31.7.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Freaky Friday Style


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Switch Places With For 24 Hours

This question sounds a lot easier than it actually is.  A lot of my favourite characters live in dystopian worlds where, frankly, I don't want to spend a whole lot of time.  So I'm not going to think too hard and go for it...
  1. Rose from Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead): If you've seen pretty much any post by me ever, this is an obvious one.
  2. Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare): She spends her days playing with sharp objects.  Sounds like a fun day.
  3. Hadley from The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight (Jennifer E. Smith): This book is a pretty awesome 24 hours (plus a bit).
  4. Emma from Of Posiden (Anna Banks): Siobhan Vivian was tweeting last night about hanging out under water and watching Olympic swimmers.  If I were Anna...
  5. Meghan from The Iron Fey series (Julie Kagawa):  Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with a former Prince of the Winter Court.  I just really want to see Tir Na Nog.
  6. Wendy from Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie):  I want to hang out with Peter and the Lost Boys.
  7. Kaiden from Sweet Evil (Wendy Higgins): When we trade places, do I inherit his drumming skills?  'Cause that's what I want.
  8. Katy from Obsidian (Jennifer L. Armentrout): Daemon.
  9. Jo from Little Women (Louisa May Alcott): It could be fun to live in the good ol' days for a bit.
  10. Any Dr. Suess character ever: It would be like one giant, crazy, 24-hour acid trip, without the harmful effects of actually doing drugs!
Okay, back to watching the Olympics!  10m Women's Synchro Diving!  Go Canada Go!

Much love, Samantha

30.7.12

Book Review: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

May 8th, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
198 pages (Hardcover)
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.

What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.

But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry. (From Goodreads)
 I would like to thank whatchYAreading for sending me an ARC copy of First Comes Love.

This story was a roller coaster experience for me.  Right off the bat (ha, if you've read it...), I was able to completely relate with Grey.  Just ask my personal therapist roommate, and she'll tell you about the many nights we've spent discussing the way I build walls around myself and refuse to let anyone in.

So, naturally, I was completely engrossed.  I just wanted Grey to be happy, and I feel like I may have changed a little bit right along with him.  Dylan inspired me too.

That is all I want to say about this book, because when something hits so close to home, it's truly hard to find the words to describe it.  I'm not very poetic either...

Much love, Samantha
P.S.  Sorry Grey, but former D'backs second baseman Kelly Johnson is now one of my beloved Blue Jays ;-)

29.7.12

DOUBLE Book Review: Half-Blood and Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood
Published September 20th, 2011
Spencer Hill Press
281 pages (Paperback)
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. 
Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. (From Goodreads)


Pure
Published March 13th, 2012
Spencer Hill Press
329 pages (Paperback)
There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone. (From Goodreads)
Half-Blood and Pure were both books that I struggled to set down and never wanted to end.

I went into Half-Blood a little nervous.  From what I had heard, this series had a lot of similarities to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy novels.  This is true, so it's a very good thing that I love Vampire Academy.

Yes, some aspects were eerily similar, yet I didn't feel like I was reading the same novel over again (and I have read the VA books more than a few times).  I became so engrossed that Half-Blood took on a life of it's own.  I fell in love with the characters and the story, and started reading Pure the moment I finished Half-Blood.  Literally.  I actually ran up the stairs.

I love a strong, bold and reckless female protagonist, and Alex is just that.  Alex didn't develop a ton by the end of Pure, which is fine.  She's still reckless to the point almost being stupid, but I'm excited to see her character continue to develop into an even stronger, fierce character.

And do not get me started on Aiden.  Seriously, he needs to be real and get into my life right now.  Book-loving, guitar-playing warrior with a soft, caring side.  *Swoon*  <Highlight for spoiler-ish conspiracy theory>  Remember when she notices the chain around his neck?  I will bet good money that the guitar pick is on that chain. <End highlight>  Jennifer L. Armentrout also nailed the sexual tension in these books.  Holy crap, there were times when I came very close to throwing my Kobo across the room in complete frustration.

Book 3 of the series, Deity, is set to be released this November, as is Aiden's novella, Elixir.  To say I am excited for these is an understatement.  So if you haven't read these yet, get on that.

Much love, Samantha

27.7.12

TGIF (2): Christmas In July

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger over at GReads!  She asks a question, and everyone can get involved!


And today's question is...


Christmas in July: If Santa were to come down your chimney in the middle of summer, which books would you want him to leave for you under the tree?


Practical, realistic Samantha would like Santa to bring all of her textbooks for the coming semester, but where is the fun in that?  So here's three book (that have yet to be published) that I would like Santa to bring.


Dear Santa, I feel that I have been quite a good girl (so far) this year.  Therefore, I ask you to work your Christmas magic, and please bring me Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Lover At Last by J.R. Ward, and Rebel Heart by Moira Young.  In return, I will leave you iced tea and s'mores, a summer appropriate feast to keep you energized for your travels.

Much love, Samantha

25.7.12

Road Trip Wednesday: Reincarnation


It's Road Trip Wednesday, a "Blog Carnival" hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA Highway.  They pose a weekly reading/writing question, and through the comments, you can explore and find out everyone's take on the topic.

This weeks question was inspired by Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (which is currently on my TBR list!)...

If you could be reincarnated as any fictional character, who would it be?

Okay, so there are a couple ways to approach this.

If I could choose, I would be Rose from Vampire Academy or Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments.  It's no secret that I admire Rose, and the way she will stand up for what she believes in.  They are both fierce, bold, strong individuals and kind of badass.

However, if we took who I am now, and shoved me into a book, I would be a female version of Grey in First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky.  I am a 20 year old introvert who is seriously trying to figure out who she is.  I'm also really good at building walls around myself and not letting others in.  It takes a long time for me to open up and trust another person.  Grey and I have a lot in common.

Leave your answer below, or a link to your Road Trip Wednesday!  Until next week...

Much love, Samantha

24.7.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Vivid Worlds


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books


This post got a little rushed.  I forgot to write it in advance, which is what I usually do.  I'm spending today mini-roadtripping with my parents.  I had to go to the city where I attend school, and they decided like that sounded like a fun idea.
  1. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling (Note: I may have given up after the first couple books, way back in elementary school, but J.K Rowling definately did an amazing job creating her world.  Even I can't deny that.)
  2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  6. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  7. Lord of The Flies by William Golding
  8. A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
  9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  10. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
What's your favourite fictional world?  Leave me a comment so I can check out your top ten when I get home tonight!

Much love, Samantha

23.7.12

Book Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Published May 22nd, 2012
Feiwel And Friends
336 pages (Hardcover)
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . 

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance. (From Goodreads)
I'm going to start with a quote, cause there is a little misconception I need to address...
"I'm not even tan-white.  I'm Canadian-tourist white."
Okay, we do get sun up here in the great white north.  In fact, it can get quite hot up here.  And the snow actually reflects the UV rays.  Don't underestimate the ability of a determined Canadian to get a tan in the middle of winter.

Now, to Of Poseidon.   Overall, it was a good book.  I admire an author that can successfully stray away from dystopian and vamipire writing (not that I have anything against dystopian or vamipire novels [I kinda love them]).

That being said, the whole Syrena aspect of the book wasn't what held my attention.  The romance in this book was killer, especially in latter portions of the book.  The chemistry between Galen and Emma was fantastic.  Heck, I even loved the romance between Rayna and Toref.

The dialogue was another great aspect of the book.  The connection I made to the characters made me feel like I was sitting on the beach with them, in a completely unforced conversation.  Plus, it's no secret that I love me some sarcastic, jackass characters.

One of my favourite scenes is a conversation between Toref and Galen.  I love how they see the human world from a perspective most humans would never consider.  I won't give anything away, but Toref offers some wise words that really stuck with me:
"Humans are creepier than I thought.  Why pretend to be something you're not?"
If you're looking for a beachy read with great romance, Of Poseidon is for you!

Much love, Samantha

22.7.12

Coffee Talk #5: Clothes and Comfort

While running errands for my mom, I decided to stop at the mall and window shop.  Window shopping quickly turned into actual shopping, which turned into a crazy ordeal involving weird sizing but irresistible prices on neon tank tops.
Found on Tumblr

When I finally made it to the cashier, we had a lovely conversation about the versatility of colourful tank tops.  Then the conversation fell apart.  

I said something about wearing a lot of hoodies and tanks in the winter.

This was her response:
"Oh, well at least you dress nice in the summer."
Uhm, what?  I was wearing jeans, a tank, and a lace-backed cardigan.  But really, was that necessary to say?  I left the store wondering if I it was a compliment or an insult.

I am the type of person that will choose comfort or "fashionable" any day.  I don't think I dress bad, but I dress in a way that I am comfortable, which involves a lot of jeans, cardigans, sweaters and t-shirts.  When I am comfortable, I am my most confident.

How about you guys?  What makes you the most confident when it comes to clothing?

Much love, Samantha

21.7.12

Book Review: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Published June 26, 2012
HarlequinTeen
304 pages (Paperback)
I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...  Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life.... (From GoodReads)
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Words do not describe the way I loved this book.  Action!  Suspense!  Romance!  Ajhbdfnb...

This book was dark and complex, but absolutely wonderful.  So these are a few of my favourite things...
  1. Kaylee and Tod.  While I was never on Team Tod, I should have been.  These two are perfect for one another.  Tod is everything Nash wasn't for Kaylee, plus some.  It's almost disgustingly cute at times.  Why can't I have a reaper boyfriend?
  2. Nash's drunk scene.  I always liked Nash.  As much as I love Kaylee and Tod together, I really feel bad for Nash.  Good people can fall into bad things.  I really loved his drunk scene and how vulnerable it made him.  So, Nash, if you ever need someone to talk to late at night, my door will be open.  ;-)
  3. Sabine.  She is my favourite character.  I always love the badass, sarcastic, occasional assholes.  But she grows a bit in this book, too.  I never thought I would hear her call Kaylee a friend.  We also see more of her vulnerable side.  I can't wait to see how Sabine develops further in With All My Soul.
  4. Main character deaths.  It's a love/hate thing for me.  As much as it sucks to see a character you love get killed, it can do so much for the story.  And Rachel Vincent is pretty damn good at killing characters.
I've enjoyed every book of this series, with If I Die being the only one I didn't read immediately after it's release.  If you had asked me after My Soul To Steal, I would have never predicted how invested I have become in these books.  The characters are wonderful.  The story is wonderful.  Everything about them is simply wonderful.

I can't wait for the next book, but am terrified of what Rachel Vincent will do.  With All My Soul is the last of the Soul Screamers, and I have a feeling we're in for an insane ending!

Much love, Samantha

20.7.12

TGIF (1): Throwback?


TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger over at GReads!  She asks a question, and everyone can get involved!

This is my first TGIF!  So, naturally, it is a week to go back and revisit a past TGIF.  I have none.  So I opted to go back and do the very first TGIF question.

Sadly, it was quite specific (and about February), so I decided to do the second question!

Are you an organized reader?  Or do you just pick up whatever book sparks your interest at that moment?

I am a little of both.  I like to make lists, so I have bunch of "to-read" lists and lists of release dates.  That's about where the organization ends.

I pick up whatever sounds good at that moment.  I try to rotate between eBooks and print, but really have no system.  For example, yesterday I had quite the internal debate on whether to start Anna Dressed In Blood or Darkness Falls, and I have no idea what I will tackle next.

How about you guys?  Are you organized readers?  Any tips for me?

Much love, Samantha

19.7.12

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Published January 1st, 2012
Poppy/Little Brown
236 pages (Hardcover)
"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. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother 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 sitting in her row.  
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?  
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. (From Goodreads)
This book has been on my TBR for ages!  Well, I finally got a copy!

Firstly, I love the cover.

Secondly, this book played out like a movie perfectly, in my head.

Thirdly, it's just a great read!

It's one of those books that gives you hope that, one day, you will find that someone.  As someone who has never been in an actual relationship (yes, that is embarrassing for me to admit), it's easy to lose hope.  But after you read something like this?  It kinda gave me butterflies.

It is also great on it's own.  I am the type of person that gets attached to characters, and loves a good trilogy or series. This book is a great stand-alone.  I was completely and utterly content with the ending, and not desperate for a sequel.

Therefore, I fully recommend this book.  It's quick read that will just give you hope for a better tomorrow.

Much love, Samantha

17.7.12

Top Ten Tuesday: For Those Who Like X Book


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Series...



Where X = Vampire Academy

I love the Vampire Academy novels by Richelle Mead.  This is no secret.  Richelle Mead is a genius.  On any given day, I can pick up any book in the series, sit down, and read the whole thing.  I can quote parts.  Rose is a role model for me.  My cousin and I named my car Dimitri.  Problem?  Likely, but I really don't care.

So here are the books/series I recommend if you also love Vampire Academy.
  1. Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian: This is book 5 in the Midnight Breed series, and just happens to feature my second favourite Russian badass and a killer female lead.
  2. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Yes, they are eerily similar.  Did I care?  Not really.  Half-Blood is another great read.
  3. Divergent by Veronica Roth: Again, strong female lead, even if Tris can be a little more stupid-reckless.
  4. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: Isabelle.  That is all.
  5. The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa: Okay, I really like strong female leads!  And forbidden romance.
Or maybe X = Speak

Louise Halse Anderson has a way with words.  I may read a lot of paranormal and urban fantasy, but I love books that depict real life in such a raw way.
  1. Crank by Ellen Hopkins: The first Ellen Hopkins book I ever read.  I have every one now.
  2. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins:  While not my favourite, this book resonated with me the most, out of all of Hopkins' books.  Perfection has long been a difficult subject for me, and I felt myself connecting with parts of each of the four characters.
  3. A Piece Of Cake by Cupcake Brown:  If you haven't heard of this book, look it up right now.  It's the memoir of a women who went from prostitution and drugs to respected, American lawyer.  Be warned, the writing is quite graphic, and will take you along on a serious emotional roller coaster.
  4. Willow by Julia Hoben: The story of a girl who is driving the car when her parents are killed.
  5. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin: I couldn't put this book down.  Her struggle dragged me in and wouldn't let go.
Much love, Samantha

16.7.12

Book Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Published May 29th, 2012
Harlequin Teen
348 pages (Paperback)
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. 

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... (From Goodreads)
Does anyone else automatically enjoy books where they share the same name as the main character?  I have this one book from my pre-teen days, All's Fair In Love, War, and High School, that I refuse to donate to the local library, simply because the main character is named Samantha.

Disclaimer: Some spoilers ahead.  Read with caution.

That being said, I didn't relate to this Samantha as much as I hoped I would.  I'm sorry but she didn't seem all that uber-careful to me.  An uber-careful individual isn't about to try and help a street kid like she does.

Angel/demon books don't usually do it for me.  Dark Kiss was better than average.  The problem is I'm not sure why.  I finished the book then sat there wondering why I liked it so much, and couldn't come up with an exact reason.

I was skeptical at first.  The whole I'm-going-to-steal-your-soul-by-kissing-you thing had me worried, but it worked for me.  As did the I-have-to-touch-you-or-go-crazy thing.  Again, I have no idea why.

The one note I did make while reading Dark Kiss... Kraven > Bishop.  He was a far more entertaining and likeable character than Bishop.  I'm predicting some love drama in future books.  Kraven just seems far more irresistable.

All I can say is good on Michelle Rowen.  She made me like a book I thought I wouldn't.  I'm looking forward to more.


Much love, Samantha

14.7.12

Book Review: Marked by Elisabeth Naughton

April 23rd, 2010
Love Spell
321 pages (Mass Market Paperback)
THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice. (From Goodreads)
Woah.  Did I like this book?  Yes.  Yes, I did.

The plot of this book was well done.  It was complex enough to keep you guessing, but not so much so that it made your brain hurt.  Greek mythology is something I know very little about, so I have no idea how accurate parts of this book were, but, frankly, I don't care.  This worked perfectly for me.

The writing reminded me of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books, and Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series.  If you've been following me for a while, you may know I adore those books.

And can you say SEXUAL TENSION?!?!  The relationship between Casey and Theron was very well written.  This was most definitely an adult read.  So I'm just gonna throw a couple (not really) teasers in here...
"She just chose to omit the fact that fact that the idea of sex with him scared the crap out of her."
"You know what they say about Canadian men.  Everything's bigger up north."
I was really intrigued by Orpheus.  He only makes a breif appearance in this book, but I hope he gets his own book.

'Cause you know I will be reading the next three that have been released.

Much love, Samantha  

13.7.12

Book Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Published April1st, 2012
Push
332 pages (Hardcover)
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.  (From Goodreads)
 This book should be required reading for all high school students.

I think it may be an age thing, but there are some nasty kids in high school.  I was never popular or pretty, but I was never on the opposite end either.  I kind of floated through my first two years under the radar, until I got involved in student council.  By the time I finished grade 12, I knew a lot of people, but only had a few real friends.  My high school had it's fair share of bullying and drama, but I honestly tried to stay out of it.  I stood up for anyone who needed a helping hand, but tried my best not to get involved.

People need to realize that what you see may not be the whole story.  I particularly liked Bridget's story.  I've struggled with my weight and body image for much of my life, and have had thoughts very similar to her own.  None of my friends from high school likely know that.

But back to The List.  I really enjoyed following a week in the life of each of the characters.  They all struggled with their titles in very different ways, and I enjoyed seeing the progression.

I wanted more from one particular character.  Candace, the ugliest sophomore, had the tag line of "Beauty isn’t just skin-deep, btw."  I was expecting a real ugly personality, but I never got that.  She wasn't nice, but she wasn't awful either.


I really want to know about the characters developed in the future!  How had their lives changed by the time the graduate?  There were so many things left hanging that I really want to know.


Much love, Samantha

11.7.12

Road Trip Wednesday: Books To Movies


It's Road Trip Wednesday, a "Blog Carnival" hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA Highway.  They pose a weekly reading/writing question, and through the comments, you can explore and find out everyone's take on the topic.

This weeks question is...
What movie have you seen that actually (gasp) IMPROVED on the book?


Y'all are going to think I'm nuts, but I really don't watch a ton of movies.  I like going to the theatre, but I'm not one to actually sit down on my couch and watch something.  Plus, the movies I tend to like are the ones that everyone else doesn't.

Crazy attractive actors help... 
So, I'm going to cheat again, and choose a TV show.  I don't watch a ton of TV either, but let me say that THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is a huge improvement on the books.

I have the first book of the series, which I attempted to read way back before the show started.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't get into the story at all, and felt no connection to any of the characters.  Then I started watching the television version with a good friend of mine, and we fell in love.

Honestly, I didn't see much of the last season, thanks to school.  I do plan on catching up on it though.  It was so much easier to connect with the characters on screen.  That being said, I have no idea how far the TV version strays from the original books.

How about you guys?  Any books-turned-movies you recommend I actually watch?

Much love, Samantha
P.S. In case you're curious, my favourite movies are Stick It (Missy Peregrym is badass) and The Covenant (ladies, please check out the swimming scene [Taylor Kitsch in very little clothing]).

10.7.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Guys


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

And it's a Freebie Week, meaning I really had to syphon some creative juices!

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Fictional Guys That Have Ruined Real Guys For Me

I am a hopeless romantic, so naturally I become quite attached to the fictional men in my life.  It's a problem. I'm working on it, which is difficult when a super-hot, amazing-in-every-way love interest is basically a requirement in YA novels.  And let's not get me started on those paranormal romances my mother keeps supplying me with.  Also, the YA Crush Tourney is on right now.  If you don't know what that is, click the link.

As some sort of therapy exercise, I'm going to list the best of the best.  But first...

Disclaimer #1:  This post is loaded with sarcasm.  Please don't take it too seriously.
Disclaimer #2: Some of my explainations contain hardcore spoilers.  Sorry, but I thought I would warn you.
  1. Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy): This one is a no brainer for me.  I think he was my first legit book crush, and has set a high standard.  And by high, I am referring to height.  6'7" seems a reasonable expectation for guys.  Okay, maybe they don't have to be quite that tall.  I am only 5'4" myself.  He's also badass, and Russian, and self-sacrificing, and badass, and likes to read, and badass.  Okay, I'm stopping now.
  2. Ash (The Iron Fey):  Uhm, he became a Knight for the girl he loved, prepared do die right along with her.  Then when she sent him away, he did the impossible and became human for her?!?!  How the f--k do you not swoon over that?!?!
  3. Tod Hudson (Soul Screamers):  Yes, I am a bandwagon fan.  I used to love Nash, until Kaylee started dating Tod and I came to my senses.  Don't get me wrong, I love Nash too, but the guy has a few issues to work out.  Tod is almost too perfect.  He'd give up his own afterlife for her.  Wait, I see a theme here...
  4. Tobias (Divergent): He's smart, can hold his own in a fight, stands up for what's right, and isn't afraid of a gun.  I think we could cause some serious mayhem together.
  5. Vishous (Black Dagger Brotherhood): Ain't a Top Ten Tuesday by Samantha without a BDB reference.  Frankly, any of the brothers could belong on this list.  They all give a new meaning to sex appeal.  But Vishous has tattoos and knows his baseball stats.  Although I would have to convert him to the Jays first.  Can't have him cheer for those division rival Red Sox.  Oh, I forgot to mention the Leather...
  6. Hunter (Midnight Breed): While his story has been my least favourite of the series, he, as a character, is my favourite (Niko is a very close second).  I have a problem where I just love assassins.  While I do not condone killing, there is something seriously sexy about a guy who can kill with his bare hands.
  7. Jace Lightwood/Herondale (The Mortal Instruments):  Dangerous!  Self-sacrificing!  Wow, this list really does have some reoccurring themes.  But let's all be honest here.  Jace's sarcasm and snark, that's hot.  He's full of himself, but still sensitive.  And speaking of Herondale's...
  8. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices): He quotes Dickens!  And hates ducks!  And how self-sacrificing is he, with that curse and all?  Seriously kids, them Herondale's have good genes.
  9. Oliver (The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight): If you haven't read this book, you should, because Oliver is too amazing.  Guys should take a lesson from him.
  10. Aiden (The Covenant):  The most recent addition to my mental list of swoon-worthy guys is kind of a combonation of Jace and Dimitri.  He's practically torturing himself to protect Alex.  And he's tall, dark, and handsome.  If he doesn't belong on this list, I don't know who does.
Honourable Mention goes to Perry from Under The Never Sky.  Leather pants + rugged hunter = unf.

Much love, Samantha

9.7.12

Book Review: Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

October 4th, 2011
Grand Central Publishing
241 pages (Hardcover)
"Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing." Ellen Degeneres' winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.  (From GoodReads)
This book was not that funny.

When I picked up this book I was expecting one big Ellen monolouge, like at the beginning of her show.  But it just didn't cut it.  Yes, there were a couple jokes that made me laugh, but overall I was let down.

I have a theory though.  I think this book would be better as an audiobook.  Normally, I can't stand audiobooks.  However, I think the funny-ness factor would be stronger if Ellen read her book to me.

The best part of the book is when she is discussing gift giving.  I have always stood by the belief that my birthday is the best, because it is the perfect distance from Christmas.  Then I read this...
Anyway, if your birthday is on Christmas day and you’re not Jesus, you should start telling people your birthday is on June 9 or something. Just read up on the traits of a Gemini. Suddenly you’re a multitasker who loves the color yellow.
Can you guess when my birthday is...

Much love, Samantha 
P.S. I am also a multitasker who loves the colour yellow!  *gasp*

7.7.12

Across The Universe Trilogy Has New Covers!


I love them!  Like love LOVE them.  Not just like-love.  Love-love.

These new covers were released yesterday on wired.com.  This is also the first reveal (that I know of) for Shades of Earth, which is to be released January 2013.

I have read and reviewed both Across the Universe and A Million Suns (not yet posted), and truly enjoyed both books, but I completely agree with the Wired article.  These new covers will definitely increase the number of readers.  My brother read Across the Universe and liked it as well.  I decided to ask him which book he would pick up, if he saw both copies of Across the Universe in the bookstore.  He said he would rather pick up the original, but he's nuts, so we're going to ignore his opinion.  So I tried again with A Million Suns, which he hasn't read yet, and he liked the new cover better.

As much as I hate to admit it, I do tend to judge a book by it's cover, and I know I'm not the only one.  A cover won't make me not read a book, but we tend to pick up books that catch our eye.

All in all, I love the new covers, and I think more guys will be tempted to check out the new series.  Now I am even more excited for January to come, and for me to get my greedy hands on Shades of Earth!

Much love, Samantha

6.7.12

Coffee Talk #4: Reunions, Movies, and Saving Lives

So lately I haven't been giving this blog as much attention as it deserves.  I try to respond to comments and check out other blogs, and have been doing a pretty crap job.  Honestly, I don't really have a good excuse.  I could say it's because I work everyday, but only work about 5-6 hours a day.

So, here is my pledge to you guys that I will get back to dedicating more time to the blog-o-sphere.

And I'll start with an update on my existance life.

Reunions
I was at work the other night, when a couple of my really good friends stopped by to surprise me.  Since I wasn't busy, I even got to sit and talk for a while.  Up to this point, my week had been going terribly, with the highlight of locking my keys in my car with a whole pile of ice cream earlier that day.  Anyway, they decided to stick around while I finished work, and we rushed to go see a movie.
How does anyone not love this man?

Movies
We saw Snow White and the Huntsman.  We managed to get there only a couple minutes late.  I liked the movie (Charlize Theron was creepy!), but I saw two distinct problems...

  • Kristen Stewart.  I'm sorry, but could you not have shown even a little emotion?  And why was your dialogue so forced?  That was some seriously bad acting right there.
  • The ending.  Why was the whole romance subplot left hanging?  Yes, it is implied that she ends up with The Huntsman, but really?  You're just gonna end it with no resolution whatsoever?  Plus, I was rooting for the other guy.  Thor is mine.
Fix those, and you've got yourself a movie.  

Random thought: Imagine Chris Hemsworth in Magic Mike?  Now that would be a good movie...

Saving Lives
Tomorrow, I get to recertify my CPR.  Again.  I have to every year.  CPR doesn't change all that much over the course of a year.  Neither does my routine of sitting there, eating snacks and pretending to pay attention. Maybe I will add planning blog posts to the list this year.  I think I choreographed a dance last year?

Okay, that sounds really bad on my part.  I promise that I do actually know how to properly perform CPR.

All this means that I am in for a particularly boring Saturday.  Just thought I would share that little factoid, and tell you all to enjoy your Saturday for me.

Much love, Samantha

5.7.12

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

February 28th, 2012
HarperTeen
375 pages (Hardcover)
I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
A girl I used to take dance classes with called this book "a waste of paper" on her Facebook.  Uhm, what?  You can't be serious.  Okay, so a couple things annoyed me, but, damn, did I like this book.

The structure was frustrating at first.  The book flips between "Then" and "Now", and it took nearly the whole book for me to get used to that.  I mean, the events aren't hard to separate, but I found it just messed with the flow of the book.

Then I couldn't keep track of the characters in the "Then" chunks.  Plus, the only one I held ANY interest in was Hunter, who there was not nearly enough of.  I wanted more Hunter.  And more character development here.

Yet, with an ending like this one had, I was left wanting so much more.  Seriously, that was brutal.  Just when I started to REALLY like Julian...

Much love, Samantha  

4.7.12

Road Trip Wednesday: What superlative would you win?

It's Road Trip Wednesday, a "Blog Carnival" hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA Highway.  They pose a weekly reading/writing question, and through the comments, you can explore and find out everyone's take on the topic.

This weeks question is...
What yearbook "most" category (superlative) would your character win?


Me, just after Graduation.
Cheating time!  I am not really I writer (at least not right now).  So I'm just going to talk about myself!  Ha!

My high school didn't do superlatives.  I think it might be more of an American thing?  Chances are I wouldn't have won anything anyways, I kind of fluttered around the middle of the pack.  So here are some entirely random superlatives that I could have potentially won, under the correct circumstances...

Best Nickname (Presto-Change-o): I honestly don't even remember how this nickname started, but by the time I graduated, the whole school, including teachers and office staff, was using it.
Worst Hair:  I have thick, black hair that rarely cooperated.
Most likely to become a doctor:  I was smart.  Not really a cool story here.
Most likely to blog about books: I've always been the go-to person for book recommendations.  My friends actually blame me for obsessions, on occasion.
Most likely to fall down the stairs at graduation:  Yes, I am that kid.

Much love, Samantha

3.7.12

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People Who Like X Author

Source

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at

This week, the topic is...
Top Ten Books For People Who Like...


Cassandra Clare.


Cassandra Clare is the author of the wonderfully amazing Mortal Instrument series and Infernal Devices trilogy.  Her novels create a magical world that I would love to live in, and mesh all the paranormal genres we love.  So if you like her books, I recommend...
  1. The Soul Screamers novels by Rachel Vincent: Mostly because it's another epic series, and because Nash/Kaylee/Tod kinda reminds me of Will/Tessa/Jem.
  2. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Forbidden romance that's very different from, but at the magnitude of Jace/Clary.
  3. Grave Mercy by Jessica Spotswood: There is no way that I am the only one that now has a thing for Victorian men, thanks to Will Herondale.  Grave Mercy isn't Victorian, but it's still got an old-world feel to it!
  4. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Not for any particular reason other than I think the writing is similar.
  5. A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickins: Any fan of her work likely has a copy of this classic already.
  6. Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian: Hot men killing stuff!  Tegan is like Jace for grown-ups!  Note that this is book 3 in the series.
  7. Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward: More hot men killing stuff!  And Rhage is like Jace for grown-ups!  Trust that I can fit a BDB book into any list.  Note that this is book 2 in the series.
  8. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward: HOT MEN KILLING STUFF!  And Tohr is like Will for grown-ups?  Okay, I am definitely pulling at strings now...
Okay, that's all I could come up with.  What is with all these hard topics?!?!  I like a challenge, but I am excited for a freebie next week...

Much love, Samantha

1.7.12

Happy Canada Day!

Source
To all my Canadian readers, Happy Canada Day!

I am truly proud to be a Canadian, and am thankful for all this land has given me.  There is no where else in the world I would rather call home.

I hope you all had a wonderful day, filled with loved ones and laughter.  I spent mine at work, continuing to perfect the art form that is gravy.  Tonight will be spent with my family, creeping on the fireworks that any of my neighbours set off!

Much love, Samantha
P.S. Happy Free Agency Day to all you NHL fans!  Hope no one's heart got too broken!