"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


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


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


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


"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


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


Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Published October 23rd, 2012
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


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


"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


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


Book Review: DiSemblance by Shanae Branham

Published August 1st, 2012
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


Book Review: Strange Angels by Lili St.Crow

Published May 14th, 2009
293 pages (Paperback)
In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her? (From Goodreads)
I honestly knew nothing about this series before I started reading it.  I saw it.  It had Richelle Mead's endorsement on the cover.  It was less than $10 for the omnibus of books one and two (review for book two, Betrayals, coming soon).  That's pretty much how my brain worked.  However, because of school, which has slowed my reading, I am going to review them separately.  For publication information regarding the omnibus, click here.

Strange Angels started really slowly, so it took a long time for me to get into the book.  The characters just weren't doing it for me.  In all honesty, did Dru need to start dry heaving over everything?  And did Christophe need to be described as smelling like apple pie on pretty much every page?  All that was doing was annoying me, and making me hungry.  And Grave is way too wimpy for my liking.  As you can see, I was having issues reading this.

The plot has potential.  There is the potential for serious action and a good love triangle.  You've got vampires, werewolves, zombies, and a world that Dru thought she understood, but truly knows little about.  You've also got two guys going through the book with Dru.  Yet, the book seemed to be headed nowhere fast, and the potential romance was virtually non-existent.

By the time I reached the end of Strange Angels, I was releaved.  Based on the description on the back cover, the end of Strange Angels is where I wanted to be about of a third of the way through it.  Because of this, I'm sitting it down for a bit before pressing on through Betrayals.  Please tell me it gets better...

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Wednesday: Black City

"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...
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. 
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. 
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths. (From Goodreads)
It seems to be a trend, here on Reading-AndCoffee, that my "Waiting On" Wednesday picks are books that many bloggers have already read.  I'm trying to avoid reviews of Black City right now, but what I have read is encouraging.

One, this cover is ah-may-zing!  It's gorgeous, and instantly grabs your attention.  It really reminded me of the Divergent cover, at first.  Two, the movie rights were sold this week.  I'll hold my opinion on this until I've read the book.  Three, it just sounds great, like a post-apocalyptic Romeo and Juliet story.  Y'all know I love action in books, and I'm not going to complain about a human-vampire war  Black City is set for release on November 13th, 2012, and I'm getting anxious to give it a read!

If you have been lucky enough to read Black City, what did you think?  If not, are you as excited as I am?

Much love, Samantha


Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND

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

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Bookish People I Want To Meet

For this REWIND, I am going to revisit a topic that happened a few weeks ago, but I managed to miss somehow.  I don't remember what was happening that week to make me miss Top Ten Tuesday, but I assure you it was in no way exciting.  But do you know what is exciting?  The idea that someday I may meet some of these super awesome authors and bloggers!  So here we go...
  1. J.R. Ward:  I feel like being in her presence would leave me at a complete loss for words.  I would also likely bow.
  2. Richelle Mead: In this scenario, I would fan-girl like a 12 year old.  My cousin and I did name my car after one of her characters...
  3. Jennifer L. Armentrout: The newest author on my all-time favourite list.
  4. Pepe (aka the cover model for Daemon): Let's face it, he is not hard to look at.  I want to know if he's actually that hot in person...
  5. Cassandra Clare: Hopefully I will be crossing her off this list soon!  I am definitely going to her Toronto signing on November 3rd!
  6. Ellen Hopkins: Her writing is absolutely beautiful and awe-inspiring.
  7. Moira Young:  I really just want to ask her what possessed her to write Blood Red Road quite literally in a Southern twang, because I love it!
  8. Josh Gates: He wrote a book and, therefore, counts!  I only want to fly around the world with him.
  9. Anna from Anna Reads:  She was the first book blogger I followed, and she's pretty good at it too!
  10. Grad Student from Young Adult Fiction & Whiskey Sours: Go follow now!  Grad Student, plus Goosie Mama and Crazy Camper, are super awesome and I love their blog.  They write great reviews, and Grad Student tends to be a hero and report back on the books I don't want to read (ie. Rapture, Crossed...).  Seriously, you're spectacular.
Much love, Samantha


Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to extend a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from good ol' Canada-land, or to anyone else celebrating anything this weekend!

2012 has proven to be a wonderful year, and I'm thankful for so many things.  I am thankful for my family, who have supported me through everything and been there every step of the way.  I am thankful for my friends that have stayed my friends, despite the distance between us.  I am thankful for my roommates, who are generally nothing like the horror stories you hear.  I am thankful for the ability to read and write, for without that I would be nothing.  I am thankful for the ability to dance, which saved me many years ago.  I am thankful for the opportunity to go to school and pursue a profession, so that one day I can be even half the mother mine has been.  I am thankful for the food I was able to enjoy this weekend.

And I am thankful for you guys.  When I started this blog, I just wanted a space to rant.  I may not be the best blogger in the world, but the fact that I continue to get page hits each day means so much to me.  So, thank you.

As a side note, I seriously want one of these...
And now that I've said that, time for more pie!

Much love, Samantha 


Book Review: Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Published April 10th, 2012
Simon & Schuster
402 pages (Hardcover)
Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.

The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.

The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.  (From Goodreads)
If you are the type of person who tends to get bored reading non-fiction, pick up some A.J. Jacobs.  The guy knows how to write!

Drop Dead Healthy follows Jacobs' journey to be the healthiest man alive.  System by system, he records his progress towards optimal health.  As a future nurse, I'm kinda into that sort of thing, but even if you're not, Jacobs' witty humour and dedication makes for a great read.

Towards the end of the book, a close family member dies.  I cried as if it were my own family.  For an author I love for their light-hearted writing, Jacobs' wrote sad moments beautifully.  Word of warning though, this death I've referenced isn't the only.

If health isn't your thing, I'd also recommend The Know-It-All, which documents Jacobs' reading of the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica.  Less death, with all the awesome.  Whichever you choose, you can't go wrong.  I'm excited to read The Year of Living Biblically in the hopefully near future!

Much love, Samantha


"Waiting On" Wednesday: Out Of Reach

"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...
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home. (From Goodreads)
I'm interested to check this book out.  Sibling love, addition, relationships, and mystery sounds like a good combination to me!  It also feels different from much of the contemporary I've read as of late.  Out of Reach is set to be released October 16th, 2012.

Much love, Samantha


Top Ten Tuesday: "Old" Books To Remember

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

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Older Books You Don't Want People To Forget About

Okay, this feels like it's going to be a tricky list, especially since I just finished a paper and two online quizzes.  My brain is fried, guys.  I'll start by defining older.  Basically, to keep this simple, "older" will be any book published before January 1st, 2012.  It's easy to forget about things when you don't constantly see them, so here are some "old" books that I recommend!
  1. The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs: This is neither YA nor fiction, but 100% awesome.
  2. Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander: Same as above, so read it for a good laugh!
  3. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting: I may write a late review for this book (I read it way back in January), because I simply love it! 
  4. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins: Flawless.  That is all.
  5. The Otherkin Series by Eve Silver:  Pick any of them.  I think Sins of the Heart (book one) was my favourite.
  6. Bonded by Blood by Laurie London: Not only is Dom incredibly sexy, but the story is awesome.
  7. Memoirs of A Monster Hunter by Josh Gates: ...is likely one of my favourite books ever.  Josh Gates is kind of my idol.
  8. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward: Ain't a Reading-AndCoffee list without me telling you to go read the Blackdagger Brotherhood novels.
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: This book likely isn't going anywhere soon, but I'm including it anyways.
Yes, that is only nine, but it's all I can come up with right now.  Brain.  Fried.

Much love, Samantha