Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Disappointing Eye Candy

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 disappointing eye candy books, or books that look gorgeous but didn't live up to their wonderful covers. I have to say, this was not as hard as I thought it would be! Apparently I'm a bit of a cover buyer, so many of my books are ones that I picked because I liked the cover, and maybe not the synopsis. 

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley



Storywise, this book just didn't do much for me. I lost interest as things became more and more far fetched and confusing.

That being said, I will probably be reading the sequel because if the cover is as gorgeous as this one, I cannot say no! *sigh*












No Place to Fall by Faye Robin Brown



The cover of this book was just so misleading.

I was expecting an epic road trip. That's not what I got! It wasn't that I hated this book, I didn't. And it deals with some serious issues, but I just kind of felt like it was an Eleanor and Park knock-off.













The Last Place on Earth by Carol Snow



Again, not a horrible book, just a misleading cover.

I was expecting a cutesy little romantic novel with a mystery of a girl trying to find her friend.

Not dooms day preppers. Yes, thats right. 

I just didn't love the storyline and felt ripped off.











The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn


OH how I wanted to love this book so very much!

Five teens pull a Freaky Friday around the camp fire and wake up the next morning with a problem that isn't theirs.

Sounds great right? Nope! It got weird and confusing and I was not a fan.











Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern



I love a good typographical cover, and the story of this book sounded great.

What I got were two whiny, 12 year old sounding main characters who, *create* a conflict that is so left field I was dumbfounded. 

Ugh.












So yeah, that's that! This post was quite cathartic for me. I will say though, just because I didn't like a book, that doesn't mean that you won't like that book. Everyone is different and everyone likes different things. 


Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Reviews - The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Hello everyone!

Today I am reviewing The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman! Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book to review, all opinons are my own!


Starting this book, I didn't really know what it was about. I knew it was going to be a historical novel, but not much else than that. Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. I don't really have a lot of experience with historical novels, this one being set in the 1800s, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

The first little bit, not much happens. But the day to day events were interesting enough for me to keep reading. One thing is very clear, the author did her research. There is a whole section in the back of the book with references to real life events that happened at that time, places that they went to really existed. I think for me, that dedication and attention to detail (although who am I trying to kid, I would not be able to verify any of the facts myself) that really brings this book to the next level.

Once the story picks up, I did get more into it. Looking back now, there are a few little things that I still don't understand, but nothing that takes a lot away from the story.

I will say that I had no clue that this was about demon hunting. And I'm almost glad. Goodman doesn't explicitly say what the creatures are, and maybe if you're a little more perceptive than me (or even if you read the synopsis!) then you would see the demon aspect, but they were just kind of left to be whatever you wanted them to be. Like I said before, I'm almost happy I didn't know they were hunting demons, because all I could have pictured were demons a là Supernatural and I definitely did not get that vibe from these 1812 demons.

ANYWAYS, despite my confusion and the fact that this book is almost 500 pages, it only took me a day to read. I flew through it easily and I really enjoyed it!

I would definitely recommend this book if you are into historical/fantasy/demon! And even if you're not, pick it up anyway! I'm look forward to book two!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Buzz Words

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 favourite buzz words, that is books that, when used in the synopsis, pretty much guarantee that I will be buying or reading that book! When I was compiling my list, I pretty much just went through my Goodreads to-read shelf and looked through some syopsis and whatever words jumped out at me, I picked.

Also, after compiling these, apparently I am really into the psychological thrillers and murder mysteries these days, so that is clearly reflected in my words! Don't worry, I guess I'm just in a weird place...

"psychological thriller" - Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger

I think I'm on a mission to find the best psychological thriller! Ever since starting reading them again last year, I cannot get enough!


"sinister" - Beware that Girl by Teresa Tenton

This book sounds great, and sinister is just such a great way to describe a dark, twisted character!


"tautly-told" - The Accident on the Bridge by Laura McNeal

I just really love the description of a story being "tautly-told." I feel like I will be on edge for the whole book!


"creepily atmospheric" - The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich

Again, I'm on the hunt for the greatest psychological thriller!


"suicide" - The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

For some very strange and possibly concerning reason, I really enjoy books with mental illness, and more specifically suicide. I just think that these books are so important to show that even if you are at the end of your rope, you can keep on going.



Well, that's it! See you next week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TBR Tuesday - January 19

Hello everyone!

I am back with another TBR Tuesday! This week, there are quite a few wonderful new releases to pick up, so get that Goodreads TBR list ready!

Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo

This book just sounds like such a refreshing story! I think I will be picking it up myself! It's been said to be perfect for fans of John Corey Whaley, Jandy Nelson and Libba Bray. For me, these are some great, original authors, so that, plus the 4.13/5.00 Goodreads rating, makes me have high expectations for this book!

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

This book seems like a really interesting LGBTQA. I think a lot of times, there aren't many LGBTQA books that aren't just straight contemporaries. It will be interesting to see a lite sci-fi/paranormal story that has a gay main character. I don't know if its just the title, but I'm getting a vaguely A.S. King vibe with some magical realism, so I'm excited!

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

I love me a good mystery, and this one seems to be kicked up a notch! Hopefully it is done well, and the mystery is suspenseful! The premise in general just sounds very intriguing, so I look forward to this book.

The Isle by Jordan Frankel

I don't want to say to much about this book, because it is a sequel, but I will say that the first book The Ward has been on my TBR list for quite a while, so I'm sure this book is just as great!

The Capture by Tom Isbell



Another sequel I won't say too much about, but I've heard great things about the first book!

My Second Life by Faye Bird

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book to read for review from the publisher! My full review is here, but overall, I enjoyed this book. There were a couple things toward the end I wasn't in love with, but it kept my attention and I did finish it.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Reviews - The Widow by Fiona Barton

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews! This week, I am reviewing The Widow by Fiona Barton. I received this book for review from Penguin Random House, however all opinions are my own.


I wanted to love this book.

Really, I did.

First off, hats off to the ARC marketing team, this was such a cool ARC. It was sent in a really cool evidence bag, with Skittles!



I think my problem is that this book was compared to Gone Girl/The Girl on the Train, so I was expecting a thriller. And this was more of a suspenser. (I totally just made that word up...), but really, there wasn't really any mystery. We knew the crime, we knew the only suspect. It was pretty much just waiting to see if he actually committed the crime.

Anyways, I felt like at times, the story was hard to follow. It was told through 4 main perspectives on two different timelines, past and present. I feel like I wasn't engrossed in the story, it didn't really suck me in and there were a few moments where I almost gave up on it.

While this book was interesting, it was fairly uneventful. It's pretty much the investigation through the whole book, and when we finally find out the suspect, it's very anticlimactic.

I ended feeling like Jean needs to seek therapy right away, because at the end I was very disturbed by some of the things she says and does at the end of the novel.

Overall it was just okay. It wasn't as good as TGoTT by a long shot, and if you want a thriller, read that instead!

Released February 16, 2016.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Monday Reviews - on a Friday! - Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hello everyone!

I am back again with another Monday Reviews - on a Friday! This week, I am reviewing Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff!


Overall, while I liked this book, it just wasn't my favourite. I think my problem with this book was that there was just so much hype surrounding it, that this book was built so high up, my expectations were too high and I was disappointed. I liked it, but I definitely didn't love it.

I enjoyed the layout, documents, recordings, images, I feel like the trend of the novel/graphic novel hybrid is gaining momentum, this was my second book like this in the last couple months, but story wise, it didn't wow me.

There were a couple moments where it was intense and suspenseful, and I didn't see something coming but other than that, it was kinda hard to remember what character was on what ship, what tag name was who, with all the names of things and abbreviations, I just couldn't keep it straight.

In addition to the hype, the other reason I may not have enjoyed this book as much as most is that I'm not the best audience for this book. It is fairly sciencey, and I'm not a sciencey person. There was a lot of computery-hacker stuff and I feel like I'm just not cut out for the sci-fi, technology novels.

Overall, this book was good but not great. I'm still confused about some things, and while the cover is quite nice, I just don't think this book lives up to the extremely high hype. I might get the next book when it comes out, just to see what happens, because there were a few things I did like and a couple things I want to get answered.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Self Published Authors

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 the topic is top 5 self published authors! This is a very different topic for me, because while I read a lot of books, most of them are published by a major publishing house. Not everyone can be represented by a larger company, and in fact, many of my favourite authors started out as self-published. I am also going to be including indie authors/authors with smaller publishers to help spread the word on great, lesser known books and authors!

The Darkest Light by Ashley Earley

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, this dragon-fantasy story is a wonderful almost-but-not-quite-love-triangle standalone that will leave you wondering how on Earth it was written by a then 18 year old. The main character is very relatable, she is battling depression after the tragic death of her father, and you can't help but feel for her. I enjoyed the romance, but to me, there was only one love interest, so that's why I don't consider this a love triangle. This book was a little reminiscent of Rebel Belle with the whole unknown magical powers thing.

Broken Stars by Theresa Kay

Originally published as an ebook by the author, this is the first book to a fast-paced paranormal trilogy. Told from the point of view of a feisty teenager living in a post-apocolyptic world who is trying to save her twin brother after he is kidnapped by aliens. Plus, there's the whole paranormal romance thing. Yeah, if that doesn't sound good, I don't know what does! At this point, the first and second book are out. I've read both of them. They are fantastic. Read them. This book reminded me a little bit of the Under the Never Sky trilogy mixed with Partials. and a splash of The Lux series.

Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

This self published book is the first in a series of New Adult novels about a university student who, after getting burned by a high school sweetheart and stalked by a creepy professor freshman year, decides to swear off dating. Until she meets an RA, who, in the name of research only for her romance novel, agrees to play the part of the perfect book boyfriend. There's some drama with the stalker prof, and a missing girl from the university, making for a dramatic, romantic, whirlwind! I've only read the first book in this series, but I cannot wait to pick up the next books!

Volition by Lily Paradis

Ms. Paradis has also written another book, Ignite, her debut, but I have a special attachment to Volition because I was one of the few beta readers for this book. It's a dark and twisty romance. This book is exceptionally unique, it was unlike anything I've ever read. It's a very dark book, and some people may not enjoy that. I however, loved it, along with its gorgeous NYC backdrop, ah perfection! 

**NOTE** As I am just now doing a little more research for this post, I have come across quite a few plagiarism accusations of this book, one blog in particular breaks things down a bit, here. I haven't read anything by Tarryn Fisher, the alleged plagiaree (is that a word?) so I cannot comment on that myself, but I will just say that I really enjoyed Volition as well as Ignite.

Rising by Jennifer Wilson

This book made it onto my Top 15 of 2015, so you know I loved it! In just over 200 pages, the author was able to give so much. Backstory, develop a world where the society is divided into tribes, and if you don't join you die. Much like what happened to the MC's parents six years before. There is some romance, but our female main character shows that she is kick butt and don't need no man to help her. Each page felt like 5, and in a good way. It was fast paced, but very descriptive.  If I was going to compare this book to another, I would say Divergent but only because of the divided society and rebels, but it definitely stands on it's own!

Well, that was longer than I expected! I hope you find at least one new book, or pick up an indie book or one that was self published!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

TBR Tuesday - January 12

Hello everyone!

I am back with another TBR Tuesday! There are a lot of books out today, so get those TBR lists out, you'll definitely find some you want to add!

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

I was able to read an ARC, and my review was posted yesterday, you can read more here! I enjoyed this book, but didn't really feel like to much happened. I do think it was well written and an important story to read.

Traveler by Arwen Elys Dayton

I'm not really familiar with the Seeker series, but this second book is apparently perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Legend! Sounds interesting!

The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

This book sounds fantastic! Plus that cover! Apparently is a mix of mystery, romance, and fantasy genres and this book sounds like a great magical-realism novel. I may just have to pick this one up myself!

Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker

I was able to read an ARC of this book, and I posted my review last week, you can read it here! I enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel!

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

As a Canadian, I don't know how excited I am about an American political novel, but this book seems like it might be more of a thriller than a political book. I am getting a White House Down vibe, maybe that's just because thats the only American politics movie I know. Plus there's some intense moments in that movie. Anyway, this book looks interesting, and I love the cover!

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

This book sounds like an honest portrayal of addiction. I am very interested to see how this novel goes, I may have to see how it goes myself!

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Now, I haven't read this book, but it seems like a cutesy, cheesy love story. The main character loves books though, so really, that's something all of us can relate to!

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

A to Z? What? Oh I get it, Abby to Zeke! Doi
Umm yeah, this looks like a great opposites-attract novel filled with perhaps some French scenery? Sounds good to me!

Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz

This sounds like a very interesting novel. It's told in verse, so some people may not love that, but sometimes I find verse works well for more serious topics, because each word is worth so much more. If you are interested in disasters, both natural and intentional man-made, you should give this book a shot!

The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

I will be reading my eARC of this book soon, and my review will most likely be up next Monday, but it sounds very intriguing.

Well, that's it for this week! Hopefully lots of great books to add to the never ending TBR pile!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Reviews - Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Hello everyone!

This weeks Monday Reviews is Underwater by Marisa Reichardt. Thanks to Raincoast Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.


Well this was definitely an interesting book.

The main character Morgan is a shut in after a *tragedy* (you can probably guess, and honestly even though it isn't explicitly stated until later in the book, you can pretty much assume what event is being referred to) at her high school. But when a cute boy moves in next door, she befriends him and tries to push her boundaries and move on from what happened.

This book deals a couple serious issues, such as PTSD, both from the point of an "at home" trauma and trauma from the a soldier in the war, agoraphobia (that is, being too afraid to leave your house), as well as divorce.

I thought it was a good book, but I felt like not a lot happened. Some of this gets a little bit spoilery, so if you want to be totally surprised, maybe skip the rest...


___________________________________________

Eventually she got outside, her mom worked through her issues, she finally tells the full story of what happened that fateful day, and everything turned out great. I just felt like maybe things happened a little fast, and it was a little unrealistic at times.
___________________________________________


Regardless, I still enjoyed the book and recommend it! This book comes out tomorrow! January 12, 2016!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Monday Reviews - On a Friday! - We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Hello everyone!

I am back with another Monday Reviews - On a Friday! Basically, this is when I review the books I read on my own time, not books that were sent for review! This week, I am reviewing We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean!

Recently I picked up this book and it was so fantastic, it made it to my top 15 of 2015 list! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Oh my gosh.

This book was phenomenal! I tore through it like no tomorrow. The writing was beautifully constructed, the story was well planned and the twist was done so well I didn't even get a hint that it was coming!

This book feels like a mix between Its Kind Of A Funny Story and The Dead House. It has everything I love in a book, suspense, an undetectable twist, a mental hospital and mental illness galore! (ok, so that sounds worse than it is... but I do love a good MI novel)

I don't want to say too much about the twist because it's such a great aspect of the story but I will say that the PTSD that Alice and Celia suffered, and the death of their grandfather is a pivotal moment in their lives. Eep! I'm getting antsy just thinking about it again!

The writing in this book is so spectacular, I was reading the journal entry of the death of the grandfather on the girls birthday and I felt like I was there. All they had to eat for days was birthday cake, getting blacker and blacker. I can see the blackened yellow cake with icing balloons. I can smell the grandfather rotting in the living room. I can see the girls trying to gnaw through the cans of beans because they weren't allowed to use the can opener without their grandfather. I can feel them trying to preserve heat, sleeping with five blankets, because the heat is off in the dead of winter and the girls don't know how to turn it on. The book is so well written you are literally with the girls, starving and freezing.

I also enjoyed how this book touched on the difficult aspects of orphanage/orphanhood?  and the foster system. I've never really read a book about foster kids, or one that was such an honest portrayal of the experiences of these kids. It was really eye opening to me, that while there are some good stories, there are a lot of bad situations.

The ending of this book, especially the epilogue was fantastic! It kind of freaked me out a bit, knowing that Alice still had a long way to go, Celia was still there and they would really never be apart.

Highly highly recommend! Definitely one of my favourites of the past year!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday - Favourite Fandoms err... Books to Read in 2016

Hello everyone!

Well, this week, the T5W topic was favourite fandoms, and really, I'm not really a part of any fandoms/I don't really know of any...

So I decided instead to share some of the books I am looking forward to picking up in the coming year. I am keeping this list only of books that I haven't read (haven't gotten an ARC) and that are coming out in 2016, and then at the end of the year, I can see how the books I was looking forward to actually were!

I hope that makes sense... Anyways, to the books!

When I Wake by Elizabeth Norris

I loved her first series, Unraveling and the premise of this book looks really interesting. There's no official date set yet for publication, just 2016, so hopefully this book comes out sooner, rather than later!

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold 

I absolutely LOVED Arnold's debut novel, Mosquitoland and there is some speculation that this book may, possibly be related to that one? The main character of that book talks about being a "kid of appetite" so I don't know? I would be happy even if it isn't connected! I don't really care what its about, Arnold has become an auto-buy author for me! This book is scheduled for September 20th.

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange

This book sounds like a great road trip meets thriller contemporary that I definitely want a part of! Labels are shed and four teens work together to get through the night. It's been called The Breakfast Club's reboot, and one reviewer on Goodreads said it was Orange is the New Black meets The Devil You Know. Needless to say, I am very excited for this book, out February 16th!

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

I'm really interested in seeing how the seven deadly sins plays out in this seven POV novel! Will the author include some of the backstory of the sins, or just focus on the individual embodiments of each. It should be interesting to read, and I look forward to it! Released March 8th.

The Incident on the Bridge by Laura McNeal

This is thriller about a girl who supposedly jumped off a bridge, but her sister is convinced she would never act so impulsively. Pitched as We Were Liars meets The Bone Gap, this books looks like a great mystery thriller! This book is coming out April 26th!

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando 

This is a book about six kindergarteners who were kidnapped. Eleven years later, five of them return, with no memory of what happened, where they were, or where the last kid is. Another book pitched to fans of We Were Liars this book looks very intriguing, released June 7th.

Ok, so that's it! If you're a keener, you would also notice I added an extra book, but there were just too many great ones to choose from! Hopefully some of these books will be a favourite for the coming year!

What books are you most excited for in 2016??

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

TBR Tuesday - January 5

Hello everyone!

I am back with a list of brand new books for the first TBR Tuesday of the year! There are lots of books here, so pull up your Goodreads and start adding!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I absolutely loved Alex's The Darkest Mind trilogy and I have very high hopes for this series!

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Every man and their dog seems to be so pumped for this book! I've yet to read her previous novels, the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy but I've heard great things!

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

This sounds like a great story about a girl who gets sucked into a world of magic she didn't ask for. Plus, there's libraries...

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

This one sounds interesting, a lot of intrigue and mystery!

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

I received an ARC of this from Raincoast Books, and it was good, but not great. You can see my full thoughts here. It deals with a lot of harder issues many teens deal with these days, but just not my favourite.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Ok, I am definitely going to be buying the US cover if I decide to get this book. I've never read anything by any of the Brontë sisters, but I've always been fascinated by them. Maybe I'll pick up this book and try one of their works!

Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer
This sounds like a Back to the Future for this generation. Should be interesting!

Endure by Sara B. Larson

I haven't read this series, or anything by this author, but I have heard a lot of buzz around this finale!

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
I read this book for review, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't my favourite. You can read my full review here.

Well, that's it for this week! Lots of books to spend all those gift cards on!