Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blogger of the Month -Book Review

As part of our Blogger of the Month feature, we ask the featured blogger to 
post a review during their month. 
Our blogger this month is Ciara from Lost at Midnight Reviews

Title: Paper Covers Rock
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Source: Won (from author Daisy Whitney)
My Rating: 4/5

(Novel Summary from Goodreads)

     At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.

  I wasn't really sure what to expect when I received a copy of Paper Covers Rock from author Daisy Whitney last year. I hadn't heard anything about it, not a single peep in the book world, and was curious to see if this was a gem everyone was overlooking. Well, I can tell you one thing about this book, its subtly stunning.
  I will admit, it took me a couple tries to get into Paper Covers Rock. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy it, but I couldn't seem to commit to reading it either. The writing style, both how it was written and the format in which it was written, was much different and, at times, confusing which had me both intrigued and frazzled. The story, which takes place at a boarding school during the 1980s, follows sixteen-year-old Alex as he copes with the death of his best friend Thomas, and the secret he is told to keep hidden about the accident. It meshes the honor code and the truth through one broken boy's perspective. The novel is done in different sections, and doesn't always follow a linear timeline. It's written as a diary and, in true format of a diary, bounces back and forth and expresses more emotion than story. I felt caught up in Alex's confused and distressed feelings and the sort of numbness that comes with a great loss. Alex sometimes reminded me of Holden Caulfield (although when Alex mentally makes that comparison he expresses his great distaste of the famous character). He is a lost, young boy, pushed and prodded into a box he feels he can't escape. He's unhappy with the world he sees, and finds solace in poetry. And in his feelings towards his English teacher, Miss Dovecott. The story unfolds slowly, and I found myself really wondering what had truly happened that day at the rock. And when the entire events are laid out, I felt almost confused. Until one single line changed my perspective on the novel.
   When I said early that this novel is subtly stunning, I meant it. This book isn't outright. It doesn't lay out the truth, but leaves it muddled and woven deeply within the diary pages. To be entirely honest, I'm not even sure if I'm interpreting it right. It was a novel that left much up to the readers discretion and perception of what Alex was talking about. What I felt the driving force underneath the novel was the element of homophobia. It wasn't said, but implied throughout the novel, leaving the reader to piece together its relevance and importance.
Paper Covers Rock was definitely a great novel, even if it was a bit hard to get into. Although it's set in the past, it's themes and story are very relevant for present day. If you're looking for a new and interesting contemporary novel, I would look towards Paper Covers Rock.
- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Blogger Meet-Up!

You are invited to the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Blogger Meet-Up!

Come and join us for an afternoon of books, games, food and great conversation.  Meet your fellow bloggers from all across Ontario and finally put faces to blogs and twitter handles you frequently come across online.  Get a chance to win prizes, meet special guests, network and have an afternoon of great bookish fun.

Ticket prices are $35.00 and are available at:

Included in the ticket price is a three-course meal with complimentary coffee and tea.  Taxes and gratuity are also included. You can download the menu here.

Hope to see you there!


Q. The event was free last year, so why are you charging for it this year?
A. The simple answer is the venue.  One of the biggest concerns we heard from attendees last year was the event space.  You wanted something bigger and better that provided more room to move about and mix and mingle.  Well we heard you.  This year we have a bigger and better venue and as such, there is a cost that goes along with it.

Q. What does the $35.00 ticket price include?
A. The $35.00 ticket price includes admission to the event, a three course meal, complimentary coffee or tea, and taxes and gratuity.

Q. Is there an official program of events?
A. While there are some things scheduled to take place at the event, there isn't an official schedule like you would see at a professional conference.  The meet-up is still very informal allowing attendees to mix and mingle freely.

Q. Will there be any special guests and if so, who are they?
A. Yes there will be special guests.  But as for who they are, well that is a surprise.  In the weeks leading up to event there will be some teasers and hints posted both here on the blog and on twitter.  Make sure you are following @BlogOntario on twitter for all the latest news and updates on the event.

Q. Tickets are sold out and I want to go.  What do I do?
A. If tickets for the event sell out, and you would still like to attend, please sign up for the waiting list through the ticket sales page.  We will considering opening up more space at the event, but in order to do so, we need to know how many more spaces we would need to accommodate.  In order to do that, we need you to sign up for the waiting list at:

Q. Is there a vegetarian option for the menu?
A. Yes, there is.  The vegetarian option will consist of the following:

Tossed with baby spinach, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese, red onions, plum tomatoes and artichokes with
fresh basil olive oil.

If you require the vegetarian menu option, please email Nicole at by September 1, 2012.

Please email any questions or comments to:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blogger of the Month-July

Each month we are thrilled to feature a Canadian Blogger:

Blogger of the Month-Ontario Blog Squad

1.When and why did you start blogging?
I actually started blogging very recently! February 19th to be exact. I have always been a crazy book lover and had been active in the book community for years. I talked about books constantly with anyone who would listen, and found myself reading lots of book blogs. I loved seeing all the interesting opinions, the well thought out reviews, and how much fun these bloggers were having. I thought about starting my own blog, but I was a bit apprehensive. What if no one read it? What if my reviews weren’t well written? What if it was an epic failure? All of these questions ran through my head and I really started doubting myself. But then, a received lots of encouragement and support from my blogger friends, and I thought maybe, just maybe, I could be a blogger too. So, filled with anxiety and excitement, I clicked the “Create Blog” button and Lost At Midnight Reviews became my new home. 

2. What's your favourite genre/style of book?
I pretty much read everything that interests me, be that contemporary, fantasy, adult or YA. My favourite, though, is for sure the teen genre. There’s just so much diversity and amazing stories in the YA world! I can’t get enough of it. Within YA, I’ve been drawn to the dystopian style since its explosion a few years ago. I also love urban fantasy style, with its mix of reality and the fantastical.

3. What has been a blogging challenge for you?
There have definitely been some challenges I’ve faced with blogging. One of them has been just the simple act of reviewing. Sometimes, writing reviews is hard. I want to properly represent both my feelings of the novel and the novel itself, which sometimes leaves me with a bit of writer’s block. I’ll write and re-write until my head spins but I just can’t seem to get it right. This leads into another one of my blogging, and personal problems as well: self-confidence. I always used to worry that my reviews just aren’t very good. I’ve gotten much more secure with my writing over the months but it was definitely a challenge to build up the confidence at first. The other blogging challenge is one that every blogger has: balancing. Trying to work blogging into my everyday life while still keeping my priorities straight has been bumpy. But, now with more time on my hands, I think I’ll be able to find a balance that works for me.

4. Are there favourite memes or features that you participate in/ favourite blogs you check out on a regular basis?
I participate in two memes on my blog: Waiting On Wednesday and Stacking the Shelves. I love getting to hear about all the books people are looking forward to (and share my excitement with fellow bloggers) through Waiting on Wednesday. I also love to see what books people have picked up throughout the week, which is where Stacking the Shelves comes in!

I do have a few favourite blogs, two of which are the reason I started my own blog. The first is Lucy over at Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf who constantly encouraged and helped me navigate the blogging world. I have loved checking out her great reviews and gorgeous blog over the years, as well as having lots of book talk with her! The second happens to be a certain Ontario Blog Squad Member, Liz from Midnight Bloom’s Bookshelf. I absolutely loved reading her thoughtful reviews, and discussing all the different books we love (Team Tod For Afterlife, anyone?). Her blog inspired me to start mine and I have really appreciated the enthusiasm she’s shown for my blog! I also have a couple other blogs I check out such as Emilie’s Book World (another blogger gal I love to chat with!), A Cupcake and a Latte, Lost in the Library, Avery’s Book Nook and Just a ‘Lil Lost among many others!

 5. How do you organize your bookshelves?
My bookshelves are not organized in any specific way. I have too many books and way too limited space to set it up like I would! I try and keep books by the same author together, but otherwise I fit books into every nook and cranny I can. And, if I don’t have any room left (which I never do) I build stacks on every available space in my room. My friend’s call my bedroom “The Library”!

6. Favourite review you've written (include a link)
 My favourite review that I’ve written is for This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers. It was my favourite book so far this year and it took me a very long time to get this review just right. Finally (after having my original draft unexpectedly deleted by Blogger), I had a review that, I hope, does justice to this fantastic novel!

7. What is your biggest book blogger related dream (goal)?
I just want to connect with as many people as I can. I love talking to new bookish people, and it makes me so happy when I see that people have read, and have an opinion about my blog. Every time a get a comment on my blog it puts a smile on my face. I want to make my blog the best it can be, and hope everyone feels the same. I’m also an aspiring writer, and use my blog to practice writing, so another goal would be to try and get my stories published.
Thanks so much Ciara!!! We love your blog!!!