Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Contest: A Day in the Life with author Jennifer Estep

Today I introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Estep.  My best pal, Natasha, first introduced me to Jennifer by way of lending me her much loved copy of Karma Girl and I have been hooked ever since.  Her books are hilarious, with non stop action, kick ass female heroines and introduced me to my one and only book boyfriend, Finnegan,  from the Elemental Assassins series. 

 Whats a Typical day like for you?

JE: I get up, have breakfast, and then turn on the computer and get to work. I check e-mail and my social media sites before tackling whatever writing or other project needs to get done that day. I take a couple of breaks for lunch, etc., but Im usually at my computer most of the day. If Im on a roll or if something needs to get done, Ill keep on working until its finished.

What books have most influenced your life most?

JE: Some of my favorite authors include Robin McKinley, Ian Fleming, Donald Westlake, David Eddings, Robert Parker, and too many others to name. Every time I read a great book, it always inspires me to try to write something as good one day.

 What was the first story you remember writing -- this could even be something you wrote in Grade 1?

JE: One thing I remember is writing a fairy tale for one of my English classes in high school. I dont remember what the story was about, but I remember thinking that it was a fun assignment.
How do you deal with negative reviews?

JE: Reading is so subjective, and everyone has different tastes. What one person likes, another person wont like, so I just try to take negative reviews with a grain of salt. However, I will look at negative (and positive) reviews just to see what did or didnt work for folks or maybe some things I could improve on in future books. You always want to keep growing as a writer, and I always try to make the next book better than the one before it.
What are you working on now?

JE: Im working on the next books in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. Since Im writing two series, theres always something to be done, whether its writing the next book or working on copy edits and page proofs for books that are closer to being published.
If you could be one of the characters in your books, who would it be?

JE: I think it would be cool to be as strong and confident as Gin Blanco, aka the assassin the Spider from my Elemental Assassin books.
What One book would you bring if you were stuck on a desert Island?

JE: Beauty by Robin McKinley. Its a lovely retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

IF you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

JE: I think it would be fun to have some sort of teleportation power, so you could instantly go anywhere you wanted to.

What are you reading now?

JE: Ive got several books in my TBR pile, including Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter; About That Night by Julie James; and Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas. So Im looking forward to reading those and the other books in my TBR pile, as well as trying some new authors this year.

About Jennifer

 Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When shes not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an objects history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series for Berkley. The Bigtime books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love.

Jennifer has worked as a features writer and page designer for a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper and has more than 10 years of journalism experience. Shes a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups. Jennifers books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications. 

You can follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter and at

Prize: copy of Dark Frost
Ends: June 9th
Details: In Comments section answer the following: What Superpower would you like to have & please leave a way to contact you if you win 
US/Canada Only

In addition to the copy of Dark Frost being offered up by Jennifer, don't forget every comment made on the A Day in the Life series will be entered into a special contest at the end of the year to win a prize pack with books from all of the authors who participated. 

Jennifer Estep Book Reviews on Misbehavin Librarian

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Spider's Revenge (Elemental Assassin #5)
by Jennifer Estep
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9264-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Old habits die hard. And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through. Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, Im ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen.

Oh, I dont think the mission will be easy, but turns out its a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows Im coming for her. So now Im up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sisters head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second.

Good thing Ive got my powerful Stone and Ice magic and my irresistible lover Owen Grayson to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and theres a chance I wont survive. But if Im going down, then Mabs coming with matter what I have to do to make that happen.

The Good Stuff
  • I cannot say what my favorite part of this was without ruining the whole book so just trust me if you have read the series so far,  you will be cheering 
  • Lots of Finnegan - my book boyfriend (call me sweetheart, I may not look like much but I would so rock your world)
  • Plenty of Jennifer's signature hilarious dialogue and food references -- you will laugh your ass off and crave meat at the same time (FYI, never read her books on an empty stomach)
  • Awesome cover
  • Fast paced on the edge of your seat action on many occasions
  • Some good naughty stuff -- (cough cough call me Finn or Owen, not really picky)
  • Fabulous and intriguing secondary characters
  • Did I mention Finn
  • Gin is really developing into a wonderfully richly drawn character -- who is seriously kick ass (I want to be her -- well without having to kill people or have seen my mom and sis murdered part)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Lots of repetition of plot points -- you get used to it after a while, but just wanted to warn you
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Besides, vamps could live a long time, and prostitution was the world's oldest profession. It was always nice to have a skill to fall back on, especially given these tough economic times."

"To say that Finnegan Lane was something of a womanizer was like telling someone that it was a little steamy in the south in the summertime. Old, young, fat, thin, blonde, brunette, bald, toothless, face like a steel trap, Finn didn't care as long as it was breathing, female and had breasts to prove it.  He wasn't even particular about how perky they were. Finn regarded pesky little things like wedding bands, engagement rings, and jealous, hulking menfolk more as amusing challenges than immovable obstacles that could be hazardous to his health. It always amazed me that some jilted husband hadn't hired me, the Spider, to kill my faster brother long ago."

"My foster brother said something to her, then pulled out the white silk handkerchief from the breast pocket of his suit. He passed the delicate fabric to Bria, who used it to wipe some of the blood of her face. Oh, yeah, Finn had it bad for my sister if he was offering up his precious silk to her."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • If you have read the rest of the series, you will thoroughly enjoy
  • If you haven't read the series -- get thee to a book store (or library) immediately and buy the whole series (If you haven't read it - you can start with this one, she gives enough back story that you can enjoy)
  • If you like Urban Fantasy laced with humour and yummy slightly naughty boys -- this is for you
4.25 Dewey's

I purchased this at Indigo and am not required to review -- but well, ya know I love me my Jennifer Estep and have to share

Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Addict's Haul

Can't Think of a Name as of yet, so this is what I am going for instead of In My Mailbox or Mailbox Monday

For Review
Thanks William Morrow

Thanks Random House

Indigo Summer Preview
Thanks Cammy and Crew at Indigo (Will post about event later)

Thanks HarperCollins Canada

Birthday Present from Jenn

From Get Nailed Launch
From Indigo Yonge/Bloor
From Indigo Yonge/Eglinton
From Indigo Yorkdale

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter
ISBN: 978-0-06-192812-3
Buy from Indigo
Release Date: June 12, 2012

Description: The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lotsearching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motionalong with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams

The Good Stuff
  • A truly unique and imaginative tale, the Donner party film pitch alone is worth the price of the book
  • Beautifully written, this author has a true gift for characterization
  • I won't lie, I started reading and was worried that I was going to hate it, but it slowly grew on me.  This story in a lesser novelists hands would have failed miserably, but Walters has the chops to make it work.  This is the type of story I usually do not enjoy, but let me tell you it really is truly beautiful and wise so give it a chance
  • Honest and real, heartrendingly sad, yet hopeful and beautiful
  • Nostalgic - you really feel you are part of  1962
  • Richard Burton and Liz Taylor are intertwined throughout the story
  • Pasquale is such a richly written and oh so very real and delightful character
  • Darkly funny at the right moments
  • Makes you think about your life and what you want/need
  • Enjoyed how all of the stories came together in a smooth unforced way
 The Not So Good Stuff
  • Drags a wee bit
  • Depressing at times
  • I personally felt there were too many voices for the story, but that is just my opinion - not a judgement against the story
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He didn't think of Heaven as a smiling place. If mortal sinners went to Hell and venal sinners like himself went to Purgatory, then Heaven had to be full of no one but saints, priests, nuns and baptized babies who died before they had a chance to do anything wrong."

"In that doomed final month of the marriage - in what felt like a live autopsy of his manhood - Saundra tried to make him feel "better" by insisting it wasn't entirely his fault; he was part of a ruined generation of young men coddled by their parents-by their mothers especially - raised on unearned self-esteem, in a bubble of over-affection, in a sad incubator of phony achievement."

"Of course I'd arranged abortions before. I worked in publicity. It was practically on the business card. But this was Italy. Catholic Italy 1962. At that time it would have been easier to get a moon rock."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Not for those looking for a fast paced exciting read, this is one you savor my friends
  • Fabulous for those looking for something just a little bit different

3.75 Dewey's

I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Day in the Life with Laura Moriarty

Today I bring you  Laura Moriarty, author of The Chaperone

Whats a Typical day like for you?  

When Im not teaching (Im a creative writing professor at the University of Kansas), I write every weekday while my daughter is at school, and my goal is always a thousand words a day. Sometimes that takes three hours, and sometimes it takes seven. 
What was the first story you remember writing?

When I was in grade school, I wrote a long story about a girl who was horribly jealous of her sisters accomplishments. My mother of course worried that I was jealous of one of my sisters, and she kept asking me about it. I remember being perplexed by her worry, because I wasnt particularly jealous of anyone Id just made up a story. 
How do you deal with negative reviews?  

I like this quote by Aristotle: Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Negative reviews are part of the package when you put out creative work, so you have to just expect them. Also, I make decisions carefully when I write, so if someone doesnt like what Ive done, it means we just have different perspectives. 
If you could be one of the characters in your books, who would it be?

I wouldnt give up being me, because I love my husband and my daughter and my friends so much, but if youre talking about just a few days . . . Id be young Louise Brooks, because she was such a good dancer. 
What are you reading now?  

Louise Amended by Louise Krug. Its a memoir by a young woman who got a lot of attention for her looks until a brain bleed resulted in the paralysis of half her face. She has to completely change the way she thinks about herself and how other people perceive her. Shes impressively honest, and the writing is strong.

Thank you for taking part Laura, looking forward to meeting you at BEA in June

 Laura's Facebook
Laura's Website

My review of The Chaperone:

Don't forget every comment on the A Day in the Life meme's will be entered to win a gift basket with books written by all of the authors taking part - Ends December 2012

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson: Mini Book Review

Witch and Wizard
by James Patterson
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 978-0-446-56243-0
Suggested Ages: 12+
Buy From Indigo

Description: The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world

Mini Book Review: Dear James, you know I love you, but what the heck? This is one of the worst pieces of fiction I have ever read.  There is zero characterization and I felt absolutely nothing for ANY of the characters.  The story, while fast paced, is seriously dull and I had to force myself to keep reading it. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't.  The idea for the story is fantastic but the execution is a joke.  What really bothered me is that the story is geared for teenagers, but treats them like morons.  You can't tell me that these two kids never noticed what was going on in their world. Quite frankly if I was a teen I would be thouroughly offended by how little you think of them my friend.  I know a lot of people pick on you for your stories, but I have always enjoyed you because at least you were a good storyteller.  This is sooo not your best work sir and I will not be reading the rest of the series.   That being said the series might be ok for the more reluctant reader. And don't worry James, I will keep on reading you -- just don't disappoint me again ok : )   See you at BEA, I will be waiting in line to have a chance to chat with you -- and will TRY  not to ask you what Nathan Fillion is really like -- I will try, I promise!
2 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Carianne

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2)
by Jennifer Estep
ISBN: 978-0-7582-6694-1
Suggested Ages: 13+
Buy from Indigo

Description: Im Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Academy, and I have no idea how Im going to survive the rest of the semester. One day, Im getting schooled in swordplay by the guy who broke my heartthe drop-dead gorgeous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invisible archer in the Library of Antiquities decides to use me for target practice. And now, I find out that someone at the academy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. Im afraid if I dont learn how to live by the swordwith Logans helpI just might die by the sword...

The Good Stuff
  • I totally want the recipes for the Chocolate Strawberry cookies that Gwen's Grandma makes for her -- I was totally drooling while she was describing them - damn you Estep you always make me hungry when I read your books
  • Dialogue is absolutely hilarious
  • Fast paced and exciting
  • Storyline is truly unique with so much potential for a long series
  • Enjoy the relationship and the banter between Gwen and Daphne
  • Get a giggle with the references to her Bigtime and Elemental Assasin series
  • Positive, strong, kick ass female characters
  • Gwen is definitely growing up and developing as a character
  • Quite frankly just a fun read, that I highly recommend  -- oh yeah and trust me eat something before you start reading -- she talks about yummy food a lot -- now off to find a recipe for those damn strawberry chocolate cookies
The Not So Good Stuff
  • This doesn't bother me like it used to, but there is still some repetition of key plot points.  Did appreciate it at times as it has been a while since I read Touch of Frost and it helped me remember things I had forgotten (Only sucky thing about reviewing books for publishers, is that you often have to put aside books you purchased yourself to review the ones you have been sent by publishers -- not complaining mind you)
  • Nickamedes is your stereotypical Librarian and that irritates me -- How about he gets a cool, hip Canadian Library Tech that is married to -- hmm lets say -- Finnegan Lane -- to work with him in the library - just sayin - lets combat that horrible image that all Librarians are repressed jerks
  • A wee bit predictable
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Occasionally, Nickamedes made me dust and clean the bookshelves, along with the glass artifact cases hidden back among the stacks. Every single time I'd find more used condoms that I did crumpled up pieces of paper and lost pens. Yucko. I wouldn't want to do it in a library where anyone could walk by at any second, but at Mythos, it was considered some kind of thrill. Whatever."

"Wyverns, basilisks, dragons, yetis, even gigantic birds named Black rocs. She called them all "creatures," like she was being politically correct or something, but really, they were monsters. Anything that had fangs longer than my fingers and that could breathe fire was definitely a monster."

"I shook my head. "Remind me not to piss you off, because you're a total vindictive bitch when you're angry. There are supervillains in my comic books who could learn a thing or two from you."
The Valkyrie stuck out her tongue, then gave me a maniacal grin. "You'd better believe it, Gypsy."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Obviously if you enjoyed A Touch of Frost, you will enjoy this
  • Fans of Kiersten White will also get a kick out of this delightful story
  • I suggest you read A Touch of Frost first, but you don't have to, as Jennifer gives you enough so that you will understand what is going on
4.25 Dewey's

I purchased this and did not have to review -- just want you all to love her as much as I do

The Unseen by Katherine Webb

The Unseen
By Katherine Webb
William Morrow (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-207788-2
Buy from Indigo
Release Date: May 22, 2012

Description: England, 1911. The Reverend Albert Canning, a vicar with a passion for spiritualism, leads a happy existence with his naive wife Hester in a sleepy Berkshire village. As summer dawns, their quiet lives are changed for ever by two new arrivals. First comes Cat, the new maid: a free-spirited and disaffected young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the law. Cat quickly finds a place for herself in the secret underbelly of local society as she plots her escape. Then comes Robin Durrant, a leading expert in the occult, enticed by tales of elemental beings in the water meadows nearby. A young man of magnetic charm and beauty, Robin soon becomes an object of fascination and desire. During a long spell of oppressive summer heat, the rectory at Cold Ash Holt becomes charged with ambition, love and jealousy; a mixture of emotions so powerful that it leads, ultimately, to murder

The Good Stuff
  • Absolutely, positively engrossing - you are hooked from the very first chapter
  • Author is brilliant at setting the mood and setting of the story - you really feel like you are part of the story
  • Loved the switching back and forth from 1911 to 2011 - gives it a unique twist
  • Fabulous well rounded characters both in the past and the present
  • Lots of suspense, murder and secrets with just a hint of the occult
  • Cat is a truly fascinating character - full of strength and fire, trying to fight back against the constraints of being a women in the early 1900's
  • Kept me up late at night reading I so badly wanted to know what happened
  • Will definetly be looking for a copy of the Legacy by the same author
  • A perfect story for a cold winters night or to lose yourself in at the cottage (or beach)
  • Loved how the two time period plots intersect without being unbelievable
  • Could see this one being turned into a movie - has it all love, sex, murder, women's rights, past and present intersecting - fabulous stuff
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Drags a wee bit half ay through - some stronger editing would have made this into a perfect 5 Dewey's
  • Wanted to smack Hester quite a few times, but her character is very true to the women of the time
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Cat serves the dinner, digusted by the luxury, the excess; the way the theosophist turns down the meat, his expression blase, sanctimonious. How many others in the world have need of meat? Cat wonders. When now it will go back to the kitchen and spoil, and be thown away and wasted because the cold store is full of this thoughtless young mans' toys."

"Would you have been content if you had been told, when you were still a child; you shan't be a poet, or a minister, or a politician. You shall be a cleark in a bank. Would you have been content, never to have been allowed to try other things? Never allowed to find out what you wanted to do, what you wanted to be?"

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Mystery/Suspense lovers will thoroughly enjoy this one
  • Fans of historical fiction will also be fascinated by this
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from WilliamMorrow in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Underworld by Meg Cabot

Underworld (Abandon #2)
by Meg Cabot
Scholastic Inc
ISBN: 978-0-545-28411-0
Suggested Ages:  13+ (for sexuality)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isnt dead. Not this time. But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims its for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, theyve come back as Furies, intent on vengeanceon the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her thereand they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies. And unless Pierce is careful, this time therell be no escape

The Good Stuff
  • The cover is beautiful (I'm a sucker for a jewel toned cover)
  • Really enjoyed the secondary characters, especially John's crew and Kayla
  • Hilarious dialogue at times (Unfortunately, not as much as in previous books)
  • Story is very fast paced
  • The premise of the story is a unique twist on the persphone tale
  • Keeps me guessing on what is going on and the motivations behind everyone's actions -- can't wait till the final book in the trilogy
  • Adored the scene where Pierce is discussing pregnancy in the Underworld with Mr. Smith -- it's hilarious, made me giggle on the bus
  • Smokin chemistry between Pierce and John (Which probably explains why she puts up with his slightly stalkerish ways)
  • The background info about Isla Huesos is fascinating and enjoy all the bits about mythology
The Not So Good Stuff
  • John is a tad too controlling for my comfort - I can understand his reasoning, but still kinda creepy
  • Pierce is on the weak side - I expect stronger heroines from Meg
  • Story jumps around a little which was a tad frustrating
  • Honestly, I enjoyed Abandon more, but this was ok for a second book in a trilogy -- always a tough book to write I imagine
  • Only a minor thing but I got a tad irritated with the constant mentions of the Hurricane of October 1846 and that Isla Huesos (Island of Bones) is over the Underworld -- we get it (I know picky picky and I am in a bit of a mood today - so take this with a grain of salt)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Sorry," Kayla said. But she didn't look sorry."Impulse control issues. Why do you think I'm in New Pathways for, anyway? Be happy I didn't hit you in the head with a fire extinguisher."

"But I get it. People have always been desperate for stories that explain why bad things happen to good people, myths with happy endings to give them  hope. They don't want to know that when we die, what lies beyond may not be all harps and halos."

"This is certainly better than world history, which is where I'd be sitting if I were back in Isla Huesos right now." If school hadn't been canceled due to the giant hurricane bearing down on the island, anyway."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Would say only for those who have read the first book, you may be way too confused if you don't
  • For fans of mythology (but start with the first book - trust me)
3.5 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

Banff Springs: The Story of a Hotel by Bart Robinson - seriously short mini review

Banff Springs: The Story of a Hotel (4th Edition)
By Bart Robinson
ISBN: 978-0-9782375-1-6
Buy from Indigo

DescriptionBanff history books cover many subjects, but Banff Springs: The Story of the Hotel is the only book in print that tells the story of the Banff Springs Hotel, one of the world's great mountain resorts. Some institutions transcend themselves and become symbols of a place and time. Known to millions of visitors to Banff as "the Castle," or simply as "the Hotel," the Banff Springs is more than simply a place to stay, for it is the home of memories and a dream of gracious times in other ages.

This classic book to one of the world's most famous mountain resorts is filled with the rich anecdotes and snippets of history that have enriched Banff and indeed Canada, from the hotel's links to the construction of the transcontinental rail line to the visits of maharajahs and movie stars.First published in 1973, the 4th edition has been expanded to include recent developments. Although now printed in full colour, it is the timeless images by well-known photographers such as Bruno Engler and Nicholas Morant that bring the hotel's storied history to life

Mini Review: The pictures are beautiful and the research is well done, but it is  quite frankly a very dull book about a fascinating hotel.  But as I did buy it at the Banff Springs Hotel I must keep it for my collection. My hubby worked there for 7 years and his stories are much more fascinating than those included in the book.  The pictures are worth the price of the book though so not a complete loss, just expected better.  And seriously barely a half a page about the ghosts -- come on : ) It was fun discussing some of the people mentioned, especially Martin Luthi, who was partially responsible for making my hubby the cook that he is. (Thank you rich oil man's drunken wife - perfect timing on your need for a snack - and for telling your hubby and Luthi about how wonderful Jeff was - I have soooo benefited from this)

2.75 Dewey's (Mostly for the pictures)

I purchased at the Banff Springs Hotel because I wanted a memento of this stunning hotel (And someday hope to be able to afford to stay there for the night)

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
by Pamela Druckerman
Penguin Books
ISBN: 978-1-59420-333-6
Buy From Indigo

Description:  The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children.  When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.

Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There's no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children and that there's no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy.

Of course, French parenting wouldn't be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They're just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are- by design-toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace.

With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don't just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she'd never imagined.

The Good Stuff
  • Advice is practical and makes total sense
  • Fabulous Index and Bibliography (We know these things are important to me & yes I am a geek thank you very much)
  • Fascinating and would lead to some fabulous discussions at Girls Night Out with the Mom's or book clubs
  • Extremely well researched
  • Self deprecating, honest and funny - she really doesn't hold back on her "supposed" failings as an "American" parent
  • Doesn't "really" judge (though at times it does come across this way) just gives you her thoughts and observations
  • I definitely agree with many of her points and would like to make some changes with my own parenting style
  • Fabulous story on page 33 - sorry no spoilers
  • Liked the inclusion of a couple of unique recipes
  • Thought provoking and makes you take a look at how you are raising your own children
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Though she really does try it still does come across as rather patronizing
  • Would have liked her to have included some information/pointers-- um if your kids are older -- and um  you would like to fix some of your parenting mistakes -- just sayin --  not that we are talking about me or anything
  • She seems to have some issues with French people so why would she  want to raise her children to perhaps turn out like them (really having a hard time trying to explain what I am trying to get across with this point) 
  • At times a tad repetitive and at times I was irritated by the constant generalizations -- not every American parent is over permissive and not every  French parent is calm and perfect
  • Also the advice is very similar to how I was raised as a child, in Canada, so I don't think this is necessarily a French parenting style 
  • I am also concerned that the schools,  not the parents are doing the majority of the raising of French children and how does that affect their growth as human beings (again having a hard time with explaining this point -- must get coffee)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I hadn't thought I was supposed to admire French parenting. It isn't a thing, like French fashion or French cheese. No one visits Paris to soak up the local views on parental authority and guilt management.  Quite the contrary: the American mothers I know in Paris are horrified that French mothers barely breast-feed, and their four-year-olds walk around with pacifiers."

"But by the time a child is three, French birthday parties are drop-offs. We're supposed to trust that our kids will be okay without us. Parents are usually invited to come back at the end for a glass of champagne and some hobnobbing with the other moms and dads. Simon and I are thrilled whenever we get invitations: it's free babysitting, followed by a cocktail party." (FYI - I'm a Canadian and this is how we throw kids parties too)

"It becomes clear how French our kids' eating habits have become when we visit America.  My mom is excited to introduce Bean to that American classic, macaroni and cheese fro a box. But Bean won't eat more than a few bites. "that's not cheese," she says. I think I detect her first sneer."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Thinking American parents will often be offended on how poorly they are portrayed
  • Fabulous for a book club - especially one with Moms
  • Will be passing this on to a friend who could really benefit from some of the ideas (she is seriously stressed out and her toddler is ruling the roost - and no judging here,  as we are struggling with our toddler as well)
3.5 Dewey's

I purchased this from Indigo on recommendation of Jeremy Cammy (My go to guy for non-fiction)

Mailbox Monday

I know, I know its Tuesday - but I was a busy mom and library technician yesterday

For Review
Thanks William Morrow

Thanks Scholastic

Thanks Cait - Won from Escape Through the Pages

Won from Cityline Twitter Contest
Purchased from Indigo at Yonge/Eglinton

Borrowed from Carianne

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ruling Passion by Alyxandra Harvey

Ruling Passion (Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud and Out for Blood)
by Alyxandra Harvey
Walker & Company
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2802-9
Suggested Ages: 12+
Buy From Indigo

Hearts at Stake: The Drakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

Blood Feud:
It's been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she's made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That's if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
The clans are gathering for Helena's royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha's reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte--a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the 

power of the throne for himself--the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy. 

Out for Blood: Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends-or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

The Good Stuff
  • The dialogue between the characters had me laughing my ass off on so many occasions - almost every chapter of each book in fact
  • Kick ass heroines who don't expect or need a boy to save them
  • Many Whedon references - which as you know is very close to my geeky heart
  • Extremely fast paced and NEVER boring
  • Vampires don't sparkle or go all emo
  • Parents are not stupid or jerks -- and we know that is a big deal in YA fiction -- see authors it can be done
  • Author is Canadian
  • Delightful secondary characters that you are slowly introduced to and given just enough about them that you want to know more -- and maybe have a whole book about - cough cough Mom and Dad Drake -- cough cough lets have a story about kick ass parents
  • Unique take on vampire mythology
  • Lucy is a truly awesome character and I want more of her -- her quips constantly make me giggle
  • Good messages about true friendship and acceptance without being all mushy or condescending
  • Enough all ready just go buy the book most of you will thank me
The Not So Good Stuff
  • This 3 stories in one book idea sounds great -- but so thick it was hard to read - man I have weak wrists
  • People stared on the bus when I snorted out loud with laughter
  • Got extremely confused with the 3 organizations having such similar names and same with all the characters with names starting with H -- OK --  that is probably just because I am brain dead right now and come on I had to find something relevant to put in this section
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Where are the stun --ooon. Shiny."  Hearts at Stake

"And the patchwork skirt I thought I'd lost last year, twisted under a storage box covered in stickers. Yes, even little girls with vampire lineage have a sticker phase." Hearts at Stake

Very possibly this was the night my white-knight complex, as Solange put it, would get me killed. Someone had better write a poem about it. It was only fair.   Blood Feud

How did you know it wasn't really me?"
"Are you kidding? Your eyeballs could be on fire and you wouldn't bat your lashes at me like that.  Blood Feud

"I winced. Vampire mothers had unfair advantages." Out for Blood

"Oh, I'm sorry," Chloe snapped from the backseat. "Did I hurt your knuckles with my face?" Out for Blood

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fans of Jennifer Estep, Kelley Armstrong, Meg Cabot and Kiersten White will enjoy
  • Fans of anything Whedon will get tons of chuckles and will love this author
4.75 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Tasha and didn't have to review it here -- but I like to share what can I say

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

    by Kathleen Peacock
    Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
    ISBN: 978-0-06-204865-3
    Suggested Ages: 14+ (due to violence)
    Release Date: May 8, 2012
    Buy from Indigo

    Description: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Macs life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Macs hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amys killer: A white werewolf.

    Lupine syndromealso known as the werewolf virusis on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amys murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amys boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. Kathleen Peacocks thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love

    The Good Stuff
    • Mac is a fabulous well rounded character with an awesome name.
    • Tons of mystery, intrigue and plot twists - I was surprised on many occasions by what happened
    • Storyline is fast paced and never boring
    • I'm not the biggest fan of werewolf stories, but thouroughly enjoyed this one & look forward to reading more of the series
    • Author is a good storyteller (and a Canadian!)
    • Another suprise for me when reading this was I didn't mind the sorta love triangle thing, it actually really worked in this story - you can understand why the boys feel like they do and why Mac might have feelings for both of them (and why oh why can't two boys fight over me -- oh yeah 41 and married, probably not a good idea)
    • Fabulous character development and most of the characters (well except for the adults) are realistic in terms of actions, feelings and dialogue
    • plenty of thinly veiled commentary on the evils of prejudice and government control (you can see the paralels to the Salem witch trials and the hollywood blacklist against suspected communists and even towards the treatment of aids victims and homosexuals)
    • Enjoyed the dark humour added in at just the right time
    • The relationship between Tess and Mac is lovely and some of their conversations are hilarious
    The Not So Good Stuff
    • Majority of the adults are useless uninvolved jerks -- you know how I feel about that
    • some repetition of plot points (for example 12 years ago when the government announced the existence..) we get it no need to keep repeating it
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "Yes, a werewolf had killed Amy. But I couldn't blame an entire group of people - even if that would have been easier.  The only person to blame was the one who had killed her."

    "The intercom buzzed. "Wow," I muttered, we're more popular than a pretty girl at a Star Trek convention."

    "He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. "In some ways. After enough time passes, you realize that maybe a whole day went by where you didn't think of them. Then you feel guilty because you're not supposed to forget - even if it is just for a day."
    "We'd watch The Birds last year, and ever since, she claimed that pigeons were just biding time before making their move.
    For some reason, 90 percent of Tess's fears seemed to come from movies we watched on cable."

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • For those who enjoy a twist of mysery and the paranormal
    • Fans of Kelley Armstrong will enjoy
    4.5 Dewey's

    I picked up a copy of this at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2012 from the HarperCollins booth

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Monday Mailbox

    For Review
    Thanks Random House

    Thanks GoodReads

    Purchased at Indigo

    Purchased AT the Banff Springs Hotel
    Birthday Gifts
    A few of lovely gifts received for my bday (MIL gave me American cash for BEA)

    A.J. Jacobs Book Signing

    Fabulous event with delightful author

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty Review and Blog Tour

    The Chaperone
    by Laura Moriarty
    Riverhead Books (Penguin)
    ISBN: 978-1-59448-701-9
    Release Date: June 5, 2012
    Buy From Indigo

    Description: A captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip. She has no idea what she's in for: Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous blunt bangs and black bob, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. 

    Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will change their lives forever. For Cora, New York holds the promise of discovery that might prove an answer to the question at the center of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in a strange and bustling city, she embarks on her own mission. And while what she finds isn't what she anticipated, it liberates her in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of the summer, Cora's eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive

    The Good Stuff
    • Thoroughly researched and every aspect of story true to the time period
    • Moriarty fabulous at setting mood and landscape of the story
    • Excellent character development for Cora (Don't want to put spoilers in so I will leave it at that)
    • Background of Cora slowly emerges like little mysteries being solved, which keeps you interested
    • Really gives you a glimpse into the lives of women during the late 1800's to mid 70's and all that we have overcome 
    • Also you get a real feel for the American Midwest during the 1920's
    • Nice commentary on change, acceptance and forgiveness 
    • Will make you want to pick up a copy of Lulu in Hollywood (Louise Brooks memoir)
    • Loved that it focused, not on the famous Louise Brooks, but a simple conventional mid-western women who ends up living a very unconventional life
    • A lovely book to lose yourself in on a cold winters night - or in my case two extremely bumpy plane rides (helped get me through it by the way -- the power of a good book my friends)
    • Takes history and makes it personal and something you can connect with
    • Really got a kick out of some of the dialogue that came out of Viola's mouth & felt extremely lucky to have grown up in the era I did
    • Learned some fascinating information - floored by how the Ku Klux Klan tried to get women to join in Kansas

    The Not So Good Stuff
    • Story starts very slow, but keep reading it gets going a quarter way through and you become hooked
    • Last years of the story goes by so very quickly and feels rushed
    • Hard to read at times due to the plight of women and all they had to fight against in terms of access to birth control and the condemnation of unwed or poor mothers
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "Foolish. This bobbing business is just a craze. When its over, everyone who followed the lemmings over the cliff will need years to grow their hair out."

    "But Cora felt a girl needed a stronger warning - if only because the world was unfair. There are some inequities that wouldn't change. Maybe they couldn't. In any case, it was simply the way things were."
    She glanced over her shoulder before leaning in. "Louise, I'll put it to you plainly.  Men don't want candy that's been unwrapped. Maybe for a lark, but not when it comes to marriage. It may still be perfectly clean, but if it's unwrapped, they don't know where its been."

    "That's what spending the time with the young can do - its the big payoff for all the pain. The young can exasperate, of course, and frighten, and condescend, and insult, and cut you with their still unrounded edges. But they can also drag you, as you protest and scold and try to pull away, right up to the window of the future, and even push you through."

     Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Definitely for those who have a interest in Louise Brooks
    • Fans of historical fiction - especially in 1920's America
    • Not for those looking for non stop action and sex
    • Good for those interested in a discussion of women's rights and feminism

     4 Dewey's

    Received this from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

     Laura's Facebook
    Laura's Website

    Blog Tour Stops

    Tuesday, May 1st: Sophisticated Dorkiness
    Wednesday, May 2nd: bookchickdi
    Thursday, May 3rd: From Left to Write

    Monday, May 7th: Frenzy of Noise
    Tuesday, May 8th: Indie Reader Houston
    Wednesday, May 9th: Verb Vixen
    Thursday, May 10th: Bewitched Bookworms
    Friday, May 11th: The Well-Read Wife
    Monday, May 14th: Fire and Ice
    Tuesday, May 15th: Book Journey
    Wednesday, May 16th: Babbling About Books and More
    Thursday, May 17th: Workaday Reads
    Friday, May 18th: An Avid Readers Musings
    Saturday, May 19th: Midnight Book Girl
    Monday, May 21st: Never Too Fond of Books
    Tuesday, May 22nd: The Compulsive Reader
    Wednesday, May 23rd: Kritters Ramblings
    Thursday, May 24th: Literate Housewife
    Friday, May 25th: Paperspines
    Monday, May 28th: Sassymonkey Reads
    Tuesday, May 29th: Picky Girl
    Wednesday, May 30th: Chaos is a Friend of Mine
    Thursday, May 31st: An Unconventional Librarian
    Friday, June 1st: The 3 Rs: Reading, Riting, and Randomness

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Insurgent by Veronica Roth

    Insurgent (Divergent Book #2)
    by Veronica Roth
    Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
    ISBN: 978-0-06-202404-6
    Suggested Ages: 14+
    Buy From Indigo
    Release Date: May 1, 2012

    Description: One choice can transform youor it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she lovesand herselfwhile grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocableand even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

    The Good Stuff
    • a non stop wild ride of intense action - I was constantly on the edge of my seat while reading and did not want to put it down
    • Tons of twists and turns that will keep you guessing
    • Beautifully written commentary about human nature and thinly veiled moral questions
    • Some questions answered but even more put out there for you to ponder
    • A gasp worthy ending which has me waiting impatiently until the next book comes out -- don't get me started on how long I have to wait - sorry HarperCollins as soon as I hear the word ARC come out for the final book in the trilogy I will start nagging you for it
    • Fabulous character development
    • You will need kleenex while reading - absolutely heartbreaking at times
    • For the second book in a trilogy it is absolutely brilliant -- this is a very rare thing
    • Some tasteful passionate scenes between Four and Tris
    • Tris is such an intriguing character - Kick ass yet fragile and so very real
    • Was blown away by her commentary on suicide - obviously someone who has felt the urge of not wanting to be "you" anymore but having the strength of character to know it is the wrong choice
    The Not So Good Stuff
    • A small thing but I got a wee bit irritated by the switching back and forth of the name Four and Tobias - I understand the usages but it jarred me while reading
    • One other small thing (and more a preference thing) the up and down emotions of Tris for Four irritated me, but remember I am 41 and jaded
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "The truth has a way of changing a person's plans."

    "The Candor sing the praises of the truth, but they never tell you how much it costs"

    "My parents lost their lives out of love for me. Losing mine for no good reason would be a terrible way to repay them for that sacrifice, no matter what I've done.
    Let Guilt teach you how to behave next time," my father would say."

    "My father taught me to see Erudite a particular way.  He never taught me that they made no judgements about what people believed, but designed things for them within the confines of those beliefs.  He never told me that they could be funny, or that they could critique their own faction from the inside."

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Obviously fans of Divergent will enjoy 
    • If you haven't read Divergent already, I would highly suggest you read it before reading this
    • For fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian literature
    5 Dewey's

    I received this in exchange for an honest review - and I am eternally grateful for Rosalyn Steele for introducing me to this series and for getting me free babysitting! 

    The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon

    The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves
    edited by Sarah Moon
    Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
    ISBN: 978-0-545-39932-6
    Suggested Ages: Grade 7+
    Release Date: May 1, 2012
    Buy from Indigo

    Description: Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authors. If you received a letter from your older self, what do you think it would say? What do you wish it would say?

    That the boy you were crushing on in History turns out to be gay too, and that you become boyfriends in college? That the bully who is making your life miserable will one day become so insignificant that you won't remember his name until he shows up at your book signing?

    In this anthology, sixty-three award-winning authors such as Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom, Jacqueline Woodson, Gregory Maguire, David Levithan, and Armistead Maupin make imaginative journeys into their pasts, telling their younger selves what they would have liked to know then about their lives as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered people. Through stories, in pictures, with bracing honesty, these are words of love and understanding, reasons to hold on for the better future ahead. They will tell you things about your favorite authors that you never knew before. And they will tell you about yourself

    The Good Stuff
    • David Levithan's essay was so hilarious yet sweet and honest - will now be looking for some of his writing
    • A good mixture of humour, sadness and anger
    • The message of hope and forgiveness is so prevalent and beautifully and honestly done
    • Very powerful and inspiring
    • Brian Selznick's essay was extremely funny and tender
    • Martin Moran's essay is heartbreaking, so brave to have told his story - such strength of character and a very inspiring story to those LGBT youths with thoughts of suicide
    • Wise and non preachy advice for helping kids who are struggling with their sexuality
    The Not So Good Stuff
    • Brutal to hear of parents & educators abuse of  children  over something as natural as sexual preference
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    ""I'm still not entirely sure whether I use the word irony correctly, but I believe there's something exquisitely ironic about making fun of your non-gay teacher for being gay, and then going home and listening to Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album over and over again." David Levithan

    "Yes, the indignities you suffer at the hands of bigots can make you bitter. But they can also strengthen your ability to empathize with the oppressed, and in doing so, enlarge the capacity of your heart." Doug Wright

    "You will discover that all gay men are not stylish, witty, promiscuous, and viciously entertaining. No one said that equality was going to be fun." Paul Rudnick

    "I hear you say, I want to die, and it tears at my sould that you're only thirteen and ready to give up on life."  and "No! Don't get back at everyone by dying. Get back at them by living and saving lives, starting with your own. Fight for your life." Mayra Lazara Dole

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • For teens of ALL genders and sexuality -- the message of believing and loving yourself apply to everyone and not just those struggling with their sexuality
    • My Uncle should have read this and maybe he would have loved and accepted his son no matter of  Bruce's sexual preference. My cousin told his Dad that he was gay and my Uncle never spoke to him again. My Dad became a surrogate father to Bruce and tried to help him but ultimately Bruce's life was cut short by the acts of self-hatred and abuse (Drugs, alcohol, dangerous sexual partners, etc) caused by his fathers abandonment.
    • This should be in every public and school library so kids struggling can hear the message of hope that you will get through this from those who have
    • Required reading for ALL educators and parents
    5 Dewey's

    I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

    My advice to my younger self
    • Michael Tinker is never going to go for you - get over him
    • Michael Corsini is MARRIED - he is scum for not telling you this -- but hey the man who ended up defending you and giving your friends hell - you end of marrying and having two beautiful heathens with him (And  BTW he's moving you to Calgary next month so you might want to think about getting over your hatred of country music)
    • Stop with the diet pills, they are going to fuck up your digestive system for life -- you are beautiful the way you are
    • Stop pretending to be someone else so people will like you -- accept who you are and love yourself for that and people will actually like the real you
    • Don't sleep with all those divers -- they are not going to love you -- they just want in your pants and you will hate yourself for it
    • Don't have a fight with your Dad the night before he goes on vacation to Bermuda -- he dies there and you will not be able to tell him you are sorry and how lucky you were to have such an exceptional (and completely wacky) guy for a Dad
    • Get over your fear of driving (sorry snorter porter -- you still got to work on that one)
    • What that man did was wrong, he abused his position of power and it was not your fault!
    • For gods sake you are smart enough to go to University and become a Librarian - tell that nasty voice in your head to piss off (cause quite frankly Librarians get paid way more than the Library Technician you became)