting, but it isn’t about that, and I have to say that it was a happy surprise.

There are a lot of things going on in this novel, that’s for sure.  I ended up reading it in a day, since I just wanted to know what would happen next to Evening, and of course Solo. Those two characters really made me enjoy this book, since they were so interesting. The only thing with Eve that annoyed me was reading her thoughts about creating the perfect boy. It sounded wrong to me, all the details she seemed to care for her “Adam”. It was probably the only thing that I didn’t really like about her. I love how caring she seemed to be for her friend, even if Aislin doesn’t always make the right choices. She’s always there for her when it matters. When it comes down to Solo, the only thing I felt really lacking was the backstory of his hate for Eve’s mother. I can get it, but I just wish we could have been shown more about his feeling regarding her.

The story really got me interested from page one. It was the kind of book I could have taken a few hundred pages more, simply because it was addicting. I just wish the authors could have shown us more about the world, about the details. There are things that just needed more information. I’m a sucker for details. I wanted a little more. This didn’t really take away from the experience, but it does make me wish we would get more in the next book. Eve and Adam is a quick and really interesting read. I can hardly wait to read more from this series.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: In A Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

In A Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
A Tale Dark & Grimm #2
Release Date: September 27th, 2012
Number of Pages: 312
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Source: ARC from BEA
More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic Take caution ahead—Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound. Lest you enter with dread.Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true. Step lively, dear reader . . .Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore. In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.
If you’ve read my review of A Tale Dark & Grimm, I got really annoyed by the interruption of the narrator. Here, maybe because I expected it, I actually liked it. This book was just so much fun to read! I liked it better than the first one. This book simply got me hooked form the beginning, and I read it in one sitting, unable to put it down. That’s a lot better than the first book, which I found painful to read. Here, it was just fun and entertaining. What a 180 from the first one.

Maybe it’s because the story ends up being a little more positive, a little less gory. Maybe it’s because I knew what to expect, or maybe I was just in a better mood. This book will please fan of fairy tales, those of us always curious to see where authors will take the stories we grew up with. Some of the stories used here weren’t tales I really knew well, and I liked that about it. It was nice to see these tales being modified; being connected with others to create the crazy story of Jack and Jill.

The humor really worked better for me in this one, or at least for me. It didn’t feel like I was stopping every time I started reading one of the narrator’s interruptions. Instead, it just went with the flow, leaving me wanting more at every pages. This was really one of my Middle Grade love this year, and I’m really wondering if I should reread A Tale Dark & Grimm, to see if my opinion would change now that I know what to expect. Short and sweet people!!

Blah Blah Blah: Reading in Other Languages


I’ve been thinking of writing a post about reading in a foreign language for a while. I’ve been asked often why I read mostly (if not only) in English. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in a French environment, and I only learned English in my teens. People don’t always understand why I chose to read in English, when I could easily read the French translation.

To me, reading in English comes mostly from the way I was raised. My parents watch mostly movies and TV series in English, so do my sister. Since I started understanding English, I’ve always chosen the original version over the dubbed version. Maybe it was because the original version always is out earlier than the translation (for TV). Mostly, it’s because the translation always sounds wrong to my ears. I got used to listen to the voices of the actors, their real voices. I can’t stand to hear their French equivalent, since it sounds so wrong.

Now, when it comes to books, I can think of many reasons why I pick English over French. First, the books usually come out earlier. It was the main reason why I bought the first book in English (that I’ve read for pleasure, of course. I had to read a few in English classes before that…), which was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. With that book, I think I realized I could read in English as easily as I can read in French (I read Deathly Hallows in one day… even though I was working half of the day…) The second reason is that I read mostly Young Adult, and I’m always disappointed in the selection we have. There are not as many books in French, or so it seems. Many of my favorite books aren’t available in French. It sucks right?

Yet, I don’t think it’s why I keep reading mostly in English. I want to read the real voice of the author. I don’t want to read the interpretation of the translator. I get that they are usually pretty accurate, but some expressions aren’t easily translated. I just don’t want to miss those choices. I want the author’s words, not someone else’s.  I read in French when the authors wrote it in French first (Amelie Nothomb, Patrick Senecal…) and I would read in German if I could get my hands on the German versions of some books (like Ruby Red. I tried to find it in German, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Montreal).

Reading in English made me fall in love with the language in a strange way. I now study in English. I don’t think I could go back to reading translation. Reading in English now feels more natural to me.

Any of you read in any other languages? Why? Do you think you could read in any other languages? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Hidden by Sophie Jordan
Fireflight #3
Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory. The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning.... Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.
Finishing a series can be either extremely disappointing, or satisfying. Once I was done with the entire book, I was happy with the way everything ended, mostly because we get closure with the characters. They all get some kind of ending on their own, knowing that their story line in the novel is done, but we are left we hope for their future. That’s the kind of ending I like, and this is what we got.  I do have to say that I wasn’t completely happy with most of the book. There are some things that did annoy me through the novels, thing I had hoped would have been resolved from the previous books.

My biggest problem was with the characters. Jacinda wasn’t my favorite character in the books, mostly because I got more with the way she treated both Will and Cassian. I know it isn’t really a love triangle because we clearly know whom she loves (we’ve known all along in my opinion), but I just got annoyed at the way she treated them. There’s just something that really make her seem so immature, since she can’t seem to really make her mind about what she really wants. Maybe it’s only me, maybe it’s only because of my timing when it comes to reading the novel, but I just got bored at listening to her never making her mind about her choices. The character I really wanted to see more of is Tamra. I can’t really explain why, maybe it’s because her story isn’t so much focused on her love life, as Jacinda seemed to be in the entire story. Maybe I just needed change.

The plot didn’t really catch my attention. It wasn’t the most interesting plot Jordan could have come up with. I felt like things ended up being too easy for the characters. The books was less than 300 pages, she could have made it a little complicated and longer. I just felt disappointed in that.

Maybe I’m a little harsh; maybe I’m being difficult. I simply was expecting a little more of the book. At least, the ending DID satisfy me, leaving me with the closure necessary for the end of series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Day #1
Dutton Juvenile
January 2013

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

I absolutely LOVED If I Stay and Where She Went, and I've been dying to read more from Gayle Forman ever since. How could I not be waiting for this book!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Crewel World #1
Release Date: Ocotber 16th, 2012
Number of Pages: 368
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: ARC from BEA
Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested. Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape. Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
Crewel really was the kind of book that stays with you once you’re done. Gennifer Albin created an amazing and original world that simply got me hooked from the beginning. Crewel does a great job at distinguishing itself from other dystorian novels. It is the kind of book that will captivate both fan of dystopian and those who might still be on the fence with those. The idea of the Spinster is just so intriguing: the ability to weave the world, control everything. It is a little creepy to imagine someone having that kind of power over everyone.

The characters were also really interesting. We get a nice variety of personality. Adelice is a great narrator, and she brings a nice nuance to the world she is from. Everyone wants to be a Spinster, yet she tries to hide her talent from everyone to stay with her family instead of living this life presented as perfect. The villain in this novel added a nice layer to the story. We have Maela, a cruel Spinster in charged of the training, and we have Cormac, the man in charged of the Coventry. Both are in charge of Adelice’s future in a way, and it can’t be the right kind of enemy to have.

Of course, I cannot not talk about the love interests. Yes, theirs is a small love triangle in the novel. The first one is Erik, Maela’s assistant, and the second is Jost, the head valet. I think it is easy to see which one is her favorite, but it is still a love triangle. I have to say that this one didn’t really bother me that much, but be warned if you can’t stand those. The last character I have to talk about is Loricel, the Creweler (the most gifted Spinster) and I have to say that her she was fascinating. I almost wish we could get a short story about her, about her past, her life.

This novel really made me fall in love with Gennifer Albin’s writing. I simply can’t wait to read what will happen next in the series. This is a book I really don’t regret reading, since the world is simply amazing, and so is the story.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 245
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High. After her family's scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.
This is the kind of review I dread writing. Not because the book was horrible, that I can manage, no problem. Stealing Parker was a novel I had so much hope for, since everyone seem to love it. Yet, I couldn’t help being disappointed with it. Maybe it was because everyone and loved it and I hoped to loved it too? Maybe it just wasn’t the right book for me. There just was something that really me stopped me from loving it.

I think there were many factors that stopped me from really getting into the novel, and some of them I think I could have predicted. Baseball (or softball) isn’t really something that interest me (I’m more of a hockey fan.) Then there’s the Christian aspect that isn’t usually something that I really enjoy. Those two things separately, I usually can enjoy just fine in a book. Both of them together didn’t help me get into the story.

Now, those weren’t the only things that left me a little disappointed. I just didn’t like Parker. For the first half, she either bored me, or made me want to rip my hair off in annoyance. In the end, I liked her a little more, since she did seem to learn from her mistake. Then, there’s Brian that I just wanted to punch, since he seriously annoyed the bleep out of me. That’s the thing: most characters ended up annoying me at least once, and seriously annoying me! The only one I liked from his first appearance to his last was Will. He was the only one I thought was interesting, the only one I really found interesting.

I have to say that Stealing Parked just wasn’t for me. I had high hope for this book, since everyone had been raving about this book. Some will like it, and if you’re looking for a positive review, you won’t have to look really far since most bloggers loved it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Zom-B by Darren Shan
Zom-B #1
Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Number of Pages: 192
Publisher: Little Brown books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from BEA
When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's racist father thinks it's a joke-- but even if it isn't, he figures, it's ok to lose a few Irish.
B doesn't fully buy into Dad's racism, but figures it's easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn't work, B doesn't hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks.

That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers.
Was I the only one disappointed by this book? I was expecting a book a lot more about zombies, but I got this mix of anti-racism book with some zombies. I mean, the book starts with Zombies. Then, after maybe 10 pages, we go to the main character’s life, which is a country where the zombies have yet to attain. No, the story is set in England, and the zombies start in Ireland. It takes about half the book for us to see zombies in the first plan again. Before that, we only hear about them in the news.

The father, Todd, was simply horrible. He’s a racist violent bully. I felt so strongly against him, I haven’t hated any character that much for a while. There’s something repulsive about his personality. I find it really difficult not to see the impact his words and actions have on B, but I couldn’t stop myself being disgusted by B too at some points. B doesn’t want to be like the father, but B is becoming like him at first. I saw some kind of growth in B at some point, but I felt like it wasn’t enough to make up for the feeling I had that I was reading two half of two different books, put together.

I think that the biggest problem I had expected a zombie novel, and nothing more. Yet, we’re presented a novel that mixes both the racism problem, through B’s father Todd and B’s own actions, and the zombies. I felt a little cheated because of that, because I was really in the mood for some good zombie horror. I think it felt strange to me to mix those two subjects; maybe that’s why I couldn’t easily connect with the story.  Maybe if I had been aware of all of that when I first started this novel, it would have been easier. Overall, it was still an interesting (and quite quick) read. I’m really curious to see where Darren Shan will be taken us next, as the story is still to be continued.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
Gone With the Respiration #2
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Number of Pages: 496
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Can the living coexist with the living dead? That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites. Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety. Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target. As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse. Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling. 
I’ve been sadly dreading this review since I finished Dearly, Beloved last week. I absolutely adored Dearly, Departed. The sequel simply failed to impress me. I know many have really enjoyed the sequel, but personally, I was expecting more from this book. I found myself getting bored while reading it. It was slow, there was nothing really happening for a while. This book really felt like a middle book, and not in a good way. This is honestly the kind of review I hate writing, because all I wanted was to rave about it, since Lia Habel created an amazing world, and some amazing characters in Dearly, Departed. This book just didn’t give me much to rave about.

I’m left with nothing much to say about the book. I actually don’t remember that much about it, because nothing seems to sink in while I was reading it. I wonder if it was just me, or if anyone else felt that way. The characters didn’t surprised me that much in the book, the story wasn’t as impressive as the plot of book one. Still, I want to read more from this world, because I still have hope that the amazingness I found in the first book will be back in the future. Sadly, this one won’t be one of my favorites this year.

Dearly, Beloved was a disappointing sequel to one of my favorite book from 2011. Hopefully, Lia Habel’s next book will find my heart once again. I wouldn’t put this book at the top of my list, but fan of Dearly Departed should give it a shot, if you really enjoyed it. I would simply recommend you not to read it if you’re not in the mood for a slow read, since this book can be really slow by moments.