31.12.12

2013 Blogger Resolutions!

Is anyone else in denial that 2012 is coming to a close?  I sure am.  It's been an interesting year, and I'm hoping 2013 proves to be a little more exciting!

A couple weeks ago I talked about some lessons I learned in 2012, and today I'm going to share my blogger resolutions for 2013!  On sticky notes!  Everything is more exciting with sticky notes!

I'm very good at ignoring anything else that needs to be accomplished, and reading instead.  This year will be about finding a balance.


I'm working on a facelift.  Stay tuned.


So that stuff still gets posted when I'm spending all my time at the hospital!


Finally, let's be honest.  My reviews generally turn out to be more of a rant.  Therefore, I need a system.  Or I could continue winging it.  Hmm...

Happy New Years Everyone!

Much love, Samantha

30.12.12

Book Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Published May 25th, 2012
CreateSpace
316 pages (Paperback)
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. (From Goodreads)
I loved this book.  I swooned and weeped and enjoyed every single moment of it.

This was not an insta-love, and I think that's what I loved best.  After the first chapter, I had a twinge of panic, but the relationship between Jacqueline and Lucas felt very real.  Their love grew over the story, and the ending made my heart flutter a little bit.  I felt an emotional connection to the pair throughout.

The ending was perfect.  Seriously, I would read it all over again, just to feel everything conclude in that last sentence again.  This is one of the few times I will say that I do not want a sequel.  That ending was just right.

Easy does have mature content, so if you are young, I don't suggest it.  However, I recommend it to anyone curious about this New Adult craze.  Scratch that, everyone should read it anyways.

Much love, Samantha

29.12.12

Stacking The Shelves: Christmas Edition

Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga's Reviews!

Why hello everyone!  I'd like to start by saying that I hope you all had a fabulous season thus far, whether you celebrate Christmas or not!  I had a lovely Christmas, and didn't even notice that 3 of my 4 scheduled posts failed to go live, because I'm not so bright some days.  Oh, well.  Now it is time to get back on track with life and blogging and normal eating...

I got a few other surprises, but all I really asked for this year was books.  If you can't tell, I kind of love them, and wanted to share the books I received with you guys!  Goodreads pages are linked in case you would like more info on any of these titles!






Mosby's Drug Guide For Nursing Students by Linda Skidmore-Roth
(completely recommend this drug guide if anyone is interested!)


UPDATE: I may have hit up a bookstore and picked up a couple more titles!

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson

Did you guys pick up any great books this holiday season?  Leave me a comment or link to your Stacking The Shelves post!

Much love, Samantha

27.12.12

Book Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Published January 3rd, 2012
Simon Pulse
378 pages (Hardcover)
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last... (From Goodreads)
Got a spare cupcake and mug of hot chocolate sitting around?  Good.  You're going to need it.

Winter is alive here in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and Bittersweet is the perfect read for a stormy and cold weekend.  This is particularly true given the state of the NHL and that we will all be up at ridiculous hours to get our World Juniors fix...

Hudson is just your average teenage girl trying to help support her family, save the local hockey team, return to competitive figure skating, balance two boys and some semblance of a social life.  Oh, and school.  Essentially, you can see the disaster forming here.  You feel her determination and pain throughout the book, and can't help but root for her to come to her senses and see what's right in front of her.  Yet, as another small-town girl, I understood her need to escape to something bigger.

As far as those boys go, clearly Team Josh is the only choice.  Our hockey team co-captains have very different approaches to "romance", and as far as I am concerned, their is only one real choice.  Regardless, it was fun to read, and definitely wasn't the worst love triangle ever.

So go grab that hot chocolate, curl up with a warm blanket, and give Bittersweet a read.  If you're a hockey fan though, be prepared for some lockout related anger and hockey cravings to result.

Much love, Samantha

25.12.12

Top Ten Tuesday: 2013 Must Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Must Reads For 2013 That Likely Aren't Under My Christmas Tree Right Now


The holidays are one of my favourite times of the year.  There is always this beautiful magic in the air, and maybe some of that magic will plop a couple of these titles under my tree?  Nope?  Okay, I understand.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
(Will and Jem!)
Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(Aiden!)
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(Daemon!)
Lover At Last by J.R. Ward
(Blay and Qhuinn!)
Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
(Perry!)
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
(Adrian!)
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
(Elder!)
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
(Kai!)
Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian
(New boys?!)
Divergent #3 by Veronica Roth
(Tobias!)
So maybe I just need a nice boy under the tree?  *insert winky face or shaking head, either apply...*


Much love, Samantha

23.12.12

Book Review: Crash by Nicole Williams

Published July 19th, 2012
Self-Published
215 pages (eBook)
Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now. 

Jude's everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of. 

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart.  (From Goodreads)
I've said it before, but I did ballet for 11 years, and still love dance.  Hence, this cover instantly drew me in.  It's hard to find a good book around dance.  Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of dance in Crash.  Good thing this book is great without!

The characters in Crash are great.  Lucy and I have very little in common, but her love for dance created an instant connection for me.  There is a scene where she rushes to the studio and just dances to let her emotions go.  This is something I have done on several occasions, so I was able to relate with her passion.

Then there is Jude.  Oh, Jude...  The way he sees himself broke my heart several times.  It's so painful to see him beat himself down constantly, when you know he is destined for better things.  I loved the way Nicole Williams developed his character.  You can't help but root for him.

The story was actually more complex than I expected.  Nicole Williams managed to weave in many events and plot twists that I did not see coming.  I'm not going to give anything away, but you won't want to put Crash down.  That being said, there are a couple of slow chunks that I had to push through, but was always rewarded with something good!

Overall, I really loved Crash.  With an enticing romance and strong story line, this book didn't need large amounts of dance to keep me happy.  I fully recommend it, and can assure you that I purchased Clash as soon as I finished it!

Much love, Samantha

21.12.12

Book Review: Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

Published September 13th, 2012
Self-Published
190 pages (Paperback)
In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the "ideals" of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world. (From Goodreads)
Thank you to Veronika Carnaby for sending me a copy of Bohemia in exchange for an honest review.

The message presented in Bohemia is what I loved about the story.  Bohemia revolves around Valerie, a writer and creative spirit, and the people that flow in and out of her life.  The point of the book is to live.  The characters seem incapable of settling down, constantly moving and changing while pursuing their artistic passions.  It seems like a dream that most of us would love, that being to simply travel and live life.

Many could likely related to Val, a struggling writer, but I felt a connection to Emm, a dancer.  The characters all possess a very laid-back feel, but their are a lot of them.  Sometimes I had a difficult time keeping track of names.

The issue I had with this book was the expression of time.  I was having a hard time keeping track of how time was progressing throughout the book, but particularly at the beginning.  It would seem as if events were progressing over a couple of weeks, but then we would be on "the next day".  

I recommend Bohemia to any artistic spirits out there, or anyone simply looking for a book different from anything else they've read lately.  Bohemia does not follow the typical plot progression, which actually suits the story quite well.  Overall, I quite enjoyed Bohemia.

Much love, Samantha

20.12.12

Who I Want On My Team For The End Of The World

With tomorrow being the end of the world and all, I thought I would share which literary fictional characters I would like on my team.  I have a strategy too.  I decided it would be a good idea to cover all the bases, and prepare for pretty much anything that could go down.

First off, the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  The badass vampires are never without an arsenal of weapons that could take down anything.  And they know how to use them.  Heck, I would even settle for a couple of them.  And they're attractive, which is good if we are needed to repopulate the world...

Next, I would want some Shadowhunters.  They're descended from angels, which seems like a good bet, and they are skilled fighters.

Next up, Perry from Through the Ever Night, because I feel like he could keep us alive in the woods, if needed.

Finally, the Fellowship of The Ring.  Just think about how handy they would be.

In conclusion, if I believed the world was coming to an end on December 21st, 2012, this is who I would want on my side.  Sadly, I do not believe that the end is coming.  Sorry guys, but I see it as just the end to the Mayan calender, in the same way that December 31st ends ours.  Remember how much fun Y2K was?  Okay, I admit I was only 8 years old and don't, but you get my point.

So, if the end is coming, best of luck to you all.  If not, expect a new post up tomorrow!  And in the meantime, who would you want to team up with?

Much love, Samantha

19.12.12

"Waiting On" Through The Ever Night


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!


This week I am excited for...
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.  (From Goodreads)
It has been far too long since I've had some quality time with my favourite leather-wearing Blood Lord.  I've been anxiously awaiting this book since the moment I finished Under The Never Sky.  And it's so close!

Through The Ever Night is available January 8th, 2013!

Much love, Samantha

18.12.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Reads of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Books I Read In 2012

As always, I'm cheating a tiny bit.  I want to start with two authors I discovered in 2012, and quickly read everything by.  Frankly, these two could make up my whole list. 

  • Jennifer L. Armentrout's books have become an addiction of mine.  She writes sexual tension like no other!
  • Julie Kagawa quickly became a favourite of mine, and way back in March, I decided devouring her Iron Fey series was far better than studying for midterms.

Okay, now on to my favourite individual books I read in 2012.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Easy by Tammara Webber
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

That's my list, now what's on yours?  Leave a comment or link to your Top Ten Tuesday!

Much love, Samantha

17.12.12

Book Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published December 11th, 2012
Entangled Publishing
452 pages (Paperback)
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.
After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.


Together we’re stronger... and they know it. (From Goodreads)
I've only started reading JLA's books since shortly after this blog started, and I've reviewed them all (a couple have yet to be posted), but they all seem to go the exact same, in that I can't find words to express my adoration.

Yet again, a brilliant story that left me an emotional wreck.  Literally.  Ask my roommate. We decided it was a good idea to read this during exam period (AKA when we should have been studying).

I will say this though: the ending was cliche.  I don't want to give too much away, but I saw something like this happening.  Anytime you have two characters clearly in love, something has to happen and get in the way of their epic romance.  Authors are awesome, but they have a vicious side that never wants to let us be too happy about our character's romantic interludes for very long.  Regardless of my suspicions, I was devastated.

If you have yet to read this series, you're missing out.  Get on it.  It excites me that Chapters (Canada-land's main bookstore) is finally stocking the series on their shelves, so go check it out!

Book four in the series, Origin, won't be out for a while (tentatively July 2013?!?!), and will be written in dual POV between Katy and Daemon.  Again, we should have seen that ending coming.

Much love, Samantha
PS. Daemon really should try leather pants.
PPS. Katy's mom is too awesome.  As a nursing student trying to plan her independent placements, I want her mom as my preceptor.  Seriously, drunk's detoxing are the worst.

16.12.12

Coffee Talk: Lessons of 2012

2012 has proven to be a challenging year for me,
and I've had to do some serious "growing up".
I wanted to share a couple of quotes with you guys that really summarize a couple of the lessons I will be taking from this year.
Don't stop walking just because the path is unclear.
If anyone knows who that is by, please let me know.  It just came to me one day at the end of November, but I'm pretty sure I had heard it somewhere before.  

2012 forced me to make some decisions about my future, which sucks when you're as indecisive as I am.  I actually hate making decisions.  A big one was whether or not to continue with school.  The nursing placements I was having were doing nothing for me, except show me what I didn't want to do with my life, and I began looking into alternative.  By April, I decided to stick with it (I was halfway done my degree at this point, but when I left for school again, I wasn't sure I had made the right choice.

My path in life was fading into the wilderness around me, but I had to keep walking.  I had no idea that I would love my next placement.  Life isn't meant to be crystal clear.  Where is the fun it that?  Just keep following you heart, and the path will reappear eventually.
"Let my genes unravel, my hinges come loose.  If my fate rests in the hands of a madman, let death come and bring it's worst." - From Fever by Lauren deStefano
While Fever was not my favourite book ever,  this passage stuck with me.  To me, it says to live for yourself, and to follow your own heart.  Take input from others, but don't rely on anyone to decide you fate.  The choice is yours.  When I was debating dropping out of school, I kept asking everyone else what they thought, but would not acknowledge my own feelings.  Basically, I'm saying to be true to yourself.
"To die would be an awfully big adventure." - J.M. Barrie
I've never lost anyone that was very close to me, but I have seen a lot of death over the past year.  Life is short, so live a little.  We never know when the journey may come to an end, so let's enjoy it.

Much love, Samantha 

14.12.12

Book Review: All The Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

Published December 11th, 2012
Entangled Teen
Paperback
What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what
 she is? (From Goodreads)
 To start, thanks to Entangled Teen for sending me an e-book copy to review.

All The Broken Pieces was an interesting read that I made a very personal connection to.  Let's just say that I know someone very well who deals with retrograde amnesia (AKA memory loss) from a car accident, and leave it at that.

The beginning of the book was slow, but it did pick up as the story progressed.  I also had the ending figured out within the first chapter, but there were enough twists and turns thrown in to keep me entertained enough. The characters developed quite well throughout the story, although I just wanted to slap Spencer on a regular basis for his self-imposed isolation.

My problem was the flashbacks, but not because they were poorly done.  I just hate flashbacks in books.  I just want to skip them and move on with the story.  The flashbacks here were essential and drove the story forward, so I was able to tolerate them.  Without the flashbacks, the book makes no sense, so if you're a "flashback-hater" like me, push through because they really are essential.  They're also all fairly short, which made me very happy.

I'm also likely one of the few people who kept wondering what medications Liv was on.  Was her immunosuppressant cyclosporin?  Was her heart medication a beta blocker?  Hopefully she wasn't taking metroprolol at such a young age.  Ah, the life of a nursing student with an interest in pharmacology...

Overall, I did enjoy All The Broken Pieces, despite my loathing of flashbacks.  While slow stating, the story picks up and becomes a giant puzzle you want to piece together.  I recommend checking it out!

Much love, Samantha

13.12.12

The Hiatus is Over!!

I'm back book lovers!

First of all, thank you to all of you that are reading this, for sticking around.  I feel refreshed and ready to blog once again.

I managed to scavenge what was left of my semester, and hopefully I passed everything.  One of my finals was so ridiculous, half of us were wondering if we took the right exam afterwards.  Like all good things though, the semester came to an end, and I now have a whopping 25 days to sit around my house and do nothing of significance.

During my hiatus, I did more reading than I should have.  I tried really hard, but Chapters had an awesome sale, and some great books were released, and textbooks are just boring.  What I'm saying is that I have a nice little stockpile of reviews ready for you guys, so be ready for that to start tomorrow!

I feel like my blog also needs a bit of a makeover, so hopefully I can do some of that this holiday season!

Much love, Samantha

5.11.12

Hiatus...

Yes, my photo editing skills
require some work...
Hey guys,  it pains me to make this post, but I have to take a hiatus from Reading-AndCoffee.  I have been trying to avoid this for a while, but school has taken a turn for the worst, and I really need to take some time to regroup and try to get my grades back up (such is the life of a scholarship student...).

Don't fret though, I write my last exam on December 12, and will be officially back in business on December 13th, 2012!  I will also still be reading and commenting on your blogs throughout my temporary break, and I'm constantly on twitter.  So, until then...

Much love, Samantha

1.11.12

October Favourites!

Happy Novemeber Everyone!

Today I bring you some of my favourite things from October.  I love watching favourite videos on YouTube, so I bring you my version.

Favourite Book: Easy by Tammara Webber (review coming soon!)
I actually LOVE this cover!
Favourite Song: Some Nights by fun.

Favourite Caffeinated Beverage: This local coffee shop had a "Jack'o'Latern" Latte.  No joke, it tasted like pumpkin pie in a cup.  Ah-may-zing.

Favourite Cereal: My roommate and her boyfriend may have brought me Trix from the states.  Canada, get your act together!

Favourite Random Act Of Kindness: One of the city bus drivers was giving out candy on Halloween!

Favourite Method of Procrastination: Sudoku.  I love it so much more than Solitaire.

Favourite Discovery:  Bananas don't grow on trees.  They grow on a type of grass!

The "Least Favourite": That day when Reading Break ends, and you have to go back to University life.

What I'm Most Looking Forward To In November: Finishing my current nursing placement, and ending almost being done with this semester!

Anything I should add for next month?  Leave me a comment with some of your favourites!

Much love, Samantha

31.10.12

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Bitter Blood


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…
Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires. To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse. (From Goodreads)
I will never cease to be amazed by how this series just keeps going and going and going.  There was a breif "meh" phase, but the last couple were really good!

Bitter Blood is out next week!  November 6th, 2012!  Get excited guys.

Much love, Samantha

30.10.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick-Ass Ladies

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Kick-Ass Heronies

Guys, this topic was made for me.  Y'all know that I love my female protagonists to be badass.  Sometimes I can be a little overcritical of female leads and how hardcore they are.  This list was actually difficult to write, which I didn't expect.  Apparently I have really high standards...
  1. Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead): Kind of my gold standard when it comes to kick-assed-ness.  
  2. Isabelle Lightwood (City of Bone by Cassandra Clare): Let's just say I wouldn't challange her to a fight, and she would most likely be wearing heels during it.
  3. Renata (Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian): She actually gets to fight with the boys, in a series dominated by alpha males.
  4. Ismae Rienne (Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers):  She's an assassin, which in itself is pretty badass, and she does it in a dress!
  5. Vienne (Black Hole Sun by David MacInnis Gill): Stubborn, aggressive, and can handle a gun.  I approve.
  6. Saba (Blood Red Road by Moira Young): She's called "The Angel of Death" for a reason.
  7. Tris (Divergent by Veronica Roth): I wasn't going to include her, but she can handle a gun, so...
  8. Alex (Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout): Like Rose, but not Rose.  Still, pretty badass.
  9. Abby (Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire): Only because she can handle her tequila, and I cannot.
  10. Anna (Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake): I may have hated the book, but Anna can rip people apart.  That counts.
So, did I miss anyone?  Let me know in the comments!

Much love, Samantha

29.10.12

DNF: Above by Leah Bobet

Published April 1st, 2012
Arthur A. Levine Books
368 pages (Hardcover)
Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before. (From Goodreads)
This is a classic case of beautiful cover, not-so-great book.

I saw this book in Chapters one day, and experienced some insta-love for the cover.  It's Toronto?!?!  YA books are never set in Toronto!  I had a feeling though, that this book wouldn't be a favourite of mine, so I never bought it until recently.

The story is complex, confusing and underwhelming.  By chapter 5, I had had enough.  There is some world-building, but it all seems so vague and poorly explained.  I found myself constantly guessing about the setting and what was going on.  The character felt very flat.  Even Ariel, who seems like she is supposed to be wild and eccentric, felt quite bland.

The writing itself had the potential to be quite powerful.  Leah Bobet has a sophisticated, mature writing style with, as I said, potential.  I feel that much of that may be lost on the YA market, however.

I have a thing about finishing books, so I do plan on going back to Above in the future.  Sadly, I just don't have the patience for it now.

Much love, Samantha

25.10.12

Book Review: Entwined by Elisabeth Naughton

Published July 27th, 2010
Love Spell
322 pages (Mass Market Paperback)
Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the human world. Zander can't afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching out before him, he also can't fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he's found his weakness, after all . . . (From Goodreads)
 ***Warning: This is an adult novel, and does contain adult and sexual content.

What stood out to me from the start with Entwined was the romance.  It may have been predictable, but was a change from the classic boy-meets-girl, insta-love story.

Zander and Callia were in love far before the beginning of the story, but thanks to a series of white lies and misleadings, went their seperate ways.  The novel begins 10 years later, and follows the not so ideal circumstances that bring them back together.

Ultimately, the story is kind of predictable, which makes the several chapters after the climax of the story difficult to push through.  They dragged out their "I love you"'s for what felt like an eternity.

While I didn't enjoy Entwined as much as Marked (read my review here), I plan to continue on with the series.  I'm still hoping for Orpheus' or Demetrius' story.

Much love, Samantha

24.10.12

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Gameboard of the Gods

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense. (From Goodreads)
This cover was just released a couple days ago, and I cannot wait to have it displayed on my shelf!  The colours and simplicity are gorgeous.  And Mae sounds completely badass, which is my number one criteria in a book.  I'm also really curious about this title, and what it means.

Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors, so I'm insanely excited to check out her new series.  Unfortunately, we have a bit to wait still on this one.  Gameboard of the Gods hits shelves June 4th, 2013.

What are you waiting on this week?

Much love, Samantha

23.10.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Or Not...?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit


I have absolutely no idea how to answer this question.  At all.  No clue.

I'm really not a huge fan of Halloween.  I never have been.  Pumpkins and fall, yes.  Halloween, meh.

Therefore, I'm not sure how to answer this question.  I was going to approach it from a perspective of "Top Books Written About Things Kids Dress Up As" approach, but decided against that too.  My Top Ten Tuesdays are becoming very repeatative, and my list was more of the same.

So here is my cheater's way of participating...
Top Ten Things I Would Dress Up As For Halloween This Year If I Didn't Have To Be At The Hospital For 7 AM The Next Morning And Actually Got To Have Fun

This is just sad to me... (Source)
  1. A Power Ranger
  2. An Assassin
  3. Sailor Mars
  4. A Ballerina
  5. A Cat
  6. A Baseball Player
  7. A Hockey Player
  8. A Referee
  9. A "Puck Bunny"
  10. A Pirate


Hope that wasn't too exciting for you guys.  What are you guys being for Halloween this year?  Or tell me about a super-awesome costume you had in the past!

Much love, Samantha

22.10.12

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Published October 23rd, 2012
HarlequinTeen
379 pages (Paperback)
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. (From Goodreads)
Personally, I am apprehensive when authors do books like this, where secondary characters from one series become main characters in another.  This is even more true when I love the characters from the original series.  I don't want my favourites to become secondary.  However...

Julie Kagawa is simply too amazing.  Any worries I had about Ethan and how The Lost Prince would play out were quickly wiped away.  The Lost Prince is a roller coaster of emotions that left me in a comfortable place, but craving more.

Ethan had me wrapped around his finger instantly with his teenage angst.  Still angry about his sister's decision to live in the fairy realm, Ethan is not at all the character I expected him to be.  Perhaps I was still too caught up on him being a little kid, but his transition into adolescence was done well.  In fact, all of the characters were well developed, and I'm excited to see what future Kagawa has in store for them.  The complexity and back-stories are great.

The Lost Prince is written in a way that allows it to be read independent of the original Iron Fey series, but not in a way that makes it boring for those of us who have read the previous series.  My one problem with the story was this: all of the characters look like they're around the same age.  It's a little bit "trippy" to think of Ethan, Meghan and Kierran all looking about 17 years old, when there should be several years between each of them.

The Lost Prince had a couple plot twists I didn't expect, and left me with a few burning questions.  If you aren't afraid of spoilers, highlight the middle of this paragraph to see a few of those.  What will happen to Kenzie?  What about Kierran and Annwyl?  And what is up with Kierran and this new queen?  I have a feeling he made some sort of deal.  After all, the next book is called The Traitor Prince... <End of Spoilers.  Carry on.>  I particularly enjoyed how the ending left me with these questions, but wasn't a huge cliffhanger.

Yes, this is a longer review than I typically write, but The Lost Prince deserves it!  This book left me laughing and in tears.  Move over Meghan, Ash and Puck, because Ethan, Kenzie and Kierran are bringing it!  The Lost Prince will be on bookshelves tomorrow, October 23rd, 2012!

Much love, Samantha

19.10.12

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Published June 5th, 2012
Henry Holt and Co.
358 pages (Hardcover)
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future. (From Goodreads)
 Magical.  No pun intended, but that is the best way to describe Shadow and Bone.

Something about the Russia-based backdrop added to the mystical feel.  I've always wanted to travel to Russia, and it has always had a wonderous and magical feel to it.  The world Leigh Bardugo felt very real, a quality I like to see in fantasy novels.

The characters didn't feel overly complex, but it was easy to connect with them.  I felt Alina and Mal's pain and wanted them to find each other badly.  The Darkling was a character I loved to hate, and I had a desperate desire to find out his real name.  My favourite character had to be Genya.  I just found her so intriguing and became interested in her side story.  There's so much to her not revealed in the story (spin-off?!?!)

The story got a little slow in the middle, and it took a while for me to grasp many of the Russian-esque terminology that was created.  For example, do you think I could figure out what a Corporalki was?  Nope, I was lost.  I did get the hang of it eventually, but for a bit I questioned whether I ever would.  The ending made up for some of the struggle in the middle.  It felt a little rushed, as a lot was crammed in there.  I thought the story was about to end about three times.  It was strong though, and while not an OMG-type cliffhanger, there was enough questions to excite me for the next book.

I liked Shadow and Bone.  Any book that transports me to a more mystical version of Russia, and with such enticing characters, is a winner.

Much love, Samantha

17.10.12

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Edge of Dawn


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn—when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them—the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost.

Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift—and even lethal—justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture, but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.

Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again—or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides—between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts. (From Goodreads)
Edge of Dawn is going to be book 11 in the Midnight Breed series.  You know you've got something good going when you can get your series into the double digits, and still have it being as awesome as the first few!

I'm really excited for Mira's story.  We're introduced to her way back in Niko and Renata's story (book 5 - Veil of Midnight) as a child with a crazy ability.  Basically, you can see your future by looking into her eyes.  But now she's going to be all grown up.  Good move, Laura Adrian.  I was wondering where you were headed with this book.  I'm excited to meet Kellan, and what I'm sure will be a sexy vampire fix!

Edge of Dawn is to be released January 2nd, 2013.  What are you waiting on?

Much love, Samantha

16.10.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of Dystopian


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Favourite Dystopian Authors


Dystopian is one of my favourite genres, and all that likely stems from when I read 1984 by George Orwell in the 11th grade.  Since then, I have read some great dystopian, and some not-so-great dystopian.

So let's start with the great.  Suzanne Collins has set the standard for modern day dystopian with The Hunger Games.  Veronica Roth's Divergent series is great, mostly because I love a boy who can handle a gun.  That statement can extend to David Macinnis Gill's Black Hole Sun.  Veronica Rossi seemed to know exactly what I like when she wrote Through the Never Sky.  Moira Young must have done something right to have me drooling so badly in anticipation for Rebel Heart.

Then there are the authors who are awesome, but I need to read more of before they reach the above caliber.  Kimberly Derting's The Pledge was great, but I honestly have not read anything else by her.  Lauren Oliver and Tahereh Mafi similarly wrote great books, but I just need a little something more.

Then there is Beth Revis.  Does her Across The Universe series actually count in dystopian, or just sci-fi?  Regardless, she made the list.  She's that good.

As an honourable mention, I'm including Ally Condie.  Personally, I really, really did not enjoy Matched, but I seem to be in the minority.  Therefore, she must be doing something right.

So, there is my top ten.  What do you think?   Anyone you disagree with, or would have added?

Much love, Samantha

15.10.12

Book Review: DiSemblance by Shanae Branham

Published August 1st, 2012
CreateSpace
369 pages (Paperback)
Jason Tanner’s life has always been different from the ordinary citizen’s. It started when he was an infant and his parents were only teenagers. A computer science prodigy, Lloyd attended MIT but left a pariah in the eyes of the school’s dean—but a computer physics genius in the eyes of his primary investor. Then his theories and ideas created a holographic machine and their world shrunk as contact with the outside world became less and less frequent. A computer prodigy now himself, Jason is about to learn that the world never waits for you if you have the ability to change it: it will come for you.

Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he appears to abduct terminally ill patients before returning their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. When he picks up the trail, it leads straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner.

Jason has been living life through the world of Lloyd’s invention and wishing he could carry on a relationship with Boston, the beautiful girl next door. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, he is brought back to reality in a hurry. He is forced to destroy all of the planted evidence—and finds he is being targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac,Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance. (From Goodreads)
Thanks to the author, Shanae Branham, for sending me a copy to read and review.

I'm always looking for new books that don't fall within my usual comfort zone.  DiSemblance is a thriller/mystery that kept me guessing until the very end.  It had it's flaws, but I did enjoy the book.

The plot kept me guessing throughout.  I seriously could not figure out what would happen next.  However, it did feel rushed at parts.  Something would happen then, all of a sudden, something else is happening.  It did lead to some confusion.  The ending was very abrupt.  We reached the climax, solved the whole murder fiasco, then ended the story in about four pages.  The ending made sense, but I would have enjoyed a little more substance to it.

Holy crap, these characters lack basic social skills.  Jason is kind of a hot mess.  Wow, he does not know how to deal with people.  Overall, the characters were okay.  Not a ton of character development happens through the book, but I liked the characters enough to not want to see any of them dead (there is huge potential for that happen).  I would have liked to see a little more growth in the Jason/Boston relationship.  There is no hot romance or "insta-love" in DiSemblance, but it felt a lot more natural in progression, if being tortured over a virtual reality machine were an everyday occurance.  So much time was spent developing the story and virtual reality aspects, that the characters didn't grow a ton.  It fits with the book, but if you're looking for lots of character development, you're not going to get it.

If you're looking for a fast paced book that will keep you guessing until the very end, I do recommend DiSemblance.  I'm now interested in checking out some more thriller/mystery books!

Much love, Samantha