20 May 2016

The Hunger Games Auction!

Hi everyone! We were contacted by Invaluable to let you all know of a The Hunger Games auction taking place! It has sooooo many interesting things from the movies, and even if you can't afford it, it is definitely worth looking through! Here's some more info about the event: 

This auction, The World of The Hunger Games Auction, starts at 11:00 AM PST on May 20 and will feature 450 noteworthy lots. The auction features props and outfits from all four of The Hunger Games films. Items include Katniss’ Mockingjay propaganda outfit from The Mockingjay - Part 1, Katniss’ District 12 hunting bow and signature brown leather jacket from The Mockingjay - Part 2, Peeta’s arena wetsuit from Catching Fire, as well as props used by characters President Snow, Gale Hawthorne, Effie Trinket, Haymitch Abernathy, and more.

But it’s time for The Reaping for these iconic pieces of memorabilia from The Hunger Games - an amazing opportunity for fans and movie enthusiasts alike to have a chance to own these props. Here are a few lots for example:

Lot 272: Katniss Everdeen Mockingjay propaganda ensemble from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Estimated price: $15,000 - $20,000
Iconic “The Mockingjay” ensemble includes: a black canvas long sleeve zip-front jacket with interwoven nylon strap detail at the front, unique high collar piece descending into tiered shoulder pads, and integral black rubber forearm guard, a pair of black self-striped pants with cargo pockets retaining internal bias label marked “KE 5,” and a pair of black high-top boots with zipper and lace closures.
Lot 6: Katniss Everdeen hero wooden District 12 hunting bow from The Hunger Games
Estimated price: $8,000 - $12,000
Katniss’ signature hero wooden longbow used during her hunting trips with Gale in District 12. Measuring 59.75 in. long (unstrung), the longbow is crafted of dark stained wood and features wrapped twine reinforcement. Appears in The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as well as one of the final sequences in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

Lot 446: Katniss Everdeen hunting ensemble with bow from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Estimated price: $12,000 - $15,000
Katniss’ instantly recognizable signature brown leather hunting jacket with elastic detail at sides and zipper front closure. Includes a long sleeve oatmeal henley retaining internal bias label marked “KE4,” and a pair of olive flat-front pants retaining internal bias label marked “KE 5,” an olive belt with metal buckle, and a pair of gray canvas Israeli low-lace boots.

Also, feel free to check out all the other collectibles and first edition books they have up for auction!

Definitely cool to see all of this stuff! Check her outttt!

25 April 2016

Review: Illuminae

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 599
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads is illuminating): This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My Thoughts: It took me a long time to read this novel. I'm not sure why. Kristen kept ranting about how great it was. They are like...crazy though, so I try not to listen to anything they say ever. In this case, they were...I can't say right but I will say they weren't exactly wrong. This book was fantastic! Okay, actually this book was terrifying. It was the scariest thing I've ever read. I can't even tell you. I'm trying, I swear. Basically, this AI and the disease...it's all the scariest thing ever. It's the worst. By worst, I mean the best. 

I thought that the format of the book would make me hate it. The typography was pretty weird. Yet, it was also perfect. With any other book it wouldn't have worked but it worked. The images gave it a personality, which is ironic in this case because of the crazy computer. 

The only problem I really had with this novel was that you get so little description of setting and the characters. You really get thrown into the action and don't get the time or place described to you so you are left wondering what the hell is happening. I wish I would have gotten a little bit more information. I'm not sure how it would have been written into the story as it was but it might have helped a little bit. Luckily, after a little while it didn't matter. I caught up enough. Some more description might have also made me care about the characters earlier in the story.

I'm sorry this review is poopy. I tried, I swear. It's just good. That's all I can say. You have to give it a chance.

Basically, this novel is fantastic and beautiful and written in such a cool way that you should run to pick it up right this moment. Do it before the crazy computer makes you. 

This review took me forever to write and that makes me very sad because this novel really is fantastic and you should check it out but don't read it before bed because it's actually scary.

23 March 2016

Review: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Alan Cumyn
Format: ARC - thanks Simon & Schuster CA! 
Pages: 304
My Rating: 6/10

Summary (thanks Goodreads): Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him!

Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?

But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.

Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?

Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing

My Thoughts: Have you ever just sat back and wondered what you'd get if you took a little contemporary, and then threw in some dinosaurs? Like, maybe, you're reading Twilight, and you're just so annoyed with Bella (because, let's face it, she does annoying things), that you kinda really want a dinosaur to come in and mix things up? I mean, who doesn't? While Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend doesn't exactly fit that description, it definitely takes contemporary and takes some dinosaurs and creates this fantastically weird, and funny, novel. 

So, I think that one of my favourite things about this book is it's title. A) Because I finally learned how to spell Pterodactyl (I did that with my eyes closed but I'll never be able to prove it), and B) Who isn't going to immediately grab this book and go.... wait, what? Add that with the cover - which I love and it stands out so well on my book shelf - and you got yourself a winner at the book store. 

This definitely not a serious book - it's light, and funny, and a supremely quick read. I sat down to start reading, and I didn't stop until I was finished. It was one of those "I can't put this down because I have literally no idea where this story" is going type of deals.  The characters were funny enough, and definitely original. I particularly liked Sheils, I connected with her a weird amount (especially considering she falls in love... with you know... a literal dinosaur).
It held my interest the entire time, and even though I probably wouldn't re-read it, I'd recommend it to people with dry senses of humour. There's a lot of satirizing taking place, especially about the YA genre (their meeting gave me some Twilight feels), so if you're about that life, this is another good one to check out. 

Also, fellow Canadian's: this book is for you. It's one of those books that actually get the weird things us Canadian's say and do, and of course, there is a moose cameo. What more can you want? Dinosaurs and moose is all you need. 
Final Thoughts: Probably, no - definitely - the most original and unique book I've read this year. If you're intrigued by that description (and, I ask again, who isn't), definitely check this one out! 

Follow along with the rest of the tour here! 

*** Thanks again Simon & Schuster CA for having me be apart of this tour!*** 

7 March 2016

Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 528
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (I know we aren't supposed to do this half nonsense, sorry)

Summary (I use Goodreads all the time): Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, have known each other since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36, married when Clare 23 and Henry 31. Impossible but true. Because Henry unintentionally jumps in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity, past and future. His experiences can be harrowing or amusing.

What I Think: This story was as unique as it seems. Now, I watch Doctor Who, so I understood some of the issues with time travelling but this book still hurt my head at times. It made me think way too much about the concerns one would have if they were to time travel. Can the future be changed when you are in the past or has it already happened? Try not to think too hard about it or you will be mad at me. I spent the whole novel thinking about it and it was killing me.

I knew something big had to happen near the end to the story and, because the whole story was about time travel, if you pay attention, you are able to find little bits of foreshadowing throughout the whole book and sort of put it together. Of course, I wasn't able to figure out how sad it would make me. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I might have teared up a little bit...or a lot...I'll never admit it. Since we are on the subject, I have to admit to you that I was exceedingly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. That sounds rude but I read it, almost, because it seemed like some cultural thing I had to take part in or something. I don't know but I didn't want to read it. I'm so glad I did. What an emotional rollercoaster.

Honestly, the only problem that I had with this novel, which is not the novel's fault at all, is that I'm too young to get all the cultural references. During the majority of when this novel takes place, I wasn't alive. Yet, since the novel is modern still, the author didn't feel the need to really explain most references (they would have been out of place anyway). I understand that it was a lose-lose but I still didn't understand some of the jokes (I assume that some of the references were meant to be funny). If I was like fifteen years older this might not have been an issue for me. It wasn't enough to make the novel suck, as seen by my high rating, but it still made me a little bit sad to be missing out on something. 

Anyway, here is another movie that I have to see and another book that I will probably reread in the future. This novel made me laugh and almost made me cry and it was just great. I think that maybe 35+ readers will get more out of it but I quite enjoyed it nonetheless. It's a great romance story and the time travel thing is pretty cool. Just make sure you pay attention to when the time is changing. I caught myself flipping back in order to figure out where in the time line I was reading. It was work but worth it. It's a great love story (just ignore that he knew her as a child because it gets really weird if you consider that too long...).

29 February 2016

Review: Room

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Emma Donoghue
Format: Paperback
Pages: 321
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (Couldn't live without Goodreads: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

What I Think: I past this book on the shelves many times before I actually got around to buying it but I'm glad I did. It was not exactly how I imagined. There is a lot of focus on what happens after. I wasn't expecting that but, once I read it, it made sense. Of course the transition wouldn't be easy. I just didn't know how upsetting it would be.

It was interesting to get the story from Jack's perspective. Of course, this means that some of the language is a little off (he's a kid, give him a break). Sometimes he would say things that a young child wouldn't know to use and others it would be very childish. However, this can be overlooked due to content. If this had been written from his mother's perspective it would have been a very different book. It might have become almost unreadable for the pain she must have gone through. I'm glad that it was Jack telling the reader what happened, even if I had to work a little harder to understand what he was trying to tell me at some points. Then again, maybe I'm just slow and my reading comprehension was lacking. Either way, I managed to figure everything out.

It is a very sad story and not to be read by the faint of heart. I didn't cry exactly but I was very upset and felt strongly for the characters. This story is, thankfully, just something so outside of my realm of experience that, for a lot of the story, I wasn't sure how to respond. That said, I came to care about the characters and wanted them to end up alright. I equally had to remind myself that it was a made up story while, also, reminding myself that this happens to people more than we like to believe.

I haven't seen the movie but the awards speak for itself. I think that it reflects how good the book really is. I thought that it was outstanding and well written. It doesn't seem like a book that one might reread over and over again, and it wouldn't be because of the depressing content, but it was so good that I just might reread it anyway.

Basically, I've wanted to read this book for a while and I'm glad I did. It's definitely and adult book and be warned that the content can get pretty upsetting at times. It was worth the read though and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie now.

22 February 2016

Review: November 9

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: ARC, paperback (Which Kristen stole back from me)
Pages: 310
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Summary (Thank you, Goodreads): Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

My Thoughts: I almost feel the need to apologize to every Colleen Hoover book because after Maybe Someday they really don't stand a chance. I get so excited about CoHo books that they have to do a lot to make me happy. It's an accident, I swear. 

I thought that this was a very well executed book. I was concerned that the time gaps would make me judge the characters but I really didn't. The idea intrigued me. How would people changed if they only met on day a year. Would they stay close when they were together? This part of the book required a slight suspension of disbelief because I've had friends I could keep in contact move and we weren't able to stay friends. These two must have romanticized the idea of the other so much that they could overlook a lot. That's not to say they didn't have really struggles. The whole point of the story was to see how they overcame their problems (the main one being that they only saw each other once a year). I thought that the book did a great job covering this. 

The first time the two main characters met was pretty weird. It was too much for Kristen. For me, however, it could have been worse, I guess. I guess I overlooked the fast that this situation wouldn't have happened in real or, if it did, he would have met a great deal more resistance. Either way, I was able to look past it because it was a romance novel. You will probably be able to look past it too. 

The problems these two had to overcome fascinated me but the back and forth of "can we be friends?" "yes" "no" "yes" just isn't for me and bothers me in any novel.

Whatever, basically, what I'm saying is that I liked this novel but it still isn't my favourite. I still liked in more than Confess though if that helps you understand the train wreck that is this book review. If you have any specific questions, please ask away!

Note from Kristen: I didn't steal the ARC from Kelsey, it's my ARC okay
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