Let's Talk: Issue Books

Friday, August 31, 2012




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: Do you like issue books? Why, or why not?

When I first started blogging, I don't think I even had the first clue what a real issue-based book was. I mean, I knew that there was contemporary fiction, and I knew that I didn't enjoy it for the most part. I found it to be riddled with cliches and, frankly, lacking any true semblance of human emotion. That, in a nutshell, made it impossible for me to make any sort of connection with the characters. It wasn't until I started actually reviewing books that I began to understand the difference between straight contemps and issue-based books.

Over time, I've come to love a good issue book, and my reasons are pretty simple. If I want to read about real life, I want it to be really real. I mean, I want to feel something when I read a book. I don't want to see some glossy and pristine little image that paints a picture nobody really knows. If I decide to pick up a book about a real issue like abuse, I want to actually be able to put myself in the shoes of the character because if I can't, then the issue misses the mark.

I realize that issue books aren't for everyone. I love a good sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal novel as much as the next person, but I'll admit that I have a very big soft spot for issue books. I think, when done really well, they have the ability to reach a reader on a much deeper level, and I envy that raw, intimate writing style. It's definitely a gift. So, in the spirit of sharing, below are my top four issue books.


Bitter End by Jennifer Brown...The Right & The Real by Joelle Anthony


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson...Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Waiting on Wednesday: Poison

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for...

Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Publisher: Hyperion Children's
Publish Date: March 12, 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart… misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
First of all, you guys know how much I love quick-witted heroines and fun, engaging MCs, right? Well, that should be combination enough for me to be in love with Poison before ever having read it. Kyra sounds like perfection - steadfast, strong and heroic. Plus, there's a pig on the cover, guys. A pig. Sold. Really though, I enjoy a good fantasy novel that offers action and adventure but never takes itself too seriously. This one sounds like it might just fit the bill. What do you think, and what are you waiting on this week?

Erasing Time by C.J. Hill Review

Monday, August 27, 2012

Title: Erasing Time
Author: C.J. Hill
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
When twins Sheridan and Taylor wake up 400 years in the future, they find a changed world: domed cities, no animals, and a language that’s so different, it barely sounds like English. And the worst news: They can’t go back home.

The twenty-fifth-century government transported the girls to their city hoping to find a famous scientist to help perfect a devastating new weapon. The moblike Dakine fights against the government, and somehow Taylor and Sheridan find themselves in the middle. The only way to elude them all is to trust Echo, a guy with secrets of his own. The trio must put their faith in the unknown to make a harrowing escape into the wilds beyond the city.
Sheridan and Taylor didn’t just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. They woke up in the wrong time. Everything they have ever known is gone, and the world they woke up in barely resembles the world they know. Language, clothing, animals – everything is different…and drastically different, at that. Sheridan and Taylor didn’t happen upon this new world by accident though. They were brought here with the sole purpose of creating a new weapon that might just ensure the ultimate destruction. But time is running out, and the girls must find someone to trust, some way to escape or simply settle for being pawns in a brutal game forever.

I will forever be a geek. I’m not ashamed to say that I let my nerd flag fly, and I really enjoy novels that embrace the concept of time travel. Erasing Time by C.J. Hill promised me that and so much more. Giving us a world that is a broken mess of twisted lies, deceit and power-hungry villains, we’re sent on a journey with the characters, hoping only to save ourselves in time. Easily embracing the concept of an ever-unraveling and changing time scenario, Erasing Time whisks us away into a world that’s entirely foreign to us, but oddly familiar, as well, promising adventure, drama and perhaps just a touch of fear.

I have so many thoughts about Erasing Time. Seriously…so many. There is a part of me that absolutely loved this book, and there’s a part of me that is so very on the fence about my thoughts. I’ll start with what rocked. The world of Traventon, where Sheridan and Taylor are sent, is a maze of contrasts. The colours are vivid, but the world itself is utterly bleak and desolate. There is an excitement in the novelties of this strange world, such as the unique beauty expressions in which the population utilize skin dyes to create their own unique look. On the other hand, there is a twisting, gut-wrenching terror that simmers in the underbelly of the novel, weaving its way throughout the characters and the plot. The dynamic between the twins was extremely well done and utterly believable. Though only one twin gets a perspective in the novel, I never felt as though Erasing Time was one-sided. I completely understood Sheridan and Taylor, and both had extremely distinct personas. Echo, too, was a fascinating character with his blue hair and careful demeanor – though I’ll admit that the insta-love…or lust…or whatever…was a bit unsettling. My one big qualm with Erasing Time is that I wanted desperately to understand the world better. We’re painted this desolate picture of what life is today, but we never really learn why. What made them live their lives in domed cities? What created their bizarre political system? Near the end, we’re finally treated to a new world of information, but it’s rushed and happens so quickly. I almost wish the tense, action-packed ending had been filtered throughout to keep me guessing the entire time. I guess I had really just hoped that the page-turning suspense would have lasted throughout – rather than just the last third.

Overall, Erasing Time had an engaging hook, dynamic characters and a refreshing spin on sci-fi. Though I wasn’t entirely satisfied, it was definitely a good book. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I thoroughly believe others will enjoy all the twists, too. I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy sci-fi and dystopian.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Multiple ARC Giveaway - FOUR Winners!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Now and again, I find myself in the extremely fortunate situation of having multiple ARCs of the same novel for one reason or another. Rather than horde these bad boys like a snotty little princess, I feel the need to give them away to other bloggers who will appreciate them as much as I will! So, without further ado, here's what's up for giveaway this time!


Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Venom by Fiona Paul


Origin by Jessica Khoury

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Here are the Rules:

There will be FOUR winners. Using Random.org, I will select four names. In the order the winners are selected, the ARC prizes will be chosen. For example, winner #1 will choose from four books, winner #2 will choose from the three remaining books, and so on. You MUST be a follower to enter this giveaway. This giveaway is open internationally and will end promptly at midnight EST on Sunday, September 9, 2012. Please fill out the form below to enter! Good luck!

Click HERE to Enter!

Let's Talk: Top Three Favourite Series

Friday, August 24, 2012




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: What are your top three favourite series of all time, and why?

I've often said I'm not really a series person, and that's not entirely true. I do love a good series. Truly. However, I do feel that series are a bit overplayed these days. There are some series (ahem...Shiver) that don't really need to be series in my humble opinion, whereas other stand-alones would royally rule as series. That said, regardless of my differing opinions, there are some series that I just can't help but love, and I can say with the utmost certainty that they will always be favourites of mine.

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Ok, let's be honest here, guys. Is any list really complete without Harry? That's what I thought. I actually didn't start reading the series until the third book's release because, frankly, I thought I was MUCH too cool to read some dumb kids' book. I ate my words. My little sister, bless her, wore me down and convinced me to read them, and let's just say I was so obsessed with Harry that I attended many a midnight book release party...like this:


My point is that Harry Potter stays a favourite of mine because it's so much more than just sorcery and magic. It's about the magic of honour, and friends and truth. Values like that and worlds like the one in those books are simply incomparable.

2. Redwall by Brian Jacques - I don't know too many YA bloggers that understand my love of this series or have even read the series. I started it on a whim when I was about 12 years old. My older sister carried around Martin the Warrior, and it was a huge book. I wanted to look smart and carry a big book, too, so I decided I would...and I might as well try it, too. I was hooked from a few pages in. There is such incredible world-building in those books, and while they don't necessarily follow the same characters, the world and the values and morals stay the same. There is a beautiful, magical fantasy in those books that I love to lose myself in to this day.

3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan - I like a lot of good series, but this one managed to edge out of the competition on sheer entertainment value alone. I was convinced by a fellow blogger to give the first book a go when I was still a fledgling blogger. I did, and I read the first four books in three days...then I had to wait for the final book to come out. They're fun, they're engaging, they're a bit magical and silly, but they're mostly altogether just true entertainment at its best. I urge you to pick them up even if you think you're far too old for a MG series. You'll be pleasantly surprised, I'm sure.

Oh, and my runners up would have to be The Hunger Games, His Dark Materials, Vampire Academy and The Lying Game.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid Review

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Title: Insignia
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 444
Source: Publisher
More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
Tom’s life has never been easy…or lucky, for that matter. Frankly, he’s never been much of anything except the one destined to clean up his father’s continued messes again, and again and again. He wants more though. Tom believes he is destined for great things, and he just wishes he could find an in. Unlucky Tom catches a lucky break when someone recognizes his fantastic ability to blend, adapt and con his way to success. He is inducted into the Pentagonal Spire where he has the chance to become one of the elite – a human weapon in the third world war. But greatness always comes at a price…is Tom willing to pay it?

How many times have I said that I wish there were more YA books from the male perspective? Seriously…the answer is many. Insignia offers us the male viewpoint and so much more. Author S.J. Kincaid had her hands full with this one, to say the very least. With a world far bigger than the size of the book implies, Insignia envelops you in a tense, nearly alternate reality in which virtual reality is as real and as plain as day. With a richly fluid writing style, the novel pulls us into a world that is entirely different than our own, but also terrifyingly real and riveting.

Holy. Crazy. Geekdom. Before anything else, allow me to say that Insignia rocks the sci-fi genre, turning it on its head with an entirely new approach, fantastic wit and a host of characters that are engaging, blunt and utterly honest. I’d seen next to no hype about this book, so I definitely wasn’t expecting too much, though I’ll admit that the premise fascinated me. The concept of neural processors and having a computer inside your skull merges with concepts of gamers, which I’m entirely unfamiliar with. However, Insignia builds a plot and backstory that is so believable that it felt completely real. In fact, I could actually understand the concepts, and while it’s a fairly surreal concept, it felt disturbingly possible, which really amped up the strength of the novel. Then, there’s Tom. There are few male MCs that I can truly relate to and root for, but he is most certainly one of them. Tom was, in a nutshell, such an honest, stubborn and genuine guy, that I could actually put myself in his shoes – which is often a rather difficult task. Most importantly though, the fact that a female author wrote his story did not detract from him being a guy’s guy…and a totally believable one at that. Insignia was terse, action-packed and complicated, but at the same time simplistic, truthful and entirely refreshing. With careful humour, wit and sly intelligence, Insignia creeps up on you and steals you, heart and soul.

It’s been a while since I read such a surprising and delightfully exciting book, and Insignia really did blow me away. If you’re in the mood for something different and that breaks the mold, this is it. I give it a 5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy sci-fi, dsyopian and male MCs.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Review

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Celaena hasn’t had is easy. Nor has she made her life any easier by committing the crimes she has, either. Having spent a year serving her sentence in the hard labor of the salt mines, Celaena is given an option. She can be free, but she must first serve as the Prince’s champion to become the royal assassin. She must beat some of the deadliest opponents around, all vying for the one coveted killing position that could actually grant her freedom after three years of service. Things aren’t black and white though. The Prince starts to have feelings for her, Celaena must constantly be on her toes and the contestants are being killed. Is this position really worth killing for, and can Celaena adopt the new kill or be killed mentality in time?

There has been SO much hype about this one, and you guys know how I feel about hype. I remember at BEA the line for this signing was wrapped around the exhibit hall, and trust me, I was one of those vying for a copy. Throne of Glass promises the YA crowd the trifecta – an empowering heroine, action and endless adventure and a love interest to die for. Author Sarah J. Maas had her hands full crafting a story that encompassed all of the above and still delivered the emotion we, as readers, seek. Witty, dramatic, tense and action-packed, Throne of Glass delivers heart-pounding suspense and theatrics page after page, wheeling and dealing as it spins you into its suspenseful web.

Gosh, I have so many feelings about Throne of Glass that I hardly know where to begin. Celaena was an intriguing character who drew readers in with her outward bravado and inner strength. She was a bit rough around the edges and defied expectations, demanding that people pay her the same respect that they did others. Then you have the love interests – yes, two of them Chaol has this gruff demeanor that makes me love him for his utter lack of flouncy nuances. Dorian, the Prince, however, had the prestige and honour that makes him covetable. I’ll admit, their characters were a bit riddled with clich├ęs for my taste, but I definitely found myself able to choose a side. Honestly though, a secondary character stole the spotlight for me. Nehemia represents what is often lacking in YA fiction. She’s subtly powerful, incredibly intelligent and has cunning for days. I found myself in her corner much of the novel. The plot moved at a steady, even pace throughout then ramped it up at the end, and I found myself far more invested in the story later on. I’ll admit that Throne of Glass was a bit heavy on the “tell don’t show” factor, and that lost me a bit in the beginning. I honestly was unsure how I felt about the novel until the very end because of it. Most importantly though, I think that the actions of Celaena deterred me a bit from the start because, at times, she seemed a bit disingenuous and put on, if that makes sense.

I want to absolutely love Throne of Glass because of the parallels it draws with one of my favourite series for adults (Game of Thrones). However, I find myself a bit on the fence. It’s well-written, but it’s a bit too much at times. I give it a strong 3.5 out of 5, and I know that I’m one of the few that didn’t absolutely adore this story. I highly recommend it to all YA fans, especially those who enjoy fantasy and dystopian novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Magisterium

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for...

Title: Magisterium
Author: Jeff Hirsch
Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: October 1, 2012
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 320
Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn.

She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape. But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run---with only one place to go.
First off, let's take a moment and drool over that holy gorgeous cover, shall we? Seriously. It's fresh, it's new, it's dark (my type) and I'm in love with it. Then, it's got an interesting premise that promises a little bit of everything I love from sci-fi to fantasy. I also love that Glenn sounds like a worthy heroine, and that makes me want to read Magisterium even more. I snagged this one at BEA, and I'm so excited to start reading it soon! What do you think, and what are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Books Read for This Blog

Tuesday, August 21, 2012






Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Top Ten Books I've Read During the Lifespan of My Blog:

First off, for those who didn't know, i swim for oceans is going to be 3 years old in December! Go figure, right?! For reals though...it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows. There have definitely been times I've thought about quitting, but I think I'd miss it more than anything if I did. I blame (love) Jenny from Supernatural Snark for that. Anyway, moving on. These are the top ten books I've read during the life of my blog. 

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - I have a slightly more than slight fangirlish obsession with this book. Mostly because it's dark, and twisted, and slightly mad (all things I love about Michelle, too). Regardless, this book speaks to me on so many levels, and let me just say...The Evolution of Mara Dyer DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!

2. The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan - Guys, I read very little MG these days. I want to read more, but there is just so much fluff out there that it is hard to distinguish between what is good, and what is just...well...filler. This book is one of the most harrowing, cunning, spellbindingly dark books I've ever read, and it's still age-appropriate. It's a delicate balance of incredible insanity.

3. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab - There is something about this book that just sings to me. The prose, the story and the entire package is just sheer perfection. I've never read such a lyrical novel that has so many layers and, frankly, I just adore it. If you haven't read it yet...you must.

4. Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar - I remember swearing up and down that I would never, ever, EVER like a contemporary novel. I told people they were cloying and obnoxious, and I told people it just wouldn't happen. Until this one. I read this book in one night. I found myself laughing and crying, utterly devoted to Carly's story. This is one of those books that hooks you and just won't let go.

5. Between by Jessica Warman - There are a lot of unsung novels in the world of books, but I have to say that I think this one missed the fan-fare it deserves. Though there is a slight predictability to it, this novel blew me away with the character growth and soaring plot line. It was heartfelt and believable, and I truly loved it. I've read it four times since.

6. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - I read this just when my blog was starting, and I had mixed feeling based on it. I suffered with an eating disorder for many years as a teen, and those feelings never really go away. The novel is so well-written and so very painstakingly real that it's actually verging on triggering. However, it's one of the most harrowing and poetic books I've ever read, too.

7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan - First of all, that's an epic author duo, so it screams perfection. Secondly, this one grew on me with each re-read. It's one of the first books I've ever read where a secondary character steals the limelight, and there was just such a genuine, honest and fun feel to this novel. It felt utterly real and, therefore, utterly absorbing.

8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - I should actually just put the entire series on here. I would never in a million years have read this series if it wasn't for another blogger consistently recommending them. I love Percy Jackson, and I don't care if that make me one of THOSE twenty-something women carrying her YA and MG books around. This is a classic.

9. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles - This was another contemporary novel that just blew me away, and I'd picked it up on a whim, which made it even more special. The story of Maggie and Caleb was so wrought with drama and tension and angst that I should have hated it. But, instead, I loved it, and I loved them, and I love this book.

10. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins - Colour me crazy, kiddos, but I was pretty sure that I was going to hate this one going in. In fact, I'd pretty much chalked it up to a failure before I even started it. Boy, was I wrong. With fantastic characters, a swoon-worthy love interest and more depth than I thought was possible in the paranormal YA genre these days, it just blew me away.

Let's Talk: Spending a Day with One Fictional Character

Friday, August 17, 2012




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: If you could spend one day with one literary character, who would it be, and why?


I seriously kill myself with my own questions. I'm a cruel SOB. My apologies. But seriously...there are so many characters in the literary world that I would give an arm and a leg (maybe both) to spend a full day with. I could name five without even blinking. Naming one, however, was a tricky feat. So, I weighed the pros and cons and I decided upon...

That's right. I chose Albus Dumbledore. I was weighing my options, and I would have loved to spend a day with a character like Mara Dyer, because she's a tricky b*tch, or Martin the Warrior from Redwall because he's so brave, or even Anna from Anna Dressed in Blood because, hell, she's got some crazy sh*t going down.

When push came to shove though, I would want to spend a day with someone from whom I could actually learn something. I'd also want to spend time with someone who is willing to meet me on my level because, let's be honest, he never really talked down to Harry, did he? Most of all though, I think spending a day with Dumbledore would be like spending a really fun day with a grandparent who just so happens to be a friend, as well. Plus, I'd be hoping to learn some magic.

In all honesty though, there's a quiet wisdom in Dumbledore, and a genuine goodness that a lot of us find lacking at times. There's also an underlying kindness and goodness to him that makes him someone you'd just HAVE to know. I would ask him about the if I could have a Pensieve of my own, and I'd certainly see if I could dip into his memories, as well.

Auracle by Gina Rosati Review

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Title: Auracle
Author: Gina Rosati
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 304
Source: Author
16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.
Anna has an extremely unique gift. She can leave her body at will and travel to another world, or plane, where things are a refreshing change from the ordinary. It's always been a gift until one day, it becomes a curse. When a devastating accident happens, Anna's body is inhabited by Taylor, a schoolmate suddenly looking for a home. Now, Anna's spirit is locked outside her body and time is running out. Can she and her best friend Rei find a way to get Anna back to her old self before it's too late?

We've all read about super, extraordinary powers in YA. It's nothing new, right? Wrong. Auracle takes what I thought was going to be a mere story about semi-ordinary powers and turned my world entirely upside down. Gina Rosati has crafted a mesmerizing tale of a girl with an extraordinary gift facing unimaginable circumstances. Featuring a sharp, witty and completely refreshing tone, Auracle tackles a new form of the paranormal with ease, weaving us into two worlds with such ease that you might just wonder what is really real.

Anna was a surprisingly pleasant MC to follow throughout Auracle. Whereas many YA heroines are a bit too over-the-top and put-on, I found her to be entirely realistic. She had a youthful, witty voice, and her emotions were spot on to her circumstances. Her love interest, Rei, was a perfect blend of charisma, intelligence and understanding - pretty much the epitome of what a love interest should be. Their connection is a plotline in and of itself, and it lends a sweeter, lighter air to a deep and fast-paced story. Most of all though, it's innocent. I'll admit that Taylor, the villain, fell prey to a lot of the mean girl stereotypes, and while she was a good villain, I do wish there was another layer, or hidden agenda for her character. Colour me crazy, but I like my villains to be truly twisted and entirely too far gone. Auracle doesn't shy away from the action either. The plot is consistently changing and morphing - transforming its characters and demanding that the reader keep up with its steady, ever-moving pace. With wit, charm, excitement and loads of character, Auracle kicks this tired genre up a notch yet again.

I am actually quite surprised just how much I enjoyed Auracle and, to those wondering, yes - it lives up to its gorgeous cover! I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal.

I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Fathomless

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for...

Title: Fathomless
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 304
Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
I have always been a sucker for fairy tales. Always. Especially because they usually have a darker, more sinister underbelly if you read between the lines. Fathomless is the latest in this fantastic series of awesome fairy tale retellings, and let me tell you...mermaids?! Sold. The characters sound fantastic, and I love the fact that there is a deeper hidden meaning within that synopsis, and I can't wait to uncover the secret parts of the classic story of The Little Mermaid. What do you think, and what are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Romances that Could Survive Real Life

Tuesday, August 14, 2012






Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Top Ten Book Romances That I Think Would Make It In The Real World:

1. Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice - These two are a given. They're so wrong that they're right. Their chemistry, their simplicity and the beautiful nature of their sweet relationship. Can I have it? But seriously. They'd totally last!

2. Mara & Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Ok, it's the classic combination of elusive and exclusive bad boy with the equally dark and mysterious bad girl. These two are a match made in...offbeat romance land. Plus, in my mind, they're both perfect.

3. Noah & Echo from Pushing the Limits - If you see my review yesterday, you'll totally understand it. These two characters go together like peanut butter and jelly. They're both a little bit damaged, but together they're whole.

4. Caleb and Maggie from Leaving Paradise - Let's just forget for a moment that there is a book two because (honestly) it never needed to be written. Caleb and Maggie went through so much, and they came out of it with a newfound respect for one another...and a new love.

5. Susan Chilmark and Timothy Collier from The Last Silk Dress - She was a diehard Confederate. He was a diehard Yankee. They should have hated one another, but they were both so passionate about their causes that they found a mutual respect...and a sweet, beautiful love.

6. Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games - Again with the damaged and brokenness. These two both have these humble beginnings, and they have to go through hell and back just to survive. Who better to love than one another because they've known each other at their weakest and most vulnerable.

7. Carly & Ryan from Raw Blue - Colour me utterly jealous of the connection these two characters have. It's flawless, tangible, beautiful, heartbreaking and totally real. They have to learn to love one another for their baggage in order to make it through.

8. Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter - I remember being utterly delighted when these two got together. I also remember the fierce protection that Harry had for Ginny, but the respect he had to let her be the strong witch she was. Perfection.

9. Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger from Harry Potter - These two have such a perfect dynamic. He's a bit of a buffoon, and she's a know-it-all, but they have hearts of gold, and their friendship actually took the time to grow into something more.

10. Elena Gilbert & Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries - I know, I know. They're NOT actually together, however, I believe these two would last far longer than she and Stefan would. I think that love would bore her over time, but Damon would certainly keep her on her toes.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry Review

Monday, August 13, 2012

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publish Date: July 31, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
Echo was the IT girl. She had it all plus the world at her feet. Popular and pretty, Echo lived in the thick of it until the one night when everything changed and the entire facade was ripped away. Left with horrible scars on her arms and a nearly no memory of what happened, Echo just wants to go back to normal. Noah, however, changes things again. He's bad news, and Echo knows it, but there's this attraction and chemistry between them that she just can't deny. It might just be enough to bring a little bit of hope back.

Hey, remember when I said I hated contemporary fiction? I reserved the right to change my mind and...holy HELL...Pushing the Limits slapped me in the face with one heck of a wakeup call. Author, Katie McGarry, has crafted a fine work of fiction, seamlessly weaving the complexities of the teenage experience, internal drama, external turmoil and vivid characters into one mesmerizing story. Better yet, the drama, though intense, is real and alive, inviting you into the characters' worlds for a firsthand glimpse at their transformations. With an overriding theme of love and the ability to change, Pushing the Limits brings the genre into a new light for me.

When you think about it honestly, Pushing the Limits features everything I hate about contemporary fiction. The drama, the romance, the seemingly endless emotional turmoil - all of it usually deters me from reading contemporary novels. With Pushing the Limits, however, the story somehow toes the line from start to finish, never overstepping into the realm of being cloying. Echo (LOVE her name, by the way) was a fantastic character, lending an air of depth to what could have been a very shallow and boring plot. She's multi-layered, rich and dynamic, and the turmoil that simmers below the surface makes her easy to relate to while giving her an air of vulnerability. Then there's Noah. Good Lord. What is it with bad boys named Noah?! In all honesty though, Noah seemed every bit the bad boy, but there was this gentle sweetness to him, despite the rough edges. It was almost as though it was a little shell of protection for him, too, as he desperately wants to put the remnants of his shattered family back together. And when Noah and Echo are together, the chemistry is electric. Honestly, the dynamic between the two characters simply leaps from the pages. Pushing the Limits is alive. It's painful, heartbreaking, soulful, sweet and utterly romantic. It's one of those books that will break your heart and put it back together again.

There aren't too many books on my shelf that I will read time and time again, but I can guarantee that this will be one of them. I give it a flawless 5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction and romance.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Let's Talk: Literary Crushes

Friday, August 10, 2012




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: Who are your top literary crushes and why?

There's something about literary men, I swear. If I could have a man that embodied all the qualities of my literary crushes, I'd be golden. There's also something to be said for YA literary men, although I should probably point out that my literary love interests are at both ends of the spectrum (of age, that is). I find my literary crushes embody some sort of innate charisma that leaps from the pages. I'm not always about the super overprotective ones. I'm really into those literary men that have odd quirks but kind natures and a genuine kindness from within. I'm a sap. So, below are my top four literary crushes. You may not have them. I've claimed them.

Mr. Darcy - This man is a bit off. He's got a bit of pride and far too much money. Quiet and sensible, he sometimes seems a bit arrogant and off-putting, but it's a facade. He's genuine, he's sweet and he thinks. I mean, he really thinks. A lot. Plus, he's got this way with words that makes me swoon.
Sirius Black - He's a little too old for me, and I swear I don't have some sort of creepy complex. Seriously though...who could really NOT love him? He's damaged goods, for sure, be he has one hell of a heart of gold, and at the end of the day, his courage and compassion is the heart of his character. Oh, and he survived Azkaban, so he can obviously handle himself.
Noah Shaw - In my head, that's what Noah looks like and, frankly, he's just as hot in person. I saw him. Well, the actor that played him in the trailer. I swooned. And drooled. The point is, there's something totally offbeat about Noah that makes him completely irresistible. Plus, he's got the whole accent thing and the whole "I take care of broken people" thing. Both work for me.
Ian O'Shea - I hated the Twilight series for it's sissy and pathetic characters, but The Host gave me something better. It gave me Ian. This hunk of a man offered me A) pure hotness and B) a conscience. Sure, he's protective, but he does this whole character transformation that makes him infinitely more attractive, too. The actor portraying him in the film (pictured above) better fulfill my lustful expectations.



Explore the World of Rootless by Chris Howard

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I’m a big, big fan of dystopian novels guys. Like…an epic fan. Like…if I could only read one genre for the rest of my life, it would probably be dystopian. Does that make me have a bleak outlook on life? Ehhhhhh who knows? I digress. I’ve been fawning over an upcoming dystopian for a long time now though, and the November release is fast-approaching. What book, you ask? It’s called Rootless.

Title: Rootless
Author: Chris Howard
Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: November 1, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 336
17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using salvaged scrap metal, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree--they were destroyed more than a century ago-his missing father used to tell him stories about the Old World.

Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo-a map to the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts . . . the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an alliance with Alpha, a beautiful, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.
The amazing mastermind behind this awesome story, which you should all be lusting after now, has just debuted his brand new website! It’s a fantastic blend of all things Rootless so that we, the readers, can get a feel for exactly how fantastic his world-building is. Get to know Chris Howard, himself, and explore his exciting new website…then eagerly anticipate the launch of Rootless with the rest of us!


Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr Review

Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
There are two very different worlds inevitably intertwined into one. The first is the mortal world, free and normal. The second is a quick descent into fire and brimstone in a city of daimons. Mallory, however, has one foot in each world, though she doesn't understand why. Her ignorance has always been her protection, but as Kaleb tries to secure a future for himself in The City, Mallory's destiny is called into question. Where does the true balance between the two worlds lie, will there ever be peace and where does Mallory really belong?

If you're a young adult book blogger and don't yet know of Melissa Marr, you should probably hide your face in shame. I kid. Sort of. Carnival of Souls is the new epic adventure written by the veteran author, weaving the dark, searing plots she's known for into a story that is a deadly siren, luring you into a web of destruction. Full of rich adventure, deceit and malice, Carnival of Souls is as its cover implies - fiery destruction at its finest. This novel is a guessing game of dark vs. light and good vs. evil, but nothing is ever quite that simple.

Ok, I'm going to premise my thoughts on Carnival of Souls with this; I read it two times to be able to accurately detail my real thoughts on the novel. It's fast-paced, so the first time, I devoured it in nearly 4 hours. For an epic novel, it's a fairly slim amount of pages, and I'll admit that's it's definitely a page-turner. The second time, I read for the details and to truly formulate how I really feel. The verdict is, honestly, that there is a fairly equal balance of positives and negatives. Carnival of Souls does not lack adventure or drama. In fact, it's chock full of it. The writing is compelling and rich, evoking a true image of The City and the Carnival. Even more so, the drama and action leaps from the pages, making you have to read faster. That, however, is both a strength and a weakness in the case of Carnival of Souls. There was just so much going on in Carnival of Souls that the action almost outshone the characters. After two reads, I still don't have a full grasp on Mallory. I thought I understood Aya, but she's a shadow, and Kaleb just seems surface-heavy. Without those characters to become invested in, and with a host of secondary characters interjected throughout, I felt lost and confused. If the story had been 500 pages and fleshed them out further, I think it would have been perfection.

Overall, there will definitely be people that love this book, and I'll totally understand why. Unfortunately, I just expected more, and I would have hoped to see everything completely defined. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to fans of YA and adult novels, especially those who enjoy paranormal and fantasy novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Girl

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for...

Title: The Lost Girl
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 432
Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready. But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.
Guys, just when I think dystopian books are on their way out and getting a bit tired, something shakes things up...just a bit. The Lost Girl is that something for me. It sounds like a riveting blend of sci-fi and dystopia, which are two of my absolute favourites. Plus, there's an exotic element, or twist, which makes me want to read it all the more so. I truly hope this one is bridging the gap into something a bit unfamiliar and completely alluring. What do you think, and what are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Posts That Embody My Personality

Tuesday, August 7, 2012






Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Top Ten Posts On Your Blog That Would Give The BEST Picture of YOU:

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Review - This review is the epitome of me fangirling. Guys, I try to sound all literate and smart, but I'm sorry...Noah took my breath away. Sue me.

2. The Vampire Diaries Controversy - I'm not one to shy away from issues. In fact, as much as I don't like fighting, I'll be damned if someone is going to shut me up when I think something's wrong.

3. Busting the Newbie Blues - Colour me a sap, but I'm always in favour of the underdog. Unless we're talking about sharks vs. humans, of course, in which case I'm cheering for sharks. I digress. I was once a little newbie, myself, and I like to lend a hand whenever possible.

4. Megan McCafferty Bumped Interview - I'm nothing if not honest. I didn't like Bumped, and I was stuck because I was on tour and didn't want to seem rude. Megan gave me an incredible opportunity to interview her specifically about what I did and didn't like, and it was the best interview I've ever done.

5. Dear Diary - This was a brief lil' featurette from Anna Reads, and good God does it illustrate who I am. I will forever be shamed on the interwebs. Sigh.

6. Dark Song Review - This will forever remain one of my favourite reviews that I've ever written, mostly because this haphazard review shows me utter frantic craze after reading it. That was one hell of a dark book, and I've grappled with trying to read it again, but I'm still reeling years later.

7. Happy (Anti) Valentine's Day - I loathe and despise the holiday, so in honour of my supreme dislike, I felt the need to spin the holiday on a sour note. Needless to say...c'est moi...in a nutshell.

8. Raw Blue Review - I think a little bit of me is alive in this review, mainly because of the ocean and water backdrop. I read it, and I know exactly what I felt while reading the book.

9. Let's Talk Book Covers - I'm a self-professed cover slut. It really doesn't need more of an explanation than that, really, so this post just further illustrates it. You're welcome.

10. Top Ten Favourite Book Quotes - This post really shows my inner soul because every single one of those quotes means a little something special to me. It's just up to you to decipher what. Good luck!

Butter by Erin Jade Lange Review

Monday, August 6, 2012

Title: Butter
Author: Erin Jade Lange
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 316
Source: Publisher
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death—live on the Internet—and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference.

What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans?
Butter isn't your average teenage boy. He's not good-looking, he certainly doesn't get the girls and acne is the least of his teenage woes. Instead, Butter tops the scale at over 400 pounds - being a morbidly obese teen in high school, where only the most perfect rule. His weight clouds everything. He's lonely, he's depressed and he can longer see that he has anything going for him when, in fact, he's funny and extremely musically gifted. Butter sees no way out though. He thinks that the only thing to do is end it all, and why not go out the way he got to this place? He'll eat himself to death. What happens when the world rallies around him in encouragement though? Will pseudo-popularity save him?

You guys know me. I love issue books. I've read a whole bunch regarding eating disorders, though they mainly focus on anorexia or bulimia. Butter is my first encounter with an overeating disorder. Needless to say, with a synopsis like that, I was hooked. Erin Jade Lange has crafted a slightly off-kilter novel that challenges you to feel for both the bully and the bullied, making certain that there is no semblance of black or white in this book. Butter is crafted entirely in shades of grey that force you to make your own opinions and assumptions. With haunting and desperate prose that sometimes stings with a leering lilt, Butter is truly one of a kind.


In a genre where the YA golden boy is king, Butter is pretty much the most unlikely "hero" or MC you might meet. There was a part of me that loved him. He was really funny. He was also really talented. However, there was this dark side of him that made him oddly creepy, as he stalks the people online that he could never approach in person. Butter challenged me to put aside my own personal opinions though and fully immerse myself in the story. Parts of the novel are sickening (absolutely revolting), and made me want to hate every teenage bully out there. However, the beauty is that the novel portrays these moments accurately, and it doesn't mince on the details. Rather, it sheds light on the true, dark nature of bullying. As Butter's final countdown to his deathday approached, I couldn't help but be riveted. It was fast-paced, and the newfound popularity Butter faced was intriguing. I had no idea what was going to happen. In the end, I am glad we got a resolution, but there's a part of me that felt the ending was too neat and too tidy. Not every story needs to be wrapped in ribbons and bows. I do believe Butter could have been better if it had less of a delicate hand in the end.

Overall, a large part of me enjoyed the story and the fantastic writing style, while there's a part of me that's totally on the fence. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I definitely recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction and issue books.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Let's Talk: Favourite Book Quotes

Friday, August 3, 2012




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: What are some of your all-time favourite book quotes?
Gosh, I'm a quote fiend, guys. I kid you not. I find quotes every other day that I fall in love with and can't get out of my head. Whether they're from books or not, they stick with me (and on me...whoops...just got one tattooed on my ribs.) Don't believe me? Check my Pinterest. However, if you do believe me, you'll probably understand that some of the greatest quotes of all time are said by our favourite characters.

This means that they're wise, witty, snarky, deep and heck, sometimes even downright hilarious. Whatever they are, they stay with us for a reason, and I'm not above writing them in a journal and whipping them out when I need a little reminder most. So, without further ado, below are some of my all-time favourite book quotes.

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"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

"What, exactly, is the function of a rubber duck?" - Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter

"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Yalith, Many Waters

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It

"Roses. Wolf mutts. Tributes. Frosted Dolphins. Friends. Mockingjays. Stylists. Me. Everything screams in my dreams tonight." - Katniss, Mockingjay

"You love me. Real or not real?" - Peeta, Mockingjay

"Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real." - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

"You will find joy, frustration and sorrow in your quest. Never forget that friendship and loyalty are more precious than riches...Happiness can be brief, but it knows no time in the land of dreams." - Pearls of Lutra

"We accept the love we think we deserve." - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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