(Review & Tour) Forgotten

Title: Forgotten
Author: Catherine McKenzie
Pub Date: October 2012 (USA) April 2012 (Canada)
Pages: 376
Publisher: William Morrow

Source: I purchased the book

About The Book:
Emma Tupper is a dedicated lawyer with a bright future. But when she takes a month-long leave of absence to go on an African vacation, she ends up facing unexpected consequences. After she falls ill and spends six months trapped in a remote village thanks to a devastating earthquake, Emma returns home to discover that her friends, boyfriend, and colleagues thought she was dead—and that her life has moved on without her.
As she struggles to re-create her old life, throwing herself into solving a big case for a client and trying to reclaim her beloved apartment from the handsome photographer who assumed her lease, everyone around her thinks she should take the opportunity to change. But is she willing to sacrifice her job, her relationships, and everything else she worked so hard to build?
In Forgotten, Catherine McKenzie tweaks a classic tale of discovering who we really are when everything that brings meaning to our lives is lost.


I bought the Canadian copy of this book when it came out in April and actually only read it on my way to BEA in June this year. As you can see I was late in posting a review (actually I had a rough draft sitting in a post) so when Catherine contacted me asking if I would want to be part of the tour for Forgotten I quickly said yes. I have been a part of Catherine’s previous two book tours ( SPIN and ARRANGED ) so I am happy to finally review her third book and help her promote it.

I am going to admit that it was a little slow for me to begin with and I think that was because I was distracted by reading this on the train on my way to NYC but once I got into the book I started to enjoy it.

Emma Tupper is a young lawyer on the fast track to becoming partner in the law firm she works in. Things are going good until her mother get ills and dies. Emma’s world is rocked and she is forced to make a tough decision, continue working or accept the gift her mother has left her.

Emma’s mother has left Emma a plane ticket to Africa, a place her mother has always wanted to go to but never got the chance. When she approaches the law firm with this they are not very happy and discourage her leaving because she is just what the firm needs. In the end Emma decides to go on this month long journey.

Not long into her trip Emma gets sick on the tour (so much so that she can’t continue) and is left behind in a little remote village to recouperate. Then as she is getting better and is trying to get back home they are hit with an earthquake. Her little one month adventure ends up turning into a six month adventure.

She is finally able to get back home but soon realizes that her bank account is frozen and that is because she was presumed dead since she never returned on her return date and the tour company never reported that Emma was sick so when the village was struck with the earthquake they all presumed Emma died in that. If that doesn’t make things worse her apartment has been rented out to another person (Dominic), all her friends (even her boyfriend) have moved on and all her belongs are now gone.  Life as Emma knows it has changed drastically. Will she be able to get back on track?

If you were given the chance to live your life over again would you do it the same way or make changes? Emma wants her old life back (even her boyfriend) and tries hard to do that but eventually realizes that perhaps she should go with the changes people around her suggest. I know as I was reading this I wanted Emma to see Dominic in a new way and not just as a friend.

I am always fascinated with these kinds of storylines because I always wonder if I was given the chance to do a do over would I? I guess it would depend, would you?

Thanks Catherine for asking me to be a part of this book tour. I am anxiously awaiting your next book which I hope comes out soon.

Check back a little later for my interview with Catherine.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review & Tour) Breakaway

Title: Breakaway
Author: Michael Betcherman
Pub Date: September 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Pages: 352

Source: I received an ARC from Razorbill for my participation in the book tour.

About the book: Sixteen-year-old Nick Macklin’s life has been divided in two. Before and After. Before his father went to jail, and After. Before, he was a talented hockey player, an A student, in love with his girlfriend, Sherry, and had the greatest dad in the world, a man who not only was there for him after his mom died of cancer, but who was also a star player for the Vancouver Canucks. Then the bottom fell out. His father was convicted of murder and given a life sentence for a crime Nick is convinced he didn’t commit. Now living with his dad’s agent, the only thing that keeps Nick going is a burning desire to seek justice for his father. Who framed him? And why? Drifting away from everything and everyone who matters, Nick spends his days roaming the city, looking for the bald man with a limp who is the key to answering these questions: the man his father swears planted the evidence that led to his conviction. Finding him is like looking for a needle in a haystack – until Nick stumbles on a very real clue, an eye-opening revelation that just might save his father… and himself.


One of the best things about blogging is getting the chance to discover a book you might not have known about otherwise and this was the case. I have to admit I never heard about Breakaway until I was contacted by Razorbill asking if I would like to be a part of the book tour. I read the synopsis and instantly said yes. I have only seen this reviewed on a few Canadian blogs so far but I am hoping that will change after our reviews get out there because this is a great book for the male young adult reader who likes books about hockey and a little mystery.

The book opens up with Nick sitting in a courtroom hearing the verdict of is father, Steven’s, first degree murder trial. From that point on I had to read to find out what happened, who did his dad kill and why. 

One of the things I loved was the mention of the Vancouver Canucks, they are our second favorite time, we are Hab fans all the way.

Nick is sixteen years old and is facing almost a life without his dad as he knows it. Thankfully he is close enough that he can go and visit his dad in jail and they do keep in touch. Nick is sure his dad didn’t kill anyone and that he is being set up. There is one person out there in the city of Vancouver that knows exactly what happened that night and its a bald man with a limp and Nick is determined to find him and prove his father’s innocence.

Nick has been told to stop looking for the man by his dad and to accept what is the new reality of his dad being in jail. So Nick tries to get back to a normal life (or what can be as normal as expected) with getting better grades, getting back onto his hockey team and possibly getting Sherry back but he is still looking for the man responsible with only his friends knowing what he is really doing. But deep down inside Nick will never give up the search and some how he will try to prove his dad’s innocence but can he before his dad looses hope?

I really enjoyed the book and Michael has asked to read it when he saw the cover of the book but I have told him no not for awhile as its not appropriate for his age. I enjoyed it and I was curious to find out if Nick would be able to pull it off and find this man in a population of 2,000,000 + people. I was also curious to find out why his dad was being set up and for what reason. Do we find out? That you will have to pick up the book to find out.

I think this is great that there is actually a book written for male readers which is few and far between in young adult books in my opinion.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell

Title: The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell (book 1)
Author: Chris Colfer
Pub Date: July 2012
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 448

Source: I received an ARC (signed) copy when I attend BEA this year and then I went out an bought a finished copy when it was released.

About the book:
Alex and Conner Bailey”s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


I have to admit that I am a huge Glee fan. I watch the show weekly  and buy the cds when they come out. I was super excited when I found out that Chris was writing a book and even more excited when I heard that he was going to be at the Children’s Author Breakfast that was happening during BEA. I quickly bought my ticket for the breakfast when they announced it. There was no way I was going to miss out on that event.

As soon as the breakfast was over I quickly made a beeline for the Little Brown booth to find out when the signing was happening. I was quickly informed that there was an “unofficial” line starting so I got in line asap. I had gotten a number ( I think it was 55 or so) and the above picture is what I took as he was signing my book. I was basically gushing telling him how much I loved Kurt and that he was doing an awesome job and that I was dying to read his book.

For taking part in the breakfast I was able to get an advance readers copy of Chris’s book and this awesome tote bag which I love to pieces.

I loved how the arc was presented as it wasn’t  just a book but it was in a cute packaging.

Just before I get into my review I will be adding other pictures to this post that are involved with the book.

I have been wanting to read this book since I got it but held off because I knew that if I loved it, I would be gushing about it non stop and that wouldn’t be far to my friends and family who happen to enjoy Chris and would want to read the book because there would be no way I would lend out my signed copy to anyone.

When I began the book I swore that this wasn’t going to be one of those books I would zip through because I wanted to savour every moment and every word. I think I did really well and read it within a week and limiting myself to reading it just at night.

All I can say is that I loved the book and this is something that I have told Michael he should read one day soon. I loved the idea behind the book and wondered how it would all play out and Chris did a fantastic job.

I loved the cover.

This is the finished copy as you probably already know. I actually love the cover more in person.

This was Chris’s version when he was 10 years old. Some similar items in them both.

Then on the inside cover there is a map:

As you can see Chris’s version and the final version once again very similar and I think that is awesome that the illustator would do that.

Quite honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I would even love the book. I was nervous because I had high hopes for the book and I am so happy that it lived up to my expectations of it. I loved it and honestly I would reread this again.

If your like me when you were little reading those fantastic fairy tales you probably wondered what would happen after the happily ever after right?  Well Chris takes us to that place and we discover what happens and not everything is hunky doory so to speak and that good and evil still interact.

One of the reason I wanted to have a finished copy of the book was because of the map so I could follow along on the journey Alex and Conner were going to take since there was no map in the ARC. I think having that map was useful for me and adds to the book.

Alex and Conner are twins (brother and sister) and their grandmother has given them this book to look after and its all the fairy tales that they knew and loved since they were little. When one day strange things begin to happen and they are sucked into the book landing in a fairy tale. In order to get back to their normal life the kids have to set out on a journey to recover items to make a spell to go back. While they succeed or be stuck in the fairy tale world? What they discover will surprise them.

I loved how there was just enough action going on to keep you interested and I am sure middle graders would love this kind of book.

I thought Chris did an excellent job on his first book and I would read his next book because he did a great job with the storyline, the characters, describing it all perfectly and staying true to the original fairy tale.

I should also mention that Chris has another book coming out in November (2012) called Struck By Lightening: The Carson Phillips Journal (about the book: Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker.

At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school.

The film Stuck By Lightning is set to be released by Tribeca Film later this year and features Colfer’s own original screenplay. Colfer also stars in the film alongside Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, and Polly Bergen.)

Just a reminder the Season Premier is on tonight. I will be watching, will you?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review)Surviving Hig School

Title: Surviving High School
Author: M. Doty
Pub Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Poppy (a division of Little Brown)
Pages: 272

Source: I received a copy of this when I attended BEA 2012 from the publisher.

What’s the secret to surviving high school?

Freshman Emily Kessler needs perfect grades, a rigorous training schedule, and record-breaking swim times. She survives by limiting her fun to lunch with her best friend Kimi and the rare Friday-night sleepover. But when she starts to fall for Twin Branches High’s heartthrob, and secrets about her sister, Sara, start to surface, Emily begins to question the strict path her life is on. Maybe there is more to high school than just studying and swimming. But if she breaks a few rules, will she survive the consequences?

The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.


When I was making my list of books I would love to get at BEA this was one of them and I was so happy that I was able to pick this up. It sounded really good. Well I read this in almost one sitting and it was good. There was so much happening that it sucked you and made you want to read it to find out what was happening.

The book is based on the mobile game Surviving High School. Which I have never played or heard of until I came across the book. I am currently looking for that app as we speak.

Emily is just beginning high school and she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Not only is she trying to get through school with perfect grades but she is also having to train rigorously to live up to the expectations of an Olympic dream. One that her dead sister, Sara was trying to achieve.

You can almost see that this really isn’t Emily’s dream but that of her coach/dad. Emily is trying to fit in and be a normal teen and to perhaps do all the things that Sara wasn’t able to do or did she?

Emily tries to be a normal teen dispute the rigorous training schedule and that includes having lunch daily with her best friend, Kimi and having the montly sleep over. Its when she spots and falls for the cute boy, Ben that things begin to change for Emily. Emily begins to find out secrets about Sara that she never knew and this sets in motion an almost new Emily.

Emily begins to question things and before long she is sneaking out with Ben, breaking the rules and having fun like a normal teenager.

As you know sooner or later you will get caught and that is exactly what happens. Will this be a good thing or a bad thing for Emily?

I really enjoyed the book and it brought back so many memories of high school for me. Its hard to fit in as a new comer but probably more so when everyone knows your sister. That sometimes could be a good thing or a bad thing.

I have to admit that I really liked Ben. I thought he was perfect for Emily because he made her see that there was more to life and she could be who she wanted to be.

I was pleasantly surprised by Nick and wasn’t sure about him at the beginning because I thought he was pretty shady but as the story progressed I really liked him and being able to find out what really happened to Sara was nice because it was no longer a mystery about why and how she died.

I am curious to read future books by M. Doty should he choose to write more and I did find out that there is a sequel that will come out later in 2013. So excited for that.

He also has another book available but its only on Kindle and its called Almost Kings along with a dvd movie of the book as well.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Shocked that I read this one

Title: Bared To You (book 1 in A Crossfire series)
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 352
Pub Date: June 2012

Source: I received this book from Penguin Canada for review. This was sent unsolicated.

About the book:
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds… and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart..


I have to say that I knew nothing about this book before receiving it and I have to say it was sent  unsolicated.

My first introduction to the book was probably a few weeks before receiving the book when I got a little envelope in the mail from Penguin and all that was inside the envelope was a little business card that said #50ShadesHotter and a pair of silver cuff links. At first I thought that was rather odd and grew curious about it so I went to the Penguin website and put in 50 Shades in the search and only four items came up. One of them was this book and I could see that the cuff links I got were similar to what was on the cover so I presumed it was this book.

I have to say that marketing for this book was fantastic and I love getting a little swag item that goes with the book. The cuff links were very nice.

Shortly after wards I got the book to review and I was interested in it. I do have to say that the writing is much better in this then the 50 Shades series. I could see some similarities in the book but for me the characters were more related able and believable then in 50 Shades.

This is being pushed as if you like 50 Shades you will love this and I have to say I was expecting a 50 Shades book was surprised. This was so much better then 50 Shades. I read it practically in one sitting and yes I did the same thing I did with 50 Shades, I put it in my leather hold cause god forbid someone see me read this. LOL

I enjoyed this book and so much more then the other books. Bared to You is about Eva and Gideon and its told in Eva’s point of view. Perhaps the second book will be told in Gideon’s point of view.

So Eva has moved to NYC (I loved the location references and it made me long for NYC again) from the West Coast with her BFF Carey (who is bi). He is an actor and will basically do anything it takes to become famous and when I say he will do anything its so true. We find out that Eva’s stepfather is rich and has taken it upon himself to take care of Eva and that includes paying for her apartment. You quickly can see that Eva has some kind of baggage but you don’t know what it is right away.

The story moved along really quickly and I found it to be a page turner and was constantly reading to find out what was going to happen.

When Gideon was introduced I have to say that I actually liked him so much more then the other guy. I thought he spoke his age and he was so much more believable. With that being said I have to say that their overall actions were. Both Eva and Gideon came off as stalkerish in my opinion. I mean he knows things about Eva that no one should really know about a person without them telling you. As for Eva she resorts to using google to get alerts about Gideon. I mean really who does that?

Slowly as the book progress we uncover more of the demons that trouble these two characters. I felt bad for Eva when I read what she went through. I would be interested to see what happens in the next book.

This was the first time I read any of Sylvia’s books and I had to admit that I am kind of curious about book two which is called Reflected In You and its scheduled to release in October 2012. I am hoping I will enjoy it but you never know.

I do have to say that I did recommend this to friends who had read 50 Shades and I was told that they loved this one more and they can’t wait for book two to come out.

Thanks Penguin Canada for sending me this to review.

Did anyone else read this? What did you think?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Reading Something I Never Thought I Would….

Titles: Fifty Shades of Grey (Book 1), Fifty Shades Darker (book 2) and Fifty Shades Freed (book 3)
Author E.L James
Pub Date: April 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pages: 528, 544 and 592

Source: Bought the books

I decided not to put the book description in on the above books only because you probably all know about the books by now that has taken the world by storm and I decided to put the reviews into one post.

When I first heard about these books I knew this wouldn’t be something I wanted to read because honestly this isn’t my genre of interest and something that didn’t really appeal to me well let me tell you that quickly changed because Rachel from ParaJunkee was doing a read along for the first book and I was laughing at her recap of the book and by the time Rachel got to chapter 16 (I believe) I was hooked and had to pick up the first book.

I have to say that I basically breezed through the first book and I admit that I read it over a two day span and it was so funny because I have a leather jacket for books and I put it on that one because I didn’t want anyone to know I was reading it and I was home reading it LOL

I was totally sucked into the book and the storyline. I didn’t like Christian at first because for me his voice was that of a much older person and he didn’t seem like a real believable character especially when its told he was 28 so that put me off of him for a bit. Although gradually I began to over look him and started to like him.

As for Ana, I liked her and honestly you could see that she was more then determined to try and change him. You could also see how she could easily get sucked into that world Christina loves. She never gave up on him and was determined to find out the secrets of his past.

Has this ever happened to anyone (and I don’t mean specifically these books) where you read the first book in the series and the next thing you are wanting the next book? Its like going through withdrawals. You literally need the next book NOW!!!! That is what happened to me. After reading the first book I was literally needing a fix and contemplating how I could get in and out of Costco quickly on the weekend. You all know how busy Costco is on the weekend.

So I wanted until Monday and let me tell you after dropping Michael off at school I literally rushed to the bank and Tims (to get a coffee) and wait until Costco opened so I could grab book two and I wasn’t going to pick up the third book because I was told its not as good but I didn’t want to be going through this all again so I picked it up.

The second book was just like the first one and I admit I read it in one day. I literally started it when I got home and finished just a few minutes before I had to get Michael from the bus stop. It sucked me and I needed to know what was going on. As the books are progressing I admit that I like Christian more and more and I could totally see how Ana would get sucked in.

That night I had started the third book and OMG I was forcing myself to read it. I really think that the author could have wrapped the whole story line into two books. I didn’t enjoy it and the storyline was getting to me. Could it have been an overload? I don’t know what it was but I ended up abandoning it and started to read other things instead.

Well fast forward to BEA in June and hearing about the book Fifty Shades of Early Grey which is a parady of the series. Yes I admit I stood in line to get a signed copy of it. It was so funny standing in line because everyone who walked by knew what line you were in and I have to say that I wasn’t the only one standing in line for this book there was a huge line up.

Meeting the author of Fifty Shades of Earl Grey was so fun and he asked if I had read the books and I told him I read the first two and was having a hard time finishing the third well he told me I had to finish it to make sense of his book so I came home and read the third book and I have to say it wasn’t my favorite and felt like I was forcing myself to read it.

Would I have read these books had I not read ParaJunkee’s read along ? Probably not because like I said this isn’t my genre of interest and had no interest in reading them. Would I recommend this series? Hmm probably not unless I knew the person liked this genre of books.

I do have to say that I have friends who read the books and loved them and are now reading other books in this genre. But for me I can’t see me buying other books like this.

Have you read them? What do you think of them?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Who would you vote for? Donkey or Elephant

Title: Vote for Me!
Author: Ben Clanton
Illustrator: Ben Clanton
Pub Date: April 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 40

Source: Read in the school library.

About the book:
Hey, you! Yes, you with the dazzling smile! The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Soon, the tension mounts, and these two quarrelsome candidates resort to slinging mud (literally) and flinging insults. And what happens when the election results are in? Well, let”s just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise — and a certain bewhiskered, third-party candidate is in for a first term.

Vote for Me! is a timely satire of American politics, but it”s a story readers of all nationalities and ages will recognize. Comical, retro illustrations (in shades of blue and red, of course) are completely winning, and the duelling duo”s insult-laden exchanges promise to have readers laughing out loud.


Just before school ended I got to read this to the library classes. This was a new book that was being put into the school library and the kids loved it. (The grades ranged from 3 to 6) They were all laughing and taking part in the book while I was reading it.

The book is about a donkey and elephant (who are friends) and they are running in an election and they want your votes. They each give reason’s why you should vote (silly but funny reasons) from them and it turns sour pretty quickly with throwing mud at each other and calling names.

Then when the results come in donkey and elephant are in for the shock of their life. Who will win? Well you will have to run out and get the book to find out.

When I asked what they liked about the book they said the illustrations, the ease to read it and the surprise ending. The illustrations were very well done and very simple which was nice because they didn’t distract the kids. Plus the surprise ending because you didn’t see that one coming although a few of the kids did.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.