Filling the Shelf – 98

Posted by on April 15, 2013 4:08 am in Book talk | 13 comments

Filling the Shelf is basically Mailbox Monday or the more recent Stacking the Shelves, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, I invite you to visit the two hosts!


Hello hello readers!

Books came in this week as well as… boxes, so that I could pack them again!

Yup. You read that right. I am getting ready to pack books again, because we are moving in June. Again. It’s a long story that kept us on our toes from January to March, but now everything has been decided and we are leaving this (sort of new) apartment that we love, for a condo that we love even more! We are also very excited to finally be making the transition from renters to owners, right on time for the year of our 10th anniversary! Yippee!

But, back to the books (that’s why you’re here, aren’t you?) Of all of my books, I’m pretty sure Joe Schreiber is in the top 10 for best title! The blame for this one happily goes to Tales of Whimsy. As for Gulp, it was a must-have for me : I read Stiff by Mary Roach a while ago so I can’t wait to read her new book about food-related topics. And Life After Life has been everywhere in the past weeks, and it sounds so good! It will be my first Kate Atkinson novel (and I also like the cover). As for the three other books, they are recent YA releases that received nice reviews from blogger friends. Can’t wait to crack them open!


A Corner of White by Jacklyn Moriarty / Au Revoir Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber / Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson / Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell / Gulp by Mary Roach

What did you add to your shelves recently? Which one do you think I should start with? 

3 Mini-Reviews : Spellbinding, The Raft and Moonset

Posted by on April 13, 2013 2:56 am in 2.5 stars reads, 3 stars reads | 2 comments

the raftThe Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Pages : 231
Genre : Contemporary Fiction, Survival
Stand alone
My Rating : 2,5/5

From the back of the book :

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

My Thoughts :

The premise for this book was so exciting – but I found the execution to be extremely lacking.

If I have to spend 200 pages with one single character, I need to relate to her, know her, be captivated by her voice. Unfortunately, Robie felt very bland to me. Plus, I found the events that lead Robie to get in the plane really forced, and the final twist to be unnecessary. It didn’t add any depth to the story, really.

Still, it wasn’t a bad book. A lot happens on the water and it felt realistic enough. Even though I didn’t love the book, I wasn’t bored by it. Therefore, my recommendation would be don’t buy it, borrow it, but don’t necessarily cross it off your list!

* * *

Spellbinding by Maya Gold
Pages : 272
Genre : YA, Paranormal
Stand alone
My Rating : 3/5

From the back of the book :

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva–sixteen and nearly friendless–makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush–and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there’s Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history–and her heart–before she can face the powerful truth.

My Thoughts :

Spellbinding was so much fun! It felt like a shorter review would better suit my thoughts, but I really did enjoy it!

It reminded me of movies like The Craft, going back to the basics of witchy stories without completely reinventing the genre. There’s been so much reinvention in the YA supernatural genre lately, it was actually refreshing to read something where I didn’t feel like the author was trying too hard! On the contrary, Spellbinding was a breeze to read. It has entertainment and a fun narrator. The tone is very light, nothing too dark or broody, with a satisfying ending to top it all. The romance was the thing that kept me from completely loving it though; it was predictable and forced, and I didn’t buy it. I think it should have been slower, and more subtle. Other than that, I enjoyed it!

Spellbinding is available for sale right now! Thanks to Scholastic for generously providing a digital copy of the book for this review.

* * *


moonsetMoonset by Scott Tracey
Pages : 384
Genre : YA, Paranormal
Series : Legacy of Moonset, book 1
My Rating : 

From the back of the book :

After the terrorist witch coven known as Moonset was destroyed fifteen years ago—during a secret war against the witch Congress—five children were left behind, saddled with a legacy of darkness. Sixteen-year-old Justin Daggett, son of a powerful Moonset warlock, has been raised alongside the other orphans by the witch Congress, who fear the children will one day continue the destruction their parents started.

A deadly assault by a wraith, claiming to work for Moonset’s most dangerous disciple, Cullen Bridger, forces the five teens to be evacuated to Carrow Mill. But when dark magic wreaks havoc in their new hometown, Justin and his siblings are immediately suspected. Justin sets out to discover if someone is trying to frame the Moonset orphans . . . or if Bridger has finally come out of hiding to reclaim the legacy of Moonset. He learns there are secrets in Carrow Mill connected to Moonset’s origins, and keeping the orphans safe isn’t the only reason the Congress relocated them . . .

My Thoughts :

Moonset sounds great, doesn’t it? And I’m not saying it wasn’t. Nothing about it was really bad or horrible; what happened was, I started reading it and nothing really hooked me to the story. It was definitely a different take on witches; different from others like Spellbinding, for instance! The characters were okay, too, but I found myself constantly distracted from the book.

I’m a “mood reader”, which means it’s possible I would have picked it at another time and devoured it. I rarely talk about the books I don’t finish; if Moonset was a book from my shelf, I would simply have put it back there and given it one or more tries at another time. Since it was from netgalley though, I unfortunately ran out of time – but I still wanted to mention it since Flux provided me a copy. And I am sure some of you guys will be curious about this one – who doesn’t love witches and witchy things?

It’s possible I’ll pick up a copy somewhere and give it one more try sometime in the future, though!

Moonset is available for sale right now! Thanks to Flux for generously providing a digital copy of the book for this review.

The Veronica Mars Movie Project

Posted by on April 12, 2013 2:34 am in other | 2 comments


You guys!

There’s only 20 HOURS LEFT to pledge to the Veronica Mars Movie Project kickstarter!

You can pledge as little a a dollar, or much more if you want some goodies. Any $ will help towards making the fans’ dream come true!

It’s been a favorite tv series of mine since forever, and if you haven’t watched it yet, add it to your to-watch list!

What are you waiting for? GO

Review : If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Posted by on April 10, 2013 4:23 pm in 4.5 stars reads | 3 comments

if you find meIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Pages : 256
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Stand alone
My Rating : 4,5/5

What it’s about :

Carey and her young sister Nessa live in an old camper in the woods with their mom. It’s the only home Nessa has ever known, and the only one Carey can now imagine living in.

One day, after an unusually long absence from their mother, two strangers come to bring the girls back to civilization : one of them is Carey’s dad, the man she has always been taught to fear. Leaving the cold and hunger for a new home where she will never again feel the need for anything, Carey will have to confront the truth about her past, and see if she can learn to trust again.

My Thoughts :

I wasn’t prepared for what If You Find Me had in store for me. Even with the great reviews I had read on Goodreads and some blogs, I thought it would simply be an entertaining story with a more serious tone than the ones I have been reading lately. While this preconception hold true, it was also a lot more emotional and “true” than I had expected.

In fact, I feel a bit at a loss writing this review. I have lots of keywords to describe my reading of Emily Murdoch’s debut novel, but very few complete sentences : intense; emotional; evocative prose; complexity. This is a tale of a neglected childhood that felt surprisingly realistic to me. I also feel that even without having lived through the horrific events of Carey’s life, many readers will be able to relate to her characters : her fears, her thoughts, her despair, are all similar to what many of us go through in our teenage years, although in different situations. I thought the woods Carey grew up in were a beautiful metaphor of life’s more difficult times (and the beauty we can see through them), which made all the more sense once I read this guest post by the author at The Midnight Garden (it’s a gorgeous post; go read it!)

The book itself wasn’t perfect : I thought the romance was really unnecessary, and I would have preferred for Carey to discover simple friendship first (although there is a bit of that, too). I also felt like the “mystery” would have had a stronger effect if it had been shared from the start, allowing us to understand Carey a little bit more.

These negative aspects didn’t matter much though; in the end, I absolutely loved If You Find Me. It was grim and depressing at time, yet beautifully contrasted with love and hope – these two feelings mostly represented by the two sisters, who have very distinct attitudes toward their new lives.

If You Find Me is already a favorite of mine this year, and I strongly recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction. I absolutely can’t wait to read more from Emily Murdoch!

If You Find Me is available for sale right now! Thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for generously providing a digital copy of the book for this review.