Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Perfect Cut by Julie Burtinshaw

The Perfect Cut:
What do you do when you find yourself not caring about anything? How do you handle being so detached from your life that you choose feeling pain over feeling absolutely nothing at all?
After the death of his tough, guitar-playing, beloved sister, Michelle, Bryan finds it increasingly difficult to feel anything. He doesn’t care about his parents. He doesn’t care about his friends. Or school. Or anything. The only time he comes alive these days is during the few seconds it takes for the razor to cut his skin. He hasn’t cut deep enough to cause any real damage. Not yet.

Julie Burtinshaw wrote an emotional story about a family broken long before the death of Bryan's sister, Michelle, and a boy lost in the pain and grief of keeping a terrible secret. Although there were times that I felt the book was a little dry, Julie gets right to the heart of the matter where Bryan is concerned, depicting graphically his need to feel something, anything...even the cold feel of the blade as it cuts his flesh. Julie shows the importance of seeking help, even if sometimes someone has asked you to keep their secret. While Bryan struggles with the desire to belong he journeys into the darkest recesses within himself. Michelle was the 'favorite' and Bryan feels he can never live up to her memory, his abusive father makes life at home undesirable and constantly blames Bryan for not being stronger, and for the death of Michelle. His mother lives in fear of her husband and has turned to alcohol in hopes of forgetting the loss of her daughter. Caught between his own guilt and his fear of never finding himself again, Bryan hopes that this time hurting himself will be permanent. The road to recovery for Bryan is long and learning better coping habits other than self-abusing proves to be more difficult than he imagined. With help Bryan is able to find himself again and the terrible truths he has been holding inside are revealed, healing both himself and his mother.

Future Favorites (9)

Future Favorites is an awesome blog feature over at Electrifying Reviews. I post about a book that is yet-to-be-released and that I can't wait to read!

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong:
Release Date: April 12, 2011 by HarperCollins

Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students—for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.

Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya's determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya's home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts getting negative vibes from certain people and things. It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret—and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Random Recommendation (25)

Shadow Game:
The classified experiment is the brainchild of renowned scientist Peter Whitney and his brilliant daughter, Lily. Created to enhance the psychic abilities of an elite squadron, it can transform their natural mental powers into a unique military weapon. But something goes wrong. In the isolated underground labs, the men have been dying-victims of bizarre accidents. Captain Ryland Miller knows he is next. When Dr. Whitney himself is murdered, Ryland has only one person left to trust: the beautiful Lily. Possessed of an uncanny sixth sense herself, Lily shares Ryland's every new fear, every betrayal, every growing suspicion, and every passionate beat of the heart. Together, they will be drawn deeper into the labyrinth of her father's past…and closer to a secret that someone would kill to keep hidden.

Christine Feehan is an amazing author with many different series' available and each one has a little something everyone can love. Shadow Game is the first in the Ghost Walker series and I have to say one of my favorites! Lily and Ryland are perfect together and his tough, alpha male persona makes me melt and get all squiggly inside.

I invite and welcome anyone interested in participating to post their own "Random Recommendation" (original post) on their blog (and include a link back to this blog) and join in the fun! Some books might not be very recent reads, but I hope that just helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own bookshelf!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sad Tooth

I'm sorry about my absence today but I had a root canal (yay-total sarcasm there) today and didn't much feel like doing much. So here's the whole story...

About this time last year I went to the dentist and discovered that I needed a root canal in my last molar on the left side. Unfortunately I had been out of work for over a year and money was tight so I kept putting it off until we were in better shape money-wise. So September first of this year, I finally got a job (YAY!-no sarcasm) and was hoping to get a few more pay checks under my belt and catchup on some waaaay overdue bills before returning to the dentist for the dreaded root canal. Plans changed. Friday night (the night before the HUGE Smart Chicks Kick It signing in Brampton--I am grateful to Tegan for putting up with all my whining and not dumping me on Saturday!) I went to work early so I could grab some dinner before I started, apparently that was a BAD IDEA! I BROKE the molar that needed a root canal! So I had to go through almost 4 days of pain with my stupid broken tooth, because I couldn't get to the dentist until today. I thought "Well, I guess I'll just have the tooth removed." But when I got there my dentist informed me that we could save the tooth with a root canal and a filling. So there it is folks. My tooth is very, very sad today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.

Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

Ellen Hopkins is a truly gifted author and is not afraid to explore the darker side of life that most of us would like to forget exists. I loved this book, but am finding it hard to find the right words to articulate exactly how I feel about it. In this incredible book told through Kristina's voice, and written in Ellen's beautiful prose, we see just how destructive addictions can be; not only the user but also to those around them. There is another person living within Kristina, and her name is Bree--much more outgoing than Kristina--and she quickly finds herself in trouble when Kristina/Bree decides she needs to visit her absent father. For eight years Kristina/Bree has had no contact with her father and has blamed her mother for his absence, but once they come together, Kristina/Bree knows that it is the drugs that have kept him away. When she meets Adam, her whole world is torn apart by the monster. After returning home, Bree is still in control and craving the monster. Kristina/Bree's life begins spinning wildly out of control leaving her raped, pregnant and addicted to the monster. I loved Chase, a boy from Kristina/Bree's school that she never would have approached if it weren't for Bree. Although he himself was into the drug scene, he still managed to always treat Kristina/Bree right and truly loved her, he shows this when he is willing to give up his dreams of school to stay with her and raise the baby together. Kristina manages to come back to the forefront long enough to encourage Chase to go to college, and that unselfish act just makes Kristina's character more incredibly dynamic, there is so much more to this girl than just being a drug addict.

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (18)

This is a fun weekly meme hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.

Books read last week:

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Crank by Ellen Hopkins

The book I'm reading now:

The Perfect Cut by Julie Burtinshaw
After the death of his tough, guitar-playing, much-loved sister, Michelle, Brian finds it increasingly difficult to care about anything. He doesn’t care about his parents. He doesn’t care about his friends. He doesn’t care about school. He just doesn’t care anymore. The only time Brian comes alive is in the few seconds it takes for the razor to slice through his skin. But he never cuts deep enough to cause any real damage. At least, not yet... In The Perfect Cut, Julie Burtinshaw has written an incredibly honest and perceptive novel about cutting, revealing why this dangerous practice has become an increasingly common form of stress relief among young adults. Told from the perspective of the grief-stricken Brian who, in his mind, has run out of options for coping, it’s clear that while he makes some bad choices, he’s not a bad person. The book ends on a grace note, reassuring young readers that even terrible obstacles can be overcome, and that where there’s life, there is hope.

Books that spark my interest this week:
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Sunday, September 26, 2010


In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi, over at The Story Siren.

So yesterday I missed my post because it was the last stop on the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour in Brampton, Ontario, and Tegan and I had a great time together!

There were so many great authors there, although unfortunately Kami Garcia was ill and could not make it, it was still really amazing to meet everyone there! Here are the books I got signed, don't worry I didn't take inside pictures of EVERY book that I got signed (HAHA)!

Kelley Armstrong:
-The Summoning
-The Reckoning (I had met Kelley at a previous signing and she signed The Awakening at that time.)
-Waking the Witch
-Tales of the Otherworld

Melissa De La Cruz:
-Keys of the Repository
-Blue Bloods
Alyson Noel:
-Dark Flame

Melissa Marr:
-Wicked Lovely
-Ink Exchange
-Fragile Eternity
-Radiant Shadows

Jennifer Lynn Barnes:
-Raised by Wolves
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:
-Beautiful Creatures
Jeri Smith-Ready:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday 56...The Replacement (25)

The book today: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Roswell was saying something very analytical about the music scene at any given time being a barometer for civil unrest, but his voice was fading in and out, and my mouth was full of too much saliva.

The Friday 56 idea came from… The Bookoholic Zone

The Rules:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute: Andy Evans. He's a senior at Melinda's high school, and Melinda hasn't been able to speak clearly since he raped her at the senior party last August.

Laurie Hasle Anderson is a uniquely talented author and with every word within the pages of Speak, I was drawn deeper into the emotional downward spiral that Melinda travels during her first year of high school. The story that Melinda tells is heart wrenching and at times I found myself crying right along side her, and when she couldn't cry I let the tears fall for her. My emotions were completely shredded as through Melinda's anguished voice, she tells the story of what happened to her at that party--and afraid to tell anyone, she withdraws into herself, and away from the world. Melinda has lost her voice, there is nothing physically wrong with her, but almost every authority figure makes her go mute and they misunderstand her reasons for not talking thinking she simply has a behavioral problem. Melinda's grades begin to suffer as she ignores her homework and begins skipping class to avoid the angry glares of the other teens who had attended the end of summer party--but her parents refuse to see that there is a terrible secret troubling their daughter. Melinda feels there is no one she can turn to and even though her art teacher seems to be understanding, she is still too afraid to speak up for herself. It's not until she is forced into a confrontation with Andy Evans that she finds her voice and is finally able to speak about what happened that night in August. Speak is one of those truly incredible books that should be read and discussed by everyone, it's as beautiful as it is haunting.

Censorship and books should never be in the same sentence; Speak has become a challenged book: This guy thinks SPEAK is pornography.

Future Favorites (8)

Future Favorites is an awesome blog feature over at Electrifying Reviews. I post about a book that is yet-to-be-released and that I can't wait to read!

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston:
Release Date: September 30, 2010 by Razorbill

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that's who.

Ever since his father's arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family's sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Alexandra Adornetto has written an incredibly sweet love story and the classic good versus evil plot. I found the story engaging, but at times wished that it was just a bit shorter. I found there was a lot of writing to get through in order to get to the actual story. The relationship between Bethany and her siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, is filled with love and understanding, even when Bethany's innocence causes her to make a bad judgment call and she is afraid that her brother will be disappointed in her. But when Xavier rescues her and brings her home, Gabriel and Ivy are understanding and forgiving of her mistake. The romance Xavier and Bethany share is much deeper than physical love, and once she reveals herself to him, he becomes incredibly protective of her; almost to the point of smothering her. Gabriel and Ivy have initial reservations of the developing relationship between the teens, but eventually come to accept their love for what it is--a gift. The mission Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany have been sent to perform comes under attack in the form of a new student at school, Jake, and he has a dangerous obsession with Bethany. Bad things begin to happen in the sleepy town of Venus Cove and people are getting hurt and Jake can usually be found nearby. Bethany must face and defeat temptation when herself and those she loves and cares about becomes endangered by Jake's dark aura, and to save her friend, Molly, from any more harm Bethany is forced to sacrifice herself to Jake and put herself within his power.

Wednesday Random Recommendation (24)

Sword of Darkness:
The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest...

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful –– and feared –– man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London...

A spirited peasant mired in drudgery, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman, but never expects that by fleeing her fate, she will meet her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed...

Kerrigan's goal is simple: barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur's Round Table. Yet she is the one person who holds no fear of him. More than that, her nobility sparks something foreign inside him. In his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows. Now Seren's courage has forced him into the light that will bring either salvation to both of them...or death.

I love the legends of Arthur, Avalon and the Knights of the Round Table and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing as Kinley MacGregor doesn't disappoint. As usual her writing takes you far from reality and immerses you deeply into her world and the incredible characters written on the pages of this book.

I invite and welcome anyone interested in participating to post their own "Random Recommendation" (original post) on their blog (and include a link back to this blog) and join in the fun! Some books might not be very recent reads, but I hope that just helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own bookshelf!