Sunday, December 20, 2009

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough


Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.


The F's have it here, but in a good way: Fast paced, fun, and fantastic. I really enjoyed this book. The story caught my attention from the beginning, and I can honestly say it was a refreshing read that's different from anything else I've read recently. I found the main character, Tamsin, to be both a relatable and likeable character. While it has nothing to do with my lack of magical power, I've definitely felt what it's like to feel different from the rest of your family. I love it when a novel thats based on the supernatural or fantastic still manages to feel believable and realistic. The plot carried me along swiftly and this was another book that I found difficult to put down.

I don't know how the fact that this is the beginning of a series managed to escape me, but I had no idea going in. What a delightful surprise! I absolutely cannot wait to pick up the next installment!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vampire Academy Books 1-4 by Richelle Mead


If you haven't read the series yet and plan on doing so, you may not want to read the summaries past book one, as some major plot spoilers are contained within.

Vampire Academy:


St Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school-it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St Vladimir's-the very place where they're most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable night-time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi - the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires - make Lissa one of them forever.


Frostbite:


Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose.

It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians, including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand to hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks.This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.


But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price.


Shadow Kiss:


Is Rose's fate to kill the person she loves most? It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason's death, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can't concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret ... .She's in love with Dimitri. And this time, it's way more than a crush.


Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever...


Blood Promise:


Just days before graduating from St. Vladimir's Academy, guardian-in-training Rose travels to Siberia to drive a stake into the heart of the boy she loves, the monstrous vampire Dimitri.



I was hesitant to start reading this series, because to be quite honest I was fairly certain I had exhausted myself when it came to vampire literature. Don't get me wrong, I love me some great vampire stories especially when they involve romance, but I felt like I needed a break from it all. However, once I started reading these novels, I couldn't stop. They're fast paced, fun, and highly addictive.


Vampire Academy and the novels that follow it tell a great love story, but it offers so much more than that. The series explores not only romantic relationships, but the character's important relationships with their parents and friends as well. The bond between Rose and Lissa is fascinating and very important to the story. I loved reading about how their bond worked, and how it came to be. Thrilling stuff! The characters in the book are strong. I love Rose's kick ass, take charge attitude. And if you're into characters whose hotness just leaps off the page, look no further. Move over Edward Cullen, Dimitri and Christian are some of the hottest Characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading.


There are quite a few story lines taking place at once throughout the series, and I really liked that! The pace of the books never slowed, and while there was always something big happening, it was never too much. It was just enough to sweep the reader away in a tale of passion, excitement, intrigue, and hot vampire action!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm fairly certain nobody will even end up reading this. With the amount of time I've been away, the number of readers I've previously had has probably dwindled down to none. I most definitely have not forgotten about this blog, and I still want to do it and make it something fun. I ADORE talking about books, almost as much as I enjoy reading them. I think I just started this blog at an inconvenient time, and I didn't really know what I was doing or have any real ideas about how to make it fun and interesting for fellow readers. Then life got a little crazy and I haven't update in ages and....here we are.

I'm going to try again. I love books far too much to enjoy them silently and not discuss them with others. I've been reading a ton, watching trailers of upcoming releases, and am excited to get going. Hopefully be chatting to some of you soon!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler


"Don''t worry, Anna. I''ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it." "Okay." "Promise me? Promise you won''t say anything?" "Don''t worry." I laughed. "It''s our secret, right?" According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there''s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there''s something she hasn''t told Frankie---she''s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie''s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago. Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.


I had read and heard a lot about this book for quite sometime, and by the time I got my hands on a copy I had such high expectations that I was almost certain I could only be disappointed. I wasn't. Rather, Twenty Boy Summer was even lovlier than I had anticipated.

Sarah Ockler has a written a novel that is touching and emotionally honest. She weaves a heartbreaking tale of tragic first love, and what it means to have that ripped away from you. The books gives the reader a glance into how one begins to move through the days after such an incident, and how you can possibly begin to live your life again.

Ockler does an incredible job at pulling the reader deeply into the Anna's story. I found myself feeling what she was feeling. Although I only had a brief introduction to Matt, I missed him. I felt his loss deeply and found myself torn later in the novel when my thoughts kept returning to him as Anna attempted to move on.

While Twenty Boy Summer is a deeply emotional tale, the author uses humor throughout to keep it from getting too dark or depressing. Namely, the interaction between best friends Anna and Frankie made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion and were some of my favorite scenes.

Twenty Boy Summer is a must read that is perfect for summer, but highly enjoyable any time of year. Definitely on my list of favorites!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...


A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make--and the ultimate choice Mia commands.


'If I Stay' was breathtaking. A fresh and unique story that was very different from anything I've read in a long time. What amazed me most was how Forman was able to convey so much with so few words. The novel is very slim, but the story told within its' pages is anything but.


We follow the journey of Mia as she is critically injured in a car crash which takes the lives of her immediate family. After the accident she finds herself looking down at her body in the ICU, hanging onto life. Through a series of visits from family and friends, as well as flashbacks from her life before the accident, we reflect on Mia's life as she tries to figure out what she is supposed to do.


As the reader is introduced to Mia's loved ones, I found myself becoming as attached to them as Mia was. The book was emotionally raw, holding nothing back and allowing the reader to feel every loss and connection that Mia experienced as she moved toward her ultimate decision: to stay or let go.


This novel was powerful and gripping. I couldn't put it down, and came away from it with the feeling that I had not only read a great book, but had an experience that I wouldn't soon forget.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I am a horrible blogger. Life has just been so crazy that I haven't been able to keep up on this blog, along with a lot of other things in my life. I'm writing several reviews right now to post later today.

For now, a picture of my birthday cake (my birthday was yesterday). It was a surprise from my sister. It's starting to melt here but you get the idea...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Swoon by Nina Malkin


Sin is coming...prepare to swoon.

Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice''s perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She''s intensely drawn to him -- but not at all crazy about the havoc he''s wreaking.


Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent -- and irresistible -- adversary before the whole town succumbs to Sin''s will. Only trouble is, she''s in love with him.
What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?
(chapters.ca)


I had high expectations for this novel. After reading the summary, I was instantly intruiged and purchased it immediately. The story was darker and more sensual than I expected, but not in a negative way. I just feel that younger readers need to know going in that there is some heavy content.


I really enjoyed the unique plot of this book. It's difficult for me to explain, but I felt like it really told me a story. One that was important somehow, that I'll remember for years to come. One of love, loss, passion, and revenge. I loved travelling back in time with Sin, learning of his past and gaining an understanding of where his rage stemmed from and how it was connected to present day Swoon. The story unfolded beautifully, revealing itself in a way that kept me engaged and invited me to unveil more.


I was captivated by Malkin's talent of scribing truly entrancing prose. Her words flowed exquisitely, creating a seductive masterpiece that was thoroughly entertaining.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More life stuff. My dog, Kissy Bear, needs major surgery. ASAP. What we thought was a minor ailment turned out to be much worse. She'll be going in for her operation either tomorrow or wednesday. Just wanted to update what's been going on. Don't want anyone to think I'm not dedicated.

Please send positive thoughts that she makes it through okay, they'll be appreciated more than you know. I'm off to an evening of 'comfort' reading, with my sick doggy curled up by my side.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted at Breaking The Spine. I've always loved this feature so I decided to join in.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother's coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won't leave until he can reward Katrina's selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . .



This book intruiged me the moment I saw the cover. It may have been the delicious looking coffee that caught my attention, but it was the unique plotline that held it. Can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, "Audrey, Wait!," a break-up song that's so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is. (chapters.ca)


This book was FUN, plain and simple. I had a blast reading it! While the plot itself was highly unlikely, I didn't disbelieve the story for a second. Benway's writing made everything extremely believable, and I had such a great time following Audrey on her crazy adventures.

Audrey was a wonderful, loveable character. She was so funny, sarcastic, and smart. One of those characters who is just so full of life that her energy bursts from the pages.

I thought the presence of her BFF, Victoria, was an important one. Their friendship was very true to life and reminded me of my own best friend (I miss you Kandi!). I really enjoy it when a novel focuses not only on romantic relationships, but on those important and long lasting female friendships as well.

I also have to point out how awesome the use of actual songs as chapter titles was. Instant soundtrack! The musical aspect of the novel was phenomenal. It made me want to get dressed up and go to a rock concert, or at the very least turn up the volume on my stereo.

Audrey, Wait! is a great choice for anyone looking for a page turner that will entertain and keep you smiling until the last page.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Season by Sarah Maclean


Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not interested in marriage. Unfortunately, her mother is determined to marry her off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance. Somehow, between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. It's a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, suspicion, and true love. Romance and danger fill the air, as this year's Season begins! (chapters.ca)


I've mentioned before that the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to review it. Let me tell you, I am having an incredibly difficult time talking about The Season without gushing and stroking it's pretty cover, urging everyone to go out and buy it right now.

I am a huge fan of stories set in the Regency era. There is just something about the rustling of the spectacular gowns, the rumble of a crowded ballroom, the giggling of young ladies as they gossip over their teacups, and the picture of a delectable english man in a crisp white cravat. It just makes me want to get lost in that world with no immediate plans of returning.

The Season is an enticing, steadily moving page turner with believable and complex characters. Alex, Ella, and Vivi are strong female leads who are beautiful, intelligent, and determined. Their friendship was one of my favorite aspects of the story and I loved all of their interactions.

The story itself is a richly woven tale telling not only of friendship and romance but involving spies, treason, and murder. I read the book in 2 days, stopping only because I had to go to work. I just had to know what happened! I just love it when a book is that good, getting me to ask questions and look for clues - suspecting everyone!

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, my favorite part of the novel was the relationship between Alex and Gavin. It was beautiful and realistic. Watching their feelings grow from friendship to those of romance and passion was delightful, causing me to smile and sigh on more than one occasion. Every one of their interactions was fully entertaining. I just loved the witty banter between the two! Sparks flew between the two not only during a passionate embrace but in conversation as well.

Sarah Maclean is a pro at what she does. The cultural and politcal history of the era was obviously well researched, allowing the reader to feel like it very well could have been told by someone straight from the time period. Every page was rich with detail and imagery. Just gorgeous!

If you haven't read this book yet, do so very soon! I was looking forward to it for months and I was not disappointed. It was even better than I had hoped for, and I cannot wait for more from Sarah Maclean!

Friday, May 15, 2009

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.


WOW. Just wow, wow, wow! What a perfectly thrilling conclusion to an amazing trilogy. I had been waiting a long time for this one, with many unanswered questions and high expectations about how it all would end. I was not in the least bit disappointed. In fact, this book took my greatest hopes for a satisfying conclusion and exceeded them by far.

The characters that us readers have known and loved in the first two installments continue to grow and I felt so much for them while reading this book. So much was going on at all times but I never felt overwhelmed. Rather, I felt as if I was part of the exciting and crushing adventure that Clary and her friends were on. I cheered for them, I was on the edge of my seat, and my heart broke into a thousand pieces when tragedy struck our beloved characters. I believe I even shed a tear or two.

Fans of the series should feel satisfied at the trilogy's conclusion. Anyone who hasn't picked up Cassandra Clare's work yet should do so ASAP.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Warning: Summary contains spoilers for City of Bones, if you haven't yet read the first installment:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City''s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation. (chapters.ca)

The second book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy was a spectacular follow up to it's predecessor, City of Bones. I couldn't put it down! The plot continued to captivate me and I found myself reading speedily along, full of questions and desperate to have them answered. The action was fast paced - something was always happening and the main characters acted and reacted with such vibrant life, jumping off the page at me with such wonderful description.

I adored each of the characters more with every turn of the page. Despite their supernatural elements, the reader is able to relate to every character we are introduced to. Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec will stay with me for a long time after completing the series. They're each so endearing and heroic in their own right, and after reading I couldn't seem to get them out of my head. I love that, when a book is so amazing that the characters seem to follow you around for days afterward. I know that might sound completely insane, but there you have it!

For me, this series has it all. Loveable characters, and those you love to hate. Gripping action, emotional angst, laugh out loud humor, and an intruiging mystery. Without a doubt, check this series out ASAP!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 Books, 1 Cover

This probably doesn't even warrant a post, but has anybody else noticed this? It's the covers for The Secret Life Of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti, and Flirting With Boys by Hailey Abbott.



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott


Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.


And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.


Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....


This was my first novel by Elizabeth Scott, and I can tell you I'm looking forward to reading more in the near future. This was a story that felt realistic. The descriptions and dialogue felt true to teenagers, not overly dramatic or far fetched. Kate is a character I think many teenage girls can easily relate to; with embarrassing parents, a friend she feels betrayed by, and that one boy who you can't help crushing on.


While reading this book I found that I could place myself in Kate's shoes without any difficulty, feeling what she felt when reacting to what was going on around her. I cringed at the bee costume and the carrot hat. I got butterflies when Will grinned at her. I felt a bitter knot in my stomach when Anna blew her off.


Elizabeth Scott has a real talent at creating characters that are rich and complex. I loved Will and Grandma, who both unfolded in a way throughout the story that allowed my appreciation for them to grow. Characters are the most important aspect of a novel to me, and in this instance they definitely built the story.


I loved this book, and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to read it yet.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Contest from Bookluver Carol :o)

Just letting you know that there's a great contest for not 1, not 2, but 3 books by Jennifer Echols going on over at Bookluver Carol's Reviews.

CLICK HERE to go check it out :o)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chosen by P.C Cast and Kristen Cast.

Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey’s mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity. Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey’s horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…(Amazon.com)


The third volume in the House of Night series held both ups and downs for me. I really liked where the plot was going with Stevie Rae's character. I was interested in learning what was happening with her and what would become of her and whether or not she would turn completely 'dark' or if there was a chance she could be saved by her friends. What I didn't enjoy, however, was Zoey's costant descriptions of how smelly and gross she was. Something about that girl's tone just really grates on my nerves.

I enjoyed Aphrodite in this book. I found her a nice relief from Zoey's whining about her three boyfriends and how stressful it is to be chosen by the goddess. Aphrodite is blunt and headstrong, and I was excited by the twist she was involved in at the end of the novel. What the future holds for her is one of the things I'm looking forward to most in the next installments.
I always enjoy the romantic aspect of any book, including the one in this series. I'll admit that I'd like to see Zoey and up with Erik. While I liked the tension happening between the two (tension and angst is a must in any novel!), I feel that throwing Loren into the equation was just too much. It doesn't speak well of a girl who's juggling too many boyfriends. I prefer my female leads to be strong and intelligent enough to not be led around by that many men.

I'm honestly very torn when it comes to this series. As I've said before, I think the plot is wonderful and I really love the idea behind it. I want to know what's going to happen with Neferet, and if there will be some sort of epic battle at the end. I want to know if Zoey will find real love, and I hope that it would be with Erik. It's just that the childish language and the constant repetition really get in the way of me loving it is much as I`d like to. In fact, I'm so torn that writing this review was difficult. Looking it over now it looks choppy and confusing.

More reviews to come in the future though not as soon/as often as I would love to be able to.
Emergency family situations are making life a little hectic right now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why reviews have been lacking

I haven't done many reviews lately, so much has been going on. My grandpa is very sick and doesn't have a whole lot of time left. He lives in another province and we're travelling this weekend to see him. Also, my daughter and I have been quite sick with the flu. And finally, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy today.

I just wanted to stop here briefly to say where I've been. Updates will be much more frequent after Monday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Betrayed by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast


Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.


I really should have done these reviews immediately after finishing each book, as now that I've read the fourth they are all kind of blurred together for me.


In this second installment of the House of Night series, Zoey is the new leader of the Dark Daughters. We get a recap of everything that happend in Marked, and then move along kind of slowly to current events. We get a little character development from Aphrodite, but still don't really know much about Zoey's dearest friends. The "twin" and "poopie" talk still frustrated me.


I did, however, appreciate the plot and where the story was going with the murders and the death of someone very close to Zoey. I'll admit that I was very interested in where the story would take me next. I wanted to know who was commiting the crimes, what exactly was going on with Neferet, and was pulled into everything that was happening and found myself truly enjoying it. I believe that it stands out from the rest of the series so far because there's actually a lot going on and there are some surprising twists presented to the reader.


I'll be reviewing the next 2 books in the series very soon, so I'll leave the rest of my thoughts on the series as a whole until then.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Win an ARC of Along For The Ride!


Win an ARC of Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen! Click the badge above for more details. This is bound to be an AMAZING book!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nightworld: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder


Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.


In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.


Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.


Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.


I bought this book after reading the back a few months ago, intruiged by the stories of vampires and witches. I'll admit, being a huge fan of paramnormal romance stories and vampire stories in particular, I'm very happy about the surge of vampire novels that seem to be everywhere after the success of the Twilight saga. I understand these were released years ago as seperate books with different covers, but I had never read them and the new eye catching cover played a big part in why I picked this up.


Each book is fairly short, providing a quick and easy read. The characters were interesting and fun and each story was unique. I really liked that although each book featured a different plot and cast of characters, the Nightworld tied them together. Minor characters that had mere 'cameos' in one story were the leads in the next. I am especially interested in what happens to Ash, and really hope that his story is not over and I that I am able to learn something about what happened to him and Mary-Lynette in the future.


This series is obviously one that has stood strong with the test of time, as it's gained some popularity years after publication. I look forward to starting the next installment, and definitely recommend it to fans of the YA paranormal genre.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne


I see him and know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.


Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying—and thrilling—gene that will change her life forever.


Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.


As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.


Like many others in my collection, I picked this book up because of its pretty cover. When I saw it was about werewolves, I purchased it immediately. I haven't read much from the werewolf genre and was excited to add to my growing collection.


This is the first novel I have read by Hawthorne, and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick, fun read and I really enjoyed her take on the werewolf universe. I really liked the idea of involving sherpas, and the connection with the werewolves and nature right from the beginning of the story. Even before Kayla discovers who she is she has the strong feeling that she "belongs" in the forest. I also really enjoyed the tattoo angle. I only wish that these things had been expanded upon a little more.


Moonlight is the first of three novels currently planned in The Dark Guardian series and I'll definitely be picking up Full Moon and Dark of the Moon when they are released. From the hints of future plot lines given to us in the first installment, the next two stories should be good as well :o)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Retro Reads: The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

It seems as though lately there are a lot of YA novels getting makeovers and being reprinted in order to appeal to today's audiences. Examples include the Night World and Vampire Diaries series by L.J Smith. This gave me an idea to maybe do an article once and a while here at my blog, featuring different novels/series that seem to be making a comeback, or books that I believe should be republished in order to give today's readers a chance to read them.

During one of our endless phone conversations last week (we now live in different provinces), my BFF of nearly 20 years and I were talking about our past obsessions with R.L Stine and Christopher Pike. Even during sleepovers we would stay up for hours laying next to one another, reading until we had to fight to keep our eyes open. She was a huge fan of The Last Vampire series by Pike:




We continued to chat about how obsessed she was and how amazing the books were and how we've been looking to repurchase them, and I mentioned how awesome it would be if they repackaged them as they've done with a lot of other series recently. The next morning I went online to search for the books, and found this:




I was beyond ecstatic to discover that they indeed are re-releasing The Last Vampire, into two volumes which each contain three of the original six book series. I do believe I actually let out a little squeal. I picked up the phone and told my friend to go online, I sent her the link, then she let out a little squeal. I'm fairly certain this may prove that we're in fact nerds, but who cares? It's The Last Vampire!
Italic
Please comment! I would love to know if anyone else has read and enjoyed these books. Also, feel free to let me know about any other books that you would love to see re-released.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast


Enter the dark, magical world of The House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change--and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends. (From the back of the book)


When I started reading this book I was completely pulled into the story. Things got moving quickly, and I really enjoyed the Casts' new take on the vampire world. The school setting, with its unique rules, structures, ceremonies, and night classes gave the book a fresh feel. I found myself having a lot of fun reading Marked, and enjoying the little details of the story...things like the classes the fledglings take, the physical appearance of the school and the rules, regulations, and traditions set up for the students. I felt like the authors created a believable setting for their characters and the physical descriptions were easy to visualize, from the layout of the dining hall to each vampyres individual 'mark'.


Another factor that made this vampire series unique is the involvement of ceremony and worship, and how the whole vampire existence ties in with Greek Goddess Nyx. Definitely something different from what I have read in a while.


While I loved the plot and descriptions in this book, a few things got to me. Some of the characters tended to annoy the heck out of me (*cough*twins*cough*) and it seemed like at times the Casts' were trying too hard to make Zoey and her friends sound...cool? There was an overuse of teenage slang that sometimes felt like a middle aged parent trying to fit in with their teenage child by talking like them. I mean, poopie? Boobies? Loser kids? I'll admit it frustrated me.


Despite these annoyances the story itself intrigues me enough to continue reading the rest of the series. I just finished Betrayed and I can't help but feel eager to know whats going to happen next in the House of Night.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman


He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.
I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is. (Harpercollins.ca)

I fell completely in love with this novel. It captivated me within its first few pages and held me, spellbound, until the closing paragraph.

It was lovely to see how Whitman took the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades and turned it around to make it a story of love, strength, and independence. The author took the important details of the original story, such as the pomegranate seeds, and weaved them together beautifully to create a story that felt rich with history and legend.

I very much enjoyed the authors writing style, which often felt poetic. Descriptions were detailed and full of beautiful imagery. Whitmans words pulled me in, I wanted to turn my hands in the soil of the garden, and feel Hades' arms wrapped protectively around me.

All in all this was a wonderful debut novel, and I sincerely hope to read more from Emily Whitman in the future.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr


Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.
Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .
I thoroughly enjoyed Melissa Marr's first YA book, Wicked Lovely, and was very much looking forward to this companion novel. Not only did Ink Exchange meet my expectations, it far surpassed them.
I am a firm believer that a novel just isn't great without memorable, complex characters. Ink Exchange was full of them. The main character, Leslie, was believable and I found her easy to relate to, even if I haven't been through the sort of difficulties she experienced. I fell in love with and felt so much compassion for Niall, and had very conflicted feelings toward Irial. I enjoyed the angst that the story brought out in me, as a book that brings out my emotions is always a winner in my opinion.
I loved that Ink Exchange took us deeper within Marr's world of fae, and I once again appreciated the physical descriptions she gave us about how everyone looked, from the color of their hair, the way they moved, and the shadows that surrounded them.
Not only is Ink Exchange a dark and wonderful story of a beautiful and dangerous faery world, but it also touches upon very real and human situations and emotions. The trauma that Leslie experiences and how she does and does not deal with it is a powerful message. This book deals with love, sacrifice, healing, and the power of independence and choice.
I love this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes to read from the urban fantasy/faerie/paranormal genre. In fact, those who don't normally read within the genre will probably enjoy it as well.
I CANNOT WAIT for the release of the next in the series, Fragile Eternity.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My First ARC! :o)


I got my first ARC delivered to my door yesterday. I know it might not seem like a big deal for those of you who receive them on a regular basis, but for myself it was a rather exciting event! It was Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman, sent to me from Harper Collins Canada after I applied to 'win it' on their website. I honestly wasn't expecting to be selected so when I opened the package and saw it inside, I let out a little squeal. Everything else in my reading pile is now pushed back so that I can start reading it and finish my review immediately. YAY!

So there you have my nerdy outburst of the day.
From the back of the book:
Persephone is no cowering maiden, but a young woman with a choice. And she chooses the lord of darkness.
From Harper Collins Website:
Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, finally gets a chance to set the story straight. She wasn’t taken to the underworld against her will—she fell in love with Hades, and chose to be his queen and leave her overbearing mother behind. But when her mom Demeter takes out her grief by turning the whole countryside barren and letting thousands of peasants die, Persephone knows she has to do something...

Monday, February 23, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.
Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....


I read this book quite awhile ago, before I started this blog. I have been wanting to do a review, but of course the longer I wait the harder it is for me to review a novel because the story is not fresh in my mind. Also, I find the more I love a book the harder it is for me to review. All I want to do is gush, saying how awesome it is and how everyone should buy it. This is how I feel about City Of Bones. The story was extremely fast paced, moving along like a speeding train, carrying the reader along and plunging them into the story. There were times where I felt I was being overloaded with information, but in a good way as the story was so richly layered and so meticulously plotted. It was just so good.
I adored all of the characters. Each one offers something extremely different than the last, and I found myself with a 'crush' on more than one. I found myself frustrated and annoyed with someone in one chapter, and with a softspot in my heart for them in the next.
The story has more than one major plot twist, causing me to race forward eagerly to find out what happened next. I definitely can't wait to finish the series. I have more than one question that I'm dying to have answered!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Private by Kate Brian


Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.


Until she meets the Billings Girls.


They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.


Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private. (Amazon.com)


The girls I work with have been trying to get me to read this series for a while now and I've been putting it off because it just didn't catch my interest. That, and I accidentally came across some major spoilers and thought there really wasn't any point in reading a series when I already knew such major plot twists. However when one of my coworkers brought the first four books into the office and set them on the counter in front of me I thought, why not?


The first book is intruiging. You are thrown immediately into the plot and experience Easton Academy as Reed does, with fresh and curious eyes. You can see the appeal of the Billings Girls, and want to find out just why they are so powerful and why living at Billings House is so sought after by so many. I really wanted to know how Reed would fare in her new surroundings and how she would work her way into the glamorous social scene.


The more I read of the Billings Girls, the more I disliked them. I became frustrated with Reed many times, wondering just why she put up with their bullying and cruelty. I am a fan of books with strong lead roles and was really annoyed that Reed just seemed so weak. To put up with such torture simply to gain popularity and material things like designer clothes? I just didn't get it.


Despite these little annoyances I still enjoyed the book enough to finish it and start the second installment immediately. I have a feeling as we meet more characters and more of the story is unveiled, Reed will grow in character and strength and develop goals and a life other than tending to the Billings girls' every whim. As a reader, I want to see Reed become more independent, confident, and succeed on her own.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston


Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader. (Amazon.com)


WOW. I am absolutely in love with this novel. When I saw the cover months ago I knew I had to have it, and I read great reviews, but I tried not to expect too much going in. I had such high expectations that I was afraid I might be disappointed. I wasn't. This book was amazing. I was pulled into the story from the moment I started reading. I adored all of the characters and became lost in the rich description and storytelling. I really enjoyed the connection with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and loved the whole theatre aspect. It really made me miss my high school drama club days!


Is it possible for a novel to be pretty? Because pretty is definitely a word that comes to mind when I think of Wondrous Strange. The author described the scenes and characters in such a way that I felt as if I was seeing them before me. The novel was as strangely and terribly beautiful as the fae that Livingston described in her story.


I am so glad this book is only the first in a series, because I am certainly thirsting for more! I believe you will be as well, so please pick up this book. If you're disappointed, I will be shocked.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Book of Choice Giveaway from Laura's Review Bookshelf

Laura is giving away a book of choice over at her blog, to enter just recruit someone to follow her. What a great contest!

CLICK HERE

Sleepless By Terri Clark


I can't go to sleep!!! And not because of the cute boy lying next to me. There's a killer stalking me in my dreams. And if it's up to him . . . I'll never wake up. I have to find a way to get him, before he gets me.


Trinity is an 18 year old girl from South Beach who finds herself with the ability to 'dream walk', right into other peoples dreams. She considers this ability to be a curse, as she ends up knowing the deep dark secrets and private thoughts of those around her. Things really turn into a nightmare when she is unable to rescue a kidnapped classmate who makes a plea for help in one of Trinity's dreams. Soon, the kidnapper escapes a mental institution and the only place he can be found is within Trinity's dreams. It seems he has developed a dream walking ability of his own, and uses it to threaten Trinity and those she loves.


I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Previous reviews have mentioned that the cover can be misleading and I agree wholeheartedly. Sleepless pulls you into the story rather quickly and is a fast and fun read. I enjoyed the story and thought the idea of dream walking was unique and interesting. The book carries you a long at a steady pace and before you know it you're wrapped up in the climax of the story. I liked Trinity's character and her developing relationship with Dan, but I found myself wishing it had more time to develop.


I would definitely reccomend this book if you are looking for a quick and entertaining read, and would like to pick up more from Clark in the future.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.


This book was my first real introduction to modern day faeries, and what an introduction it was. I devoured this book! Marr's description of the faeries had me feeling as if I myself could see them. The world was complex and I loved that she included so many different types of faeries, each having a different look, personality and history. I loved the sharp contrast between the Winter Queen and Winter Girl and the Summer King and Summer Girls...the descriptions of the biting, icy cold breath of the Winter Queen gave me chills.


I found myself being more drawn to Keenan and Donia while reading this book, as opposed to Aislinn who is the main character. Perhaps it is because they are each so full of angst and have a complicated and tortured history. It made me really care about what was going to happen to them, and eager for each one to have their 'shining moment.' As for Seth, I liked him but finished the novel feeling like I didn't really know him. I have a feeling we're going to learn a lot more in Fragile Eternity, however, and am anxiously awaiting its release!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier


On the night of each full moon, the five Transylvanian sisters who reside in the castle Piscul Dracului don their finest gowns. They raise their hands to create shadows against the wall, opening a portal to the Other Kingdom, where they will dance the night away with all manner of fantastical creatures. After nine years of full moons spent in delightful revelry, dark forces, both human and otherworldly, arise to encroach upon the sisters' happiness. Told by Jena, the second oldest sister, this detailed and mood-rich story covers much territory, both mundane and magical. Adult fantasy writer Marillier has uniquely reimagined and blended an assortment of well-known tales and characters--including fairies, dwarves, witches, vampires, and a frog who is more than he seems--into a compelling whole in her first book for teens. By the end, all are cleverly bound together, and a mystery is solved. With much to say about human nature and choice, not unlike the moral in fairy tales of old, this will be a hit with older teen readers, especially girls. (Booklist)

I thought it would be fitting that my first review feature my favorite author. Words cannot justly express just how much I adore Juliet Marillier. I was first introduced to her when I found her Sevenwaters trilogy at a used bookstore. I fell in love. Never have I been so emotionally attached to characters in a novel. When I discovered she was to write a young adult novel I was beyond elated.

Wildwood Dancing has everything I love in a novel: strong characters, romance, magic, adventure, and is rich with detail. The world that Marillier creates is so richly woven that I became more lost within it with every page I turned. Her characters and plot are so completely engrossing that I stayed up well past midnight in order to find out what happened next, full of suspicions and making guesses, eager to see if I was right. This was a book that had my heart pounding in some places, and tears streaming in others.

In the end, I was happy with the story but sad to see the characters go. I wanted more. Finishing a Marillier novel is like parting with very dear friends, or leaving home.

Please read this novel! I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Happy Reading :o)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Intro

This is my first post, and I'm not even sure if anyone will read it. I am still figuring out exactly what I'm going to do with this blog, what the format will be and exactly what I'll cover. All I really know is that I have been coming more desperate as of late to find a way to connect with people who love books as much as I do. My closest friends don't really read a lot and those who do aren't quite as passionate about reading as I am. In fact, my best friend's eyes tend to glaze over when I start talking about whatever novel I'm in the middle of and how in love with the hero I am...

I am in my 20's and very newly married but I still seem to enjoy YA novels more than anything else. I adore the Twilight Saga, the Harry Potter series, the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, and anything by Juliet Marillier. Fantasy is most often my genre of choice, especially if it has an element of romance. However, authors such as Sarah Dessen are among my favorites as well. I guess I'll read pretty much anything! I've learned to never judge a book by its cover...you never know what wonderful new world is waiting inside!

I hope to meet fellow reading fanatics here and am always looking for new suggestions on what to read next. Until next time, HAPPY READING :o)