Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Tour: For Real by Chelsea M. Cameron

For Real (Rules of Love #1)
Two people. One fake relationship. What could go wrong?

When virgin Shannon Travers gets fed up with her friends demanding that she find a boyfriend, she enlists the help of tattooed, mohawk-rocking graphic design student Jett. He’s more than happy to play along with their Fake Relationship, including the Ten Rules of Fake Dating that control-freak Shannon comes up with. Even if he likes to violate them. Repeatedly.

But what happens when Fake Dating starts to feel… not fake anymore? Will Shannon be willing to let go and embrace the first thing in her life that’s ever felt REAL?
Kat's Review
I like this author, because I find her books fun to read and a great way to spend a few hours on a lazy afternoon. I have to admit, I was a bit unsure of the premise of this book because it seemed a little cliché. Maany New Adult authors are writing variations on the "let's get the virgin laid" theme, and I personally think it's a bit tacky. However, this book went in a very different direction than I was expecting, and didn't end up being a book about that at all.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Tour: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers
by Denise Grover Swank
The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.

Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.

The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.

ABOUT Denise Grover Swank:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period.  Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.)  Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks.  She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Kat's Review

I signed up for this book tour specifically because I really like this author. I think she has a great voice, and she writes characters that intrigue me, including really strong female characters. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but it sounded interesting.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Whole Golden World
An astonishing novel from the acclaimed author of Keepsake that pushes the boundaries of storytelling. At turns shocking, provocative, and heart-wrenching, and inspired by a true story The Whole Golden World forces us to ask the question "How well do we really know our children?"

To the outside Diana and Joe have a perfect family-three lovely children, a beautiful home, and a café that's finally taking off. But their world is rocked when it's discovered that their oldest daughter, 17-year-old Morgan is having an affair with her married teacher, TJ Hill.

Their town rocks with the scandal. When the case goes to trial, the family is torn further apart when Morgan sides not with her parents-as a manipulated teenage girl; but with TJ himself-as a woman who loves a 30-year-old man.

Told from the perspectives of Morgan, Diana, and TJ's wife, Rain, this is an unforgettable story that fully explores the surprising, even shocking, events that change the lives of two families.
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Kat's Review
The Whole Golden World is like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion. It begins with the trial, so the reader knows where the relationship between Morgan and her teacher is going, only the glimpse inside Morgan's thoughts shows her to be a defiant participant in the trial process. This sets up an intriguing start to a novel that delves into the nuances of power in relationships, dynamics of teacher and student, the often murky waters of a victim identifying with her abuser, and the harsh judgment of a society quick to judge and point to the finger at those they should be protecting.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Perfect by Rachel Joyce

by Rachel Joyce
From the author of the international bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, comes another exquisite and emotionally resonant novel about the search for the truth and unconditional love.On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming and his mother are driving to school in the English countryside. On the way, in a life-changing two seconds, an accident occurs. Or does it? Byron is sure it happened, but his mother, sitting right next to him in the car, has no reaction to it. Over the course of the days and weeks that follow, Byron embarks on a journey to discover what really happened--or didn't--that fateful morning when everything changed. It is a journey that will take him--a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy with a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy's perspective on life--into the murkier, more difficult realities of the adult world, where people lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. Byron will have to reconcile the dueling realities of that summer, a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of compassion.
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Kat's Review
This novel brought me to tears at times. Byron's tendency to obsess over the smallest detail begins to take over his life in the aftermath of the accident he believes his mother was in while driving him to school. His mother's carefully curated persona and obsessive need to make things right with the family of the "injured" girl adds to the stress of Byron's life. The title of this novel foreshadows the overriding theme- the search for perfection in all things, even if it is destroying the one who searches.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Welcome to November, fellow book lovers! The start of November is also the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), when writers from all over the world huddle over their computers or notebooks and set to work writing 50 000 words over the course of 30 days.

Yup. A novel in a month.

I first signed up for NaNoWriMo last November, because I had just had a baby 2 months earlier and wanted to get back into the habit of writing on a daily basis. It was tough, with a lot of late nights, but I did it, and it was exactly what I needed to get myself motivated again. The feeling I got when I "won" NaNo was incredible, even if many people I know didn't quite understand why I was so excited about "winning" something that doesn't come with a prize.

Except that it does. The prize is my novel. Yes, it's a first draft that is nowhere near being ready to publish, and it may not even be done, but it's FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS that I didn't have down before the month began. It's more words than some people write in a year. It's a month of making new friends, testing my dedication to my writing, learning new things, and feeling that sense of accomplishment that comes with hard work.