Best Christmas Ever!

I'd have to say that I just experienced the best Christmas I've ever had. I thought I would write it down so that I'd remember it forever! Although, I don't think that it would be very hard to forget. Don't feel like you have to read this- It's a post for me really.

I did have to work EVERYDAY aside from Christmas, but as you may have heard me mention more than a few times, this is my first Christmas day off in what would have been 6 years. That alone was enough to make it memorable. I went all out this year, bought presents early so I wouldn't be stressed, wrapped them nicely and took my time, baked up a storm with my boyfriends mom, and had a couple members of MY family ( they're not big on getting together) up for lunch the week prior to the 25th.

I spend Friday night ( the 23rd) with Shaun's close family friends. Usually I get so nervous I can hardly speak, around Shaun's friends and family, but this time I just relaxed and tried to enjoy myself, we were at a party for crying out loud! He's so lucky to have such great people around him and I feel grateful to have spent time with them, sometimes I just get shy. I got my hair done that day, ( and they curled it and it looked really pretty!) which usually helps my confidence. I just let loose a little finally around those people and it felt so good. The next morning didn't feel so good however.
I had to work Christmas Eve, and my customers were grouchy, it was SO busy, there were only 2 staff on, and I was re-experiencing my cake vodka from the previous night over and over again. Never, EVER again will I drink UV cake vodka. I think I'll still be called 'cupcake' for quite some time though.
Anyways,after the disasterous ( but memorable) day, I went back to Shaun's mothers house for some food and relaxation. We also watched Miracle on 34th street, which is one of my favourites.

Christmas morning was AMAZING. Shaun and I have been together for more than a year, however last year he was in Victoria with his Dad, and I worked, sp this was really our FIRST Christmas together. This year we had the whole deal. Shaun made breakfast, ( Eggs Benny with salmon lox to DIE FOR) and we had a bit of champagne and OJ. He got me a new Camera ( I posted my favourite Christmas picture below) and a gift certificate ( a gracious one!) forLulu lemon
( Lulu Lemon started here in British Columbia- fun fact of the day) . Were going on a shopping/family visits/new years trip next week and I cant wait to buy some new lulu pants!~ Shaun can't wait for me to get them either ;)

We were spoiled absolutely rotten by our families. I don't think I've ever gotten so many gifts in my life. And then we spent the evening at Shaun's auntie's house where they had a fresh turkey, plenty of wine and some amazing family to visit with.
I just love his family to bits. They are so warm, and kind, and hilarious, and laid back. I still get shy around them but its easy to tell how amazing they are. Good people. I just felt like this Christmas was absolutely perfect. Relaxing, enjoyable, and warm. All the things I hoped it would be and more. I am sad its over but excited for 2012.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and cheers to reading some great books in 2012!

I'll leave you with my favourite holiday pic I took on the new camera- Shaun's brother swimming in the mounds of wrapping paper!

Follow the Friday before Christmas!

hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!


Question of the Week: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

Well. After just finishing Kagawa's The Iron King ( see previous post!), I think I could kick it in the Nevernever with Ash for awhile. DONT tell me what happens next :P And yes, I will be reading the rest of these soon enough!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Santa's good to you! Cheers xo
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I can not, CAN NOT get enough of books like The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. All of the characters were so interesting, and this book was just full of so much story potential. I'm glad there are 4 books (and two ebooks) because this one story just didn't cover enough ground for me.

I really felt that Kagawa put elements of everything fantastical into this one story. I almost wished she toned it down and developed it a bit more and this is what I am hoping for in the upcoming books ( don't spoil it for me I know most of you have read it!). It was like LOTR, some anime, HP, Chronicles of Narnia, and every other fantasy book/movie/tv show all in one. Not super original but exciting none-the-less.

I was left with so many questions at the end of this! What's the deal with Meghan's "dad" Paul?! I'm dying to know. The whole Oberon being her real father thing and then *SPOILER* the memory of her father disappearing just made no sense to me, and left so many questions. I'm confused about a lot of things but I think some of my questions will most likely be resolved in upcoming books.I felt a lot of the magical parts, like the park that was the sanctuary from Virus for example, and the various chases through the woods, were a little vague also, and I would have really liked more description. as I have mentioned, I am crossing my fingers for Kagawa to slow down and tell me a really awesome story within the next books.

What surprised me was how much I LOVE ASH! Usually I am making fun of the romances in YA, ( and pretty much every book) and rarely do I ever find myself falling in love with the character. I mean I like Jacob over Edward, but neither made my heart skip a beat like Ash does. I think I've found my man! Or... we'll see at least. Did you ever peg me for an Ash girl? I just really loved how Kagawa wrote their chemistry and it did it for me. Also, he's a prince :)

If Goodreads had half stars, this book is a 3.5 for me, but since it doesn't I'm giving it 4, for excitement and potential but just not quite enough. If the other books live up to my expectations and build on what I already know from The Iron King, this series has some 'seri-ous' (pun intended) 5 star quality.

Linger-ing

Goodreads Summary:
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.
Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace,
this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous
secret about her own well-being. For Sam,
this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget
.

YAY! I finally came around to this series! This book was WAY better than the first one. Less Sam and Grace awkwardly falling for each other and more story developing! I am actually looking foreword to reading Forever, and then Scorpio Races as well.

What really did this one justice for me was Isabel & Cole. Not only do I totally love their characters, but it was AWESOME to get their POV. The whole book could have been about those two and Id have been just as happy. I am totally pumped to see what happens in Forever! There is just something about Isabel I love. How she found out what was going on in Mercy Falls, tries to help, and gets involved even though she hasn't been bitten. I admire her. Shes definitely evolved from book one and I am totally into it!

Grace has never really done it for me but I am starting to like Sam a lot more too. His constant lyric writing kind of annoys me but I like how he's stepped into Beck's role a bit and I'm hoping to see more of that in book three.

As long as Forever is all about the torturous love between Grace and Sam, and actually has some beef to it, I think I'll like it.

AND THE PRINT WAS IN GREEN! I had no idea, and thought this was awesome.
3/5
Well. I am really tempted to write a rant of a post about how much I hated Stephanie Perkins' ( the hyperlink is to her blog where she begs you to buy her books) Anna and the French Kiss.

Where, oh where, to start? Firstly, I didn't like Anna. I thought she was unintelligent, ( everyone at least knows a little bit of french/about Paris!) and very ungrateful. I would have LOVED to go to a boarding school in Paris in my senior year! I was just building and building with rage as she rattled on and on ( and like, and like, and like a daft 13 year old like totally) about disliking her life. Her thoughts about His Holiness, St.Clair, made me want to vomit also. I found her very un-relate able, and unbelievable. I just didn't understand her at all. I thought her hair sounded ugly also. It sounds funny, but it's true.

Which brings me to the other half of this book that I hated, St.Clair. What a TOOL. If ANY guy I knew was trying to flirt/hook up/waste my time like that when he had a girlfriend, I wouldn't spend one thought on him, and he sure as hell wouldn't be spending the night in my bed. In my opinion, if I were Anna, I would see his behaviour as a huge character flaw and kick him to the curb. She has very horrible taste in men in my opinion.

I could go on ( and on) about all the reasons I didn't like this one, but I think I'll stop there and move on to the positives. I thought it was awesome when Anna put a Canadian flag on her pack, made me feel pretty patriotic. Best part in the book. Perkins' writing isn't bad either, I'm not hating on that at all, the story actually flowed well for nearly 400 pages of Anna annoying me.

Mostly, I just realized how much I love reading. That even though I was curled up on my couch spending time with a book I hated, I was still enjoying myself. I was relaxed, it was a quick read and it's another book done of my tbr list. I guess that's when you really know you've got a true love for reading, when it almost doesn't matter what you're reading, your just grateful there was time in your day you could. On that note, I have A LOT of books beside me I'm going to pound out before they're due back to the library, so you'll be hearing from me soon. <3
As for this one, it gets a 1/5.

Here is the goodreads synopsis for those ( unlike myself) who may enjoy it.

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Oh Christmas Tree


So hard to find time to sit and make a post this time of year. Like our whiteboard calender on the fridge is just COVERED with plans. I sort of love it. Even if I'm hungover more than not.

I am reading a really sh*tty book right now though so I'm definitely stalling. I'm halfway through though so should be too painful to finish it up, and boy are you gunna hear about that one.

What I DID find time here to post about was our CHRISTMAS tree. We went a found one today and I never remember how much I love having the tree up until it's that time of year again. I haven't had a real tree since I was very young despite my begging and pleading, but this year Shaun and I decided to spend Christmas morning here together, just the two of us, and I dint have to go work for the first time in what would have been 6 years so I'm f^cking PUMPED for Christmas day. Ill go to any party, buy everyone all the gifts I can afford, bake, countdown, play carols ( love Soma FM's Christmas Lounge, SOOO groovy), and do about everything I can to make this one as awesome as I can.

So I am apologizing for not having a review up in a while, but at the same time wanted to share with you my Christmas cheeeeeer! And I'll leave you with a cute picture of Shaun hauling our tree out of the forest.

Muggle-No-More

As weird as this may sound to you. I somehow missed the whole Harry Potter thing. I was probably sneaking out of school to get stoned and walking through the forest with my friends. But yeah, I missed it. I saw the movies because I used to work at a movie theater and saw EVERY movie. I really liked the movies but felt my experience with Harry just wasn't the same as those who have read those delightful stories.

I tried to deny wanting to read them, I really did. I put it off and put it off and then just gave up on the idea of reading them. I obviously know what happens so I didn't really see the point in reading the books. HAHA!

So last week Shaun mentions he has never seen the movies. I was in utter shock at this fact, and wasn't quite sure how to handle the situation until I came up with a BRILLIANT idea. To read a book, then watch a movie, read the next book, watch the next move, etc! I know! Such a good idea!

So this weekend I read the very first Harry Potter, and truly fell in love with it, for what it was meant to be. I absolutely LOVED Hagrid and The Weasleys especially in the first book. It took me less than 48 hours easy to fly through it, and I am so grateful I did. I am excited to keep on going slow but sure ( i don`t intent to read them back to back) and really appreciated Rowling`s writing and the characters she created. Chamber of Secrets here I come!
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads!!!
( thanks Simon & Schuster Canada!)

The Placebo Effect
by David Rotenberg
Goodreads Summary:
Decker Roberts has the dangerous gift of detecting the truth (synaesthesia). But when his carefully compartmentalized life starts to fall apart he has to go on the run and figure out why he’s being targeted. There’s also a government agency hunting him down who seems to know everything about him and other people of “his kind.” How will Decker find out which truth was endangering his life? Who betrayed him and revealed all his secrets? Decker needs to find answers quickly, before knowing the truth turns from a gift into a deadly curse.

Well, let me start off by saying this is the first ARC of anything I have ever read so I was really excited to read it. This one will be published January 3rd FYI.

Our MC, Decker Roberts, has the unique ability to 'see' if someone is telling him the truth. Because of this unique gift, how he acquired it, and who else has acquired similar gifts, everyone is after him. This book had so many unique characters in it, a sneaky pharmaceutical company with a dirty head honcho, a hot national service agency agent keeping tabs on our MC, and a couple of crazy people. You know, the usual.

This book takes you through the events in Decker's ever complicated life as we follow him through it. However, we have pretty much no clue ( like Decker) what is going or happening until it happens. This made Rotenberg's book fairy fast paced as I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next. I did feel lost sometimes, but once the story started unravelling about 100 pages in, I really got into it.

Aside from a couple Dan Brown books, I have never read anything all that suspenseful and mysterious. Its definitely a lot different from appearing circuses, magic spells, and chicks who date werewolves, but to be honest, I really liked this change of pace, and enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

My favourite parts were the little Canadian jokes thrown in to the dialogue and also the very brief mentioning of Vancouver Island as that's where I live. Its always fun to read about a place your familiar with and see what other people's (authors in this case) opinions of it are. For the record, I really don;t see many beat up old Volvo's driving around, but that part in the book made me chuckle!
3/5 for me. I DID like this one but it gets three for hyping me up and kind of fizzing out at the end.
Usually I am super busy thursday/friday and dont get to participate in FF. WELL NOT THIS WEEK!

Also, a very Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating in the U.S we up top already had thanksgiving, but that doesnt mean we cant still be thankful anyways ( and participate in Black Friday shopping)!

That being said, it's FF!!! hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!

This week's Question: It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for - blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

I am thankful for Goodreads. I really dont think I would have found you guys ( yes you!) if it weren't for that website. Its really sparked my love of reading over the last year and has opened me to the blog world so I can finally share my love of reading with all of you. I dont really know anyone ( small town etc) who cares what a read lol. So yeah, Im thankful to anyone who has stumbled on by, and Im thankful I have a blog to share my thoughts on.
I just finished reading The Night Circus ( see below) and I really LOVED it. Im thankful I had time this week to really sit down and enjoy it without too many interruptions, like sleep. :)

Anyways happy follow friday/US Thanksgiving!
For some reason the first few times I'd read reviews for The Night Circus it didn't really capture my attention. I don't really have a big thing for circus' first of all, and I'm not super into very descriptive novels. Reading The Night Circus basically just took what I thought I knew about what I liked, and threw it out the window. In short.

This book had me by page 40. Usually it takes me at least 100 pages to love something. I didn't really know what this book was going to be about at first- well aside from a circus appearing at night of course- but something about magic always draws me in. Maybe its the French. Le Cirque de Rêves I think would have even made a better title for the book. Something about" The Circus of Dreams" just sounds better to me. I dont remember even ordering the book into the library, and after the last book I just read I didnt think anything could really hold my attention. but 40 pages was all it took to get me hooked.

There is a scene in the beginning where we watch Marco and Isobel meet in a cafe, and Morgensterns writing had my flipping pages so quickly I forgot to even eat dinner. I think I liked every single character in this book and was dying to learn more about them. I have heard the haters comment that It was a pretty slow paced story, and it is, but not in a way that didn't make it exciting for me at least. Each chapter made me feel the sense of wonder coming from these elaborate characters, and I can only describe how I felt as warm as if the pages themselves were charmed, and I was under Morgenstern's spell. It's almost as though I felt like I was falling in love.. with a book! It was so enchanting and beautiful and it's easily one of my new favourite books of all time. I have to admit that the ending was a little odd, but it was totally acceptable in a story written like this one. Maybe I wanted something more out of the ending but the fact that it left me with that feeling just goes to show how into this book I was. I guess it had to end sometime, unfortunately. But I was totally captured.
This is the kind of book where I wished I had a little of my own magic, so I wouldn't have had to sleep and I could just stay up escaping to The Night Circus.. well.. all night! I'm now afraid that The next few books I read don't stand a chance at being favourites of mine, because this one was just so so SO good. I wish I knew how to review books properly so that you'd read this and race out to get your hands on a copy. I just absolutely l-o-v-e-d it.

Oh,and also ( sorry, I just could talk about this book FOREVER) I have a really bad habit of judging books by their covers. I think it's because I'm a bit shy and I read in public a lot and maybe I care what people see me reading for some reason... off topic ... I DIDN'T like the cover of this book. It wasn't nearly as enchanting or as beautiful as I imagine it could have been like the story itself. The title looks cool but I would have picked a better picture. in my opinion. OK I'm done. I'll just leave you with the Goodreads Summary which I am sure most of you have already read :)

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Wow- it sure got COLD this week. The snow and ice look like they're sticking around! Supposed to snow again tonight. I think it got down to -4 or -5, so were not super frozen yet but It's definitely chilly out there. I love going out into it for a little while and then walking into the warm house. Makes for some cute pink cheeks and noses!

Anyways, during this week I finally got to finish up the second book of Margaret Atwood's MaddAdam trilogy. I'm sure I have mentioned before that Oryx and Crake is by far my favourite book on the planet, but I wasn't so sure about reading the second one for awhile. I thought maybe perhaps it would ruin Oryx and Crake a bit for me, but in fact, did the exact opposite.

Oryx and Crake was published in 2003, and Year of the Flood in 2009 so who knows when #3 will come out but it's one of those series that although you want to read it asap, its totally worth waiting for.

I am again, SO amazed at how Margaret Atwood created the world as it is in this series. Its unbelievable how talented she is. I cannot praise her enough. And the characters... SO well written that your heart literally aches in places of these books, as you feel they are so real. I can honestly say these are total works of art- easily in the top of my list of the best books ever written that I have read. If you have no idea what I'm talking about- educate yourself and read about this trilogy. It truly is amazing.

I absolutely loved Toby and Ren's stories and how they managed to survive the waterless flood using their Gardeners knowledge. In a time where the world was ending they learned the value of life and survival and it paid off for them in the end with a little luck and a lot of skill. I almost loved Year of the Flood more than Oryx and Crake but I'm not sure if I want to say that because Oryx and Crake was just so incredible. Reading book two just made me want to read book 1 again but alas- there are more books to be read!

And so I leave you with the Year of the Flood summary, book cover, and link to the Year of The Flood website in case your curious little mind wants to check things out farther :) Also it;s highly recommended to read book one first as so many of book one's unanswered questions are revealed to you in book 2.


The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted 2 the melding of science, religion, and nature – has long predicted a disaster. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women remain: Ren, a young dancer locked away in a high-end sex club, and Toby, a former God’s Gardener, who barricades herself inside a luxurious spa. Have others survived? Ren’s bio-artist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy policing force of the ruling powers… As Adam One and his beleaguered followers regroup, Ren and Toby emerge into an altered world, where nothing – including the animal life – is predictable.

http://yearoftheflood.ca/ca/

Beth Revis' Turkish Delight!

Beth Revis, ( as if you didn't already know!) author of Across the Universe and A Million Suns is doing a GIGANTIC thanksgiving (US) giveaway. I mean she's giving away signed copies of every book you want to read.

Once I saw the list, she had me at TURKISH DELIGHT

And now I will tell you about the book I am most grateful for.
That book would be Margaret Atwood`s Oryx and Crake.

This book changed everything for me. I found a true love of reading again, and now live a much more fulfilled life, cuddling up to my books and learning how to de-stress. After the roller coaster of a year I have had, this has been my little escape and I don't know where I`d be without it. It all RE-started with Oryx and
Crake, now proudly, my most cherish book on my shelf, and boy am I grateful. Amazing what a book can do to you.


http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/2011/10/show-gratitude-for-booksand-win-19.html From here!

Moloka'i

Oddly enough, the day my dad departed for a a vacay in Hawaii, the library informed me that my ordered copy of Moloka'y by Alen Brennert was ready to be picked up. It's weird/amazing when things like that happen, like it was meant to be!
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 4th 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)

Goodreads Summary:
This richly imagined novel, set in
Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning. With a vibrant cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka'i is the true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death. Such is the warmth, humor, and compassion of this novel that "few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story.

This book ended up meaning A LOT more to me than I thought it would. Firstly it goes through Hawaii's ( particularly Moloka'i's) history from 1891-1970 covering the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii to Pearl Harbour, to the end of the Hansen's Disease segregation. And best of all, it's told through the life of a single person, Rachel Kalama, and those who loved her.

Rachel's story is completely devistating. This story isn't a happy one, in fact, i'll warn you, this book is extremely sad. She is one of the many Hansen's Disease sufferes who was taken from her family and left to live out her days in the 'leper' colony on Moloka'i. Yep, this vook was heeeavy. Before reading this book I had no idea about these colonies or how they operated. I was shocked by the details of this story, and even more shocked that this went on until 1969. I fell in love with all of the characters of this book, and hearing their stories. I felt excited when the residents of Kalaupapa triumphed and made progress, and felt like crying when things went the other direction. Rarely does one get to read a book that makes you feel like you are part of a person's family, and Brennert's historical fiction did just that.

The story to me was all about Ohana-family. I was truly touched by Rachel's story and will never forget it. I was very impressed that Brennert could tell me someone's entire life story in 384 pages and never bore me once. I can't believe I never knew about this subject until this novel. I'm just left gob-smacked really. 5/5 stars, without a doubt.
JUST FINISHED MOCKINGJAYYYYY!!!! finally. I have read the Hunger Games trilogy. I can now officially say that. Go me!

For starters, I wanted to let all of those people ( none who which read my blog ) who thought this book/ending sucked, that they were wrong. In my opinion, of course. It was awesome.

I was worried in book two how Collins would do this whole Katniss love triangle/rebellion thing in book three and I thought it would pretty much be impossible. I was ( SPOILERS AHEAD, id stop right here if you haven't read these books but want to!) worried that the whole third book would pretty much be a battle for Katniss' heart and not about what was actually going on. But, that wasn't the case here. I loved this book, the following of the build-up of the rebellion, where Katniss stood in all of it, and how there wasn't too much lovey-dovey crap. I mean, who has time for that during a rebellion anyway? No, this book was SAD and depressing, and a little slower paced but still page-turning. I wished more people had died in the end like either Peeta or Gale ( or even Katniss herself- it seemed like she was immortal almost) so I didn't have to be disappointed that she ended up with Peeta. But the fact that she did just made me more sad, and although I don't like happy endings, I like things to pretty much resolve and they did and I think it was a job well done in that department.

I especially enjoyed the combat scenes and the District 13 evacuation. The whole hijacking of Peeta was a little strange, but I can handle some strange.
5/5 for sure. Catching Fire was probably my favourite just because of the pace, but this was pretty darn good for a book 3 in a trilogy. I was explaining to Shaun what happened throughout these books because I was just so excited that something big was going to happen. I like when books gets to me like that! The Hunger Games deserves all the hype it's getting for sure.. how many more sleeps til the movie? :)

Room




GoodReads Summary:
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.


So I just finished reading Emma Donoghue's Room, and to be honest I have no idea what to say exactly about it.
I've picked this book up off the self so many times but put it back because the summary didn't really sound that appealing to me. I didn't know what to think of it really, but I just saw this book EVERYWHERE.
I saw that one of my GoodReads friends ( also a real-life friend- yes I have those) had read it, and I thought it might be a nice change of pace from all the young adult books I've gotten myself into these days. Well. It was a change alright, but I don't think I'd quite call it a nice one.
This story is very dark. It is told through five-year-old Jack's point of view. This may seem like a neat writing spin on a novel however listening to a five year old ( or more likely a middle-aged woman writing as a five year old) for 321 pages isn't easy. In fact, it made this book even more dark and twisted for me. I totally think Donoghue achieved the shock, horror, and beauty that was the Room and it easy to see why this book is #1 on many lists. I absolutely hated the story, but the book was definitely something different and very well done in my opinion. I felt like Jack and his Ma acted very much like anyone would in their situation, even though I was wincing at a lot of parts.
I especially didn't like the whole 'tooth' parts, even though the tooth was metaphorically telling the story itself.
This book rubbed me the wrong way, which It was supposed to. I deserves and very well should get a 5/5. But for the subject matter I can only deal out a 3.
I'm glad I read this this book and Im happy im finished reading it.

Greetings Earthlings

I know this is a book blog, but if I could share one thing with the whole world it would be this movie.
http://www.earthlings.com/
It's free to watch online, and If I could beg you to watch it I would. It's worth your time.

Enclave, by Ann Aguirre!



So I just finished reading Enclave by Ann Aguirre. I have SO many books to read all sprawled over my coffee table and I was so excited to read this one! It's been on my TBR list for awhile now.

Goodreads Summary:
WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known

Well. To be completely honest.. I wasn't all that impressed with this book. The idea was fantastic, but there was just SO much going on in this one, and in 250 or so pages, I felt it was rushed. That style of writing sure keeps you going, but i felt it lacked quality. It was written well and flowed nicely but there just wasn't enough in my opinion. Nothing really gripped me to the story, and I felt like we only got a glimpse of what the characters were like. It just kind of fell short. But that's just my opinion! I was happy I finally got to read it for myself.
2/5 :)

OH MY GOOOOOD! I spent all day reading Catching Fire and AHHH, I cant wait to read Mockingjay I just cant!!!!

I was SO skeptical about this series. I was actually getting kind of tired of the same old YA books and this one just has me. I am ON the bandwagon. During the first one, I felt it was pretty gripping, felt like I got to know Katniss well, but in the back of my mind thought the whole games, fight to the death thing was done before. Well. Once I read Catching fire, particularly the last chapter which just threw the whole series for a loop, I coudlnt believe how much more there was to it. I'm so drawn into this trilogy. Ha vent felt my heart race quite like this before.

I feel so lucky to have a blog and follow/am followed by other who love these books as much as I do. I cannot wait to read Mockingjay. It may be a few weeks but I am so excited about it. wow.

I'm sorry this post is so explosively ramble-y but I literally JUST put the book down and haven't even had time to process it,i just had to get this out and this is really the only place I can do it where people understand :)

The only things I didn't quite like about this book is how we really don't know how this rebellion really got started and what has happened like, politically. I mean if you're going to have a world rebellion there needs to be more details, although I understand this book is through the view of Katniss who is a 17 year old girl who's clearly being toyed with and is naive enough not to notice. but that's fine with me because it makes for a great story :)

Also I wish there was a little bit more description of the actual arena in this one. There was a lot going on and I found it a little hard to picture. I kind of felt like these games were just kind of half-assed compared to the first ones even though by the end of the book you understand why :) So really its not a bad thing, I could have just been lead along a little more is all :)



5/5 for me. I always love book 2. You're always already in love with the story/characters, but there is still something to look forward to when it's done !

Falling

Fall on the northwest coast really is the most beautiful season. I am gratefully posting about how much I love it, because in my entire young adult life I have been too stressed out and exhausted and working my ass off too much to even notice it go by.
This is why I quit what I was doing and started over. No, my parents still aren't happy, and I frequently get asked " What the hell are you doing?", and " You know, everyone's talking about you at ( insert old place of work here)". Well I feel bad that they have to bother themselves with worry about me, because I am happier than I have been in years. It's a genuine real happy for LIVING my life.

I remember I love this time of year when I get to wrap myself up in warm, cozy, and incredibly cute clothes and walk outside into the crispy, clean air. One deep breath and I immediately can feel the warmth of the sun,as my cheeks start to rose-y up. Although the sun feels amazing,usually a nice latte fills in the cold spots the sun cannot. I love the crunchy colourful leaves and all of the fall smells. I'm always amazed at how dying leaves look so beautiful and at that time I wish I had no other skill but to be able to paint or photograph how I view this.

We live next to a forest, which is one of my favourite places to be especially when its glowing with all of the fall oranges and yellows. In many of the enchanted books I read, I picture forest s
cenes in this exact forest.

This particular chilly night I got together with some new friends I am very fond of and we giggled and snacked and went to a candle party. I love candle parties because there are always so many delicious smelling candles and the lights make me feel fuzzy. I bought two scents of votives, an apricot fig and white oak sandalwood which I feel are like autumn in a smell. I have always wanted to go to this particular kind of candle party. I have been invited to many, and ordered lots of candles before but have never been able to attend due to work. I haven't had a Christmas off in 5 years and have worked most new years' as well.

I am so thankful to be able to start enjoying the smallest things in life I have missed, like quality time with real friends, and walking around in the woods. I cant begin to explain what it's like to be deprived of the things you cherish the most, and the gratitude and joy I have felt now that its back and I can appreciate it.

(photos of Beaver Lodge Lands were found using Google image search)
So I Just finished reading 'She Rides' by Elle Laudan. My signed copy I won off of goodreads! I had never read this genre before but it was pretty good after all, nice to take a break from YA however I am excited about the books I have coming up next!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians celebrating today! Hope you get stuffed full of food and get to spend lots of time with your families!

Goodreads Summary:
Missy heads out on her vintage motorcycle for what proves to be a ride of a lifetime. Every new road brings with it new friends, new experiences and even a sexy romp with a tattoo artist.
It's summers' end when Missy rides into the small town of Waverly for Bike Week, and  sets sight on the most beautiful man she's ever seen on two wheels. Tommy marks the beginning of many hot, steamy nights. Is he Missy's, 'happy ever after', or is there a twist around the next bend in the road, nobody saw coming?



In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads!!!

This is the first book in this genre that I have read. And I must say I was impressed! When I found out that I had a won a copy of an 'erotic suspense' novel I giggled and rolled my eyes, not really knowing what to suspect. The cover of this book, I didn't like so much. It put me off reading it for a while but luckily I went for it anyway.

I immediately loved Missy's desire for adventure. That characteristic alone made this read enjoyable. I loved how in the first half of the book, Missy is a young naive reckless rider, and by the end shes grown into a strong women who learns from her mistakes and takes control of her life again. Its a total coming-of-age type of erotic suspense :)

This book was written well and I could clearly picture the bad-ass bikers and their hangouts in my mind, And loved how we got to learn what they were really like. This book was such a fun read with so many fast twists that kept me turning the page to find out what happened. Id read Laudan again any day.. and she's Canadian to boot!

Happy Reading/Thanksgiving!

Wither!!!

I finally read a book that got me out of my reading slump!

Wither by Lauren Destefano!

GoodReads Summary:
Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.

Wow. For a YA novel ( I'm still a new YA reader) This book totally grasped my attention. I fell in love with the cover art and ordered it into the library as soon as I could. I got totally lost in it and just powered through the whole book. I absolutely loved the mansion setting. I felt like I could totally picture the wives floor and could feel the intensity of how the sister wives felt so trapped. I loved the moments they interacted with each other and absolutely loved how Gabriel ( although we didn't hear from him enough) and Rhine's relationship just happened. It didn't feel forced at all, it just seemed natural.

I simply cannot wait for book 2. I hope its still exciting and we see the characters of Rhine and Gabriel develop more now that they are outside the prison that was the mansion. I hope Vaughn's experiments become known to all and he dies a miserable death! I also hope Bowen and Cecily make it out of there alive!

Nothing like a little dystopian fantasy to relight my reading fire! I hear it's supposed to rain here for a while again which is great because I have so much reading to catch up on. Today is overcast and the air is refreshing so I am going to go for a nice walk while I can :)

Playing catch-up

It seems the rest of you are thriving. I love reading your blogs, I really do. Makes me feel bad though, Ive read a mere 50 pages in an entire week. Not sure if it's school or a combination of Big Bang Theory and the new season of The Biggest Loser, but I just can't seem to sit and read these days.
Maybe it's the book? I'm reading a decent one, it'exciting but I just cant get deep into it. Any suggestions?

I have about 7 books id like to read in the next month but at the rate im going that's impossible!

Anyways, miss you guys!
-Alana

Shiver-ing

Welp. It's been a busy week of work, and a little play here at my place. Oddly enough in one week the weather went from the high 20's to like 15 degrees. And it just keeps hammering down rain. The leftovers of the Japanese typhoon are being blamed, but who are we kidding? The Canadian west coast will be wet for another nine months!

With the sudden drop in temperature, I for some reason ( or because everything happens for a reason) read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. I love reading books that coincide with the weather. Makes them better.

Anyways, I really didn't like it. I don't see what the hype is about at all. I rolled my eyes at every conversation Sam and Grace had. I love werewolves but this book was just so.... young. The fact Sam made up lyrics about things made me gag. All I kept thinking was REALLY? the first third of the book I could pretty much sum up into " omg omg omg I want him to kiss me, omg he has yellow eyes, omg omg". I just didn't dig it at all. The characters sucked. I'm sorry. I know SO many people are into this book, but I just wasn't! .. AND the "summer girl" song? I could barely take it anymore by that point. haha.

That being said, I finished it, and I'll most likely read the other two just because I'm like that. Maybe by the third one they'll be more mature? I acted the way grace did when I was like 13-15 and maybe that was the target audience to begin with- but usually I can appreciate some good YA and this made me want to read something for adults for sure.

We'll give it 2/5.

I need some The Help!


So I'm the only person who hasn't read The Help apparently. I wanted to SO BAD. trust me. When I first heard of it, my mind raced straight to The Secret Life of Bees, which is hands down one of my favourite books ( even though I cant say I'm a fan of other Sue Monk Kidd books).

Anyways, the bookstore downtown has a book club, and they posted a sign saying they were reading it and when the club would meet. It has been like my life goal to join a book club. I'm one of those people who has a gym membership, but never goes to the classes. Who loves to read, but never goes to the book club... even though I really REALLY want to.

I keep getting off track here! OK! So then there was even more buzz when the movie decided to come out and be awesome. I don't have cable so I haven't heard everything, but it sounds like the movie is actually pretty good. It FINALLY came to my town this week and I literally almost had my shoes on ready to go see it tonight- but I couldn't help but stop and ask myself if I should read the book first... I tend to LOVE movies way more after I have read the book, and either never read the book or hate the book if I have seen the movie first.

So I thought I'd take it to the experts- YOU! What did you think about the help? Worth the read first and wait for the DVD? or skip it and just watch the show because its good enough?



SO MUCH is happening in my life right now.
It sucks that I've barely had a chance to read or check out your blogs. I'm still here, and still so very much in love with your blogs, I just have NOT had the time to be as committed as I once was. It might actually still be a while to get back into a swing!
I'm working full time right now in a new smoothie bar in town. I live in a small town and its such a big deal that the store is just a nuthouse right now and I'm working tonnnnns of overtime!
I have also been doing an online course so my time is just being totally spent.

I did get a chance to FINNNNNNALLY burst through The Hunger Games. I was nervous to even read this because the sneak movie trailer on the MTV awards was only 'OK', and I knew I was the last person ever to read this book. But I did it anyway and thought it was SO good. I wont post a synopsis because I know you've all read it. All I can say is that I am very excited not only for the movie, but also to get my hands on Catching Fire.

I just loved how exciting the book was. If I didn't have to, I wouldn't have put it down and it's short enough that if life didn't happen I could have just powered through it. I'm totally in with the Hunger Games hype crowd and will probably be lined up to watch the midnight screening when it comes out in June. Thankfully I have a certain sparkly vampire movie to watch before then to tide me over with my YA novel-turned-movie love affair.



I miss you all and hope to be back soon! Thanks for sticking around!

Dreams

When I think about my dream house- it has a room that looks like this. I knew you guys would like it so I had to share <3 Hope you're all busy reading amazing books and blogging about them for me to read :)
-Alana

Graceling

I finally finished reading Graceling and I've so many thoughts running through my head. I've decided not to do a 'review' per say, of this one because I just want to talk about it. And I know a lot of you read this series.

So, on goodreads not that long ago, Fire was recommended to me by some person I don't know. This summer I had decided I would branch out into YA and Fantasy and just see if I liked it. I thankfully now follow many amazing blogs that keep me in the loop and get me so excited about reading this genre that I just feel nothing but excitement when I wake up and read all of your blogs. There is a lot of catch up reading to do- particularly with a few certain series which you will see from me soon.

So Fire, was truly amazing to me. I completely lost myself in it, and I am proud to now call it one of my favourite books. The story was so exciting and the chapters are a perfect length, I couldn't put it down and Cashore's writing is so easy to read, and flow-y. So of course I had to read Graceling.

I had read on a bunch of review sights that is is better to read Fire first ( which I did without noticing). About halfway through Graceling, I really thought one should read it first.
I enjoyed Fire so much and thought it was a bit more exciting than Graceling. But as I got to the end of the book, and learned that the third book is about the Graceling characters, particularly Bitterblue, I would agree in the order of reading Graceling second.

I liked graceling a lot too, there is just something about Cashore's writing that makes her books so exciting to read. I need to say I liked Fire more than I liked Katsa, but they both were some of the better female heroines I've read about.

These books are the type to me that stick in my heart. When I thought reading YA fantasy would be cool and adventurous, this is exactly the books I was looking for. If you've yet to read these books- you absolutely must. They are such a treat.

Pirates of Somalia

Just finished reading some non-fiction for a change. It was definitely interesting although I'm quite excited to be taken back into a fantasy world. Anyways- the book!

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World
By: Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Pantheon
Goodreads Summary:
Somalia, on the tip of the Horn of Africa, has been inhabited as far back as 9,000 B.C. Its history is as rich as the country is old. Caught up in a decades-long civil war, Somalia, along with Iraq and Afghanistan, has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Getting there is a forty-five-hour, five-flight voyage through Frankfurt, Dubai, Djibouti, Bosasso (on the Gulf of Aden), and, finally, Galkacyo. Somalia is a place where a government has been built out of anarchy.

For centuries, stories of pirates have captured imaginations around the world. The recent bands of daring, ragtag pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking multimillion dollar tankers owned by international shipping conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era.

The capture of the American-crewed cargo ship Maersk Alabama in April 2009, the first United States ship to be hijacked in almost two centuries, catapulted the Somali pirates onto primetime news. Then, with the horrific killing by Somali pirates of four Americans, two of whom had built their dream yacht and were sailing around the world (“And now on to: Angkor Wat! And Burma!” they had written to friends), the United States Navy, Special Operation Forces, FBI, Justice Department, and the world’s military forces were put on notice . . . The Somali seas were now the most perilous in the world.

Jay Bahadur, a journalist who dared to make his way into the remote pirate havens of Africa’s easternmost country and spend months infiltrating their lives, gives us the first close-up look at the hidden world of the pirates of war-ravaged Somalia.

Bahadur’s riveting narrative exposé—the first ever—looks at who these men are, how they live, the forces that created piracy in Somalia, how they spend the ransom money, how they deal with their hostages. Bahadur makes sense of the complex and fraught regional politics, the history of Somalia and the self-governing region of Puntland (an autonomous region in northeast Somalia), and the various catastrophic occurrences that have shaped their pirate destinies. The book looks at how the unrecognized mini-state of Puntland is dealing with the rise—and increasing sophistication—of piracy and how, through legal and military action, other nations, international shippers, the United Nations, and various international bodies are attempting to deal with the present danger and growing pirate crisis.

A revelation of a world at the epicenter of political and natural disaster

Rating: 3/5

Wow. This book really is a different kind of thrill. I was stoked to hear the author/journalist was a Canadian. woop woop!
Anyways, this book was pretty unreal.... but it IS real. I didn't know a whole lot about the topic, just had seen/heard/read a few news snippets here and there, but Bahadur gives us a pretty good overview of this kind of (very dangerous) life. Im sure he has only scratched the surface and I almost feel like he was teasing us throughout the book. I personally wanted to hear like the grueling accounts of exactly what happens on the ships first-hand, more about the hostages etc. Although I had to keep in mind- its not just a story its non-fiction and what Jay Badahur accomplished was pretty incredible.

Critically, I found that the book didnt flow together all that well despite the interesting topics. I was engaged but I found it hard to read a lot in one sitting. Also, I would really have liked to hear a little bit More about what In the world was going through Bahadur's mind, how he felt, how scared he felt, etc etc. I think just a little extra feeling would have made this an easy 5-star.

I recommend reading this book if you think you have thing for pirates, or just want to be more educated on what is going on in the world you live in- maybe appreciate how lucky you are to live where you do.

American Gods




So I just finished reading on of the best books I have read in a long time. I actually find it really hard to review these kinds of books for a few reasons. I am not a writer first and foremost, and I never intend to be. those who cant write- read. That's my motto. My blog has always just been about me and my love of books:)



Second of all, I could never do this book any justice, it was really remarkable.
and last but not least, this week, I'm PUPPY-sitting. It's pretty entertaining. I've never had to watch more than one dog at a time and i find myself regularly doing headcounts, trying to give them each enough snuggle time, and going on tons and tons of walks ( and trying to figure out which way the puppy harness goes). there are three small dogs and one 10 week old staffy-X pup. Never a dull moment here. My plan is to power through a few books and take a little vacay- time away from everything- as I am house-sitting as well. So it's really just me, and the books, and the dogs, so we'll see how it goes... they do have Telus Optik TV so I may get distracted!

Anyways, Back to the book!




American Gods- Neil Gaiman

Paperback, 592 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Harper Perennial

GoodReads Summary:
American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days.
Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost--the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book.

Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow's road story is the heart of the novel, and it's here that Gaiman offers up the details that make this such a cinematic book--the distinctly American foods and diversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced to shell games and prostitution. "This is a bad land for Gods," says Shadow.

More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country--our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what's real and what's not. --Therese Littleton


After reading Good Omens I wasnt entirely sure I'd enjoy this one. However, since I decided to open my mind to the mythical, fictional literature this summer. This was a book that just had to be read. And it was amazing. Neil Gaiman's characters were so interesting and I loved how they developed. Shadow was such a great character, and although I liked him more in the beginning than the end, I loved the experience of going through his journey's and change of mind with him.

I recommend this book to anyone who just simply appreciates a good read.

I hand out my % star ratings on pretty much every book I merely loved, but this one is a solid ,solid 5.

It's Friday Somewhere!

Ok it's still Thursday here for another 5 and a half hours but I thought I'd get my Follow Friday post out there anyways!



Follow Friday is a weekly blog following event hosted by
Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
This week:
Caught in the Pages and Jenni Elyse are featured!


This weeks question iiiiss... drumroll..

In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question comes out of the closet and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Easy. The Faerie.
Enough said. I could talk about faeries for a long time but I also found something else fun to do.
This
Quiz determines which kind of mythical creature you would be, if you were in fact, a mythical creature. I ended up as a faerie but I may or may not have picked answers that seemed faerie-like. In any case, what did your results look like?

Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


I had an extremely awesome day yesterday. and I'm having a great one today as well. Have to share!

Four cool things happened in my life.
1. I had an awesome interview at the job I'm applying for. However, can't talk about this one too much yet- don't want to jinx it- you understand.

2. I, for the first time, after 56 days of anticipation, donated a pint of blood! Yes, despite being vegetarian, my blood was in tip top shape to donate and although it was a little bit more uncomfortable than I expected, I happily donated some of my blood.

Did you know only 4% of Canada's population donates blood? That's just NOT enough. I was so surprised at how special they make you feel there, like you're actually giving a true gift. I was so happy about this because I definitely don't have the money to donate to any foundations, don't have the time to raise money and train for a race or anything like that, so I felt so good about being able to do SOMETHING. It was really a unique experience and I WILL be doing it again in another 56 days :)

For more information go to
http://www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE to book an appointment ( Residents of Canada only- I think blood in the states is done through American Red Cross?)

3. I FINALLY watched Planet of the Apes! It was so awesome. Not at all what I thought it would be liked. I loved how it was shown through the chimps perspective. So cool. And James Franco is in it so what's not to like?

4. I finished reading....
Good Omens

by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Mass Market Paperback, 412 pages

Published December 1st 2006 by HarperTorch (first published May 1st 1990)


Goodreads Summary:

Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time...

Welll..... I feel like a bit of douche for saying this, since it seems like most people loved it.. but I didn't. I liked the story idea, the jokes were eye-rolling, but still witty, and it's not like I stopped reading it or anything. I think my dislike for it came with the dialogue. There was just too much and so many characters, some of which I particularly didn't like.

I DID like Adam Young and the Them in the book, and I actually loved Anathema and her relationship with Newton.

I respect both of these authors greatly, however this just wasn't the book for me :)

Last night, I finished reading Portia de Rossi's ( Now Portia DeGeneres)Unbearable Lightness.

I actually picked this book up in Chapters back in February, and really wanted to read it. However, I have a hard time buying books like that now from big stores. The town I live in only has two bookstores, they're both independent, and one in particular, the cozy warm one, is struggling so much to pay the rent for a downtown store. Therefore that's where I like to buy my books from when I have a little extra money. So if you hear me go off about my dislike of E-readers, that's part of the reason.

The two bookstores actually didn't have this book yet, so I ordered it through the library ( IN FEBRUARY) and it finally came this week. The reason I didn't by it was because I thought, oh well, poor little rich and famous actress struggling with anorexia and bulimia who cares!? Although I love memoirs and reading about peoples deep dark struggles, I kind of rolled my eyes at this book. That is until about halfway through, when it dawned on me how crazy and intense these moments she was sharing were.

I myself don't diet, and don't really care what the scale says either. I DO however put a high priority on being fit and could definitely relate with some of the body image issues mentioned in this book. I know a LOT of people who diet and count calories and I love how this book points out how silly it is! I also didn't know a thing really about Portia aside from the fact she was on Ally McBeal and married to Ellen.

Also at random- I noticed there is an acknowledgement to Jonathan Safran Foer, with a little review quote by him on the back. He's one of my favourite authors so I just found that interesting.

I HIGHLY recommend checking this one out. Especially if you have ever been on a diet or questioned your worth by the number on the scale. Portia totally opened up and shared a very dark, very real story. You can tell SHE wrote it too, and I really liked that.

If you don't want to read it Oprah did a nice little episode with Portia about the book, in which she reads from a few pages so you get the idea. I don't watch Oprah, or listen to everything she says like so many people seem to do, but after reading this book it also helped pull everything into perspective.

So if you'd like to check it out- here ya go!
Part 1- http://youtu.be/aJMDDQFL3ro
Part 2- http://youtu.be/YwGgYs9tj_E
Part 3- http://youtu.be/RhX9os6ex68
Part 4- http://youtu.be/ZmcJ6r4GfXk

Unbearable Lightness, 305 pgs, Published November 2nd 2010 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Goodreads Summary:
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

A scattered grouping of some of my favourite pics from our hike.
We used a disposable camera so the quality isn't perfect, but if you click to enlarge they're pretty neat pics.
<-- Day 1 Mt.Tom Taylor view from our camp spot @ Bedwell Lake
The Canadian Beer Fridge -->
Just woke up- Not a bad view from the tent spot! ^

<- Mt.Sepitmus ( the on the Rock ones)-->
< --Cream Lake looking @ Flower Ridge ( Shaun sitting)

Morning Shaun!!^ up above Nine Peaks/Della Falls view ( the nine fingers) up and to your right
Coffee and a view -->



Cable Bridge on the way home!