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June 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#2)

A whole WEEK's gone by already?! Oh my o_o. Well, anyhow, HAPPY CANADA DAY WEEKEND, EH! Doing anything special? I went strawberry picking today with my family! (random). I think I might revive my personal blog so I won't be boring you all with snippets of that stuff, haha! On to my shelf! New week, new haul!

"Grim" by Anna Waggener

Thanks to Natalia's awesome review, I picked this one up at the library yesterday!
The cover sure is grim enough, that's for sure. I can understand why when I held it online, there were 0 holds for this book in the YA section -sad face- (All the other books had at least a couple of holds each.) Anyhow, really looking forward to reading it, since it's not my usual read!!!

"The Iron Daughter" by Julie Kagawa

Yay! I'm on the second book! My classmate Judy (hi Judy! -waves) first insisted that I read this series since she really loved it. I quite enjoyed the first book. Review to come for that one. Anyway, also very excited to find out how the story is going to continue. How'd you guys like this one compared to the first?

"Confessions" by Kate Brian

Following up from last week. This one as well as "Inner Circle" are the only two that I don't think I've read yet. Since I started this series early, there was a gap where I didn't read it...so I may have skipped ahead. I'm actually very happy that there's still 2 books left for me to read, even though I'm technically re-reading the entire series ^_^ Go Reed!

Not a fancy haul this week, but link me up and I'll be happily hopping along! And if you have any thoughts on these, please leave me a comment as well ^_^
♡ Vivian

June 29, 2012

It's Time for "Pledged" with Gwynneth White!!!

 -excited squeal- Welcome to the first post of Vivian's "Special Feature Showcase"!!! Today, I'm so honoured and excited to welcome author Gwynneth White to Vivaciously, Vivian for an interview and a peek at her upcoming novel "Pledged", which will be released on September 1st, 2012.

Title:: Pledged
Author:: Gwynneth White
Issued by:: Swallow Press

Summary:: Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?
Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.

How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?
The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.

❀       ❀      ❀       ❀      ❀

The Author 
I have spent my entire life living in a parallel universe of make-believe characters, only coming back to reality for long enough to check that no one burnt the house down in my absence. A few years ago I decided to commit some of those ‘friends’ and their stories to paper. The Soul Wars Saga is the result of those efforts. Before that I co-authored two non-fiction travel books – The Complete Guide to 4x4 Trails and The Ultimate 4x4 Guide. Both books became instant best-sellers in South Africa where I live. And before that even, I studied a degree in African History and Politics at the University of Stellenbosch. When I’m not writing, I am a wife to Andrew and a mom to Stephanie, Erin, and Kate, our teenage daughters. My family and I live in a small town outside Cape Town with two dogs, a cat, a horse, and some neglected fish. Now that you know a little about me, I would love to get to know you. 

Please befriend me at:
Twitter: @GwynnethWhite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwynneth-White/172095512890074
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7360328-gwynneth-white

An awesome interview after the jump!

Feature & Follow Friday ● #2

Feature & Follow is a Friday meme created and hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

This Week's Question:: Birthday wishes -- Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake...who is it and what book are they from?

Oh wow~ this is such a fun question! There are so many swoon-worthy YA guys I can choose...but I'll have to go with a slightly cliche but sincere answer.

Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery

Out of all the classics I've read, especially in my childhood and early teens, Anne won an especially large portion of my heart in literature. From the first book to the last, I grew up with her, laughed with her, and cried with her. She's witty and cute and absolutely one of the most vivid and brilliant characters I've ever read. She also matured SO much along the way through the series, so if Anne were to appear from my birthday cake, she'd be a later-Anne instead of the early-Anne, even though she was absolutely charming back then as well.

Who's appearing out of your birthday cake? ^_^ Link me up and I'll be happily hopping~ 
♡ Vivian

June 28, 2012

Cover Love Thursday ❤ One

I've decided to participate in this sweet little cover meme ^_^ My link is hosted by Kayla @ Kismet Kayla
It's been awhile since I've done some cover appreciation. And I also can't help but include an opposition cover...one that I don't love so much...

Sever by Lauren DeStefano (Chemical Garden #3)

Thank you, Giselle, for bringing this into my interest through Facebook ^^:

This HAS to be my favourite cover in the entire series!!! Don't get me wrong; I think the first 2 covers were okay, and I really love the circle-y and rectangle-y and geometrical-y design of them all. But this one...I don't know...it seems to hold a different kind of beauty. Like, I feel like there is hope (I haven't read the second book yet, by the way.) in the storyline, while the other two covers were beautiful, but gives off a-a-a wilted sort of feeling (which I don't respond well too -blush). Anyhow, the colours of it, the model, and the props in the background all come together awfully nicely *-* -admires-

By the way, the topic of covers has put an unpleasant cover into my head. I shall get it out once and for all, if you all don't mind... Has any of you seen this cover?

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
by Mark Haddon

Grade 9 Vivi hated this cover. Just finished Grade 11 Vivi also hates this cover. Isn't it funny how all (well, almost all) the books they make you read in school are quite well written, but you can never truly bring yourself to enjoy it?! All the time wasted scribbling out that massively long title on numerous assignments and essay write-ups.

Besides the plainness and the colour (it's even worse in real life, trust me.), it's the dog. Yes, the upside down dog. Mind you, that dog isn't a 2D dog printed on the cover. No, it's a cut-out on the cover itself. Meaning even though the books were brand new at the beginning of the school year, by the end, all of the copies had such destroyed upside-down-dogs, you couldn't even make out the distorted shape.

I take special pride into caring well for my books. I suffered because even though I was SO careful with my copy, at the end of the year, my upside-down-dog also lost its paper tail and one of its ridiculously-skinny legs. And every time I took this book (carefully) out of my backpack, I had to turn it around and around for at least 3 full 360° turns because the upside-down-dog was just SO DARN CONFUSING for the orientation.

.. that's it for me today ^_^ I'm sorry for not being around. I've been SO busy studying for my G1 test; my bombing skills are lame, aren't they.  If the book-blogging community ever had a book-review-bombing tournament, I wouldn't even make it past the preliminary round.

P.S. Canada Day weekend is coming up! Happy Canada Day to you all~   ❤

♡ Vivian

June 24, 2012

"When the Sea is Rising Red" by Cat Hellisen

Title: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Publication: 2012, BYR

Summary: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach...read more

Appetizer: "almost all...confusing references go unexplained...damaged the bond of the story and reader"

There are some promising aspects to this early/2nd work, yet the decent foundation was not developed on to a grasping point of intrigue, nor are all the essential pillars for a strong read present for me. The initial opening of this book was actually quite good. As the storyline nudged on, only one enticing idea hung on a single weak thread to keep the pages turning.

From the romance factor, what is more disappointing than the insta-love itself (because there WAS insta-love), was how the relationships never quite hit home. The main characters were interesting to a certain point, but none were excellent and the male lead was rather unappealing. Felicita is supposedly a high-born girl, and due to the too-brief period we get of her in her high-end life, she loses the feel of any refinement extremely fast. The narration gives off nice, gloomy atmospheres at some points, but other than that, we follow Felicita who does not prove herself to be a memorable protagonist.

Ms. Hellisen also uses an extensive array of terms, and almost all of these confusing references go unexplained at all. For me, this was one of the factors that damaged the bond of the story and reader the most. Overall, this novel holds great potential, yet chooses some unimpressive moves after the initial start.

Rating: ✿✿ 2/5 Blossoms

Final Notes: I hope that I've been fair and justified in my judgements. I was really disappointed with this one -sad face- Then again, some of the factors that were the total turn-offs for me may have been okay for some of you, so still give it a shot if you'd like. I'd love to hear an opposition review if any of you have one ^_~ so link me up if you have a more positive review! Vivi likes to see the bright side of things, especially when she's stuck on the dark side.

♡ Vivian

June 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#1)

I've been seeing this new meme EVERYWHERE! Okay, that kinda shows how much I've been missing out, haha! Well, since the idea of stacking up my bookshelf really catches my interest, Vivi shall give this a whirl too! And goodness, I've been doing some SERIOUS stacking lately. Actually, to spare you all the tedious long list that's supposed to become my rehab from those awful exams (Enriched Functions was killer.), I shall share my top 5 instead! ^_^ Any mutual reads?

Clockwork Angel 
by Cassandra Clare

I KEEP on putting this one off! Probably because it's more easily attainable as compared to some of the newer titles released that I'd be holding all the time. But I am not returning this one until I've actually read it this time. Really excited. Will start after I post this post. -determined-
Destiny and Deception
by Shannon Delany

I've made it so far in this series! Ahhh..I still remember reading the first book. Still utterly entertaining. Pietre is still smoking hot, with his ferocious Das and Nyets. Can't wait to read.
Spirit's Princess
by Esther Friesnar

Does the cover remind any of you of another series that I've reviewed? Yes~!!! Ms. Friesnar's back with an all new princess of myth to follow her brilliant Nefertiti! I actually just finished this book an hour ago, and it definitely did not disappoint. The poise and diction was utterly exquisite. Okay Vivi, shut it and save it for the review.
by Kate Brian

I've read this. I've read them all. I am currently re-reading every. single. book. in this ridiculously epic and awesome series. There is no describing how much I love Private. It was a series that I first timidly stepped into as a little Gr. 7 girl, and I grew up with it. Loved it back then, love it just as much now.
Once a Witch
by Carolyn MacCullough

I've never read any books by this author before... I got both this one as well as Always a Witch from the library. Love how the titles make up a sweet little saying together. I'll always love a good witch book~

And that's it for me! Really enjoyed reading through all your Stacking the Shelves, though seeing all those copies of Lies Beneath is really killing me. You lucky people >_<  Anyway, thanks for dropping by~

♡ Vivian

June 22, 2012

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Thanks for all your warm welcomes!!! I'm still not done visiting everyone, so sorry if I haven't dropped by your blog yet! Anyhow, here's one of the first reviews I wrote after I announced my hiatus, and it's also the only one that held the honour of being posted on Facebook prior my return. Without further ado (I know I'm ridiculously late >_<), THE HUUUNNNGER GA~MES!!!

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication: 2008, Scholastic Inc.

Summary: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV...read more

Appetizer: "a breathlessly exhilarating ride...blunt but clever"

This book whisked me onto a breathlessly exhilarating ride without a brief moment of true rest! Addicting and highly entertaining, "The Hunger Games" stretched to a vast span of literal settings and themes, all meticulously tied to the vicious core of the Games.

Collins confidently lure out our imaginations as the blunt but clever writing sweeps dramatically to reveal a constant and mesmerizing show of scenes, each and every one feverishly brilliant in vividness. With a plot drawn out with effective pacing, readers are ensured a hooked and driven journey that maintains a satisfying amount of pages and well-coordinated action that guarantees the story to never grow stale. "

The Hunger Games" boasts an incredibly memorable cast as well; the characters each flicker and brighten in turn from the very start. They are skillfully and faithfully created and bring many touches of both sweet and tragic emotional stirring to the sharp sting of the ruthless massacre in the bare plotline.

With that additional yet fundamental puzzle piece, "The Hunger Games" has been successfully brought to life and will dazzle countless readers and result in the ignition of a fantastically captivating flame.

Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4 Epic Hoots

Final Notes:  Thanks, Natasha, for lending me the books to read! If I had been waiting for that library hold to come around, I'd probably be waiting for another 3 years, haha! This book was just plain epic, and I'm sure almost every one of you would probably agree!

♡ Vivian

June 21, 2012

I'M BACK ~ !!!

Vivi is officially back. I'm done Junior Year and all those crazy exams (for now.)! I cannot believe it, really, that I'm going to be a Senior next year (!!!) -feels old now-

Thank you guys so much for waiting for me! I-I hope I'm not talking to a ghost audience here... O_O Don't know why, but I feel slightly intimidated, haha! I was so happy to sometimes come back here for a break from things and see those occasional comments. It really made me work harder and I looked forward to this day SO much!

I'm really sorry to not have been there for all those missed reviews. Please pretend that I have left lovely comments, er, in spirit. It will be a bit slow to get this blog back running smoothly, and I also need to tie up some loose ends here and there, but I promise I'll be happily prancing back to each and every one of your blogs!!! If I've missed you at any point later on this coming week, feel free to leave a comment ^_^

Also, as a heads-up, there's going to be a major bombing of all the book reviews that I've written but have not shared with anyone (which makes me very sad...). I'll try not to post too frequently, but for some time, there will be constant book reviews while I tidy other things up as well.

It truly feels great to be back, here on Blogger, and typing up a brand new post. Here's  to the beginning of a new chapter!