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Showing posts from December, 2016

BEST BOOKS OF 2016 - TOP 16

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another yearly wrap up of my favourite reads of the year. As with last year's list, I am sticking with books that I read and were published in/before 2016, not any ARCs I got and loved that come out in 2017. Also, this list is in the order that I read the books, not by any sort of ranking other than favourites. Alright, so lets do this!

1. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
This book is a crazy YA thriller that I managed to devour in 3 hours, staying up until 2am because I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. #noregrets


Basically, the story follows Tessa and Callie, and the murder they witnessed ten years ago. The alleged murderer is proven guilty with the help of a testimony by the two 8 year old girls, after Callie's cousin was strangled to death and laid out by the river, like the other 3 victims of the towns local serial killer, dubbed the Ohio River Monster. After Tessa comes back to town to visit her father in prison, another girl turns up dead, just…

PREMEDITATED BY JOSIN L. McQUEIN - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein.





I was all set to give this book a high rating, and then I got halfway through and figured out the ending. And from that point on, things just got too almost painfully annoying. Like if I could figure it out, why couldn't the characters?

Basically, this is a story of revenge. It was vaguely reminiscent of The Female of the Species, but McGinnis does a better job dealing with the revenge aspects, as well as many other related elements that I won't talk too much about so I don't spoil either book. Anyways, in this story, Dinah finds her cousins diary after she is rushed to the hospital after a suicide attempt. And in that diary, she names the boy who broke her heart and drove her over the edge. Dinah decides she will take her cousin's place at a prestigious school and find him and ruin his life. Or maybe kill him. I'm still not sure what the ultimate end goal was. There is also some …

ALIGHT BY SCOTT SIGLER - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Alight by Scott Sigler.




After reading the first book in this series, I knew I would be continuing on with the next book. And in many ways, the sequel did not disappoint.

This story picks up pretty quickly after the first book leaves off. Obviously, any info I give will be a spoiler for the first book, as this is the sequel, so if you haven't finished book one, do so before going any further with this review.

Like I was saying, the story starts where Alive left off. Em and the gang have landed on the new planet after a battle with the Grownups. Some people's memories are beginning to fill in. They start to remember how to do things, and what things are called. I won't go into too many details but I will say that I really liked how Sigler handles this aspect of the book.

He goes into detail as to why the memories are returning, but it never becomes too tedious or boring. I was really happy with how things were explained, ev…

DANGEROUS GIRLS BY ABIGAIL HAAS - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, the highly under-rated book, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.

Oh my goodness. What was that? WHAT WAS THAT?

This book follows the story of a group of teens on Spring Break in Aruba. No parents, just a bunch of teens with access to copious amounts of alcohol, few restrictions and nights of wild parties. Fun times, right? Well, it is, until one of the girls, Elise is found dead, stabbed with the home's kitchen knife thirteen times. While the authorities question the entire group, their main focus is on two of the teens, Elise's best friend Anna, the stories narrator, and Tate, Anna's boyfriend. Soon, Tate's rich family steps in and cuts a deal, leaving Anna the main suspect. Except Anna didn't do it. But if she didn't, no one has any idea who did.

There was a lot going on in this story. Firstly, Anna and Elise's relationship. The two were seemingly joined at the hip, fast friends after Anna switched schools. E…

IVORY AND BONE BY JULIE ESHBAUGH - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back again today with another review,Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh. Thanks so much to LitJoy Crate for including this book in one of their boxes; I'm not sure I would have picked it up on my own.


This book tells the story of Kol and his tribe as well as the rocky past they share with another tribe. The story is set in prehistoric times, so we get wooly mammoth hunts and saber-toothed tiger kills. The story also partly follows Kol's interactions with two other tribes, and two girls named Mya and Lo. Both are distant with secrets of their shared pasts. This book is kind of hard to explain, so I will just dive into the more technical aspects.

First, and I think most importantly, the majority of this book is told in the second person. There is a little prologue/intro bit at the beginning of the novel that sets things up and explains why it is told this way, Kol is telling Mya a story. In this sense, the concept of a second person perspective isn't as fa…

THE TWILIGHT WIFE BY A.J. BANNER - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner. Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Wow. This book was fantastic.

The book follows Kyra, a thirty-four-year-old who was in a diving accident a year ago and doesn't remember anything that has happened for the last 4 years. She lives with her dedicated husband on a secluded island, away from the stresses of city life. Everything is going fine until Kyra begins to remember bits and pieces of her past. Snippets of interactions with another man. Dreams of places she has apparently never been to, but sees so vividly. She starts to wonder if she can really trust her memories, or if everything she remembers is a lie?

I will leave the synopsis at that because with thrillers it is easy to give away too many details.

Throughout the story, I just had a bad feeling. I wasn't sure why, but thing…

WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER BY RAE CARSON - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson.


I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I knew it had something to do with a girl who can witch gold from the ground, but nothing else.

The story is set in 1849 America. Slavery is still very much a thing, as is prejudice against First Nations peoples. Following a teen named Leah, we set out on the journey from Georgia to California, following the Gold Rush. Leah has always had a gift of being able to find gold, and when her father becomes ill, she takes on the role of unofficial man of the house. Her best friend Jefferson decides he is leaving his abusive household and leaves for California. He tells Leah to come with him, but if not, he'll wait for her in another state. Leah is focused on staying and helping her family until she arrives home and finds her mother and father both murdered. Her mother's last words were telling her to run. Soon her father's brother comes to …

THE START OF ME AND YOU BY EMERY LORD - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord.


This was my first book by Lord, and I am so happy that I put more of her books on my Christmas list because I loved this book!

Basically, the story follows Paige, The Girl Whose Boyfriend Drowned. While she loved her boyfriend, Aaron, they'd only been dating for two months and she is tired of That Look and being treated like a grieving widow. She still has nightmares about his death, but she feels she cannot grieve the same way his family or best friend can. Paige decides it's time to get back into the world and live her life. And she has a plan, going to a party, meeting a new group of friends, and getting back into dating again, preferably with her long-time and newly single crush Ryan. However, when Ryan's cousin Max comes back into the fold of school, her aspirations shift slightly.

I think one of the things I loved about this book was that even though it was a romance,…

THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE BY KATHY PARKS - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks.


This book was pretty much exactly what I thought it was going to be - a group of teenagers from different 'cliques' stuck on a boat trying to get home. While there was a deeper level message, that was pretty much the story. And I was okay with that.

Basically, that is the synopsis. After being asked by a guy she thought didn't even know her name to her ex-best friend's party, Denver and a group of fellow party-goers end up stranded in the Pacific Ocean, floating on the house's roof after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit. The group includes Denver, said ex-best friend Abigail, popular girls Hayley and Sierra and a random semi-popular guy, Trevor. The group is reeling after seeing their classmates get taken out by palm trees flying through the water and a grand piano sliding through the collapsing house. It's late, they broke into a house to have the party and no one kn…

PASSENGER BY ALEXANDRA BRACKEN - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!
I am back with another book review, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken today!



Now that is what I am talking about! Bracken has proved once more that she can do no wrong!

How do I even give a synopsis of this book?! Oh boy! Ok, so I guess I'll start with saying it follows two main characters, one of which is Henrietta, or Etta for short. She lives with her mom in NYC and is a violin prodigy. One night, at a rehearsal performance, Etta gets thrust into a strange world, landing in the middle of the ocean, on a boat, in 1776. Yup.

Enter Nicholas, a sailor on the boat, and the guy tasked with getting Etta and another girl Sophia safely to land to meet Sophia's grandfather. Etta, after being forced to strike a deal with the old man is sent through time, with the help of Nicholas, trying to find a piece of her family's hidden past, in order to save her mother.

While I won't say much more about the plot, there was a lot of other things happening in this book. Original…

HOTEL RUBY BY SUZANNE YOUNG - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young.


Going into this book, I didn't really know what to expect.

From the synopsis, the storyline is vague. A family stops at this hotel and gets drawn in. It seems like a bit of a roach motel situation where once you're in, you never leave. There's also allusions to family issues that may or may not be touched on. Overall, I didn't know what the story I was about to read was going to be about.

Without too many spoilers, I'll try and give a general synopsis. Audrey and her family; consisting for the last three months of her older brother, Daniel, and her father. They are driving to her grandmother's house, where the kids will spend the summer. Audrey's mother died three months ago from a stroke, and her father hasn't been able to cope. Along the way, their father decides to stop at a hotel to rest before setting out again in the morning. They stop at Hotel Ruby, a grand…

THE OUTSIDERS BY S.E. HINTON - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with a review of a cult-classic, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.


I feel like this is such a widely loved novel that I can't really give it a star rating. Like no matter what I pick, people will have their own thoughts and perceptions of what the book should get. And I suppose that could be said for all novels, but there is just something about giving a classic a number rating that doesn't sit well with me.

In case you don't know the premise of this story, it follows the perspective of a fourteen year old boy named Ponyboy (yes, that's his real name, says so on his birth certificate). In the town he lives in with his two older brothers, the society of teens (the adults don't really recognize this divide) is broken up into two main groups, the greasers and the Socs. Pony is part of the greaser side, known for being tuff and their long, greased hair. The Socs are from the better part of town, distinguishable by their 'clean' looks and ge…

CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!
I am back with another book review, today it is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo! I finally got around to reading this one!


If there is one thing Leigh Bardugo can do, it's write an action packed story full of darkness that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

I won't really get too much into plot here because I don't want to spoil this or the first book, but I will say a few general things. The characters were great, like in the first book. They are witty, broken, diverse and ruthless. The story picks up right where things left off from the first book and you are thrust into the world of Ketterdam. I will say that I wish there was just a bit more of a recap on how things ended in Six of Crows, I read it about a year ago and didn't remember all the little details. You get the general gist from this book though I think part of my lack of enthusiasm and the reason it is only getting 4 stars is that I lost the connection I had in book one. I was trying hard …

BELZHAR BY MEG WOLITZER - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!
I am back with another book review, today it is Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer.


I went into this book, for the most part, completely blind. I knew that it had something to do with The Bell Jar, but not having read that book and just having basic knowledge about Sylvia Plath, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I'll give a basic summary, but this book is almost too bizarre to recap. Our main character is Jamaica or Jam for short. After falling apart after the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, Jam is sent to The Wooden Barn, a place described as a 'halfway house' between the realities of everyday school and a psychiatric facility. There she ends up in a special English class taught exclusively to a small number of selected individuals. In this class, Jam meets others who are also struggling with loss; Sierra, who blames herself for her brother's kidnapping three years ago and is falling apart trying to find him, Griffin, who is blamed by his parents for the fire that ha…

UNTIL FRIDAY NIGHT BY ABBI GLINES - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines.


It's been a while since I've read a young adult book by Glines; most of the ones I've been reading lately are her NA series, so it was weird having her write characters in school.

I think the one good thing about Glines's books, regardless of the age range, is that you always know what you are going to get. Usually dual perspectives; macho player man and a shy, meek girl with a troubled past. She falls for him first, he realizes how great she is, gets too committed too fast, freaks girl out, setting her on edge and almost ready to leave. Then there's a misunderstanding, a jealous ex-girlfriend gets up in shy girls face/shy girl sees a torrid moment between jealous ex-girlfriend and player man and she freaks, leaving newly heartbroken macho man to feel emotions for the first time, probably make some bad choices but ultimately win the girl back.

It's formulaic, and not necessari…

HOLIDAY BOOK LOVER'S GIFT GUIDE - 2016

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Hello everyone!

Today I am doing something a little bit different, I will be sharing my gift guide for getting the perfect gift for the bookworm in your life, or to just treat yourself!

Each recommendation is set up for a different 'type' of person, but feel free to go with what you think is best! I also tried to keep the choices limited to recent-ish releases to minimize the chances of duplicates, Let's get into the books!

For the socially conscious/budding feminist: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis.


This book was one of my very favourites of the year, so I had to include it. The story has a bit of everything for every reader from the thrill seeker to the romantic, to the feminist, or the feminist-who-doesn't-know-they-are-a-feminist, to every decent human being. TFoTS deals with a mystery, a romance, societal views on rape and sexual assault, and societal norms. This book is so important and would be perfect for even the pickiest of readers on your list.

F…

HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOR BY JOHN COREY WHALEY - BOOK REVIEW

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Hello everyone!
I am back with another book review, today it is Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley.



I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love reading books about mental illness. I find them really interesting and can usually relate well to them. And thankfully, this book was no exception.

To give you a brief summary, this story follows Solomon, a seventeen year old who has agoraphobia. Three years ago he jumped into the school water fountain and has been homeschooled and hasn't left his house since. Through the story we see him finding friends, or I suppose friends finding him, and his attempts at making it to his backyard. The story is told in two perspectives, of course, Solomon's but also one of his new friends, Lisa's perspective as well. Lisa is applying to the second best psychology program in the country and needs a fantastic essay on her experiences with mental health to get her a scholarship. Lisa decides that if she can work with Solo…