Joyousreads’ {mis}Adventures – 11072011

Books and Travels by Yours Truly.
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DESTINATION: San Diego, California
DURATION: November 4 (supposed to be) – November 7, 2011
BOOKS PACKED FOR THIS TRIP
I read a big chunk of The Power of Six and a bit of The Guardian. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to crack Fury. 

My husband and I are travellers; we’ve got wings on our feet and has this immeasurable patience to suffer through airport line ups. We’re just weird like that. For me, I don’t mind all the waits – because it’s during those times that I could crank up some reading mileage. 

Birthmarks on Our Butts. 

In our culture, we have this superstition that if you’re blighted with bad luck, then you must have birthmarks on your butts. 

We have the worst luck in the world when it comes to travelling. We’ve never had a single one we’re we didn’t have to deal with lost luggages, delayed and or cancelled flights. And at one point, we had to turn back because the landing gear on the plane malfunctioned. It gets kind of annoying when we average about 3 – 4 trips a year. For once, I just want to not have to worry about whether my luggage will end up in Los Angeles instead of Las Vegas or in this case, stuck in Toronto.
Murphy’s Law
We were just in San Diego, California this weekend, and let me tell you: WORST.TRIP.EVER. 
Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. 
  • The ticket agent from United issued us luggage tags that belong to another traveller. US Customs, of course, held us because when they ask you if you have luggages and you said yes, but they couldn’t find you in the system? Logically, something is wrong. We missed our flight because of this snafu. They booked us on another flight the following day on another airline (Air Canada) – their affiliate. They lost our luggage. We are now at home and still no sign of the errant luggage.
  • California was supposed to be a sunny place – not when we were there. It was cold and rainy. But I didn’t mind. It was better than snow. But sitting in the stands, looking like a couple of drowned rats was not cool. Especially if your team was gettin’ a lickin’. 
  • We were there to watch a football game. Our team played horrible. We fought back in the end, but we still lost. 
 45  38

Yeah. I know how you feel, buddy.
See those yellow things floating among the spectators? CHEESEHEADS. Literally. 

What’s worst? The entire Qualcomm Stadium was in a sea of Green Bay Packers jersey. Seriously. Also, have I mentioned how rainy it was? and cold? Well, I was soaked and frozen. But hey, it’s all about the experience. 
Silver Lining

But all was not lost. I managed to snag a trip to Barnes & Noble. Want to see my loot?
Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
I’m always on the lookout for JR WARD’s BDB series in hardbacks. So I was so happy to find this. I’m a long ways away from completing the entire series but it’s almost like a scavenger hunt for me. I do this with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series too but so far, I’ve resorted to paying an exorbitant amount to whoever would sell it to me. 


This book was a bargain at $5! I couldn’t pass up. I absolutely loved this book so I just had to get a second copy. Lol. I’m hopeless, I know.

I do love travelling – almost as much as reading. But our luck needs to change – have to change. We’ll see how it goes in December.

Next up – HAWAII! 


IMM #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly event over at The Story Siren, which showcases the books we’ve purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week. This is the thirteenth episode of HOARDERS, Books Edition.
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FOR REVIEW

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for sending me this book. I can’t wait to dive in!
KINDLE COPIES

The Twilight of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Touch by Jus Accardo
Betwen the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry
Amplified by Tara Kelly
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Scored by Lauren Mclaughlin
Dragonfly by Julia Golding
The Glass Swallow by Julia Golding
Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke
Muse by Mercy Lim
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Siren’s Storm by Lisa Papademetriou
Last Breath by Rachel Caine
What’s in your mailbox?
Don’t forget to check out the blog’s current contest. The loot is your choice of 4 new titles from November! ENTER NOW!

Review: Possess by Gretchen Mc Neil

Publication Date: August 23rd, 2011
Balzer + Bray
Format:  Hardcopy, 384 pages

SUMMARY

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

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MY TAKE: 3/5 STARS

Although Possess sucked me in immediately, my apathy toward the characters made this book just an okay read for me. The plot is innovative – as far as my bookshelf is concern, that is. The entire story was well-paced and written neatly that you’d want for nothing more. Aside from my inability to care any which way about the characters, the element of surprise with identifying who the bad guys were was pretty much non-existent. It was actually clear who it was in less than ten pages. The author did try to sway me by introducing another suspicious character but I thought she tried too hard that at that point, it was entirely difficult for me to think otherwise.

This book took off the gates running and Ms. McNeil did an outstanding job of creating that whole sinister ambience. The suspense, the tension, the fog, the Linda Blair-esque possessions were very well illustrated. The demon banishment rituals however, lacked that certain mystique that I’d expected. Three words and the aid of a sanctified heirloom bracelet was such a disappointment.

The author also took the fallen angels concept and their redemptions to a different path – refreshing, if I may say so myself. The myth was explained in the beginning but in a very convoluted manner that my eyes glazed over after a few sentences. But don’t fret; Bridget broke it down in a much clearer overview later on.

You just have to read the book to find out which type of lineage Bridget falls under.

The romance was as exciting as plain rice cakes, in my opinion. But I guess this book isn’t about that at all. The only parentage influence in her life was her mother – who, in my utter annoyance was oblivious to her daughter’s exorcism adventures. It was hard to like her mother in light of how she was depicted according to Bridget.

Overall, this book had so much going for it but failed to hold my attention. However, I was interested enough to see it through the end. 

BUY YOUR COPY HERE: AMAZON

BOOK REEL OF THE WEEK {1}: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This new feature on the blog will highlight the best book trailer I could find on the web. But if you’re an author looking to feature your book on here, please feel free to contact me!
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Publication Date:  January 2nd, 2012
Poppy
SUMMARY
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18B. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.




These book reels look amazing! It’s making me want this book even MORE! – too bad it will not be out until 2012! *pouts*

So? What do you think?

Confessions of an Addict (9) – What To Do In Case of Emergency.

Have you ever had one of those nights when the book you’re supposed to be reading lost its appeal and you can’t force yourself to read no matter how hard you try? It’s not like it’s a bad book; you’re just not in the mood for it.  So you turn to your bookshelf to pick another but there’s absolutely nothing in your TBR shelfves  that screams, read me! read me!
You stand there for a long time without the umbrella,  your fingers trail through each spine, while your forehead wrinkle in concentration as you try to remember a snippet or a gist of roughly what each book was about? And nothing is tempting because for some strange reason, the appeal of the books when you bought it the first time is just not there this time around.  So you start to panic; quelling that paranoid voice in your head and failing.

“OMG. What if I’ve recovered from my books addiction?”

“What if my appetite for reading is completely gone?”

“What am I going to do with all these books?!”  

OMG. OMG. OMG.

Heh. Highly unlikely.

Your husband, who’s been apparently watching  you agonize and fight an inner battle between a book about zombies or settling in for the night with a modern interpretation of Hamlet, interrupts your soliloquy with a stern voice. “Will you hurry up? You’re blocking the tv!”

You give him a glare using the extra pair of eyes at the back of your head, while the other set eyerolls in annoyance. “I’m trying to pick a book. Hold on to your knickers!” You spit back.

Minutes later you’re still blocking the re-run of the clusterf*ck game you witnessed on Monday.  You have no idea why he likes watching the highlights of your football team’s failure to –  well, win games.  It’s like he enjoys torture or something. Come to think of it, that’s probably why he married you – because he’s a sucker for pain. Anyway, getting off topic here.

In his inifinite wisdom, and in a condescending tone, he says, “This is why you should maybe STOP buying books until you have a manageable pile.” 
Yes, well. That’s not happening anytime soon, dear husband.
You held your tongue and a shudder. “Use the 6-4-9 system,” he says.

You look at him quizzically, like Mr. Darcy with the quizzical brow and indulge him for a minute. Because really, you just want to pick a book and it’s an even harder feat when he’s in the background yammering about some crazy Math system…or so you think.

I’d like to share to you what he suggested I do if ever I find myself in the same connundrum again. It’s called the 6-4-9 system.

  1. Count 6 books from your left. Pull out the sixth book.
  2. Count 4 books from your right. Pull out the fourth book.
  3. Count 9 books from the left again and pull that ninth book off the shelf.

Now you’re left with three books. You can either (a) pick the first of the three, or (b)the last of the three, or (c) pick the middle book. In the likely event that none of those books appeal to you, proceed to another shelf then start the 6-4-9 system again. Obviously, if you have a shelf specifically for serial books, this system will not work.

I’d like to point out that you’re probably not like me – fickle and a complete spazz when it comes to choosing a book.  I ended up  putting my initial pick back to the shelf and started the system until I eventually found that book that I was looking for.

Incidentally, my husband apparently used this system when he’d sit in front of a bar with his drinking buddies and couldn’t pick which hard liquor he’d want to indulge in. Whatever works. The good news is, he said he can’t remember the last time he used this system.

So based on this system, I ended up with these three choices: Falling For Hamlet, Passion and Patient Zero.

NOW READING: POSSESS BY GRETCHEN MCNEIL 
(See how fickle I am?)

Waiting on Wednesday (4): Lover Reborn by JR WARD

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
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Expected Publication: March 27th, 2012
Lover Reborn by JR WARD
#10 Black Dagger Brotherhood

If you guys haven’t checked out this series yet, you must do so stat! It’s probably one of those books that I’ll never get tired of no matter how many times I whine about vampires being a thing of the past.

The synopsis is not available but I believe this is Tohrment’s story. I really hope he gets his happily-ever-after this time, the poor brother. 

I can’t wait to read this!

Top Ten Tuesday (3): Books I Had Strong Emotions Over

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke & Bookish. They’re fond of lists and let’s face it, who isn’t? So here’s my Top Ten for this week: Books that I had strong emotions over.

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  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Catherine and Heathcliff. I have never felt such adverse reaction to a couple of literary main characters as I have with these two. Wuthering Heights was such an unpleasant reading experience.
  2. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by AN Roquelaure aka Anne Rice This is a three part series. I could barely finish the first one. This is the degrading of human beings in the worst form. I was nauseous after the first book.
  3. Anne Coulter’s Books. Pretty much anything written by this woman tend to get a rise out of me. The best part? I’m Canadian.
  4. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman Adam and Mia literally put me through on an emotional bender. Their love story is possibly more heartbreaking than “Love Story” itself.
  5. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta The thing about this book is, it’s everyone’s ugly story all around. But it doesn’t lack the funnies that you’ll desperately need as a respite.
  6. French Kiss by Sarra Manning Severe allergic reaction. This book made me angry in ways I couldn’t even express.
  7. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles This book introduced me to Alex Fuentes – a character who made me swoon and furious in the same breath. His and Britney’s love story was a bit mature, hence more emotions were involved. This book made an eternal Simone Elkeles fan out of me.
  8. Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison My review of this book was short and not so sweet. I believe it went like this:  I hate this book. I hate this book so much I’m giving it 5 stars. I’m a mess. Tears, snots…I haven’t cried this much because of a book.” – my review on Goodreads. 
  9.  You Against Me by Jenny Dowhnam  “It was really hard to find a love story in this book but it was actually love of all kinds. Trust, family loyalty, courage, and then a romance that was very inconceivable but it happened anyway.” 
  10.  Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder Lisa introduced me to the world of verse novels and I haven’t looked back since. It’s amazing how few words can inhibit so much emotions.
  11. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson This book affected me in ways I couldn’t put into words. The grief was truly real and sad but I think the main character’s choices and actions left a deeper impression on me more than the beautiful writing.
  12. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic This book was a bawl fest of epic proportions. No joke.

Okay so is it bad that I have twelve on this list? Am I missing the point? Lol. Sorry about that.

November New Releases

Hey guys! As promised, here are the new books that are on my radar for the month of November.

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman – November 1st
Crossed by Ally Condie – November 1st
Last Breath by Rachel Caine – November 1st

Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth A. Bunce – November 1st
Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien – November 8th
The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell – November 8th

Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullogh – November 8th
The File on Angelyn Stark by Catherine Atkins – November 8th
Hush, Hush (The Graphic Novel) by Becca Fitzpatrick – November 8th

Darker Still by Leanna Renne Hieber – November 8th
A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae – November 8th
Breathe by Melanie McCullogh – November 11th
Wherever You Go by Heather Davis – November 14th
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – November 15th
Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire – November 15th

Death Watch by Ari Berk – November 15th
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff – November 15th
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting – November 15th

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler – November 21st
Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Veguie – November 22nd
Belle’s Song by K.M. Grant – November 22nd

I’m pretty positive I’m missing a whole lot of books here so feel free to let me know which ones in the comments!

…Oh and keep scrolling down. Eight letters, starts with G ends in Y.
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Review: Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

Publication Date: March 14th, 2011
Kindle Edition

Add Cross My Heart to your Goodreads shelf!

SUMMARY
True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there’s no reason why, when they’re assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn’t be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton’s tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the “bad boy” vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own “good girl” image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Parker than he’s letting on. He’s hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she’s grown to love with the person he really is. Because it’s possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.
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MY TAKE: 5/5 STARS
Once in a while, an unassuming book comes across my shelf that I usually put off reading until the mood strikes me. For Kindle copies, I hold off even longer. I am not a big fan of e-books; I’ve said this over and over again. I love the feel of rifling through the pages when I have this urge to re-read scenes.

Cross My Heart has been sitting in my iPad waiting for the day when I was desperate enough to read something. No offense meant. Well, desperate times called for desperate measures. We were at a house party on Saturday night and I was bored out of my wits. I carry a book in my purse anywhere I go but I sure as heck do not carry the iPad in my purse. I thought that bringing a book out would be ruder in front of company than reading on my iPhone. So I pretended to check my phone the entire night, all the while reading the itty bitty text on the Kindle app. Subtle.

I’m happy to say that all the squinting was well worth it.

Let me break down what Cross My Heart is all about.

Girl. Pretty. OCD. Safe.

Boy. Aloof. Bad rep. The complete opposite of safe.

You put them together and what do you get?

A funny, sweet, romantic, heartfelt and unforgettable read, that’s what!

I’ve never been more inclined to re-read a book shortly after reading this. In fact, that’s what I did as soon as I finished wiping my wet, snotty face.

I mean, come on. There’s really nothing special about the plot. We’ve read them all before. Good girl falling in love with a bad boy. But you know what? There’s just something about the way Ms. Klein’s take on this tiresome plot that made me feel so besotted with this book.

First of all, the main characters are both intelligent. You will not be annoyed with the insipidness of the dialogues normally found on books in this setting. But at the same time, the author did a phenomenal job by making them sound their age. The snark between these two were funny – kind of like watching a comedic but clever verbal-tennis match.

Ten bonus points also goes to the writer for having an active family supporting the MC. Good for you! I also love that there were no token insidious mean girls in attendance; instead, you’ll find a couple of besties who stuck with Jaden through and through.

All in all, this book was a bundle of surprise. It made me laugh and it made me cry a whole lot. But I cry at a drop of a hat, so…*shrugs*

It doesn’t matter. I’m so happy to have found this romance gem! It will pull at your heartstrings and will clog your throat with lumps the size of a golf ball. It always makes me happy when a book is written so wonderfully well that I probably miss all the things that I nitpick about on my usual reviews. Perhaps there isn’t even any.

Regardless, this book will be one of those I go back to over and over again.

BUY YOUR COPY HERE: AMAZON

October Rewind

Can you believe October’s almost gone? While this month hasn’t been as productive of a reading month for me, I can’t say I lazed away the month. October was still busy nonetheless.  I’m going to keep striving to make this blog better and will try my absolute best to keep giving honest and impartial reviews. Although at times I find it hard to be candid for fear of backlash, I just have to keep reminding myself that anything less would be dishonest and a waste of your time and mine. As well, I know I could go on and on with my reviews of some books but I can’t apologize for that. Sometimes, books just leave an impression on me, so much so that it becomes a rant. But hey, I did warn you (Joyous Reads: Romance, Reviews, Rants). 
So this month, A.J. of Collections created a blog for Melina Marchetta’s fans. For those of you who doesn’t know, Melina Marchetta is, hands down, my favorite author of all time. I’m so grateful she included me as a contributor for 132 Minutes! I’ve managed to post a review for one of my favorite among her books which is,  On the Jellicoe Road. If you guys have some time to check us out, please do so and leave us some love. If you’re not familiar with any of Ms. Marchetta’s books, don’t fret. We’ve planned to give out a complete library of her works in the near future, so watch out for that!
I did say I had a so-so reading month for October didn’t I? You’re probably sitting there scoffing because 17 books is hardly unproductive at all. But try to understand, I used to average at least 24 books a month. October just kicked my butt, that’s all. I was busier with family stuff and I guess, real life. 
READ AND REVIEWED BOOKS

October 2 – Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
             5 – Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
             8 – The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
            11 – The Fairie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
            11 – The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
            13 – Eve by Anna Carey
            14 – Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
            16 – Remembrance by Michelle Madow
            16 – Tempest by Julie Cross
            17 – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
            20 – Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
            22 – Exiled by M.R. Merrick
            22 – The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
            26 – Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
            28 – On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
            30 – Cross My Heart by Katie Klein
            30 – Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Average rating for October:  3.052 Stars 

CONTEST WINNERS 

I had quite a busy month for giveaways!

A.J. won copies of Half-Blood by J Armentrout & Amplified by Tara Kelly
Valerie, Melissa Rob & Identity Seeker won copies of The “What If” Guy by Brooke Moss
Lori M. Lee won The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong 
Sarabara081 won copies of The Caster Chronicles trio by K Garcia & M Stohl
Carissa St. Armand won a copy of Enthralled by K Armstrong and M Marr 
TheJay2XA won a signed copy of Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Spav won copies of Raised by Wolves by Trial by Fire by J L Barnes
Kristina Shields won a copy of How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Congratulations everyone! I know I promised a huge box of books for November but I think I’m going to have to postpone that giveaway until Christmas. But not to worry, I’m going to do something different for November with giveaways so, again, you must stay tuned for that. 
LOOKING AHEAD

  • I’ve got a blog tour of Entice Me by Lucienne Rivers scheduled for a November 19th stop that  I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of. 
  • For November, I decided to give away copies of books that gets a 5 star rating on my reviews. Details of the giveaway will be announced as soon as I figure out my schedule. I’ve been told I’m a nitpicker type of reviewer so, who knows, there might not even be any 5 star books in November! *insert evil laugh here* 
  • Also, Shopping List for November will be posted so here’s your first chance to grab a copy/copies(?) of books that you’re dying to read for November!
That’s about what I was up to in October. 
How was yours?