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


Book Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Published May 25th, 2012
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


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


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


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

Much love, Samantha


Book Review: Crash by Nicole Williams

Published July 19th, 2012
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


Book Review: Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

Published September 13th, 2012
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


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


"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


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


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.


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 


Book Review: All The Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

Published December 11th, 2012
Entangled Teen
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


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