Monday, December 30, 2013

This Little Piggy, by Craig McGray

This Little Piggy by Craig McGray was disgusting. McGray did not hold anything back. It was one of the most graphic stories I have read in a while.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to read, so I opened up one of my reading apps, scrolled around with my eyes closed and landed on this little story. Did I really feel like reading a horror short story, no, but I'm glad I did. I downloaded This Little Piggy ages ago and never got around to reading it. I'm glad I finally read it, but now I'm looking for something light and fluffy. 

This Little Piggy had a few great surprises.  The characters are not who you think they are when you meet them. The scene was dark. Disgusting. Appropriate to the story being told. I might read more from McGray, though I'll have to be prepared for graphic. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2013 Edition!

This is the third time I’ve done Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey.  I really enjoy it.  I like looking back each year at my life in books. I've been above normal busy, so my answers might not be as long as normal, but it’s still fun.  If you do a survey, leave a message in the comments so I can come visit!  Make sure to visit Jamie's site, filled with links to more book surveys!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
This one is so difficult.  I read some amazing books in 2013.  I’m going to list five that I loved.... Redshirts, by John Scalzi; The Deception of Livvy Higgs, by Donna Morrissey; Prodigy, by Marie Lu; MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood; The Little Sisters of Eluria, by Stephen King.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
This one is actually more difficult than the first question.  I loved everything I read this year.  I was surprised by a lot of books, but none of them disappointed me.  You can check out my Goodreads list for 2013.  All except one book is four or five stars.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
I was surprised by how much I loved Soak, by Kerri Cull.  It’s a short book of poetry, and it had a coherence I didn’t expect.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
I’m going to do a three-way tie for this one: Redshirts, by John Scalzi; The Deception of Livvy Higgs, by Donna Morrissey; Horns, by Joe Hill

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Legend, by Marie Lu.  I just got a copy of Champion and I can’t wait to read it!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
I’m cheating again: Marie Lu, John Scalzi & Morgan Rhodes.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The poetry I read this year was out of my comfort zone, Sonnets From The Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Soak, by Kerri Cull.  Both have really encouraged me to read more poetry.  The God Box, by Mary Lou Quinlan was also out of my comfort zone as I don’t read a lot of non-fiction or religious material, but I found the feminist angle in the second half of the book interesting.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
I’m going to echo Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner and say Prodigy, by Marie Lu (and Legend too!)... and Redshirts... and All The Wrong Questions.... and The Cuckoo’s Calling ... I’ll stop now.

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don’t re-read a lot, but if I did I’d read... Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, by Seth Grahme-Smith
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Everything’s Eventual, by Stephen King

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
June, from the Legend series

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Deception of Livvy Higgs, by Donna Morrissey & Villette, by Charlotte Bronte

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
All of them?

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Emma, by Jane Austen

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“…as the online world became more and more pre-edited and slicked up, and as even its so-called reality sites raised questions about authenticity in the minds of the viewers, the rough, unpolished physical world was taking on a mystic allure.” (pg 169, MaddAddam)

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Longest: Villette, by Charlotte Bronte

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth – ‘nuff said.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Livvy Higgs & Gen from The Deception of Livvy Higgs
Toby & Blackbeard from MaddAddam

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood & Carrie, by Stephen King

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
I think fantasy, in one form or another.  YA, Adult, Urban, High....

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
I don’t think I have a new fictional crush.  All my loves are still the same...

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Newfoundland & Nova Scotia during WWII in The Deception of Livvy Higgs.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseinni

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes.   I just didn’t get the same level of buzz about it as some other YA novels.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Since I just read When Did You See Her Last?, I think I’m focused on the next book in the All The Wrong Questions series.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don’t know... none? All?

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
Ignite Me, by Taherah Mafi

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
I hope to find a better reading/writing/life balance.

Thanks for making it through the whole survey!  What are your answers to these very important questions? Let me know if you’ve completed this survey or have any other end-of-year posts.  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

When Did You See Her Last?

I had a great time reading the second book of Lemony Snicket's new series, All The Wrong Questions. When Did You See Her Last? was a fantastic, fun novel.  I couldn't put it down.  It was an entertaining, clever, happy and sad.  I loved it.  When I read the first book I was excited and not disappointed. I very much enjoyed Who Could It Be At This Hour? It was so much like A Series of Unfortunate Events that I had to find out when book 2 would be released.  When I got my hands on it, I couldn't wait to find out what was happening to young Lemony Snicket and the people of Stain'd-by-the-Sea.

Snicket writes that All The Wrong Questions is going to be four tales about how he asked four wrong questions (though apparently he's coming out with a book, 2.5).  The stories tell you why these were the wrong questions to ask and what Snicket should have asked instead.  I think it's a clever way to form a story, through specific questions and whether they are right or wrong. In Snicket's case, the answers tend to lead to more questions (which is probably why they were the wrong questions to ask in the first place.)

Like A Series of Unfortunate Events, the adults do not listen to the children. Even Snicket's chaperone, who is supposed to be training him, dismisses him. Snicket has had an "unusual education" and she is aware of that.  I also enjoy the calling out of parents who think their child is perfect, but is a troublemaker. It's so frustrating when the adults don't listen to the children, or underestimate them.  I love Moxie, Ellington, Pip, Squeak and all the friends young Snicket makes.  I can't wait to read more about all of them in book 2.5 and three.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Time Machine

I love The Time Machine.  I loved it the first time I read it and I still do.  I read The Time Machine a long time ago, in my second year of University and it is when I became a fan of H.G. Wells. It led me to read The Island of Dr. Moreau and War of the Worlds and contributed to my interest in classic science fiction and fantasy.

The Time Machine is Wells's science-fiction commentary on the social classes of his time.  It's a brilliant, sad, exciting story.  It's also a very short novel, practically a novella by today's standards, and Wells packed in a lot.  The unnamed narrator travels to the year 802,701 AD.  There the world is very different from what it was in the 19th century.  People aren't quite people anymore.  The Time Traveler (who some posit could represent Wells himself) goes through many different theories before arriving at the "correct" one in the end. (Are we actually sure it's correct?  The Time Traveler has skipped over more than 800 000 years of evolution, though his final theory makes the most sense from his perspective.)  

The Time Traveler goes through a change over the course of his experiences with the Eloi and the Morlocks. I think his friends, especially the narrator go through a change as well, as they listen to the Time Traveler's story.  There's a mystery left in the end and I think it was fantastic.  I can't recommend The Time Machine enough to fans of science fiction and classics.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I've been thinking about what to write for Joe Hill's novel Horns for a while now.  I really enjoyed it.  It is a haunting, chilling tale.  Joe Hill creates characters you love, you empathize with, then they're gone.  Merrin, the girl who dies (part of the premise of the book) is a great girl.  Hill makes you love her.  While you are getting to know her, it's sad, because you know she's going to die and you know how.  It's awful, but in a way that serves the story. The novel is fantastic, though I found myself putting it down when I felt emotional.

I loved Ig Perish.  He was amazing, quirky and sweet. I was always rooting for him. I wanted Iggy to be happy. I wanted him to get justice (revenge). I wanted the truth to be known. Iggy was a fantastic, engaging main character and I was excited to be with him through his journey. I also enjoyed Ig's brother Terry.  He was an interesting character, thought to be the ideal son, but changes and becomes more. Many of the characters were more than what they first appear to be.  Of course, Ig's new ability is what allows us easy access to their inner most thoughts.

Horns has definitely made me a Joe Hill fan.  I picked up Heart-Shaped Box not that long ago and I'm eager to read it now.  I've also been hearing fantastic things about NOS4A2 and if it's anything like Horns, I'm excited to read that too.

Also, movie.  I'd like to see it.