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i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

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Ramblings by Year


Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange, #3)
by Lesley Livingston

“I don’t love Sonny Flannery.”

That’s the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn’t know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that’s hidden deep underneath New York City.

But Kelley’s not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she’s got to find out who’s after his magick—and how to use her own. She’s got to uncover who’s recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She’s got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she’s got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he’s around Kelley. (goodreads.com)

This *might* be a little spoilery, so if you have not read Wondrous Strange and Darklight yet, I would wait before reading this post!

Thanks to a birthday gift card from my wonderful boss I was able to pick up the final book in Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy. I was not disappointed.

I think I liked this book the best of all three, I know I found it much funnier than Darklight, but it’s been so long since I read Wondrous Strange I had to go back and read my review to make sure I was right in that thought. Heh. I recall not liking Sonny at all in the first book, but he’s grown on me since then. I do feel he’s not as well-rounded of a character as say, The Fennrys Wolf, but I think that’s just more a personal thing with me connecting with one character over the other. I say Kelley should have fallen for Fenn in my little world. 😉

I loved trying to figure out what was going on the entire book. I kept making these predictions of who was behind everything and I was only half-right. The character relations in Tempestuous seemed much stronger than in the first book and I think the trilogy itself was a great mesh of character development as it went on. All the characters I loved were in this book, even if only for a brief moment.

I was particularly intrigued by the recruitment of “Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie” plot line. I wasn’t sure which Janus to trust and I wanted to know how this happened and who was behind it all.

What I didn’t quite like was how Kelley went from not referring to either of her Faerie parents as Mother and Father to suddenly calling them Mom and Dad near the end. I know that some progress had been made with those relationships, but I didn’t feel it was enough to suddenly have such endearments flinging around. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but I sort of feel it was too quickly thrown in – despite the growth of their relationships.

I don’t want to say much else because I don’t want to give anything away that wasn’t already written in the official summary, but I highly enjoyed the conclusion to this series and I hope that Lesley writes more books soon, because as I said to her on Twitter, “I need more of your words in my head!”

As with my posts on the previous books in the series, I need to take a moment and talk about how beautiful this cover is. Each cover in this series has been fantastic, but this one takes the cake. (Mmmmm, cake.) A photo from the internet just does NOT cut it in detailing the beauty of this cover. It’s almost shimmery in real life and the pages are once again all those torn edge ones (I know it’s called something, but I can’t think of it!) and it was just such a pleasure to HOLD while reading the book.

I am also on a quest to find out what type face was used for the titles of these novels. Anyone? I think it’s gorgeous and since I am a font whore I need to find it and have it on my computer!!

Read this series – especially if you are Canadian and would like to support awesome Canadian authors!

Wondrous Strange series

  1. Wondrous Strange
  2. Darklight
  3. Tempestuous

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Oh, Blog. I feel like I have abandoned you. Do not worry, I have not purposely ignored you, I seem to have some sort of wacky, crazy social life now that I never had. Turns out that after my Year of Doing Things the world seems to think that I should continue Doing Things.

I do  not entirely approve of this.

But it’s happening and I guess I have to suck it up and start planning the Doing Things Downfall wherein I no longer Do Things and I have much less of a life than I currently have.

In the time that has passed since my last post I happened to have had a birthday. It was an entire weekend of food, family, friends and a whole lot of cake. So. Much. Cake.

The Friday of my birthday weekend, my boss organized a little birthday potluck lunch for me. I was very touched by the generosity of my coworkers and how much I am apparently cared about at the office. It truly meant a lot to  me and I didn’t even want to do much for my birthday this year. The potluck included delicious cupcakes, of which I had two. It was my Work Birthday, I could. I also got this amusing little musical card that had a sparkly pig in a tutu on the cover. It made me laugh so much.

Turns out when I got home and opened my mail, someone else also had the sparkly pig in a tutu card idea.

Seriously! What are the odds of getting to sparkly-pig-in-a-tutu cards for your birthday when you have absolutely no connection to pigs at all? This amused me greatly. I am wondering if it’s some sort of unwritten 35th birthday rule?

Friday after work I headed to my parents’ place for my birthday dinner – roast beef, mashed potatoes (with sweet potato!), and Mommy Cake. I still have two pieces of that cake left this weekend! It was an amazing dinner and I received my traditional Birthday Toilet Paper gift. I would post a photo of that except I don’t have copies. (*cough*MOTHER*cough*).

When I finally got home that night, aside from the pig card, I found this on the table.

What a lovely surprise! I wasn’t expecting anything else on the Friday. And I had a tingling suspicion that I might have gotten FLOWERS for my birthday!

I did! Yay! I get them so rarely that flowers make me super happy.

I also got a very sweet card that made me cry (what’s with being so emotional now that I am 35? Gah!) and this lovely new watch to replace my held-together-with-tape-and-hair elastics old watch.

Saturday I slept, took a nap and then had my best friends Elise & Maureen (and their respective men) over for pizza and games. The plan was to play Cranium and Apples to Apples, but Apples to Apples took up the remainder of the evening we had so much fun!  Maureen even made me this amazing birthday cake!

It was so purple and sparkly and stars! It was even too much cake for me! I couldn’t finish the piece I took. Boy was it delicious. And I think Maureen is the only one to ever Out-Cake me!

There was more sleeping and napping for my actual birthday on the Sunday and then we were off to my inlaws’ for a delicious dinner of filet mignon (done on the BBQ in -30C weather!), shrimp and scallops and.. yes… MORE CAKE! Good heavens.

So. Much. Cake.

And I was told this wasn’t made for my birthday, but I am still in love with it.

My sister dropped this tote bag off on Saturday morning. It was sewn by her and painted by Lilly, my 4-year old niece. I love it to pieces. The Instagram image skews the colours a little, it’s quite bright purple and I adore it! I love how Lilly is standing under the rainbow. I shall now be using this bag for my dance class attire.

I had a great weekend. It was low key and full of food but I was surrounded by people I love the most and that is actually what I cherish the most when I think about it.

I took Monday off from work to digest all that food and cake. 😉 I had a migraine though so I didn’t go to dance class. I only got in one of my Body Design classes this week because of the migraine but I did go to Trivia night (we came in 5th and won a prize!) on Tuesday and then Wednesday I went to the opening night of our faculty’s Opera production (La Boheme) which was a fantastic production – even if I will NEVER like Operatic singing ever.

Thursday night I was so tired I was in bed by 8pm and slept almost the entire night straight (rare for me) with my migraine the worst of the week, and last night I didn’t do a thing except veg on the couch. I went to bed after 9PM but I didn’t get out of bed this morning until after 10:15 AM! I really must have been exhausted.

According to my Wii Fit I went down 1.5Kg in the last 2 weeks. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I do know I was able to buy a pair of jeans a size smaller on Monday. Between dance and Body Design I hope to healtify my body some more. My Wii fit age FINALLY dropped from the 50s to 29 this morning. I didn’t get snarked at by the infernal program for once, although it isn’t happy that I am obese. 😉

And now? I might nap before choir practice. I don’t know… or read because I don’t think I have enough napping time. Drat.


by Jane England

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor’s daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself – and others – in order to be set free. And love may be the key… (goodreads.com)

I almost did not finish this book. Not because it was bad but because it was freaking me out so much that I was feeling like I was going to have a panic attack for much of it.

The idea of being sent to an asylum without knowing why and not knowing you were going and then being treated the way the patients were treated in that place. It was all just so… suffocating.

The entire book I was in this continuous guessing loop – why was Lou committed? Who did it? And with each flashback to her past I would form these wild theories which I would then tell my husband all about in detail. I am certain he enjoyed that. Yes. He did. Yup. Especially after I’d read a couple more chapters and revise my wild theory with yet another one. I had no idea why things were happening and even with how creeped out I was by the whole story I needed to know WHY.

I did have my suspicions of Whodunnit and I was sort of correct. When you finally get everything figured out at the end there is this mixture of shock, relief and absolute disgust and sadness floating about you.

I am not entirely certain about the epilogue though. I think I could have done without it, but at the same time it did offer closure to some of the events that weren’t wrapped up in that cloud of emotions as the story concludes.

** This post has taken me over a week to write due to lack of time. The sucky part about that is that I have lost my train of thought and therefore I have forgotten the rest of what I wanted to add. I was haunted by this book for a few nights after it was done. Nightmares appeared like shards of glass and off-tune string instruments and I both cursed and praised the book for having such an effect on me.

In My Mailbox #41 – the birthday edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren … and I end up adding a ton of books to my wish list every week.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Mentioned in the video:

For Review

XVI – Julia Karr (Penguin Group Canada) already read, too! ha! Title links to review.

Wither – Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster Canada)

A huge thank you to both publishers for this! You both made my week!


Arrow – R.J. Anderson (Book Depository UK – it finally arrived!)

And now to spend my day in my jammies and reading. Must get more cake…


by Julia Karr

Nina Oberon’s life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she’ll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a “sex-teen” is Nina’s worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina’s mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother’s killer. (goodreads.com)

I am always worried when I say how much I was blown away by a book that I received for review that people won’t believe me. I hope that those of my readers who have been reading me for a while know that I am a very honest blogger and if I do not like something I will say that. If I did not finish a book I will write about that too. So believe me when I tell you that I was truly, honestly, deeply blown away by this novel.

In fact I started it around 11:00 am this (Saturday) morning and was done by 3:00 pm in the afternoon. I was hooked from the first pages. That first chapter had me sitting up straighter on the couch (because for some reason I feel that helps me pay better attention? I do that when I am listening to something particularly interesting on TV or radio, too. It’s odd.). I could not put this book down and yet I needed to because I had things to do today! Guess who was not nearly as productive as she wanted to be? Also guess who read this book until the end despite the major migraine that had started around noon. (I went to take a 1.5 hour nap after I finished the story to try and dull the pain a little.)

When Penguin Canada sent out an email with “Hey, bloggers! Do any of these titles interest you?” I was drawn to the cover of XVI it reminded me of Willow with the slice-y type cover. The summary (different to the one from goodreads above) caught my interest with the whole branding of 16-year olds to let the world know they are ready for sex thing. This sort of world was one I wanted to read about and praise the gods that we’re not like that here. I was not expecting a story that takes place in 2150 and just doesn’t seem like a very nice time to be living.

Nina was such a great protagonist. I loved her from the start and I even liked her little sister Dee (which is very rare that I like anyone’s little sibling in a book!). Her grandparents were pretty cool characters too but I think the second favourite character next to Nina was her new friend Wei. I don’t know why, but I just connected with her.

This book makes me think of The Handmaid’s Tale which I always wish I was able to finish. I was supposed to have read it for a Lit class in CEGEP (college) but I just couldn’t handle the entire story. I did that thing where you read the first 1/3 of a book, read a chapter in the middle and then read the last two chapters. Heh. Then I bluffed my way through my analysis paper and didn’t do so good. I actually blame the poor mark on the fact that I just couldn’t understand what was going on and I was bored by the story. Thing is, Margaret Atwood is Canadian and I have always wished I could get into her books and I can’t. Shame on me.

XVI also reminds me a little of Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien. It’s another story where the children grow up thinking the world they live in is better now until their eyes are opened to what’s really going on. I was captivated by the horror of each of these “New Worlds” and thank my lucky stars that as sucky as it is sometimes, at least I don’t have to be forced to have sex with people and have babies for them. *shudder*

I like when I discover a book, adore it and then realize it can be used for a challenge I am doing. Wooty woot! This here novel is a Debut for 2011 and therefore I am adding it to my list right now!

I also read today, over on James’ blog, that there are plans for a sequel, which makes me happy as well!

Yes, this makes two reviews posted in one day, but I couldn’t resist. I finished both books today and I couldn’t wait to write about either of them!

XVI series

  1. XVI
  2. Truth