Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! :D

2011 Wrap-up Post

2011 has been a great year for blogging. It's pretty much the only FULL year I've been blogging, so YAY! It's been a great year, "met" more people in the Blogosphere, got to know some of you all, blogged more and generally, it's just been fantastic.

Here's some Stats:

I've posted 372 posts this year (or...now 373) which is a big improvement from last year, which was 80 posts.

I completed 95 (!) book reviews this year. Wowie... and darn it. Only 5 more, then it could have been 100!

I made it up to 198 GFC followers, 361 Twitter Followers, and a Klout Score of 46. So thank you all out there. It means the world to me that you follow my blog :)

ANNNDDDD...my Goodreads Reading Challenge shows me that I read: 136 books. 
Not as much as I'd aimed for (150) but an okay score. I did much better last year :S but in 2012 I'm setting the same goal and I'm gonna make it!

Things I have to do going INTO 2012:

I still have 38 reviews in my review piles. This is gonna be tricky to tackle.

I still have 18 (e)books from 2011 that I need to read for review.

and of course, the majority of January is going into my exams to get into IB... fabulous. 

But I'll get through it somehow. It's not gonna be as bad.

2012 is gonna ROCK!

...and don't forget to vote Books I Live to Read For – click HERE.

(Nearly) 200 Followers!

AHH!!! I can't believe it! I'm nearly at 200 (GFC) FOLLOWERS!

I was kinda bored, and of course, with studying for exams, I just wanted to see how things were doing and WOWIE. I look at my Blogger Dashboard and see that I'm only 3 away from the big 2-OH-OH! :D Thank you all so much for following, it really means the world to me.

AAAANNNDDD and reminder:

Vote for your fave 2011 books in....*drumroll pleasee...*

Click HERE to go to the original post and find out how you could vote.

Movie Reviews (10)

To take a short break on reading, here's another love of mine: watching movies! And thus, (mini) Movie Reviews was born.

Tower Heist (2011)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 4 stars

This one was SERIOUSLY hilarious. Like, one of the funniest films of the year. A great plot, fantastic characters and amazing action and dialogue. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in one movie– come on! How could you pass up an opportunity like that?
The only problem I can find with this movie is that it's not for younger viewers, because there's A LOT of language, stuff if I were a parent, I wouldn't want my kid to see.
Overall, love the actors, each add something amazing to this movie. I would recommend this to people who loved R.E.D. and Knight and Day.

The Proposal (2009)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 4 stars

Another hilarious movie, with (the extremely hawt) Ryan Reynolds and uptight Sandra Bullock who can apparently, be funny! Nothing against her or anything, she's an amazing actress, but I'd pegged her for more of the "serious" film type of person. But she proves me wrong :)
The whole plot makes sense, the humor is incredibly hilarious and this is the perfect chick-flick! It's got comedy, romance, great actors– what more do you need? And plus... a really cute puppy :)
I would recommend this to people who loved Definitely, Maybe and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

That's all for this week, I've got some more great films I can't wait to review :) So tell me,

Watch anything good recently?

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 38

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm DYING to get my hands on.

This week's WoW is:
Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

 Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

Release Date: January 3, 2012

This one sounds pretty creepy, but with a hilarious tone to it. Mysterious, and I definitely wanna get to know that stepbrother of hers ;). Totally can't wait for this one!

What are you waiting on?

Books I Live to Read For 2011

Hey Guys!

Some of you (not many, I'm sure) may have known about "Books I Love 2010" which was basically the 2010 awards for books. Well...

It's been completed RE-VAMPED.
The name has now been changed to:

Books I Live to Read For 2011

makes more sense anyway.

This year, here are the categories:

  • Best Book of 2011
  • Best Debut of 2011
  • Best Sequel 0f 2011
  • Best Middle Grade of 2011
  • Best Female Main Character
  • Best Male Main Character
  • Best Love Interest
  • Best Baddie
  • Best Cover 2011
  • Best Book-to-Movie

and there will be two winners for each category: YOUR pick and mine (enter it in the FORM). And the books have to be published during THIS year.

I know there's too much of 2011 left, and plus I have exams coming up, so here's the deal: This awards will run until February 12th, 2012 (My birthday :D) and then the winners will be announced. 

Most likely, there will be a giveaway at the end as well :) got my fingers crossed!

Happy voting and may the best books win!

Top Ten Tuesday – Week 24

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I haven't been doing these lately, but I just gotta do one more for 2011 :) because this one's a great one. Today's top ten is:

Top Ten Books of 2011

Because this one's a real toughie (and so many good books this year :S) I've divided it into the top one per month (when I read the book). So, let's see how this goes!

January ● Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
The Luxe was an amazing series, and Bright Young Things is as good. I haven't been able to get my hands on the second book, Beautiful Days but I hope to in the new year.
Runner-up: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.

February ● Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
I can see now why everyone absolutely LOVES this book. There's something beautiful, yet horrifying as the book unravels and gods, it nearly made me cry. The movie was also really great too!
Runner-up: Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink.

March The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
ARGH, this month was a toughie. But I have to say, this series is one of the best paranormal's I've EVER read. 
Runner-up: Paper Towns by John Green.

April Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
Clicking the "Request" button on NetGalley was a good decision because I'm IN LOVE with this book series. Need the second one right now!
Runner-up: Populazzi by Elise Allen

O.M.G. This month is a terrible month because I read so many fantastic books that I can't pick just ONE. I'm tempted to say, like ALL the books I read this month, but here are my faves: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, Die for Me by Amy Plum, Dreamland by Sarah DessenThe Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff and Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott.

June Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Definitely one of the most original books, and the most gorgeous covers of the year. Loved it! Can't wait for A Million Suns :)
Runner-up: (This one was also a toughie) Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess.

July Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
EEPPP!! Loved this book. Like, I can't say how much I loved it enough :D
Runner-up: And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky.

August Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Love any kind of Mythology (especially Greek) so this one's a definite thumbs-up from me.
Runner-up: Clean by Amy Reed

September Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Extremely heart-breaking, and to think, this stuff actually happened! Sigh, really sad, but a gorgeous book.
Runner-up: IT'S A TIE! Matched by Ally Condie and Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.

October Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I still totally regret not reading this one earlier. Pandemonium, book 2, is my number one NEED in 2012.
Runner-up: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.

November The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
This dystopian was a non-stop read for me. Loved it from start to finish and absolutely love the concept :)
Runner-up: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

December Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
And...the last month! As mentioned before, I love Greek mythology, although this was more historical (yet...mythological) the writing mesmerized me and totally caught my attention. I only read this a couple days ago, but I love it the best this month!
Runner-up: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley.

Well, there you have it folks. My not-exactly-ten list :)

What's your top ten?

Goodbye for a little while...

Hey Guys

Because I've got exams coming up in early January, I won't be able to do too many posts. Just the odd few in between when I have time. But since it's Grade 10 exams for IB, it's pretty serious, so I'll be "gone" until January 20th. In the meantime,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and have a great holiday :)

Happy Reading as well ;D

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Release Date: May 1, 2008
Publisher: Point
Series: Scarlett, Book 1
Rating: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler.

And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

When I first started this book I kinda thought it was like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Minus the twins, the rich girl and the temperamental manager. Suite Scarlett is a cute book about the hotel business, acting, discovering love and finding yourself. The perfect summer novel!

I didn't find that Scarlett had that certain...spark. At first. I thought she was a little mild, not too exciting, just wanted to please her parents and do what she's told. As the story progresses forward, Scarlett opens up and things get a little more exciting.
Unlike my usual boy "fan-girling" moments, I have to say, I wasn't too attracted to Eric that much. YES he made me feel all good and stuff, but...he unfortunately, lost his spark near the end. I liked him enough to gush about him (in my mind) at first, but now that I think about it, he wasn't anyone really special, or even that great. I don't know. But he's still a great character and adds spice to the story!

I have to say though, I loved the supporting cast. Mrs. Amberson, how awesome is she?! Honestly, I thought she could be the best character in this whole novel. Spencer was hilarious, although I found his jealousy over Scarlett and Eric's relationship a little bit...weird. I liked Lola and Marlene enough, but felt that they should have been more involved in the book.
This book has a TON of acting in it. Like, no kidding. I take drama as part of my IGCSE program, and I'm gonna take it in IB as well, so this book was like a total helper for me. Looking at Hamlet, and how they put the whole thing together– I loved it! Great for theatre geeks and drama queens ;).

I've never read Maureen Johnson's novels, only heard about them. Suite Scarlett was a great beginning to what I'm sure will not be the last I read of Johnson's books. It's cute, quirky, and got that humor that everyone loves. Actors, businessmen, readers, and lovers in a complicated relationships: pick up this book! It's got YOU written all over it. Can't wait to pick up book 2, Scarlett Fever.

If you like this, try...

Other Covers available:

(English, French)

Movie Reviews (9)

Other than reading, which is the love of my life, I spend some quality time with another hobby of mine: watching movies. So every once in a while (okay... once a week), I do movie reviews, to take a break from the books.

Source Code (2011)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 4.5 stars

I absolutely loved this one. It's almost as good as Inception! Gyllenhaal is AMAZING in this one. Great concept and it's got the action that everyone loves. Also that whole psychological thing, that something's off, and there's a catch to the whole plot. Great acting, great action and overall, a fantastic movie.
Recommended for all ages, although it'll be a little tricky to wrap your head around everything :)

If you like this, try: The Adjustment Bureau, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Inception.

The Three Musketeers (2011)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 3 stars

This wasn't as good as I expected, unfortunately. After my sister forcing me to watch the trailer countless times and it looked like an amazing movie. But when I went to go watch it in theaters, it wasn't great. Lerman, I'm sad to say, acted like a present day teenager, which is not, I'm sure, what they were aiming for. The three musketeers themselves were pretty good, and there was some good humor from the king.
I'd recommend this to those who'd want some action and some romance along with it.

If you like this, try: Prince of Persia, Troy, Pirates of the Caribbean

That's it for this week, but I've watched some amazing movies lately, and totally can't wait to share them :)

Seen any good movies lately?

Books to Pine For (6)

Books to Pine For is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's to spotlight books which are coming out or have come out, and I'm DYING or "pining" to get my hands on. Some are repeated on the Waiting on Wednesday posts :)

Mirage by Kristi Cook ◆ June 5, 2012 ◆ Goodreads
Absolutely LOVED Haven and dying to dive back into Violet's life...and of course, have more Aiden :)

A Million Suns by Beth Revis ◆ January 10, 2012 ◆ Goodreads
NEED NEED NEED. Gorgeous cover and Across the Universe was brilliant! Can't wait to get my meaty paws on this one.

The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams ◆ January 3, 2012 Goodreads
This one sounds like a really cute contemp... and has some pretty hawt guys by the sound of it ;D

Battle Scars by Cesya Marae Cuono ◆ 2012 Goodreads
With that ending I need MORE!!

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey ◆ December 8, 2011 Goodreads
Seriously, if (a) I didn't have exams coming up and (b) had suddenly some cash, I would immediately go down to the bookstore to get this. *sigh*...

Ruthless by Sara Shepard ◆ December 6, 2011 Goodreads
Same with Shattered Souls, I can't wait to get to reading this.

Gorgeous covers, great storylines. Can't wait to get to read some of these! What are you pining for?

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: YA 14+
Format: eBook
Source: Pulse It
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both. 

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

There's something about a beach, a new adventure and love, and memories of loss that's always alluring in a book. Moonglass is a book I'd been pining for a while, seeing multiple reviews and the cover popping up everywhere. The cover itself is gorgeous, with the glowing moon and the couple hand in hand walking on the beach, which really made me think that it would be a fabulous romance story. That's where I got it wrong. Not the fabulous part of course, because it was. It wasn't just about romance and the usual teen boy-girl thing seen in YA books. It's much more– about discovering clues about the past and piecing them together.

In this novel, Anna the main character is closed-off, reserved and wants to start over. I guess that's understandable, as if I were in her place, I wouldn't want anyone finding out about my past. I also love her seaglass collection, it sound beautiful and has so many memories attached to it. The pain and emotions she feels in this book are described so well that you feel empathic– feeling her loss. And what is it with girl MC's all loving to run? What is with that? This is yet ANOTHER book which has a girl obsessed with running. Just pointing it out.
TYLER. TYLER. TYLER. Hottie and a life guard?! Boy of my dreams. *sigh* too bad he isn't real. Ashley was also another cute character which I couldn't help but fall in love with. She totally goes against the stereotype of a popular or girly-girl. She's determined and a little clueless, but that's what makes her adorable!

I love how Kirby adds in details about what happened to Anna's mom piece by piece. The way she tells it makes it sounds like a chilling ghost story. It's beautifully described, in a haunting tone and the sheer emotion which comes from the simple words used to tell exactly what happened, really gets to you.
I also like the whole background story, about the people that lived there, how it all ties up in the end, the connections of the place and Anna's history, the clues she discovers– all make one brilliant beach read.

Jessi Kirby has written a fabulous debut, twisted in unexpected ways to make it even better than it already is. Cute and mysterious, this beach read will have you wishing for waves and hot lifeguards, for summer nights and bonfires. Can't wait for her second novel, In Honor to come out!

If you like this, try...

Other covers available:

Dust Collectors (4)

Dust Collectors is a weekly meme hosted by Alex at Electrifying Reviews. It's to spotlight two books that have been sitting "collecting dust" for a while and YOU guys should tell me which one to read.

Beautiful Darkness (The Caster Chronicles #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl ◆ Goodreads
Stargazer (Evernight #2) by Claudia Gray Goodreads

Which one should I read?

Waiting on Wednesday - Week 38

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming reads which I'm dying to get my hands on! Some are repeated on Books to Pine For posts :).

This week's WoW is:
Thumped by Megan McCafferty

It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!
Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.
The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:

Tell the truth.

Release Date: April 24, 2012

I enjoyed the first book Bumped and it's quite an original concept, and even more a dystopian! Gotta get my hands on it :)

What are you waiting on?

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Rating: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Who is the real McLean? 

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

Like with every other Sarah Dessen book, I couldn't help but fall in love with What Happened to Goodbye.
I like the idea for this story. As I've moved around a lot, it's quite easy to change personalities (not that I do of course) but I can see how McLean would want to hide the past and change her life with every time she relocates with her dad.

McLean reminds me a lot of Remy from This Lullaby. They're both headstrong girls, who don't easily let people into their life. However, I felt that her relationship with her mom could have been a little bit better (although I understand somewhat WHY she ignores her mom), but come on! It's your mom. Talk to her once in a while!
Anddddd... Dave. I have to admit though, I was a little disappointed. There wasn't much action between Dave and McLean! But I think he's a great guy for her :)

I found the story really heartwarming and it was touching to see the transition that McLean makes, by opening up to people and letting them into her life. Dessen has written another gem.
What Happened to Goodbye is surely a Sarah Dessen book which is a MUST-READ (but then, which book of hers isn't?). The writing and emotions, McLean's story and her new life in a new town– all fabulous. Un-put-downable, I loved this one from start to finish.

If you like this, try...
  • Stay by Deb Caletti ◆ Goodreads
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Goodreads
  • Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott Goodreads
  • Moonglass by Jessi Kirby Goodreads
  • Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt Goodreads
  • Love Story by Jennifer Echols Goodreads
  • The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder Goodreads

Other covers available:

Movie Reviews (8)

Sometimes I take a little break from the love of my life (reading) and spend some quality time with another love of mine: watching movies. So here's my "thing" where I review 2 movies each time, once or twice each week :).

Leap Year (2010)

Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode
Rated: PG
My Rating: 2.5 stars

Erm...not the best movie I've ever seen. But definitely not the worst either.
I just found this movie extremely cheesy (I have no idea where my mom picked this movie up from), although the good concept of the tradition of Leap Year's Day. I don't have anything against her, but I usually find Amy Adam's acting very...whiny, and this was probably the worst movie I've seen her in. There wasn't too many funny scenes, because a lot of them contained her freaking out or panicking over something, but I love the wedding scene :).
Wouldn't really recommend it, only if you probably have nothing to do. I love the accents, the scenery, the superstitions, and the cows.

When In Rome (2010)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel
Rated: PG-13
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Also not such a bad movie, but not the best. Much funnier than Leap Year though!
I definitely loved the humor (there was tons of it) and the whole concept of magic and romance. It's really hilarious when these guys start following her around!
I found, like with Amy Adams, that Kristen Bell wasn't so good. I mean, nothing she really did made me laugh. Josh Duhamel on the other hand was funny at times. Most of the laughs will come from the love-struck guys, I assure you.
Other than that, it's pretty cute, wouldn't really be the "top" movie to see, but definitely has something.

That's all for this week (or a couple of days :P) so tell me,

Which movie(s) should I definitely watch?