Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Books of 2015 - Top 15

Hello everyone!

With another year coming to a close, I have compiled my list of the best books of 2015. In order to keep this fair (and a little easier to compile) I am only listing the books that were already published as of 2015, not advanced copies that I read this year that are being published in 2016.



I have to say, this list was extremely hard to compile. Picking 15 books out of the 200+ that I read was no easy task.

If you are interested in the books that made my 14 Best Books of 2014 list last year, you can check out that post, here!

So without further adieu, in no particular order, the best books I read from 2015!

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
Angelfall by Susan Ee
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel
Alive by Scott Sigler
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
It's A Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

It truly was a great year of reading, and I cannot wait for the new releases of 2016!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TBR Tuesday - December 29

Hello everyone!

I'm back with another TBR Tuesday! This is the final TBR Tuesday of 2015, and I can't believe it!

I'm already organizing all the new releases in YA for 2016, but first, some releases out today that surely can put those Christmas gift cards to good use!

What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass

From the author of Love and Other Theories, comes a new book that looks slightly controversial and full of dilemmas! This one has better reviews on Goodreads than her debut, so who knows?

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
THIS BOOK LOOKS GREAT! I cannot wait to read this one! It looks like a murder mystery meets The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (maybe it's just the cover?) Anyways, I'm excited!

HEAR by Robin Epstein

This seems like a great sic-fi crossed with murder mystery! Should be interesting!

That's all this week! Stay tuned for next week, there will be a ton of new releases!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Reviews - Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week I am reviewing Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book for review! All opinions are my own!




Wow.

This book was so much more than I thought it would be.

It was so beautifully crafted, carefully weaving together the stories of the past with the reality of coping with the death of a child.

This book also touches on some interesting topics, such as a mixed race family in a period where that was allowed but still looked at strangely, infidelity, the tragedy of losing a child and briefly, homosexuality in the late 1970s America. But I also loved that these main issues were embodied by different characters throughout the story. Some major, some minor.

I think what I loved most about this book was that each character had their own issues personally, but together in a family setting, it really showed that we are all connected. Every action has a reaction, whether positive or negative. I also really liked that once we finally learnt what happened to Lydia, it represented a culmination of everyones own issues in one communal tragedy.

I found this book very eye opening and I definitely think that between the gorgeous writing and the issues it addresses, this book is a must read for everyone!

Highly recommend!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

TBR Tuesday - December 22

Hello everyone!

Again, not a ton of books this week, but hopefully some good ones? We'll see!

See How They Run by Ally Carter
This is book two of the Embassy Row series. I haven't read the first one, but this series has pretty good ratings, so I have high expectations!

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
This book has some mixed reviews, and is being released with a new cover in a month? but I think it sounds interesting!

Once, again, not a ton of new books this week.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Reviews - Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week I am reviewing Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain. Thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an e-ARC for review! All opinions are my own!


I'm just over halfway through and I am declaring this a DNF.

There is no point to this story. The family moves to the middle of nowhere to escape the supposed economic collapse, but night one the mom bails, and then the dad leaves a few days later to find her. Now the two sisters who hate each other are left to fend for themselves against the hippie commune across the street.

It's pretty much:

Nicole: hunting, guns, complaining about sister and talking about living up to fathers expectations.

Isabel: omg, no running water, seriously?

Wolf: I hate my drug addict mom, I live in a spiritual retreat, my name's Wolf.

I cannot deal! This book is going nowhere fast! Ain't nobody got time for bad books! 

So yeah, this book just didn't do anything for me. It was slow moving, I got to the halfway point, and nothing had happened. I don't know, maybe in the end, the parents come back and they all live happily ever after again, I couldn't get that far.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TBR Tuesday - December 15

Hello everyone!

Ok, so this week isn't the greatest for book releases, quantity wise, but quality wise, these two are promised to be fantastic!

Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
Ok, I cut out most of the synopsis for this book, because really, it is book 4 and I feel like that is just all kinds of spoiling! Anyways, this is supposedly a great series (I'm hoping to get it for Christmas!).

Unbound by Neal Shusterman
Ok, so this isn't a sequel to the Unwind Dystology, but a collection of short stories? I think?

Again, not a ton of books this week, but I think some good ones!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Reviews - A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I will be reviewing a book I received from Simon & Shuster Canada, called A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson! Thanks for sending me a copy of the book for review, all opinions are my own.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book! 

I read it in one sitting, it was a fun little mystery that I flew through!

This is a middle grade novel, so the characters are a little younger than your average YA novel, about 12-13, but I didn't have a problem connecting and relating to them. My only issue with the age was some parts where I was wondering how a 12 year old was allowed to do certain things, but I still enjoyed it.

While the ending does tell us the murderer, there isn't really anything about what the consequences for them are, or when we find out the truth about Quiz. Perhaps that will be better fleshed out in the next book!

Overall, if you are looking for a quick, fun middle grade murder mystery, that really isn't scary at all, I definitely recommend this one!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TBR Tuesday - December 8

Hello everyone!

I am back with another TBR Tuesday! This week, it's actually on a Tuesday! Anyways, not a ton of new books this week, but hopefully some good ones!

Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain
Ok, I got an e-ARC of this, and I haven't gotten around to writing my full review yet, but this book was not a favourite of mine. I actually think I DNF'd it. It was just this weird, not really post-apocolyptic hippy commune book, and I was just not in the mood. So yeah...

The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
This just sounds like a great cute little read! I hope it's good!

Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
The reviews are mixed, and the covers not really doing to much for me, but hey, you never know, right?

Wandering Star by Romina Russell
The sequel to Zodiac, book two sounds interesting. I didn't read the first book, but I've heard good things!

There we have it! Another week of new releases! Hope you found some to add to that TBR pile!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Reviews - The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! Its been a little bit since my last one, but I'm back now!

This week, I am reviewing a book that came out a little over a month ago, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett. I received an e-ARC from Raincoast Books, all opinions are my own.

Love love loved this book! I loved every aspect of this book.

The romance was great, not too insta-love-y but they got together early enough that we got to see them together for most of the book, which is something I always enjoy! We really get to see them in their relationship!

This book touched on many real life issues, divorce, love, sexual orientation, mental illness, etc. But what was nice was that these issues were all dealt with in secondary ways, not just the main focus of the book. Even though there were lots of serious topics, it still was a lighter read.

I finished it in two days and if I didn't have school, I would probably have read it all in one sitting.

Bex was such a great main character, and she was complimented by so many great side characters, including her brother, mother, boss, friend (friend-like-friend from college <-- high five to you if you get that movie reference).

I really think this may be one of the best books I've read this year. It was unique, but still relatable and interesting. The characters were great, Bex isn't super rich, in fact since her dad left, she's pretty much part of the low socio-economic class (yeah, look at me using big university level words!) and that was refreshing. She had to help pay bills, and she didn't live in a great area, but not cliche bad, just she-has-a-single-mom-working-double-shifts-at-the-hospital-not-so-great-part-of-town. But it didn't hold her back, or at least, she didn't let it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it!!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

TBR Tuesday - December 1

Hello everyone!

So I'm a little late doing this post this week, I hope you will forgive me! Anyways, if you are looking for a new read to get you through December, and into the New Year, you've come to the right place! There are quite a few great books that came out this past week, and I'm sure you'll find at least one to add to the neverending TBR pile!

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This is the third and final book in the Starboard trilogy! I'm interested to see how this series ends! I enjoyed the first book, but didn't love the second, hopefully this book is better!

Gateway to Fourline by Pam Brondos
I haven't heard anything really about this book, and the reviews on Goodreads are fairly mixed, it sounds interesting though...

Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
This seems like a really great physical "illness" novel that isn't based solely on romance (I'm looking at you TFiOS). Hopefully it lives up to expectations!

All We Left Behind by Ingrid Sundberg
This book sounds intriguing, and the reviews on Goodreads are quite mixed. Should be interesting!

The Rosemary Spell by Virginia Zimmerman
I haven't heard anything about this book either, but it seems really unique! Maybe I'll pick it up!

The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines
This is book 13 in the Rosemary Beach series! I am only on book 10, so I don't know what is happening so far, but I believe this is one of the last books, I think there are to be 15 in total.

Well, that's it for this week! Hopefully you found some new books to pick up, and I hope you enjoy them!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TBR Tuesday - November 24

Hello everyone!

I am back with another TBR Tuesday! There are a few more books this week, quite a few sequels, so enjoy!

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

I was able to read an e-ARC of this book, and I posted my review last week, you can read that review here! While I didn't love this book, I think some people will relate to it, and there are many issues touched on in this book that are very important today.

Queen by Aimee Carter
Book three in The Blackcoat Rebellion, this is a series I am not too familiar with. I have heard good things about it though, and if you are interested, I would definitely check it out!

Promises I Made by Michelle Zink
I haven't read this series, but the first book intrigued me. I haven't heard much about either of these books, but the Goodreads reviews are pretty decent.

Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin
Yet another sequel, this is the second book in the Wicked Games series? Duology? I don't know. Book one has better reviews than this one so far, but who knows?

Light of Day by Allison van Diepen

Okay, this one I did know about! I'm currently reading the companion to this book, On the Edge and while I'm not very far into it, I am really enjoying it! This book seems to deal with some interesting issues of today's life. I'm definitely going to be picking this one up soon!

Well, that's it for today! See you next week!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TBR Tuesday - November 17

Hello everyone!

I'm back with another TBR Tuesday! Get your Goodreads out and add these books! While there's not a ton of new books this week, but hopefully there are some that you are interested in!


The Game of Lives by James Dashner: This is the third book in The Mortality Doctrine series by Dashner, and while I am only familiar with his popular The Maze Runner trilogy, I've heard good things about it! From the synopsis, it sounds like every gamers dream!


Calvin by Martine Leavitt: This book sounds so intriguing! I'm not super familiar with the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, but I am always up for a book about mental illness. This seems like an interesting twist on the usual schizophrenia novel, plus, it sound like it might involve a road trip? Its the best of both worlds!


Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler: After reading Dahlia's NA novel Last Will and Testament I am interested in hernia YA novel. The concept sounds a little familiar, but hopefully Dahlia's writing can make it work!

Alright friends, it looks like that is it for new releases this week, let me know if you know of any others in the comments below!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Reviews - Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern. Thanks again to Raincoast Books for providing me with an eARC for review. All opinions are my own.


While I really wanted to love this book, I didn't.

I felt like the story was a little too slow and I didn't really connect with the characters. Rose was whiny and she was always changing her mind. She wanted to know, she didn't want to know. She wanted to do ballet, she didn't want to do ballet. And I get it. Sometimes you change your mind. But I just felt like she made a choice and then the next day regretted it.

I enjoyed the romance aspects of this book, but Caleb and Rose's relationship sometimes got so unnecessarily strained.

It is a diverse read, and boy does the author never let you forget it. It seemed like every issue between Caleb and Rose was racial including the severity of the illnesses faced. I enjoy with diverse characters, but between Lena and her white guy/Asian girl fetish and Caleb bringing up 3 million times the fact that he is African American, I was annoyed.

I also felt like the characters were always trying to one-up each other. "Oh, your mom has Huntington's? Well my mother AND sister's all have Sickle Cell Anemia." It was painful at times.

I don't know a lot about Huntington's so I can't speak to the accuracy of the depiction but I also know from the acknowledgments that the author doesn't know much personally and HD either, so that might play a role in her ability to portray it. I always find it interesting when authors write about an illness or something they don't have personal experience with.

This has been called the new TFiOS (which, by the way, don't even get me started on how just because it is a teen romance book, and their sick, doesn't make a book like TFiOS!), and honestly, if people are thinking that, than I need to reread TFiOS because I don't remember it being this painful.

Overall it was just ok. If you are ok with a whiny, floppy main character than you might like this but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.


Monday Reviews - This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. Thanks to Raincoast Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest review, all opinions are my own.


This book was heart shattering.

I cannot even begin to fathom what it would feel like to be trapped in a gym with a shooter going after people.

In the wake of many shootings across the United States, this book will strike a chord with readers.

The story is told from 4 perspectives, one on the outside, three inside. It also includes blog posts and "live" tweets of the shooting.

I thought this was very well written, and at times, quite intense! I read it in two sittings, and I enjoyed the diversity of the story. The author herself is a member of We Need Diverse Books, and you can definitely tell. There are characters from many ethnicities and races, as well as sexual orientation throughout the book. This book also deals with issues such as alcoholism, sexual assault, abuse, and various other hard hitting topics.

I did find that while this was a harrowing story, it seemed a little, plain. The shooting was interrupted with backstory of the people to try and understand why the shooter is doing what he is, etc. I felt like the flow could have been better to keep readers on their toes. I also felt like the diversity throughout the story was a little too much, it seems like every character has their own "diversity." It just took away from the story.

I also felt like some of the "main characters" were not all that likeable, so it almost didn't matter how their life would turn out in the end, after the shooting.

I only gave it 4 stars because I felt like we didn't need all 4 perspectives to understand the story and I felt like the ending was a little rushed and over dramatic.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TBR Tuesday - November 10

Hello everyone!

So I've decided to re-vamp my concept of TBR Tuesday. Instead of telling you what book I'm currently reading, I am going to be sharing all the new releases in YA for that week! So its books to add to your TBR... get it? Anyways, hopefully this will be a new and exciting way to talk about new books!

Without further adieu, the books coming out on November 10, 2015!
Winter by Marissa Meyer: This is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles! I cannot wait for this book to come out, all 832 pages of it! If you haven't read this series yet, you need to!

Soundless by Richelle Mead: I haven't really read anything by Richelle Mead, I tried to read the first book in the Vampire Academy series but I just couldn't get into it that much and gave up 50 pages in. I don't know if I will be picking this one up but the reviews on Goodreads have been fairly decent, so if you are interested, you should definitely pick this one up!
For the Record by Charlotte Huang: I haven't heard anything about this book, or this author but it seems interesting. This is a debut novel, and the reviews on Goodreads have been pretty good, so if you like music, you should check it out!
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick: There have been a lot of mixed reviews for this authors previous books, and I personally haven't read any of her books, so I can't speak to her previous books, but this one looks promising, at least from the synopsis. The reviews on Goodreads do seem a little mixed so far with this one too, so I think I'll wait a little bit before I decide if I want to get it or not.
Consent by Nancy Ohlin: I'm not sure I love student-teacher romances, but this is one with a musical twist. The reviews on Goodreads are a little low, but it seems promising, plus the cover is gorgeous.

Ok, well I hope this was an interesting post, and a little bit better than the old format for TBR Tuesdays! See you next week!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Reviews - My Second Life by Faye Bird

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing My Second Life by Faye Bird. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book to review. All opinions are my own!

Overall, this was a good book. It just wasn't spectacular.

The concept of the book, being born again, and knowing it, is very intriguing, and if you add in a layer about in that first life, possibly committing a crime, and never really getting over that guilt, this book was very interesting.

I just found the more I read, the less intriguing the story became. The ending unravelled in a way that didn't really make a ton of sense to me, and I feel like a lot of the drama could have been avoided.

That being said, this was a very fast-paced story, I read it in one sitting of about 4 hours. It held my interest until the very end, even though I didn't love the ending.


If nothing else, this was a fast-paced, unique story about guilt and consequences.

Overall, I enjoyed it. If you are looking for a thriller that won't let go, and has just the smallest touch of mental illness, this is the book for you.



Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Book Haul - 6 Books

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book haul! I haven't done one of these in a while, but since I didn't get a ton of books this month, I thought I would share them with you!


I got 6 books this month, one for review, as well as 5 that I bought for myself. I have three of the six, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken and A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. The other three, I am hoping to get to soon!

My Second Life by Faye Bird

The tagline for this one is "Can you be held responsible now for something you did in a previous life?" and I cannot wait to read this one! It's an ARC, and the final edition comes out January 19, 2016.

Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken

If you read The Darkest Minds trilogy, you need to read this book! It includes two previously released novellas, along with a third, never before seen story from after book three! It was so great and its gorgeous to look at! Buy it!

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A mysterious historical-y thriller that will entrance you with its gorgeous writing! If you've read McGinnis before and weren't a fan, fear not! This book is so much better!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Besides the fact that this edition is gorgeous and has blue pages (you totally have to get the UK edition, not the US one, it is just so much better!), this seems like a great book about ordinary people. Not teens with superpowers or crazy boarding school lives, just you everyday teenager. I am really looking forward to this one!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I have heard nothing but spectacular things about this book! Like every time I post a picture on Instagram about it, there is an outpour of amazing things about it! I'm a little nervous to start it because of the hype, but hopefully it is as good as everyone says!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Ok, this one I read, I borrowed my mom's copy and I really enjoyed it! I just had to get the UK edition cuz it was prettier than the US version (I think) but regardless, it was a great psychological thriller, the next Gone Girl some say. I have yet to read GG so I don't know about that but I enjoyed it!

How many books did you buy this month? More or less than me? I'm expecting a few more in the mail for November (obviously!) so I'll be back next month for that haul!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Reviews - A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Hello everyone!

Sorry it has been a while, but I am back today with a review for a book I just recently read, A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis! Lets get to the synopsis!


I'm writing this review a few days after I finished this book, because I really wasn't sure what to say about it. I can't decide if it was a novel about mental illness or a thriller. Maybe both I suppose?

Ok, so I did enjoy this book, that much I know. I found it very entrancing. McGinnis's writing has really stepped up from Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust and I really enjoyed it. I was hesitant because while I enjoyed NaDtD, I didn't love IaHoD. However, I am very glad that I picked this book up.

This book is set in an asylum based off a real life asylum, located in southeast Ohio, The Athens Lunatic Asylum. Some of you may know it as The Ridges, and I actually just recenetly read a book set there, You Were Here by Cori McCarthy. I find it interesting that I have never heard of this place before (maybe its because I'm Canadian) and now I read two books based on this location. You can look it up, its definitely creepy! Anyways, this book wasn't set here, just based off of.

The story itself was good and it held my interest. Without giving too much away, Grace is in an asylum in the beginning of the book, placed there by her parents to cover their horrid secrets. Again, I don't want to say too much, so I will just say that she ends up working with a doctor on crime scenes, helping him decide who the killer was and why, because the local police force are fairly useless. The doctor is supposedly using a concept of phrenology, the idea that you can be trained to "read," from the bumps and dents in the brain/head, whether or not a person might be inclined to commit a crime, such as murder, theft, etc. This practice was shockingly a real thing, but the doctor doesn't believe in it, or so we are lead to believe... duh duh duh!

Anyways, basically this book has two main lines intertwined. Grace, working with the doctor in an asylum, and Grace trying to free her sister from her family before she gets caught up in the lies. There was a nice balance of the two, and they somewhat collide at the end of the book.

Overall, a very beautifully, well written book about asylums, mental illness and a shocking twist at the end you'll never see coming! Highly recommend!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Monday Reviews - On a Friday! - You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to share this weeks review with you! I was sent a copy of You Were Here by Cori McCarthy for review, thanks so much Raincoast Books! All opinions expressed are my own.


This is perhaps the best book I've read this year. And believe me when I say, I don't say things like that lightly!

I cannot even begin to describe how spectacular this book was. I loved every page! The story, the illustrations, everything was amazing.

This story is told from 5 points of view, Jaycee, Mik, Bishop, Natalie and Zach. Let's just do a quick character rundown.

Jaycee: This is the main character. Her brother, Jake, died a few years earlier doing one of his signature dares/stunts. She has been struggling with this loss for many years, and each year, on the anniversary of his death, she goes to one of his favourite spots, the abandoned insane asylum and mets his old friend Mik.

Mik: While he is selectively mute, and rarely speaks throughout the entire book, we get a sense of Mik's character and feelings through the various comic-book type pages throughout the story. These give a great visualization of what is going on in the story at key points.

Bishop: His chapters are a little different, tells his story in the graffiti throughout the book. Shattered from heartbreak, Bishop is trying to move on and have fun with his new friends. He is the only one of the characters who wasn't in the town when Jake died.

Natalie: Type A Natalie is heading to Cornell in the fall, to become a new and shiny "Nat." Her on and off relationship with Zach causes some tension throughout the story, and there is one event in particular that creates many problems. Suffering from panic attacks, Natalie hids a secret that has haunted her since Jake's death.

Zach: The joker of the group, Zach is just trying to make do with his verbally abusive father and brother, as well as his twelve going on thirty little sister. He has his problems throughout the story, and his relationship with Natalie doesn't make life any easier.

Of the characters, I think I liked Jaycee the best. Her POV is in first person, so you can really get into her head!

I loved that Jaycee's journey was filled with old and new relationships, and that she was able to come to an understanding about her brother's death.

The comic and graffiti sections were wonderful. I really enjoyed the visual aspect of the story!

Although there are some freaky moments throughout this book (the insane asylum, abandoned amusement park, etc.) I was still able to read it before bed and not be terrified.

I am definitely preordering this book for when it comes out in March, and I highly, highly recommend you do as well!!

Also, the author is giving away 2 ARC copies, you can enter the giveaway here!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Reviews - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for providing me with an e-ARC to review! All opinions are my own.


When I first saw that this book was coming out, I though to myself "Ok, so this is Leigh Bardugo. How can you go wrong?" and the answer is you can't! This book was just spectacular!

I really and truly loved this book. It took a little bit to get into it, although that might be more because I am on a contemporary kick right now, but once I did get into it, I couldn't stop reading! I stayed up to all hours of the night finishing this book.

This book is set in the same world, the Grishaverse if you will, as the Grisha trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising). You don't really have to read that trilogy before this series, that being said, it's nice to know how the powers work, and that sort of thing. Plus, it's a great trilogy, so you should just read it anyways!

Now, I know that I am raving about this book, and its amazing, BUT there is one teensy tiny little detail that made me drop 0.5-1 star. The storyline. Now for some this may be a problem, but for me it was just a little speed bump. I found it was very similar to Marie Lu's The Young Elites, with the group of characters, as well as their rocky relationship and 'magical' skill set as well as having a hint of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It wasn't so similar that it was annoying or copying, but I just felt like there was a lot of parallels between those books and this one. Now granted, both writing styles are very different, but I just thought it felt similar.

That isn't to say don't read this book. I still highly recommend it, and the Grisha trilogy, so I would say that if you liked The Young Elites and/or A Darker Shade of Magic you will enjoy this book.

My only other complaint, now that I have the physical, finished hardcover, is that it's not the same size as the Grisha trilogy! It's a tall hardcover, and the trilogy is a standard size hardcover. Maybe that is to help distinguish that they aren't the same series, I don't really know.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and definitely recommend!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Monday Reviews - On a Friday! - The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews - on a Friday! cuz I am lazy like that! This week, I am reviewing The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Since it is now officially October, I thought I would share some more spooky reads, to get into the holiday spirit.


Wow! I don't even know what to say about this book!

It was beautifully written and so very unique but I still find myself a little confused.

Some parts of this book I thought were predictable, like the romance, but other parts, like the Alice and Elsie parts, I never would have guessed.

I want to love this book, and on some level, I did. But I'm still unsure of what the accident season was and why it happened. Was it all a cover up for Christopher? Was it staged? I don't know!

It was a little creepy, but nothing too scary. At one point I thought I was going to have to put it down, I was reading before bed, but I was just so engrossed in the story, I couldn't stop! (and I didn't have any nightmares!) But seriously, for those that are concerned about it being too scary, I am such a big baby when it comes to scary stuff, I made it through this unscathed!

I would definitely recommend if you liked We Were Liars or the first book in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy (after that one they take a really weird turn).

Anyways, long story short, if you are looking for a October read that is creepy but not nightmare-inducing, I would definitely recommend this one, I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Top 5 Wednesdays - Banned Books I've Read

Hello everyone!

Its been a while since I wrote a T5W post, sometimes I just don't love the topic. But I really thought this one is an interesting one. This weeks topic, banned books, is a very interesting one. Here in Canada, I feel like we are a little more free about our reading selections for school and that sort of thing, at least more so than the United States.

Still, the topic of a banned book is interesting. What makes a book "banned?" Who has the authority to ban these books and what are the messages that people are missing out on by avoiding these banned books?

I'll go through my full list in a little bit, but one of the most widely criticized "modern classics" if you will is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Now, I myself have read and loved this book twice, having to read it for both grade 11 and grade 12 (I moved schools) and I think there is a great message to this book.

Now, despite whatever your thoughts are on Hosseini's writing style, and whether or not you think the book has too much of a "full circle" ending, this is a widely fought book. Why do you ask? Is it because the story takes place in war-torn Afghanistan and there are terrible scenes with terrorist groups? Is it because the book deals with drinking and drugs? Or adultery? These are all perfectly acceptable reasons why some parents may not want their child reading this book. But the main reason? A male-male rape scene.

Now, I had an English teacher in grade 12 who had a parent come to her, frantic, saying that their child cannot read such a book. But they had no problems with that child reading The Lovely Bones, a book where a little girl is kidnapped, raped and murdered by a male neighbour. Now, this isn't a discussion on sexuality, or whatever. This is solely about the fact that some books, having certain content are less acceptable then other books, with a similar situation.

It concerns me that some parents won't allow their child to experience real life events in a fairly safe and controlled environment. If you are a parent, I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your child, and I'm certainly not condoning a book with a rape scene for a child who cannot handle a situation like that nor am I condoning this kind of behaviour, but at some point, kids need to learn about the world around them, as scary and frightening as it may be for the parents.

I guess my main point here is, can we ban books from schools? And why should we? I think that a classroom is a great place to learn about these scary topics, whether it is rape in The Kite Runner or racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, these are hard topics that people need to know about for the real world.

So, after that long and drawn out tangent, I will now get to my list of banned books!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This book was banned for "depictions of homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoints and sexually explicit scenes." As I said earlier, I've read and loved this book multiple times, but I can see where some parents would have problems with this book. That being said, should it be unavailable to all?

(source)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This classic, which I also loved, is criticized for being "demoralizing, in that it implies that man is little more than an animal" as well as being considered racist and containing “statements defamatory to minorities, God, women, and the disabled.” While some other these claims do have some backing, the book was published in the 50's, a time when people were a lot less understanding than they are now, and the author was writing for the time period he was in.

(source)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Similar to LotF, this is a book written and published in the 60's, in the height of American segregation and racism. It is critiqued for causing “psychological damage to the positive integration process and represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature.” The book also uses the N-word, at least 4 dozen or so times, and may be the most controversial banned book. I read this book in grade 9, and it was an eye-opener for sure. Should children be allowed to experience this drastic use of racism and prejudice? And at what age is this book acceptable to read?

(source)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This book, as well as the movie adaptation, deal with a few important issues teens deal with, including sexuality, abuse, mental health - in an easy to read letter format. Many reviewers called this a book that "will engage teen readers for years" and while it wasn't one of my personal favourites, I agree with those who think that these are important lessons for young people to understand. The book has been banned in one American city "because of a two-page section of the book in which Charlie witnesses date rape. It’s the section most often contested [to the American Library Association]."

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I had to do a little research on this one, because even though I've read it twice, once in grade 7 and again last winter, I can't think of anything offhand that might make this book offensive. Apparently, most of the challenges against this book are about "violence" and the fact that it is "unsuitable for the age group". I guess that could be an issue for some people, but I don't know if there is enough of it in the book to really have a cause for concern.



And that's that! I'm interested in your thoughts on banned books. Should we restrict reading? Who should be able to decide what is and isn't accessible to the younger generation? Leave a comment with your thoughts!



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reading + University Life - A Struggle

Hello everyone!

I have been feeling a little unhappy with my blog lately, and reading in general, and so I figured I would do what I feel like would benefit others struggling with this as well, write a blog post about it.

Originally, I was writing a TBR Tuesday post, and I got a little off topic and thought I should make it its own post. I was talking about how since starting university, I have read 5 books. In about 20 days.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, if you know my reading habits, that this is unheard of. I read a 300 page book in one day, max two, depending on whether I like the book, etc. So that means I am like 15 books behind schedule.

However, since I started university this month, my life and reading has changed majorly for me. Instead of in high school, where you are reading 2-3 pages of a textbook in class, going home for the day, and doing 30 mins. of homework and you are free for the rest of the night. BUT, in university, you are expected to have all the reading done ahead of time, usually at least one chapter of the textbook (anywhere from 30-50 pages) for one class, and some classes have two textbooks. And then you have anywhere from 4-5 classes a week, you don't have a lot of free time. For today alone, I had to have read roughly 100 pages, from four different textbooks, all by 9:25 am this morning!

This post isn't supposed to be something to discourage you from going to university, or anything like that. I am simply saying that for me, and many others, the jump from high school to post-secondary is very difficult. And as much as I would love to sit and read my novels for 6 hours at a time like I did three months ago, it just doesn't happen.

I guess I just wanted to say that even if I'm not posting as regularly, or go a week with nothing, its because I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write 5 half-decent posts or read that review book. And I hope you understand!

If you have any time management tips, please feel free to leave them down below! I may not be able to respond right away but I would appreciate the thoughts from someone who has been here.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - Fall/Winter 2015 Most Anticipated Reads

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Top 5 Wednesday! If you want to check it out, you can go to the Goodreads group and read more about it. 

I know, its been a while since I did a T5W, but I wanted to get back in the swing of things, so here we go!

This week's topic is top 5 title fonts, however, I wasn't really feeling that so I decided to change it up and make my own topic, my top 5 fall/winter most anticipated reads for the rest of 2015!

Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken - Released: October 6
can't wait to  get back into this world! I haven't read any of the novella's, so I am excited to see what happens in them! Plus there's a sneak peak of Passenger, her next novel and I am so excited for that book too!

Winter by Marissa Meyer - Released: November 10
There was no way I couldn't not include this book in my list! I picked up Cinder, book one, just over a year ago after it sitting on my shelf for months. I loved it and picked up the rest of the series immediately! I loved each book more than the last, and Cress, book three, was pretty great, so needless to say I have very high hopes for Winter!

November 9 by Colleen Hoover - Released: November 10
I don't even bother reading the synopsis' of CoHo's books anymore! She has become an auto buy author for me, I would read anything she writes! I cannot wait for this book!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray - Released: November 3
Ok, so obviously, first things first, the covers of this series so far have been so incredibly gorgeous! I thought A Thousand Pieces of You had a great cover, well then they revealed this cover and oh my gosh! Stunning! I really loved Gray's writing and I cannot wait to see what is in store for Marguerite!

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King - Released: September 22
A.S. King is another one of those auto but authors for me. Please Ignore Vera Dietz was spectacular, and while I have yet to find another one of her books that gives me the same feels as that one, I keep buying, hoping that this will be the one! She has an amazing writing style, and I love the elements of magical realism she puts into her stories!

Well, I guess that's it! What are some of your most anticipated fall/winter releases? Let me know!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Reviews - The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing Margaret Atwood's newest novel, The Heart Goes Last. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in exchange of an honest review!


I... I don't know what to say.

I was really enjoying this book, loving the realistic post-apocolyptic/post-economic collapse vibe and then I got to a certain point in the story, probably a third of the way through, and I was just so confused. 

I didn't get the direction the book went in, it just seemed weird. I was expecting a post-socioeconomic apocalypse with a plan for the future but what I got was a book with a strange, cultish, sexually driven society and what I thought was the main storyline of two characters trying to work out their marriage was quickly forgotten.

Now, this was my very first experience with Atwood, so I am not really familiar with her style. 

I just felt like I wasn't feeling the story and I didn't connect to any of the characters. Stan was a bit of a stick in the mud and Charmaine, oh don't even get me started!

In the end, it wasn't my favourite. Perhaps some diehard Atwood fans out there will read it and love it, but I just couldn't.

I rated this book 2/5 stars on Goodreads.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Reviews - Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review! This week, I am reviewing Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review!

Let me start off by saying that this is my first Kaling book, and my first essay collection book.

And I have to say. I really enjoyed it!

I loved her work in The Mindy Project and found Mindy's voice in this book to very well spoken and just very honest. She talks about some funnier things, as well as some more hard hitting topics such as body image and self-perception.

I felt like Mindy's personality and very "tell it how it is" attitude really showed in this book and I enjoyed that.

These essay covered a variety of topics, from crushes to body image to life on set. I really enjoyed this look at Mindy's life and I plan on picking up her first book soon!

If you are maybe in a reading slump, or you just are looking for something different than the usual fiction, I definitely recommend this book!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Monday Reviews - On a Friday! - I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews on a Friday! This week, I am reviewing a book I just finished this week, I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. 


As some of you may know, I was a little preoccupied these past few weeks getting ready for university, so even though it took me 6 days to read this book (when it probably would normally have taken 3), it was not because it was a bad book. I really enjoyed it actually.

This book was just such a deep and detailed book, I could only read small sections at a time before needing to take a break. I feel like there were maybe ten chapters in this book, but they were long. Like one of them was close to 75-80 pages. I did end up really enjoying this book, but the long chapters made for putting the book down in the middle of one inevitable, which is something I don't usually like doing. 

I did get some great quotes and it was one of the most well written books I've ever read.


I really liked how the title was incorporated into the book. I love it when you can see how the title was chosen, and in this book, it was just such a great choice I think.
My only complaint is that I felt like once the big issue was resolved in the last two chapters, the ending was a little lacklustre. Nobody really was too upset, and I guess they went with the high road mentality and just kind of went with the flow, but I didn't really think that was realistic.

I ended up giving this book a 4/5 stars on Goodreads, and I would definitely recommend it!