Mystic City – A world of romance and magic

Mystic City is not the Manhattan we know today.

In this Manhattan, the city is mostly flooded and the rich live high in the sky in a series of skyscrapers known as The Aeries. The poor live below in an area known as The Depths. The Mystics also live in the squalor of the Depths, especially the ones who haven’t been drained of their magic.

Aria Rose is from one of  Mystic City’s most elite families.  She is engaged to Thomas Foster, son of another elite family and formerly her families bitter rival. The problem is that Aria can not remember falling in love with Thomas and her quest to bring back her memories is what this story is all about. Her quest for the knowledge she’s lost takes her deep into the depths and more deeply into the world of unregistered Mystics.  It gets her a job where she learns things about her family that she didn’t want to know. It teaches her that you can’t always believe what you think you see to be the truth. It introduces her to Hunter, an unregistered Mystic that she should feel afraid of but instead feels familiar, who rescues her on her first foray into The Depths.

Yes,  Mystic City has a Romeo and Juliet-esque feel to it. Yes, it is full of magic and forbidden love. Yes, it is a sweeping tale of good vs evil, right vs wrong. It is all of those things and then some. Yes it would make a fabulous movie.

For many readers this will be a story to devour in one sitting. It will be the story that they are dying to read more of.  I found it to be a very good read. Intriguing, mysterious, entertaining and full of romantic moments. There are characters to love and hate and despair over. I truly enjoyed all of it.

I give this book a total of 4 out of 5 reads. I will choose it for book club. There are a number of regulars I can recommend it to but it was not the You Have To Read This! book that I can recommend to everyone. It’s up there though. I predict that Mystic City will find quite the fan base.

For fans of Divergent, Delirium, Starters, Meridian, etc..

*Advance Readers copy received from Random House.

Spark Contes from The Midnight Garden

There is an incredibly fun review and contest over at the Midnight Garden that you may be very tempted to entered. In fact you may find yourself feeling compelled to enter. But don’t, it leads to a highly contagious disease known as Merrickitis!

Just in case you can’t get past the desire to enter here’s a link.

http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2012/09/spark-elemental-2-review-giveaway.html#

Save yourself!

They Came. We Saw. They Conquered!!!

Today was the BIG EVENT!!!

I’ve been waiting 9 months and it finally came, The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour rocked Chapters Dartmouth!

Though the turn out wasn’t quite the numbers I had hoped for the authors were incredible and enthusiastic. They had the crowd laughing, cheering and  quivering with anticipation. Participants came from near and far to see their favourite authors and ask the questions they were dying to have answered.

Though all of the authors were incredible I have to say that Sarah Rees Brennan stole the show. She made many new fans today. I’m told it was her first Canadian signing and I am glad I was there to see it. She was promoting her newest book, Unspoken, which is a favourite of mine but her wonderfully cheery disposition has enticed me to now read her Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy.

Here she is crawling across a table to play host:

 

She caught me off guard which is why it’s a little blurry.

 

The panel included Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, the incredible brains behind the Smart Chicks Kick it Tour! I am so grateful they put this together. I can’t wait to read their collaborative book called Loki’s Wolves:The Blackwell Pages Book 1. And I swear one of these days I WILL get to the RT Book Lovers Convention where they do an amazing job with the YA events. At least from what I’ve seen in the magazine.

 

 

I got to meet Jeri Smith-Ready who writes a fabulous YA trilogy about ghosts (and their rights) and her awesome series for adults the first of which is called Wicked Game and is centered around a radio station owned and operated by Vampires but run by their former con-artist turned marketing manager Ciara.  All of the authors are very interactive online with their fans but Jeri takes it a step further with her WVMP website and playlists or Twitter accounts for some of her characters

www.wvmpradio.com

I went into this event as a huge fan of Kelley and Jeri, a recent (yet passionate fan) of Melissa Marr and Sarah Rees Brennan. Both Carnival of Souls and Unspoken -respectively-  Enthralled me.

I just started reading Charles de Lint’s novel Under My Skin which I am really enjoying and will recommend to fans of Kelley’s YA Trilogies but I have to say honestly I have only read book one of Melissa De La Cruz’s teen series and have just purchased, like yesterday, her first adult novel Witches of East End. I love that events like this can lead people (myself included) to try new authors.

 

So now the event is over, facebook has exploded with posts and pictures, and we are home (or on our way home) happy with our autographed books.

I can not thank the authors enough for including us in this tour. I hope it will help us to entice more authors to the East Coast. A round of applause to all the fans who came out bringing a wealth of questions and enthsiasm but most importantly for making all the authors feel welcomed.

And the staff.  My wonderfully supportive co-workers and managers who support these crazy ideas of mine and work hard to make them so successful. Julianne and Nicole, part of the book club and a couple of fans who missed the event to run the best ever bake sell to raise money for The Love of Reading Fund! The managers and Mathieu for organizing everything. The on duty staff who help fans and customers alike. You are inspirational and make work fun! Thank you.

To the former staff members who came out to make the event a success especially Becky,  photographer extraordinaire and soon to be internet critic supreme.

Check her out at IronGrayPhotography or on YouTube at 

Last but not least to the members of book club and honorary member Samantha who came in early to set up, help with the bake sale, keep the lines moving and so on. We did it!!!!! Thank you all for your hard work. I say we aim for the RT Convention in 2014.

www.kelleyarmstrong.com

www.melissa-marr.com

sarahreesbrennan.com

www.jerismithready.com

charlesdelint

www.melissa-delacruz.com

 

 

Turn It UP!!!

 

I have recently discovered Songza! If you have already discovered it then you may understand my excitement and all of the exclamation marks used here. If not then get on over there and find out for yourself the Awesomeness that is Songza.

songza.com

Okay so maybe it’s not that exciting but I love different kinds of music and to find a site with so many varied playlists to share and listen to makes me a little exuberant.

I have only just started using Songza and have already discovered several  ‘New To Me’  artists. It’s great to choose a playlist, press play and either enter a whole new world -which for me is Hip Hop or Dance- or flow into old favourites like 60’s Doo Wop or Today’s Pop.

Even better is when a song I don’t know comes on while I’m blogging or on Facebook I can click over to songza where it will tell me the song title and artist. Then I can search the site for more songs by that artist or similar types of songs.

I think I’ll let some of my favourite authors know about Songza if they don’t already. It would be a great place to post their book playlists.

Bring on the new music and Turn It UP!!!!!

Unspoken Book One of The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

 

In the little town of Sorry-in -the-Vale Kami Glass is a bit of an outsider. Everyone knows that Kami talks to an imaginary friend and always has. The problem is that at 17 she still talks to that voice in her head. No one knows her, understands her like Jared does. Not even her best friend Angela, one of the most beautiful (and tired) girls in the whole school.

Despite living in Sorry-in-the-Vale her whole life there are things about the town and the people who live there that Kami never knew. The return of the Lynburn’s is about to change all that!

The Lynburn’s have always been both revered and feared for the power they wield and Kami is determined to find out all she can about the family for an issue of the school paper. With some sleuthing and the help of her friends she is sure she can find out who is responsible for terrifying the town. What her mother is hiding. And how she feels about Jared now that she knows he is real and not a figment of her imagination.

Sarah Rees Brennan has written a spectacular modern day Gothic novel full of romance, intrigue and magic. The story flows smoothly from one thrilling event after another. The language and descriptive phrasing is beautifully eloquent. Unspoken is a full course meal that feeds the appetite and staves off the hunger we often feel when we need a great new book to sink our teeth into.

Kami is a determined young lady with a wonderful fashion sense and a great sense of humour. She is the kind of character you can imagine yourself being friends with.

Jared is the boy everyone thinks of as the bad boy. But is he? Is it Kami’s faith in him that will save him or does he need to believe in himself before he can live up to his full potential. And boy does Jared have plenty of potential!

Unspoken is filled with a cast of characters guaranteed to find a place on your favourites list. Kami, Jared, their friends, their families, the townsfolk, even the woods and town themselves, you’ll find yourself  revisiting  this unforgettably magical world often.

http://sarahreesbrennan.com/

 

 

Boarding The Love Boat

We all have our favourite tv shows from childhood and The Love Boat was one of mine.

Like Fantasy Island it was chock full of fabulous guest stars. All the people from all my other favourite shows boarded this ship.  Both serious and funny it addressed so many different issues in relationships with families, friends and yes the romantic ones too.

I recently picked up the first season on DVD to relive some of those great moments and I instantly whisked back several decades.  Although a  little saddened by the visual reminders of all the amazing actors and actresses we have lost since the show aired I was at the same time happy to see them doing what they did best. Entertain us.

Within the first few episodes I watched John Ritter follow the girl of his dreams on the ship only to find that the only cabin available is a shared one and could only be rented to a woman. Watching John in drag, the Captain flirting with him and him comforting/falling for his companion brought me back to Three’s Company. While Suzanne Sommer’s character ( a married three times rich woman) was nothing like her TC character Chrissy.

I saw Sherman Helmsley play The Sausage King. He and his wife resolved their marriage issues after getting stuck in the elevator. It cracked me up when he put her on his shoulders in an attempt to get out. She was twice his size!

One of my favourite episodes so far had Kristy McNichol and Scott Baio as 12 or 13 year old’s. Scott’s character is uncomfortable around girls as he attends an all boys school and continuously reverts to a character called The Claw. Despite this, they manage to share their first kiss and become boyfriend/girlfriend.

The Love Boat seems to be one of the few shows from that generation that is not as well known as say the Brady Bunch or Happy Days. Originally airing in 1977 it ran for 10 seasons (I think).  I was only 6 when it started but I remember watching and loving it in my early teens.

A charming and funny series that is surprisingly still relevant today.

I think I’ll lend my first season DVD’s to my 15 year old niece (she loves Laverne & Shirley) when I’m done and see what she thinks of it. I am looking forward to discovering another familiar face on the next episode as I cruise down memory lane (or ocean as the case may be).

 

The Bridge

The Bridge begins with a small group of kids trying to survive in a war they suddenly find themselves participating in when just two weeks ago it was something they knew existed but was vaguely on the periphery of the world.

Nik is in school and has been fiercely studying so that when the time comes he will be excepted into the ISIS (Internal Security and Intelligence Services) unlike his friends at school, Nik is an orphan. He is also different in both looks and attitude. For example he has learned to speak Breken from one of the guards at the school. Something that becomes very useful when he finds himself (along with Fyffe) across the bridge in Moldam (enemy territory) looking for Sol (Fy’s 8 year old brother) who has been kidnapped.

Jane Higgins has written a good story that falls into the very popular dystopian fiction genre. It is a story that speaks of prejudice and corrupted power. It speaks of how easily we as humans can turn on each other. Of the constantly ongoing battle of right and wrong, good and evil. Of hope.

In the beginning I found myself struggling to find an interest in the story. I was instantly encouraged by how well I felt I knew the characters but that interest started to fade with the never ending overload of information about this new world I found myself in. Names of new cities, peoples, etc were constantly coming up and frankly I found it annoying.

But half way through the story I was so invested  in the characters and their story that I moved past that and was able to engross myself in their world and endure their struggles with them. By the end of the story I was looking forward to finding out what their future will be.

This is a good story for fans of Maze Runner, Blood Red Road and others of that ilk.

You can find out more about Jane Higgins and The Bridge at her website.

http://www.janehiggins.co.nz

Including  (but not limited to) this trailer for The Bridge.