Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Reviews - The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews!

This week, I will be reviewing a book I received from Penguin Random House, The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows. Thanks so much for the book, all opinions are my own.

Ok, so as always, let's start with synopsis!


Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer's Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. 

The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.










Ok, so this book. Well, it was good, and (surprisingly) I enjoyed it. It was out of my usual reading comfort zone, it wasn't young adult, it wasn't a romance or dystopian story, it was fairly historical. In fact, I can thank my grade 12 social studies teacher for teaching me what a bourgeoisie and proletariat were. There is a lot of talk of Communist takeover in the time this book takes place, the early to late stages of the Depression in a small southern town.

Because it was so outside my comfort zone, within the first 50 or so pages, I was debating giving up, because I wasn't sure if I could go on. I had trouble initially getting to this book, plus, its over 500 pages, a huge commitment! In the end, I did push through, and I'm glad I did. 

This book was a little out of my comfort zone, as I said, but I liked it. It reminded me a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird, not in the plot/prejudice sense, but it was set in a small southern town where everyone knows everyone and the main narrator is a 9 year old girl who doesn't understand or really know the secrets of her family.

I will say, if you are looking for another Atticus Finch, you won't find it in Felix Romeyn. He's a sly womanizing "businessman" who holds an 18 year old grudge and uses this circumstance and those events to convince his sister to living with him and care for his two girls, after his divorce instead of living her dreams.

Overall, I thought this was a good book and recommend it to anyone who wants a twisted TKaM or just a good ole book about family lies and deceit!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Young Adult Summer Reading List

Hello everyone!

I decided to do something a little different today, and since the first day of summer was just a few days ago, I thought it was time to share a list of books you need to read this summer!

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

No summer reading list is complete without at least one road trip! Luckily, LGL is just the book! Its a road trip meets summer romance meets finding yourself story. Broken up into six sections, really mini-stories connected through the main character, this beautifully written book is humorous and heart wrenching.

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

If you love(d) LGL by the same author, I recommend you check out his new book. Coming out in August, this is a story about clichés and looks at what it means to grow up and live life to the fullest. And if its anything like LGL, the writing is going to be stunning! You definitely want to get your hands on this one when it comes out!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Ok, so this is your perfect summer romance! There is romance, betrayal and drama. The characters are so well developed, and I flew through it! Its just one of those cute, first love romances. There is also a lot more parental involvement in this book than you normally see in YA, which is unique. I loved that the romance was fairly quick to develop, but not in an annoying, instalove kind of way. You could see them as a couple throughout the book, not just the last 2 chapters.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

If you enjoyed MLND by Fitzpatrick, you need to pick up the companion novel/sequel! It follows the best friend and sister of the previous book, and how their relationship develops. Dealing with family issues and substance abuse, this book is promising to be a witty, heart wrenching novel, perfect for summer. It comes out on August 18, which means you can marathon read the series!

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

A.S. King is a genius when it comes to YA novels, and if you haven't read anything by her, you need to remedy that NOW! ATP  wasn't my favourite King book, but if you are looking for a book with some diversity, this is your pick!

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

If you are looking more of a realistic romance, this is your book! Set in a tiny trailer park town, this story combines a girl with big dreams and the inability to achieve them, and a boy, back from Afghanistan missing a leg and his cocky attitude. Together, they try to get through one last summer and their friendship becomes something more. This romance is slow burning and beautifully heart breaking.

Paper Towns by John Green

Again, no summer reading list is complete without a road trip book! And if you read this one before July 24, you can go watch the movie and not have to worry! This is my favourite John Green book, and I highly recommend it!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Ok, so maybe this one isn't exactly YA, but it is still an amazing story about finding yourself and the consequences of life. I've read this book multiple times, and each time I love it even more. If you are looking for something a little bit different, or perhaps a little bit outside your comfort zone, I would highly recommend this or an of Hosseini's other books.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

If you haven't read this book, you need to. But you need to disregard the hype surrounding it. Yes, its a great book. But don't set your expectations too high. This book is good, if you go in with no expectations. And really plot wise, it is best to go into it blind. But it is a must read for the summer!

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Yes, another road trip, but this was is different! I swear! After a tragedy in Amy's family, her mom relocates the family but requires Amy to stay until the house sells. Once it does, she is supposed to drive to the new house, across the country. Because of the accident, she doesn't drive, so her childhood friend, Roger, decides to drive her. They were supposed to stick to Amy's mom's schedule, but they end up taking some detours. This book is heart breaking and wonderful, and is filled with pictures of the trip, playlists, diner menus, everything that makes you feel like you are there with them!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A little less summery, but the first book in The Lunar Chronicles is well written, and awesome! You can start the series, which consists of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress with the prequel Fairest and be done in time for the fourth and final book Winter to be released in November! This series is witty and smart. Highly recommend!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

If you are like me, and heading to univeristy/college in the fall, you will want to pick up this book. It deals with the fear of being away from home for the first time, being cast aside by your twin (okay, maybe that doesn't apply to all of us) but still! This is the perfect book for getting ready for your first year of post secondary schooling.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

You have to pick up a classic sometime, why not Golding's acclaimed Lord of the Flies? Maybe you skipped it in high school English or you have to read it for university. Regardless, pick up this least-classically written classic. Get in touch with your survival side and settle in with this "man is inherently evil" novel! After a plane full of British schoolboys crashes on a deserted island, they have to try and survive with no adults.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Read this one in tandem with LotF, as it has been called the female version of the classic. A plane filled with beauty queens have to survive on a deserted island, similarly to Flies. It deals with trying to survive and realizing their is more to beauty than what meets the eye! (did you like that? lol)








Hopefully you have been able to find yourself some new books to read, and be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Reviews - Finding Audrey

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review! This week, I am reviewing Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. This is her first YA novel, after a plethora of adult novels. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for providing me this book to review! All opinions are my own.

As always, let's start with the synopsis!


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain. 

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey's daily life. 

She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother's gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she's never been able to do with anyone before. 

As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family. 






Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I've never read a Sophie Kinsella book before and I wasn't sure what to expect. I've heard great things about her writing, so I was going into this book with fairly high expectations.

This book was the perfect mix of light and fluffy, mental illness and first love. This was more of a lighter read, if you are looking for a book that focuses more on mental illness and anxiety, I wouldn't really recommend this one. It deals with it well, it just isn't the best portrayal of mental illness. Perhaps if you are looking for a lighter book on mental illness, not the usual dark and bleak book about depression and suicide.

If you are looking for a cute, funny, summer read that is a little bit deeper than the average romance, I would recommend this book.

My only complaints are that I had a hard time visualizing how old Audrey was, she's 14, but I thought going in she was closer to 16-17 and was confused on why she sounded younger. I also felt like the cause of her anxiety and depressive episodes were just glossed over. There's no real definitive reason explained about what happened. We get a general "something happened here and these people were involved" but its nothing more than that.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars, because of the few issues I had with it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

T5W - Books Read in One Sitting

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.

This week's topic is top 5 books I read in one sitting! Let's get started!

5. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I read this book in two sittings, so maybe thats cheating, but I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime to try and finish this book, but I ended up having to put it down, because I was falling asleep at like 1 am on a school night. But I totally would have stayed up if I didn't need to be up in 6 hours.

4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 

This one was just too adorable to stop reading. I think I took a break for dinner, but I came right back to it afterwards! This was also my favourite out of the series.



3. Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Here's how this conversation in my head went:

- (Approximately 8:30 am) Hmm, what do I want to read?
- This looks good...
- And its short, I'll fly through it
- (Approximately 1:30 pm) Oh LUNCH!
- (Approximately 3:00 pm) I'M DONE!!

Yup...

2. Broken Skies by Theresa Kay

I started this one and just lost track of time... next thing I knew I was on the last page!

1. Confess by Colleen Hoover

I can usually fly through Colleen Hoover books, and this was no exception! I sat down with it before bed and I was done by midnight.

So there you have it! The books I read in one sitting!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TBR Tuesday - The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Hello everyone!

I am here with another TBR Tuesday, where I talk about the book I'm reading, and what I will be reading next!


I requested The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George from Penguin Random House, so I think I will pick that up next! It sounds interesting!

I just finished Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella last night, stay tuned for a review coming next week on that book!

What are you reading today?



Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Reviews - The Darkest Light by Ashley Earley

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I'm just finishing up school, I should be able to post more frequently for the summer season!

Anyways, lets get to this weeks review! I was contacted by the author to read and review her book!  I was super pumped because the author is only 18 years old! That's so insane! I am reviewing The Darkest Light by Ashley Earley.

As always, lets start with the synopsis!


After discovering a secret her parents have kept from her all her life, Alyssa’s life begins to unravel, and she’s thrown into a magical world she never knew existed—one that’s both frightening and intriguing to her.

While trying to discover who she really is, and who her father was, she begins to see the darkness this unknown land holds, and fears becoming part of that darkness.


Torn between this new world, and the human world, Alyssa must make the ultimate decision between the possibility of losing herself forever to become part of it, or stay behind and let the world of Föld perish.


As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, she’s falling for two guys—that live in totally different worlds. Wesley and Archer couldn’t be more different, but they both have her captivated.
A battle is coming. Will Alyssa be forced to fight against the people she loves?
 




When I first started this book, I had troubles getting into it. I was a little nit-picky and annoying, if you read my updates on Goodreads, you'll know. But it started to pick up and I began to enjoy it more.

I think the concept behind this story was very interesting, and the fact that it's a standalone was really amazing. You don't typically find a fantasy-esque standalone.

I liked Alyssa's character for the most part, but did I feel like the depression aspect was a little shallow, and not really shown, but then again, this is not a contemporary about mental illness, so it makes sense it took more of a backseat.

Wesley was just ahh! I'm a sucker for the name Wes and he was just so sweet and southernly. I liked Archer, but I didn't see the romance there. I was expecting a love triangle based on the synopsis but I don't think we saw enough of Archer to warrant a romantic relationship. At the end he was kind of just like "so yeah, umm I guess you like him not me..." I just felt like there wasn't the opportunity for a love triangle. I'm not complaining, I liked the romance how it was, but I feel like some people will shy away from this book because of the "love triangle" promise.

As far as the writing itself goes, it was good. A little average, but good. There were a few editing issues, and tense issues but I was usually able to get over them. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Reviews - Angelfall by Susan Ee

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing Angelfall by Susan Ee. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own!

As always, lets start with the synopsis!


It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain. 

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. 

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...

















First off, I'm just going to say that I absolutely loved this book!

I really didn't know what I was expecting going into this book, but it wasn't that. I've never read a book about Angels, and I found this one out be very interesting and well written.

I loved Penryn and Raffe, I really hope they can get past their differences and continue their relationship, because I totally love them together.

World-wise, this was a post-apocalyptic story at its finest. They were eating cat food for crying out loud! It was 6 weeks after the apocalypse and I loved how they had to survive problems that if we ever had an apocalypse we would have to survive too. 

I am really interesting in seeing how this all plays out throughout the series, and seeing the politics behind the Angel's society.

I can't wait to read the next book, in fact, I've already bought my own copy of this and the next book, World After, to add to my collection.

I gave this book a full 5/5 stars and highly recommend it!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Reviews - Painless by S.A. Harazin

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing Painless by S.A. Harazin. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book to review! All opinons are my own.


A first kiss. Falling in love. Going to prom. These are all normal things that most teenagers experience. Except for 17-year-old David Hart. His life is anything but normal and more difficult than most. Because of the disease that wracks his body, David is unable to feel pain. 

He has congenital insensitivity to pain with anhydrosis--or CIPA for short. One of only a handful of people in the world who suffer from CIPA, David can't do the things every teenager does. He might accidentally break a limb and not know it. If he stands too close to a campfire, he could burn his skin and never feel it. He can't tell if he has a fever and his temperature is rising. 

Abandoned by his parents, David now lives with his elderly grandmother who is dying. When David's legal guardian tells him that he needs to move into an assisted living facility as he cannot live alone, David is determined to prove him wrong. He creates a bucket list, meets a girl with her own wish list, and then sets out to find his parents. 

All David wants to do is grow old, beat the odds, find love, travel the world, and see something spectacular. And he still wants to find his parents. While he still can.

This was definitely a unique book for me to read.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. David's condition was one that I wasn't very familiar with, but I had heard briefly of it, and frankly it was a nice change from the other physical illness books that deal mainly with cancer (yes, I'm looking at you TFiOS knockoffs).

I did feel like at the beginning that David sounded a little young, younger than I would have liked, but as the story progressed, I was able to see his age a bit more and that helped show the growth.

I felt like some parts were a little irrational, like David's parents just dumping him at his grandparents, I don't know, maybe its just because I cannot fathom leaving my kid and running off. I also was confused that he wasn't more upset but then again, he can't feel pain. (oh, I see what you did there!)


I did like part three the most, who doesn't love a good road trip! This was probably one of the more realistic road trips I've read, you get lost, you run into bad weather, etc.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, I flew through it, but I didn't love it.
 That being said, it was a refreshing change from the usual books I read.