Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Siblings

Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Jessi of Novel Heartbeat. Each week, we share a little about ourselves and our real lives so we can get to know the people behind the blogs!

This week we're talking about siblings. I'm lucky enough to have two awesome brothers: Dan and Scott. Technically they're my half brothers, but we're fairly close and I'm also close with their dad's side of the family. They are both a lot older than me (14 years and 12 years), so we're kind of half a generation apart. That didn't stop my brother Scott from teasing me non-stop when I was little! He constantly would flick me in the back of the head when we were driving and once pushed me down, stood on my hair and poked me, saying "Get up Megan! Get up!"

These days I don't see my brother Dan as much as I'd like, since he lives a 10 hour drive away. I see my brother Scott fairly often, since he's only an hour away.

Did I mention they're both cowboys!?

My brother Scott and I at my grad
My brother Dan and sister-in-law Helen

I'd love to here about your siblings!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Dove Arising

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick: Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom:  that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Haunting and prescient, Dove Arising heralds the emergence of a bold new voice in science fiction.

This one sounds SO GOOD! It comes out February 2015, so way far away! :(

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Crewel

Title: Crewel
Author: Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Source: I received a complimentary eARC in exchange for a honest review.

Incapable. Awkward. Artless. 
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail. 

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

Crewel was a fun, original dystopian with a snarky heroine and villains you love to hate. Like most dystopians, Adelice's entire existence is tightly controlled by an extremely involved government, in this case, The Guild. Boys and girls grow up in segregated neighbourhoods, jobs are government assigned, marriages are arranged and every year the government takes a select few girls away to the glamorous world of the Spinsters. But, like most dystopians, things aren't always what they seem when you go down the rabbit hole.

Adelice was a likable heroine. She was rebellious, relatively smart, mouthy and fiercely protective of her little sister. My only complaint is that I felt like Adelice's character was a bit inconsistent in the first half of the book. Sometimes she was snarky and other times she was much more meek. However, in the second half she was much more consistently snarky.

I will admit there's a bit of a love triangle in this one, but not too much. Things seemed to have mostly resolved themselves by the end, so I don't foresee too much of that in future books (but who knows). Both boys were fairly charming and likable, although one seemed much more sincere.

The world building was pretty interesting. Spinsters and weaving felt very original to me, which served to set it apart from other dystopian stories. Thankfully, we do get some answers, which is nice for a first book in a series. Of course, there are tons more questions left unanswered, especially after the events of the last chapter. The believability of the world is pretty iffie, but I fairly easily got past that and enjoyed the world.

I also enjoyed the villains. Of course, the big bad government is easy to hate, but we also got a few faces to direct our anger towards. Cormac made me feel icky just reading about him. He's so creepy and sleazy and gross. Then there was Maela. She so ambitious that it has turned her very cruel and the worst part is I feel like it's all for nothing.

Overall, Crewel was very original and I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read the next book in the series!

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Don't Just Take My Word For It:
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme by Tynga's Reviews to share the books you've recently acquired.

So far behind, so this will be a big one!


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison 
Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
- Thank you Tor for these two!

Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata - Thanks to Merit Press!

Doctor Who: The Bog Warrior by Cecelia Ahern
Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere by Jenny Colgan
- Thanks to BBC Digital and Netgalley!

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini - Thanks to Feiwel and Friends and Netgalley

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore - Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada and Netgalley

Nihal of the Land of Wind by Licia Troisi - Thanks to Open Road Media and Netgalley


Hothouse Flower by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie - Thanks to Krista and Bessa and all the blogs on the tour!
The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow - Thanks Harlequin and all the blogs on the tour!
Sweet Evil swag - Thanks to Bewitched Bookworms and Wendy Higgins!


Dearly Departed by Lia Habel - I've read this one, but I loved it and wanted a copy and it was on sale.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WoW: Sister's Fate

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:

Sister's Fate by Jessica Spotswood

WARNING: Blurb contains major spoilers of previous books.

A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England. 

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.

This is a book I am so excited to read! I love this series so much and it will be bittersweet to see it end this summer. I miss the old cover style though. :(

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Camelot Burning

Title: Camelot Burning
Author: Kathryn Rose
Series: Metal and Lace #1
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: May 8, 2014
Source: I received a complimentary eARC in exchange for a honest review.

By day, Vivienne is Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. By night, she's Merlin's secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It's a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn't include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur's sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn't have Merlin's weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

I really wanted to like this one! I did! A retelling with steampunk elements? That sounds right up my alley!

Unfortunately, this book didn't work for me. This biggest problem for me was the world-building. I love creative takes on old stories, but I need to understand what is going on. I felt very lost through a lot of the book. I still have no clue what "stealing magic" means or why it's a bad thing or how it is different from alchemy, which just seems like enchanting metal. I also didn't understand anything about the world outside of Camelot. The author mentioned real places like Jerusalem and Spain and Greece, but also Lyonesse, which I don't think is a real country (although I imagine it as being near France). Maybe all of this is explained in the old Arthurian legends and the read is expected to know or look it up. Either way, I was confused and I really wish magic and alchemy had both been explained better. 

My other big issue was with Vivienne. I just didn't really like her. She is supposed to be super gifted at alchemy, but her thoughts and narration don't strike me as all that intelligent. Plus partway through the book, she announces that she doesn't like horses, so that was a deal breaker for me.

The third issue I had was totally personal, but I'm really not a fan of forbidden romances, especially when I don't understand why they are forbidden. Vivienne's love interest is a squire, who will take a vow of celibacy when he becomes a knight. Yet in other parts of the book, it talks about knights sleeping with women, so I don't get it. I think celibacy is stupid anyway.

Basically, I still think this could have been an okay read for me if the world-building had been a bit better and had more clearly explained what magic and alchemy were and the difference between them and why magic was bad and why you had to steal it in the first place and... you get the idea.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life of a Blogger: 101 Things I Love

Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Jessi of Novel Heartbeat. Each week, we share a little about ourselves and our real lives so we can get to know the people behind the blogs!

Wow, 101 things?! I better get going.

1. My boyfriend
2. My family
3. My cat
4. My horse
5. Candy
6. Cookies
7. Vietnamese subs
8. Horses
9. Giraffes
10. Elephants
12. Going on vacation
13. Napping
14. Blankets
15. Friends
16. Milkshakes
17. Freddie Mercury
18. Dancing like an idiot
19. Weddings
20. Tea
21. Baking
22. Riding my horse
23. Board games
24. Going to Spruce Meadows to watch show jumping
25. Sunshine
26. Chocolate
27. Cats
28. Dogs
29. Spring
30. Baby animals!
31. Crocus flowers
32. Skyrim
33. Jack White
34. Books
35. Blogging
36. Sewing
37. Wearing costumes
38. ComicCons
39. Going somewhere new
40. Couponing
41. Mountains
42. The ocean
43. Trees
44. Cacti
45.Laughing until my face hurts
46. Hot chocolate on a cold day
47. Crawling into bed when I'm really tired
48. Playing Hide and Seek or Kick the Can
49. Christmas
50. Eating stuffing
51. Camping
52. Fishing
53. Lying on the couch
54. Visiting museums
55. Doctor Who
56. Johnny Depp
57. Bundt cake
58. Bread
59. Vinegar
60. Garlic
61. Pasta
62. Log rides
63. Victorian dresses
64. Stripes
65. Hiking
66. The country
67. Carebears
68. Game of Thrones
69. Firefly
70. Curly hair
71. Singing in the car
72. Getting books in the mail
73. Ice cream cake
74. Birthday parties
75. Adventures
76. Double decker buses (I actually rode in one in London)
77. Fallout 3
78. Rainbows
79. Taking photos
80. Looking at old photos
81. Root beer floats
82. Old Disney movies
83. Watching live theatre
84. Colouring books
85. Children's drawings
86. Winning (I'm a little competitive)
87. Watching dog agility
88. Smiles
89. Harry Potter
90. The smell of leather
91. Piano music
92. The smell of freshly baked bread
93. Stretching
94. Book signings
95. Cream cheese
96. Most cheese
97. Cozy slippers
98. Flavoured lip balm
99. Playing sports (except golf)
100. Seeing wild animals
101. Being alive

Whew! That was a lot! Do any of my loves match up with yours?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Mortal Danger

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Guess what? I'm back into WoW! I love seeing what's coming up on everyone's blogs and waned to join into the fun once again.

This week's pick:

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...

I haven't read anything by Ann Aguirre yet, but this one sounds really good! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: Secrets and Lies

Title: Secrets and Lies
Author: Jacqueline Green
Series: Truth or Dare #2
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: I received a complimentary ARC in exchange for a honest review.

Can you keep a secret?
Tenley Reed and Sydney Morgan have never seen eye to eye -- until now. United by a common goal, they are determined to find out who was behind their friend's murder. Joined by Emerson Cunningham, a gorgeous but troubled teen model, the girls start their own investigation. But in the isolated beach town of Echo Bay, it's hard to know who's a friend and who's an enemy.
Secrets and Lies is the second book in the Truth or Dare series -- and will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end

After the last page twist at the end of Truth or Dare, the game has gotten more dangerous for Tenley and Sydney. And a new player has been added to the game: gorgeous but troubled Emerson, Caitlyn's best friend. After the ending of book one, the darer has upped the stakes and the girls now fear for their lives.

My favourite of the three girls is currently Emerson. I still find Tenley really manipulative and unlikable and Sydney a bit boring. Emerson I really felt for, although I was screaming inside at her a few times. Especially about Josh, who seems like a YA dream boy.

Most of the plot in this installment consists of the girls trying to figure out the identity of the darer, following the darer's instructions and debating whether to go to the cops. The girls learn that the scope of the darer's plans is bigger than they first imagined. I found it a bit frustrating how the darer seemed to be everywhere and know everything (this is explained a bit at the end of the book). I think this aspect was meant to be terrifying (which it would be in real life), but instead I found myself getting frustrated at the seemingly impossibility of the logistics of things. I think that really stopped me from being totally invested in the story and really hurt the creepy factor for me.

With that same, I definitely plan to continue this series. I need to know who the darer is! I'm also really curious to see how far the darer has gone and possibility how long they have been at it. So the whole aspect of not-knowing has definitely got me hooked on this series, despite it's flaws.

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