Thursday, September 26, 2013

Best Sequels Ever

A list of my favourite sequels. This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2

This book did an amazing job at expanding Cynthia Hand's world, deepening my attachment to the characters, and the outcome of the overall trilogy. It was an incredibly emotional read and was even better than the first!

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han
Series: Burn for Burn #2

It's one of those books I can't talk about without spoiling the story/plot. The twist ending blew my mind. I've never been so surprised.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: The Ascendence Trilogy #2

The False Prince is one of my favourite books ever. I had very high hopes for the sequel and Jennifer A. Nielsen had a lot to live up to. Thankfully I can say that the book was just as good as the first and the series is shaping up to be my favourite series ever. Also, one word. SAGE!

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #3

Shades of Earth had everything I could ever hope for in an ending of epic proportions. There was action, mystery, underdogs, love, and more. Most of all, Beth Revis delivers a coonclusion that the series deserves by answering all the questions brought up in the previous books and bringing everything together so nicely.

The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #4

My favourite of the Artemis Fowl books. What I love so much about The Opal Deception is it seems so very different from the rest of the series. It takes itself much more seriously and thus there is more at stake for both Artemis and the rest of the main cast. And because Artemis struggles so much throughout the entire book it was so much easier to connect with him in this one. He seems so much more human and less cartoonish, in a way. Plus, Opal is such a kick-butt character I can't help but admire Eoin Colfer for creating her.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Blogging Wrap-Up / Fall TBD


Now that Summer is officially over, I think I better do a wrap-up!

This summer I was determined to bring an ease to my blogging schedule. I didn't stress over trying to do too much, but on reading instead. I ended up starting a fun meme to replace my Waiting on Wednesday posts (I haven't been following upcoming books TOO closely and wanted to focus on the books I already owned).

Creating The Random Indie was a great opportunity to share with you some of my blogging roots. If you didn't original book blog focused on little-known books and showcasing "unknown" authors. Here's a list of the books I chose to spotlight on One A Day Y.A. Every book was chosen with care, books I would genuinely like to read at some point.

This Girl is Different
The Saints of the Cross
The Waiting Booth
Secret for a Song

I also participated in a few blog tours, notably, Songstone, In Shadows of Magic and The Silent Swan.

Participating in many, many cover reveals and book blitzes also freed up some reading/fun time, gave me a chance to showcase more books that have piqued my interest, and share lots of author sponsored giveaways on the blog!

Most importantly, I read some of my favourite books of the year and was able to share my reviews of a few of them here. A Corner of White and The Summer Prince were just two of these.

Overall, it was an amazing summer. I was finally starting to feel myself again both physically and mentally and I think this showed in both my reading and blogging habits.


The start of the school year has brought some major changes to my life. My daughter started kindergarten and the beginning of this month! It's been great having the time to myself during the two days a week she is at school learning. BUT it's also been crazy busy trying to get a 4 year old to school on time, make sure she spends lots of time with us when she is home, and volunteering at her school.

This is probably my biggest news here: I am now a volunteer librarian! It has been amazing learning all about the school library and finally putting my education to good use :)

I love what I am doing, but it is also distracting me from one of my other loves: blogging.

So what's in store for Fall? Besides the blog tours, reviews, and book blitzes I have participated in before, I plan to do a few other things that have been on my mind.

First off, ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS is going to have a showdown right here on the blog. What does this mean? I will be reading through one zombie story and one unicorn story in this anthology and awarding one of them the winner. Will I be on Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Book Discussion Questions. Because sometimes reviews just aren't enough.

And articles on bookish topics I feel compelled to write about or anything else creative and fun!

I feel like using my the max...this fall. Let's see what happens :)

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life, Love, and Lemons Tour: Review + Guest Post

Today I'm participating in the blog tour for Life, Love & Lemons by Magan Vernon. This is a sweet contemporary YA romance. Read below for a guest post from Megan Vernon, my review of the novel, and a tour-wide giveaway! I have asked Magan to write a Top 5 list of her Top 5 Best Fictional Characters!

Top 5 best fictional couples.

1.)    Emmett and Bay – Switched at Birth. First off, Switched at Birth is one of the best shows on television right now and everyone should watch it. No matter what either of them may have done, these two are perfect for each other. The tortured, deaf photographer on a motorcycle and the feisty painter. They may still be apart right now but I’m hoping they get back together QUICK.

2.)    Marcus Flutie and Jessica Darling – Jessica Darling Series. This was the first book that made me fall in love with Young Adult. Jessica is the perfect heroine and Marcus Flutie will always be my number one book boyfriend. The original YA bad boy and the reluctant heroine.  The perfect YA couple at its finest.

3.)    Chuck and Blair – Gossip Girl. Who doesn’t love Chuck and Blair? If you don’t GET OUT. The moment he locked eyes on her when she was dancing at his club, I knew this was a couple I couldn’t stop rooting for. They’ve given me quite a few heart attacks, but they always seem to find each other.

4.)    Buffy and Angel- Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Okay, sure I have a thing for blonds and Spike did have that whole cocky vampire thing going for him, but Angel was the original. The episode in which he gave her his leather jacket? SWOON. This was the original vampire and human couple. The ones I rooted for from the beginning. I will ALWAYS love them. I don’t understand why Angel is working for the FBI now and goes out in the sunlight and says his name is Booth, but maybe someday he’ll go back to Buffy.

5.)    Max and Liz- Roswell.  Will they get together? Wont they get together? And who wouldn’t love a guy that saves your life? From episode one I fell in love with this couple and then when Tess came in the picture and tried to ruin everything I believe I cried. There was something so sweet and innocent about their relationship that I couldn’t help falling in love with it.


Life, Love, and Lemons by Magan Vernon

Published by Beautifully Broken Books, 2013
When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

 When I heard about Life, Love, & Lemons I immediately got excited because of it's cute premise which is a twist on the "when life gives you lemons" saying. I also knew the preppy girl meets punk/emo boy was right up my alley. I don't know what it is about emo kids but I just love reading about them, especially in love stories like this one.

While the book is most definitely cute, it also tackles some issues I didn't know would come up. For example, when we first meet Bentley, she is suddenly thrown into a world much different than what she has known. Growing up at a private school, the tiny apartment, new job at the burger joint, and inner city school is almost too much for her handle. That was obvious from the description. But there is much more than that. Like overtly religious parents, cheating parents, failing friendships, and shady pasts.

For this reason, I do wish the book was a bit longer, so that the author would have had more time to flush out these stories as well as the romance. I do think the romance took a back seat during some aspects of the book and that was what I was looking forward to the most. But I did enjoy everything the author had to offer and wouldn't have wanted her edit any of that out just to make more room for make-out sessions and sweet nothings!

Overall, I thought the story was sweet, the two main characters were darlings, and the writing flowed so well the pages just flew by. I am looking forward to reading more of the Magan Vernon's books in the future.

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the tour company in exchange for my honest opinion.


Add it to your Goodreads list.

Or purchase the book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.


Prize (open internationally):
--A Coach wristlet, lemon drop EOS lip balm, swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Want more tour stops? You can see the full tour schedule here.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

15 Minutes Tour, Giveaway + Scavenger Hunt: An Interview with Jill Cooper

An interview with author Jill Cooper, author of 15 Minutes...

Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written...

I'm married, live on the North Shore of Massachusetts and have an adorable 3 year old daughter. I love the paranormal, anything creepy, and have a love of dark, strange humor. I like to put all these things in my books. I love to take genres and bend them, fit them into places you wouldn't normally expect and dump my poor characters in horrible situations.

Which of your characters is your favourite? How is she or he different from yourself?

In this book my favorite character is Lara. She's like me because she's stubborn, pigheaded and spontaneous. She's not like me as I tend to over think things before I start. I tend to be overly cautious. And she's the exact opposite of me which I think is why she's my favorite.

How do you choose the names for your characters?

I know alot of authors will spend time looking at names meanings to find the right fit for the one they want. I really just pick one. Originally Lara didn't have a name until the middle of chapter one where I needed one suddenly and I just typed Lara. After that Crane just fit. Sometimes I'll come up a name when writing about a character in my notes and as long as it fits the feel I'm going with, it'll stick.

If you had to choose a colour to describe your book, which one would you pick? Why?

Interesting question! Gold, like the cover, because it can symbolize alot of things. Warmth, riches (which future Lara has in money while past Lara has in her dad's love). Also when I think of old fashioned clocks, there are alot of gold tones and attributes. Gold is old fashioned and I think parts of Lara and her journey remind me of old serial fiction from the 1950s.

What is one thing you'd like your readers to take away from your book(s)?

Mostly I hope they are entertained, laugh, cry, feel something when they read my books. My message I like to get across is that girl's don't need guys to save them. They can save themselves. That and you're fine, perfect, the way you are. To be the hero of your own story, you don't need to change or have a certain size. Just be yourself and it'll all fall together!

Is there a Y.A. novel you wish YOU wrote?

Probably Hunger Games because the setting is so unique and it's such a ride. Like, why didn't I think of that? But really, everyone has great ideas and I just have to write stuff that's true to who I am.

If you could live in any time period (other than the current one) which one would you choose?

The 1950s or even further back so I could be a flapper girl! I love the 1950s for the music and the clothes. I also love seeing men dressed up and wearing fedoras. That's why I ended up using the 1950s as a setting in my Dystopian series Glistening Haven.

What advice would you give your teen readers about life?

I'd have enough advice to fill a book! I would first say, it always get better. What seems life crushing now, won't be in the future. You'll get through it and become a stronger person. So don't give up! And second, the choices you make now may have a big impact on your life in the future that can't be undone. Like Lara. So sometimes it pays to think really carefully before you act, even if it seems like it's no big deal. I speak from experience on this one.

hint #3: tick tock tick tock.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Jill! Find out more about 15 Minutes, Jill Cooper, and enter the giveaway below:

I have 15 minutes to save my mother’s life….

15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives you in the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough time to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago.

But that’s not how it happened. The story she’s been told all her life is a lie and when Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever.

The love of her life acts like a stranger. Her simple life is replaced with a giant house, glamorous clothes and a new boyfriend.

Except someone knows her secret. And he will try to stop her at every turn as she races against the clock to unravel a dangerous conspiracy.

15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller that can be described as Back to the Future meets Inception where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family. 

Buy it from Amazon

Or add it to your Goodreads list.


About the Author:

Jill loves to blend horror, comedy, the supernatural, and love, through her novels. A fan of genre blending, her work strives to cross boundaries, but most of all strives to entertain. She loves soft cuddly cats, warm blankets, and paranormal romances. Jill resides in Massachusetts, is constantly renovating her home that she shares with her husband, young daughter, and two skittish cats.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more tour stops for 15 Minutes by Jill Cooper? Visit them all HERE.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Reading Wrap-Up: What is time?

Why is it that my favourite seasons fly by the quickest?

Not only did summer go by in a flash, I just realised that a third of September is now gone too. WHAT? Where have I been?

My summer was filled with lots of good things. Going to the park, celebrating my daughter's 4th birthday, swimming at my parents house, lots of barbeque, and a crazy filled few weeks of Wonderland, The Museum (local children's museum), the beach, and the Toronto Zoo. I took lots of footage which I plan to make a video out of (with some help).


I read the most in August than in any other month this year. Which is super-crazy since almost all those things I mentioned above also happened in August. In total this summer, I read 19 books. And you can see them all below. Just click on the cover and it will take you to the Goodreads page.

Erika's summer-2013 book montage

Perfect Ruin
Autumn Street
The Last Academy
The Secret of Ella and Micha
Love You Hate You Miss You
Kiss of Fire
Playing Hurt
The Dead and Buried
Forty Days
Parallel Visions
Letting Ana Go
Secret Letters
The Summer Prince
Other Words for Love
Beautiful Disaster
A Corner of White
Burn for Burn
Fire with Fire

Erika's favorite books »

Overall summer proved to be a relaxing, fun time, and I reconnected with my love of reading in a way that I haven't been all year. I read some amazing 5-star books, some books with shocking twists that I didn't see coming, and even tried some audiobooks (which did have to be returned to the library, but I enjoyed).

In the coming days I plan to wrap-up my summer in blogging. It ended up being a really fun time for me with lots of authors, cover reveals, and reviewing some of my favourite books of the year.

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