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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post

This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

It's over :(

The Winnipeg Jets lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 last Sunday, which knocked them out of the series.

It was a good run, and we are so proud of our Winnipeg Jets for making history. They have never made it this far in the play-offs before, and they made it further than any other Canadian team. They gained valuable experience and are going to come back better, which will make the next season even more exciting!

Best of all, Laine finally shaved! 😄

I bought this at Audible's 2-for-1 sale this week:

by Scott Sigler

The First Taste
by Jessica Hawkins

I bought this Daily Steal at Downpour this week:

by Jeff VanderMeer
(Southern Reach, Book #2)
I still need to read the first one!

I received these audiobooks for review - creepy ones that I can't wait to get into!

Backwoods Ripper
by Anna Willett

The Nightmare Room
by Chris Sorensen
(The Messy Man, Book #1)

Thanks again, Tantor Audio!

Yay!! SYNC is back!! If you are not familiar with this program, you can download two audiobooks FOR FREE every week for the next 9 weeks. The only catch is that you have to download them before they are replaced with a new pair every Thursday at 7:00 a.m. EST. Once you download them, you can listen at your leisure and they are yours to keep forever!

Here is some info on this week's offerings:

Here we are at Week 5 of SYNC’s ninth season! How’s all the listening going where you are? We’d love to see you share your responses and pictures, too, on any of the social channels we follow (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, too).

This week our audiobook pair features two novels, one realistic and the other touched by magic and fantasy. From Dreamscape Media, Sandhya Menon’s WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, performed in two voices by Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam, offers a story for both romantics and more practically-minded listeners. High school grads Dimple and Rishi wind up in the same summer web development program, at first unaware that their traditionalist parents have picked out prospective spouses for each of them. That’s certainly not a topic Dimple is interested in pursuing….until…well, sometimes the heart takes us to unexpected conclusions. This title was NPR’s Book of the Year (2017) and is noted on the 2018 Amelia Bloomer List of feminist books for youth.

Paired with this realistic romance is the BAKER’S MAGIC of Diane Zahler’s fantasy, performed for Live Oak Media by a full cast that includes Tavia Gilbert, Michael Crouch, Stephen DeRosa, Kenneth Cavett, L.J. Ganser, Robin Miles, Stina Nielsen, and Elisabeth Rodgers. A baker’s apprentice whose craft seems to reflect her moods, an evil magician, pirates, and a princess all have roles in this lighthearted tale. There’s plenty of music, too, for listeners who need to catch their breath between chapters. You might want to bake before sitting down to listen so you have plenty of pastries on hand when your stomach adds its chords.

Our selections for SYNC reflect the range of interests and ages teen listeners include. This week’s pair offers something for younger teens, in BAKER’S MAGIC, and, in WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, teens getting ready to break away from childhood after high school. Of course, many listeners will be interested in both ends of the spectrum; that’s the beauty of audiobooks, which give every listener the opportunity to explore a wide range of writing and performance styles.

Happy SYNC season to all! Now download this fifth pair and start listening! Go HERE.

by Sandhya Menon

by Diane Zahler

Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Comparisons - Yeah or Nay?

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, May 25, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Stung by Bethany Wiggins @WiggB @TantorAudio

TITLE: Stung
AUTHOR: Bethany Wiggins
NARRATOR: Nicole Poole
PUBLISHER: Tantor Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 12, 2017 (first published 2013)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 30 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781541477414
There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.


I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

I love dystopia, and I was really interested to read this one which sounded so creepy. I really enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel!

The main character is Fiona. When she awakens, she's in her bedroom but it doesn't look the same. Everything is dirty and faded. As she wanders around the house, she sees her reflection in the mirror and at first thinks she's looking at her older sister Alyssa and then realizes that it's her own reflection. She is looking at a grown-up version of herself. She went to sleep as a 13-year-old, and she woke up as a 17-year-old and has no memory of anything that has happened during the past four years. She also has a tattoo on her hand (an oval mark with five lines on each side), and something tells her that she must hide the mark.

Fiona hears a man coming up the stairs, and she gets scared and tries to flee. She manages to get away, and she realizes the man chasing her is her twin brother Jonas...only he's changed too. He's not the same. There's something almost feral about him, and that's why Fiona runs. As she gets away, she can hear dogs barking and guns going off and people screaming. Someone grabs her arm and tells her to jump through the manhole into the sewer to escape if she wants to live.

The first couple of chapters are so fast paced and exciting, which totally sucked me into this strange new world. Poor Fiona! This book has been likened to a Sleeping Beauty reimagining, but the only thing that is similar between this story and the fairy tale is that the main character goes to sleep and stays asleep while years pass and that things are very different when she awakens. So, if you are looking for a fairy tale retelling, this isn't it! However, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I found Fiona's world fascinating, where it's dangerous to be a Level 10 (more on that later) and more dangerous to be a girl. She learns that people started having bad reactions to a vaccination, which causes them to become violent. The tattoo on her hand shows that she was vaccinated and the lines mean that she was given ten doses. She's known as what is called a Level 10, which are highly prized specimens because they are on the brink of "turning" or have already turned and the people that want her (the raiders) will put her in a pen to fight against other infected people. The militia has built a wall around the city, and only the uninfected people are allowed in. They also won't let in anyone with any physical or mental disability, and the girls are married off at 15 years of age. Once you hit that magic 55, you are put to an animal.

There is a lot going on with this one, and I really like what I see so far. There's even a bit of a forbidden romance between Fiona and her old neighbour, who now works for the militia. I have already bought the sequel, Cured, and I can't wait to read it!

Nicole Poole brought a great book to the next level with her stellar narration. Her pace was perfect, and I thought her vocalizations were ideally suited to the characters. Here is a sample of the narration:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy mysteries. Thanks again to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @PRHAudio

TITLE: The Chalk Man
AUTHOR: C.J. Tudor
NARRATOR: Euan Morton
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: January 9, 2018
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 39 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9780525526384
In 1986, Eddie and his friend are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he's put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank... until one of them turns up dead. That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

This book has been on my radar ever since I saw Stephen King's tweet recommending this book. I really enjoyed this debut, and I would definitely read more from this author.

The prologue starts off very creepy, with an unnamed person finding a girl's head on a pile of leaves and putting it in a bag that already contained pieces of chalk. The police find the dismembered body of the girl, but not the head.

The story is told from the point of view of Eddie, with the timeline moving from the present day (2016) to the past (1986). One of Eddie's childhood friends comes back into his life after 30 years, and he tells Eddie that he wants to write a book about the tragedy that happened back in 1986 when the kids were 12 years old. They get together one evening at Eddie's house, but his friend never makes it back to the hotel. His body is found in the river.

Tudor unravels the past while simultaneously doling out pieces in the present to connect the two time periods. There is much more going on than first meets the eye, and it seems like every person has a dark side!

Euan Morton is a great narrator, and he made me feel the intensity of Eddie's emotions. He had me caught up in all the drama, and it was a pleasure to listen to him. Here is a sample of the narration:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy mysteries. Thanks again to Penguin Random House Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for The Capture by Kathryn Lasky @KathrynLasky1 @Scholastic @scholasticCDA

TITLE: The Capture
SERIES: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #1
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2010 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 222 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780545253062
Soren is born in the forest of Tyto, a tranquil kingdom where the Barn Owls dwell. But lurking evil threatens to shatter peace and change the course of his life. Captured for a forbidding canyon orphanage, Soren and his friend Gylfie know that the only way out is up. To escape, they will need to do something they have never done before - fly. With owls Twighlight and Digger, they seek the truth and protect the owl world from unimaginable danger.


I'm reading Erin Hunter's Warriors series aloud to my younger daughter, and this is another animal fantasy series that is often recommended as a "readalike."

The main character in this story is a Barn Owl named Soren. While his parents are out hunting one night, Soren "falls" from the nest and is snatched up by another owl and carried off along with other "abandoned" or "orphaned" owlets to a place called St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls or "St. Aggie's" for short. Here, he meets an Elf Owl named Gylfie and the two become friends. The first order of business at St. Aggie's is to "moon blink" the new recruits, which is a process by which they forget who they are and where they came from. Soren and Gylfie find a way to remain unmoonblinked (if that's such a word), and they witness things going on. They know that they must travel to the legendary Great Ga'Hoole Tree to ask for help and to warn them what is happening at St. Aggie's, and the two friends escape. They make friends along the way with two other solitary owls, Digger and Twilight.

I liked the book, though I don't think it can compare to Hunter's Warriors series! However, if you enjoy animal fantasy stories, you will probably enjoy this one. Soren is a very likeable character, and he will make a great hero as the series goes on.

After we read this book, we have watched the 2010 film adaptation, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. It appears that this film is an overview of the entire series so, unfortunately, we know how the rest of the series will play out but we really enjoyed it. My daughter initially said that she wasn't sure whether she wanted to continue the series but, after watching the movie, she decided that she wanted to read more and we are currently reading the second book in the series, The Journey.


3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White @kierstenwhite @DelacortePress

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

AUTHOR: Kiersten White
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical, Retellings
ISBN: 9780525577942
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

I was pretty underwhelmed when I read Shelley's Frankenstein last year, but I really enjoyed Suzanne Weyn's Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters! I'm hoping that I enjoy this one just as much.

What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bout of Books 22 Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post #boutofbooks

This is my Wrap-up Post for the Bout of Books 22 Read-a-Thon!

I finished two audiobooks this time around:

by Shari Lapena
[on my iPod]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
[on my iPod]

I'm Still Reading:

The Deep
by Nick Cutter

Wherever I Find Myself: Stories by Canadian Immigrant Women
editd by Miriam Matejova

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working For Your Good
by Joel Osteen

A Dangerous Path
by Erin Hunter
(Warriors, Book #5)
[read-aloud to my daughter]

The Journey
by Kathryn Lasky
(Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #2)
[read-aloud to my daughter]

I loved participating in the daily challenges on Twitter. I only missed the last two because they were on the weekend and I was trying to stay off the computer:

Here was the one update that I posted on Twitter:

Thanks again to Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal for hosting! I'm looking forward to Bout of Books 23 in August!

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Comparisons - Yeah or Nay?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week, they post a new question. Everyone is welcome to join!

Are you more/less inclined to read books that are compared to other popular books or authors?

Yes and no.

On the one hand, when a book is described as being "the next Harry Potter" or some other ridiculous comparison, I think it's a set-up for failure! I mean, really?! What can even compare to Harry Potter?? Anything compared to something so legendary is never going to be as good as the real deal so. I don't want something that's a weak imitation of Harry Potter. So, comparisons to other popular books makes me cringe slightly.

However, I actually do like when author comparisons are made, for example: "For fans of Gillian Flynn." I see this most often on debut novels or lesser known works. Seeing this does catch my eye and makes me pick up a book that I would ordinarily pass by because I'm not familiar with the author. When I see an author comparison like that and I do like the author, I'm definitely more inclined to pick it up. I do this a lot with library books.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!
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